Classic and Contemporary Buddhist Works

The Connected Discourses of the Buddha - Selections

Chapter 22. Khandhasaṃyutta: Connected Discourses on the Aggregates
Division I. The Root Fifty

IV. Not Yours

33 (1) Not Yours (1)
At Sāvatthī. “Bhikkhus, whatever is not yours, abandon it. When you have abandoned it, that will lead to your welfare and happiness. And what is it, bhikkhus, that is not yours? Form is not yours: abandon it. When you have abandoned it, that will lead to your welfare and happiness. Feeling is not yours … Perception is not yours … [34] Volitional formations are not yours … Consciousness is not yours: abandon it. When you have abandoned it, that will lead to your welfare and happiness.
    “Suppose, bhikkhus, people were to carry off the grass, sticks, branches, and foliage in this Jeta’s Grove, or to burn them, or to do with them as they wish. Would you think: ‘People are carrying us off, or burning us, or doing with us as they wish’?”
    “No, venerable sir. For what reason? Because, venerable sir, that is neither our self nor what belongs to our self.”
    “So too, bhikkhus, form is not yours … consciousness is not yours: abandon it. When you have abandoned it, that will lead to your welfare and happiness.”

34 (2) Not Yours (2)
(This sutta is identical with the preceding one except that it omits the simile.)

35 (3) A Certain Bhikkhu (1)
At Sāvatthī. [35] Then a certain bhikkhu approached the Blessed One, paid homage to him, sat down to one side, and said to him: “Venerable sir, it would be good if the Blessed One would teach me the Dhamma in brief, so that, having heard the Dhamma from the Blessed One, I might dwell alone, withdrawn, diligent, ardent, and resolute.”
    “Bhikkhu, if one has an underlying tendency towards something, then one is reckoned in terms of it. If one does not have an underlying tendency towards something, then one is not reckoned in terms of it.”
    “Understood, Blessed One! Understood, Fortunate One!”
    “In what way, bhikkhu, do you understand in detail the meaning of what was stated by me in brief?”
    “If, venerable sir, one has an underlying tendency towards form, then one is reckoned in terms of it. If one has an underlying tendency towards feeling, then one is reckoned in terms of it. If one has an underlying tendency towards perception, then one is reckoned in terms of it. If one has an underlying tendency towards volitional formations, then one is reckoned in terms of them. If one has an underlying tendency towards consciousness, then one is reckoned in terms of it.
    “If, venerable sir, one does not have an underlying tendency towards form, then one is not reckoned in terms of it. If one does not have an underlying tendency towards feeling … towards perception … towards volitional formations … towards consciousness, then one is not reckoned in terms of it.
    “It is in such a way, venerable sir, that I understand in detail the meaning of what was stated by the Blessed One in brief.”
    “Good, good, bhikkhu! It is good that you understand in detail the meaning of what was stated by me in brief. If, bhikkhu, one has an underlying tendency towards form … (as above in full) … then one is not reckoned in terms of it. It is in such a way that the meaning of what was stated by me in brief should be understood in detail.”
    Then that bhikkhu, having delighted and rejoiced in the Blessed One’s statement, [36] rose from his seat, and, after paying homage to the Blessed One, keeping him on his right, he departed.
    Then, dwelling alone, withdrawn, diligent, ardent, and resolute, that bhikkhu, by realizing it for himself with direct knowledge, in this very life entered and dwelt in that unsurpassed goal of the holy life for the sake of which clansmen rightly go forth from the household life into homelessness. He directly knew: “Destroyed is birth, the holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is no more for this state of being.” And that bhikkhu became one of the arahants.

36 (4) A Certain Bhikkhu (2)
At Sāvatthī. Then a certain bhikkhu approached the Blessed One, paid homage to him, sat down to one side, and said to him: “Venerable sir, it would be good if the Blessed One would teach me the Dhamma in brief, so that, having heard the Dhamma from the Blessed One, I might dwell alone, withdrawn, diligent, ardent, and resolute.”
    “Bhikkhu, if one has an underlying tendency towards something, then one is measured in accordance with it; if one is measured in accordance with something, then one is reckoned in terms of it. If one does not have an underlying tendency towards something, then one is not measured in accordance with it; if one is not measured in accordance with something, then one is not reckoned in terms of it.”
    “Understood, Blessed One! Understood, Fortunate One!”
    “In what way, bhikkhu, do you understand in detail the meaning of what was stated by me in brief?”
    “If, venerable sir, one has an underlying tendency towards form, then one is measured in accordance with it; if one is measured in accordance with it, then one is reckoned in terms of it. If one has an underlying tendency towards feeling … towards perception … towards volitional formations … towards consciousness, then one is measured in accordance with it; if one is measured in accordance with it, then one is reckoned in terms of it.
    “If, venerable sir, one does not have an underlying tendency towards form, then one is not measured in accordance with it; [37] if one is not measured in accordance with it, then one is not reckoned in terms of it. If one does not have an underlying tendency towards feeling … towards perception … towards volitional formations … towards consciousness, then one is not measured in accordance with it; if one is not measured in accordance with it, then one is not reckoned in terms of it.
    “It is in such a way, venerable sir, that I understand in detail the meaning of what was stated by the Blessed One in brief.”
    “Good, good, bhikkhu! It is good that you understand in detail the meaning of what was stated by me in brief. If, bhikkhu, one has an underlying tendency towards form … (as above in full) … then one is not reckoned in terms of it. It is in such a way that the meaning of what was stated by me in brief should be understood in detail.”
    Then that bhikkhu, having delighted and rejoiced in the Blessed One’s words, rose from his seat … And that bhikkhu became one of the arahants.

