Classic and Contemporary Buddhist Works

The Connected Discourses of the Buddha - Selections

Chapter 35. Saḷāyatanasaṃyutta: Connected Discourses on the Six Sense Bases
Division I. The Root Fifty

II. The Pairs

13 (1) Before My Enlightenment (1) 
At Sāvatthī. “Bhikkhus, before my enlightenment, [7] while I was still a bodhisatta, not yet fully enlightened, it occurred to me: ‘What is the gratification, what is the danger, what is the escape in the case of the eye? What is the gratification, what is the danger, what is the escape in the case of the ear … the nose … the tongue … the body … the mind?’
    “Then, bhikkhus, it occurred to me: ‘The pleasure and joy that arise in dependence on the eye: this is the gratification in the eye. That the eye is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change: this is the danger in the eye. The removal and abandonment of desire and lust for the eye: this is the escape from the eye.
    “‘The pleasure and joy that arise in dependence on the ear … the nose … the tongue … the body … the mind: this is the gratification in the mind. That the mind is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change: this is the danger in the mind. The removal and abandonment of desire and lust for the mind: this is the escape from the mind.’
    “So long, bhikkhus, as I did not directly know as they really are the gratification, the danger, and the escape in the case of these six internal sense bases, I did not claim to have awakened to the unsurpassed perfect enlightenment in this world with its devas, Māra, and Brahmā, in this generation with its ascetics and brahmins, its devas and humans. But when I directly knew all this as it really is, then I claimed to have awakened to the unsurpassed perfect enlightenment in this world with … its devas and humans.5 [8]
    “The knowledge and vision arose in me: ‘Unshakable is my liberation of mind; this is my last birth; now there is no more renewed existence.’”

14 (2) Before My Enlightenment (2)
(The same is repeated for the six external sense bases.)

15 (3) Seeking Gratification (1)
“Bhikkhus, I set out seeking the gratification in the eye. Whatever gratification there is in the eye—that I discovered. I have clearly seen with wisdom just how far the gratification in the eye extends. [9]
    “Bhikkhus, I set out seeking the danger in the eye. Whatever danger there is in the eye—that I discovered. I have clearly seen with wisdom just how far the danger in the eye extends.
    “Bhikkhus, I set out seeking the escape from the eye. Whatever escape there is from the eye—that I discovered. I have clearly seen with wisdom just how far the escape from the eye extends.
    “Bhikkhus, I set out seeking the gratification in … the danger in … the escape from the ear … the nose … the tongue … the body … the mind. Whatever escape there is from the mind—that I discovered. I have clearly seen with wisdom just how far the escape from the mind extends.
    “So long, bhikkhus, as I did not directly know as they really are the gratification, the danger, and the escape in the case of these six internal sense bases, I did not claim to have awakened to the unsurpassed perfect enlightenment in this world with its devas, Māra, and Brahmā, in this generation with its ascetics and brahmins, its devas and humans. But when I directly knew all this as it really is, then I claimed to have awakened to the unsurpassed perfect enlightenment in this world with … its devas and humans.
    “The knowledge and vision arose in me: ‘Unshakable is my liberation of mind; this is my last birth; now there is no more renewed existence.’”

16 (4) Seeking Gratification (2)
(The same for the six external sense bases.) [10]

17 (5) If There Were No (1)
“Bhikkhus, if there were no gratification in the eye, beings would not become enamoured with it; but because there is gratification in the eye, beings become enamoured with it. If there were no danger in the eye, beings would not experience revulsion towards it; but because there is danger in the eye, beings experience revulsion towards it. If there were no escape from the eye, beings would not escape from it; but because there is an escape from the eye, beings escape from it.
    “Bhikkhus, if there were no gratification in the ear … [11] … in the nose … in the tongue … in the body … in the mind, beings would not become enamoured with it … but because there is an escape from the mind, beings escape from it.
    “So long, bhikkhus, as beings have not directly known as they really are the gratification as gratification, the danger as danger, and the escape as escape in the case of these six internal sense bases, they have not escaped from this world with its devas, Māra, and Brahmā, from this generation with its ascetics and brahmins, its devas and humans; they have not become detached from it, released from it, nor do they dwell with a mind rid of barriers. But when beings have directly known all this as it really is, [12] then they have escaped from this world with its devas and humans … they have become detached from it, released from it, and they dwell with a mind rid of barriers.”

18 (6) If There Were No (2)
(The same for the six external sense bases.) [13]

19 (7) Delight (1)
“Bhikkhus, one who seeks delight in the eye seeks delight in suffering. One who seeks delight in suffering, I say, is not freed from suffering. One who seeks delight in the ear … in the nose … in the tongue … in the body … in the mind seeks delight in suffering. One who seeks delight in suffering, I say, is not freed from suffering.
    “One who does not seek delight in the eye … in the mind does not seek delight in suffering. One who does not seek delight in suffering, I say, is freed from suffering.”

20 (8) Delight (2)
(The same for the six external sense bases.) [14]

21 (9) Arising of Suffering (1)
“Bhikkhus, the arising, continuation, production, and manifestation of the eye is the arising of suffering, the continuation of disease, the manifestation of aging-and-death. The arising of the ear … the nose … the tongue … the body … the mind is the arising of suffering, the continuation of disease, the manifestation of aging-and-death.
    “The cessation, subsiding, and passing away of the eye … the mind is the cessation of suffering, the subsiding of disease, the passing away of aging-and-death.”

22 (10) Arising of Suffering (2)
(The same for the six external sense bases.) [15]
 

How to cite this document:
© Bhikkhu Bodhi, The Connected Discourses of the Buddha (Wisdom Publications, 2000)

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