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Saɱyutta Nikāya
II. Nidāna Vagga
12. Nidāna Saɱyutta
3. Dasa-Balā Vagga

Sutta 23

Upanisa Suttaɱ

Precursers[1]

Translated from the Pali
by
Michael M. Olds

 


 

[1][pts][than][bodh][bodh 2] I HEAR TELL:

Once upon a time the Lucky Man Sāvatthī-town revisiting.

There, to the Beggars gathered round, he said:

"Beggars!"

And the beggars responding:
"Broke Tooth!"
Bhagava said:

"I say it is in knowing, beggars,
in seeing,
that influences[2] are destroyed,
not without knowing,
without seeing.

And by knowing what,
by seeing what,
are influences destroyed?

'This is form [rūpa],
this is the arising to self of form,
this is the settling-down of form.

This is sense-experience [vedanā],
this is the arising to self of sense-experience,
this is the settling-down of sense-experience.

This is perception [saññā],
this is the arising to self of perception,
this is the settling-down of perception.

This is own-making [sankhārā],
this is the arising to self of own-making,
this is the settling-down of own-making.

This is consciousness [viññāṇa],
this is the arising to self of consciousness,
this is the settling-down of consciousness.'

It is by this knowing then, beggars,
by this seeing,
that influences are destroyed.

 

§

 

I say, beggars, that
whatever is the knowledge of the destruction of the destroyed [khayasmiɱ khaye ñāṇaɱ]
it has a precurser,
is not without a precurser.

And what, beggars, is the precurser
to this knowledge of destruction?

'It is freedom' [vimuttī], let it be said.

I[3] say, beggars, that
freedom too[3] has a precurser,
is not without precurser.

And what, beggars, is the precurser to freedom?

'It is dispassion' [virāga], let it be said.

I say, beggars, that
dispassion too has a precurser,
is not without precurser.

And what, beggars, is the precurser to dispassion?

'It is distaste' [nibbidā], let it be said.

I say, beggars, that
distaste too has a precurser,
is not without precurser.

And what, beggars, is the precurser to distaste?

'It is knowledge and vision of life as it really is' [yathā-bhūta-ñāṇa-dassanan], let it be said.

I say, beggars, that
knowledge and vision of life as it really is too has a precurser,
is not without precurser.

And what, beggars, is the precurser to knowledge and vision of life as it really is?

'It is serenity' [samādhī], let it be said.

I say, beggars, that
knowledge and vision of serenity too has a precurser,
is not without precurser.

And what, beggars, is the precurser to serenity?

'It is pleasure' [sukha], let it be said.

I say, beggars, that
pleasure too has a precurser,
is not without precurser.

And what, beggars, is the precurser to pleasure?

'It is impassivity' [passaddhī], let it be said.

I say, beggars, that
impassivity too has a precurser,
is not without precurser.

And what, beggars, is the precurser to impassivity?

'It is excitement' [pīti], let it be said.

I say, beggars, that
excitement too has a precurser,
is not without precurser.

And what, beggars, is the precurser to excitement?

'It is happiness' [pāmujja], let it be said.

I say, beggars, that
happiness too has a precurser,
is not without precurser.

And what, beggars, is the precurser to happiness?

'It is faith' [saddhā], let it be said.

I say, beggars, that
faith too has a precurser,
is not without precurser.

And what, beggars, is the precurser to faith?

'It is pain' [dukkha], let it be said.

I say, beggars, that
pain too has a precurser,
is not without precurser.

And what, beggars, is the precurser to pain?

'It is birth' [jātī], let it be said.

I say, beggars, that
birth too has a precurser,
is not without precurser.

And what, beggars, is the precurser to birth?

'It is becoming' [bhava], let it be said.

I say, beggars, that
becoming too has a precurser,
is not without precurser.

And what, beggars, is the precurser to becoming?

'It is planning to get' [upādāna], let it be said.

I say, beggars, that
planning to get too has a precurser,
is not without precurser.

And what, beggars, is the precurser to planning to get?

'It is hunger/thirst' [taṇhā], let it be said.

I say, beggars, that
hunger/thirst too has a precurser,
is not without precurser.

And what, beggars, is the precurser to hunger/thirst?

'It is sensation' [vedanā], let it be said.

I say, beggars, that
sensation too has a precurser,
is not without precurser.

And what, beggars, is the precurser to sensation?

'It is contact' [phassa], let it be said.