37 (5) Ānanda (1)
At Sāvatthī. Then the Venerable Ānanda approached the Blessed One…. The Blessed One then said to the Venerable Ānanda as he was sitting to one side:
    “If, Ānanda, they were to ask you: ‘Friend Ānanda, what are the things of which an arising is discerned, a vanishing is discerned, an alteration of that which stands is discerned?’—being asked thus, how would you answer?” [38]
    “Venerable sir, if they were to ask me this, I would answer thus: ‘Friends, with form an arising is discerned, a vanishing is discerned, an alteration of that which stands is discerned. With feeling … perception … volitional formations … consciousness an arising is discerned, a vanishing is discerned, an alteration of that which stands is discerned. These, friends, are the things of which an arising is discerned, a vanishing is discerned, an alteration of that which stands is discerned.’ Being asked thus, venerable sir, I would answer in such a way.”
    “Good, good, Ānanda! With form, Ānanda, an arising is discerned, a vanishing is discerned, an alteration of that which stands is discerned. With feeling … perception … volitional formations … consciousness an arising is discerned, a vanishing is discerned, an alteration of that which stands is discerned. These, Ānanda, are the things of which an arising is discerned, a vanishing is discerned, an alteration of that which stands is discerned. Being asked thus, Ānanda, you should answer in such a way.”

38 (6) Ānanda (2)
At Sāvatthī…. The Blessed One then said to the Venerable Ānanda as he was sitting to one side:
    “If, Ānanda, they were to ask you: ‘Friend Ānanda, what are the things of which an arising was discerned, a vanishing was discerned, an alteration of that which stands was discerned? What are the things of which an arising will be discerned, a vanishing will be discerned, an alteration of that which stands will be discerned? What are the things of which an arising is discerned, a vanishing is discerned, an alteration of that which stands is discerned?’—being asked thus, Ānanda, how would you answer?”
    “Venerable sir, if they were to ask me this, [39] I would answer thus: ‘Friends, with form that has passed, ceased, changed, an arising was discerned, a vanishing was discerned, an alteration of that which stands was discerned. With feeling … perception … volitional formations … consciousness that has passed, ceased, changed, an arising was discerned, a vanishing was discerned, an alteration of that which stands was discerned. It is of these things, friends, that an arising was discerned, that a vanishing was discerned, that an alteration of that which stands was discerned.
    “‘Friends, with form that has not been born, not become manifest, an arising will be discerned, a vanishing will be discerned, an alteration of that which stands will be discerned. With feeling … perception … volitional formations … consciousness that has not been born, not become manifest, an arising will be discerned, a vanishing will be discerned, an alteration of that which stands will be discerned. It is of these things, friends, that an arising will be discerned, that a vanishing will be discerned, that an alteration of that which stands will be discerned.
    “‘Friends, with form that has been born, that has become manifest, an arising is discerned, a vanishing is discerned, an alteration of that which stands is discerned. With feeling … perception … volitional formations … consciousness that has been born, that has become manifest, an arising is discerned, a vanishing is discerned, an alteration of that which stands is discerned. It is of these things, friends, that an arising is discerned, that a vanishing is discerned, that an alteration of that which stands is discerned.’
    “Being asked thus, venerable sir, I would answer in such a way.”
    “Good, good, Ānanda!”
    (The Buddha here repeats the entire answer of the Venerable Ānanda, concluding:) [40]
    “Being asked thus, Ānanda, you should answer in such a way.”

39 (7) In Accordance with the Dhamma (1)
At Sāvatthī. “Bhikkhus, when a bhikkhu is practising in accordance with the Dhamma, this is what accords with the Dhamma: he should dwell engrossed in revulsion towards form, feeling, perception, volitional formations, and consciousness. One who dwells engrossed in revulsion towards form … and consciousness, fully understands form, feeling, perception, volitional formations, and consciousness. One who fully understands form … and consciousness is freed from form, [41] feeling, perception, volitional formations, and consciousness. He is freed from birth, aging, and death; freed from sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair; freed from suffering, I say.”

40 (8) In Accordance with the Dhamma (2)
At Sāvatthī. “Bhikkhus, when a bhikkhu is practising in accordance with the Dhamma, this is what accords with the Dhamma: he should dwell contemplating impermanence in form … (as above) … he is freed from suffering, I say.”

41 (9) In Accordance with the Dhamma (3)
… “he should dwell contemplating suffering in form … (as above) … he is freed from suffering, I say.”

42 (10) In Accordance with the Dhamma (4)
… “he should dwell contemplating nonself in form … (as above) … he is freed from suffering, I say.”
 

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© Bhikkhu Bodhi, The Connected Discourses of the Buddha (Wisdom Publications, 2000)

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