I say, beggars, that
contact too has a precurser,
is not without precurser.

And what, beggars, is the precurser to contact?

'It is "The Six Sense Realms"' [saḷāyatana], let it be said.

I say, beggars, that
"The Six Sense Realms" too has a precurser,
is not without precurser.

And what, beggars, is the precurser to The Six Sense Realms?

'It is named-forms' [nāma-rūpa], let it be said.

I say, beggars, that
named=forms too has a precurser,
is not without precurser.

And what, beggars, is the precurser to named-forms?

'It is consciousness' [viññāṇa], let it be said.

I say, beggars, that
consciousness too has a precurser,
is not without precurser.

And what, beggars, is the precurser to consciousness?

'It is own-making' [sankhārā], let it be said.

I say, beggars, that
own-making too has a precurser,
is not without precurser.

And what, beggars, is the precurser to own-making?

'It is ignorance' [avijjā], let it be said.

 

§

 

Thus then, beggars,
ignorance precurses own-making,
own-making precurses consciousness,
consciousness precurses named-forms,
named-formes precurses The Six Sense Realms,
The Six Sense Realms precurses contact,
contact precurses sensation,
sensation precurses hunger/thirst,
hunger/thirst precurses planning to get,
planning to get precurses becoming,
becoming precurses birth,
birth precurses pain,
pain precurses faith,
faith precurses happiness,
happiness precurses excitement,
excitement precurses impassivity,
impassivity precurses pleasure,
pleasure precurses serenity,
serenity precurses knowledge and vision of life as it really is,
knowledge and vision of life as it really is precurses distaste,
distaste precurses dispassion,
dispassion precurses freedom,
freedom precurses knowledge of destruction.

In the same way, beggars,
as when the gods rain heavily down upon the mountins,
the water goes down-slope
to the mountain gullies,
crevices
and streamlets;
the gullies, crevices and streamlets being filled,
it flows into the streams,
the streams being filled, it flows into into the creeks,
the creeks being filled, it flows into the rivers,
the rivers being filled, it flows into the great rivers,
and the great rivers filled, it flows into the sea.

Even so, beggars,
ignorance precurses own-making,
own-making precurses consciousness,
consciousness precurses named-forms,
named-formes precurses The Six Sense Realms,
The Six Sense Realms precurses contact,
contact precurses sensation,
sensation precurses hunger/thirst,
hunger/thirst precurses planning to get,
planning to get precurses becoming,
becoming precurses birth,
birth precurses pain,
pain precurses faith,
faith precurses happiness,
happiness precurses excitement,
excitement precurses impassivity,
impassivity precurses pleasure,
pleasure precurses serenity,
serenity precurses knowledge and vision of life as it really is,
knowledge and vision of life as it really is precurses distaste,
distaste precurses dispassion,
dispassion precurses freedom,
freedom precurses knowledge of destruction."

 


[1] Upanisa. Bhk. Punnaji: 'antisident'; Bhk. Bodhi: 'proximate cause' and earlier 'supporting conditions' (which is better!); Bhk. Thanissaro: prerequisites. The idea 'cause' should be avoided throughout Buddhist studies! "This being, that becomes" is a statement describing events in time or the direction of a force, not cause and effect. Buddhism, with its stance concerning the avoidance of theories of existence and non-existence, must also avoid the idea of cause. Cause presumes existence.

[2] Āsava Lust, Existence and Blindness. Mrs. Rhys Davids: intoxicants. Bhk. Thanissaro: effluents: Evacuated or discharged ofal, liquid waste, sewage, effluvium, outflow, discharge, emission. Which definition is saying that the flow is from inside to outside; but the āsavas flow from the outside to the inside. They are 'in'-fluences, not out-fluences (see: AN 1.49-52 "Luminous, monks, is the mind. And it is defiled by incoming defilements" where Bhk. Thanissaro's own translation points to inflow); Bhk. Bodhi: cankers, (His position on AN 1.49: "This luminosity, though inherent, is functionally blocked because the mind is 'defiled by adventitious (Ed.: opportunistic or chance) defilements. The defilements are called 'adventitious' because, unlike the luminosity, they are not intrinsic to the mind itself.";

[3] pāhaɱ, paham = pi ham = p'aham. Not in PED. SN 2.12.33 footnotes (#3) 'seyyathāpaham': S3pi ham. The 'pi' is the 'too' there a bit later, so an alternative translation might be: "I also say".

 


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