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Saɱyutta Nikāya
3. Khandha Vagga
22. Khandha Saɱyutta
6. Upāya Vagga

The Book of the Kindred Sayings
3. The Book Called the Khandhā-Vagga
Containing Kindred Sayings on the Elements of Sensory Existence and other Subjects
22. Kindred Sayings on Elements
6. On Attachment

Sutta 55

Udāna Suttaɱ

Insspired Words[1]

Translated by F. L. Woodward
Edited by Mrs. Rhys Davids

Copyright The Pali Text Society
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[55] [48]

[1][than][bodh] Thus have I heard:—

The Exalted One was staying at Sāvatthī.

Then the Exalted One uttered these inspired words:

"Were I not then,[2] it would not now be mine.
It shall not be, and mine it shall not be.

If a brother were thus resolved,
he could burst the bonds
that bind to the lower world."[3]

At these words, a certain brother thus addressed the Exalted One:

"But wherein, lord, could a brother,
making his resolve in these words:

'Were I not then, it would not now be mine.
It shall not be, and mine it shall not be.'

burst the bonds that bind to the lower world?"

 

§

 

"As to that, brother, the untaught many-folk,
who discern not those that are Ariyans,
who are unskilled in the Ariyan doctrine,
untrained in the Ariyan doctrine,
who discern not those who are worthy ones,
who are unskilled in the worthy doctrine,
untrained in the worthy doctrine, —
regard body as the self,
or self [49] as possessed of body,
body as being in the self,
self as being in body;

view feeling as the self
the self as possessed of feeling,
feeling as being in the self,
the self as being in feeling;

view perception as the self
the self as possessed of perception,
perception as being in the self,
the self as being in perception;

view the activities as the self
the self as possessed of the activities,
the activities as being in the self,
the self as being in the activities;

view consciousness as the self
the self as possessed of consciousness,
consciousness as being in the self,
the self as being in consciousness.

Of the impermanent body
they do not understand,
as it really is,
'body is impermanent.'

Of the impermanent feeling
they do not understand,
as it really is,
'feeling is impermanent.'

Of the impermanent perception
they do not understand,
as it really is,
'perception is impermanent.'

Of the impermanent activities
they do not understand,
as they really are,
'activities are impermanent.'

Of the impermanent consciousness
they do not understand,
as it really is,
'consciousness is impermanent.'

Of the pain-fraught body
they do not understand,
as it really is,
'body is pain-fraught.'

Of the pain-fraught feeling
they do not understand,
as it really is,
'feeling is pain-fraught.'

Of the pain-fraught perception
they do not understand,
as it really is,
'perception is pain-fraught.'

Of the pain-fraught activities
they do not understand,
as they really are,
'activities are pain-fraught.'

Of the pain-fraught consciousness
they do not understand,
as it really is,
'consciousness is pain-fraught.'

Of the selfless body
they do not understand,
as it really is,
'body is selfless.'

Of the selfless feeling
they do not understand,
as it really is,
'feeling is selfless.'

Of the selfless perception
they do not understand,
as it really is,
'perception is selfless.'

Of the selfless activities
they do not understand,
as they really are,
'activities are selfless.'

Of the selfless consciousness
they do not understand,
as it really is,
'consciousness is selfless.'

Of the conditioned body
they do not understand,
as it really is,
'body is conditioned.'

Of the conditioned feeling
they do not understand,
as it really is,
"feeling is conditioned."

Of the conditioned perception
they do not understand,
as it really is,
'perception is conditioned.'

Of the conditioned activities
they do not understand,
as they really are,
'activities are conditioned.'

Of the conditioned consciousness
they do not understand,
as it really is,
'consciousness is conditioned.'

That 'body will come to cease'
they do not understand,
as it really is.

That 'feeling will come to cease'
they do not understand,
as it really is.

That 'perception will come to cease'
they do not understand,
as it really is.

That 'the activies will come to cease'
they do not understand,
as it really is.

That 'consciousness will come to cease'
they do not understand,
as it really is.

 

§

 

But, brethren, the well-taught Ariyan disciple,
who discern those that are Ariyans,
who are skilled in the Ariyan doctrine,
trained in the Ariyan doctrine,
who discern those who are worthy ones,
who are skilled in the worthy doctrine,
trained in the worthy doctrine, —
do not regard body as the self,
or self as possessed of body,
or body as being in the self,
or self as being in body;

do not view feeling as the self
the self as possessed of feeling,
feeling as being in the self,
the self as being in feeling;

do not view perception as the self
the self as possessed of perception,
perception as being in the self,
the self as being in perception;

do not view the activities as the self
the self as possessed of the activities,
the activities as being in the self,
the self as being in the activities;

do not view consciousness as the self
the self as possessed of consciousness,
consciousness as being in the self,
the self as being in consciousness.

Of the impermanent body
they understand,
as it really is,
'body is impermanent.'

Of the impermanent feeling
they understand,
as it really is,
'feeling is impermanent.'

Of the impermanent perception
they understand,
as it really is,
'perception is impermanent.'

Of the impermanent activities
they understand,
as they really are,
'activities are impermanent.'

Of the impermanent consciousness
they understand,
as it really is,
'consciousness is impermanent.'

Of the pain-fraught body
they understand,
as it really is,
'body is pain-fraught.'

Of the pain-fraught feeling
they understand,
as it really is,
'feeling is pain-fraught.'

Of the pain-fraught perception
they understand,
as it really is,
'perception is pain-fraught.'

Of the pain-fraught activities
they understand,
as they really are,
'activities are pain-fraught.'

Of the pain-fraught consciousness
they understand,
as it really is,
'consciousness is pain-fraught.'

Of the selfless body
they understand,
as it really is,
'body is selfless.'

Of the selfless feeling
they understand,
as it really is,
'feeling is selfless.'

Of the selfless perception
they understand,
as it really is,
'perception is selfless.'

Of the selfless activities
they understand,
as they really are,
'activities are selfless.'

Of the selfless consciousness
they understand,
as it really is,
'consciousness is selfless.'

Of the conditioned body
they understand,
as it really is,
'body is conditioned.'

Of the conditioned feeling
they understand,
as it really is,
'feeling is conditioned.'

Of the conditioned perception
they understand,
as it really is,
'perception is conditioned.'

Of the conditioned activities
they understand,
as they really are,
'activities are conditioned.'

Of the conditioned consciousness
they understand,
as it really is,
'consciousness is conditioned.'

That 'body will come to cease'
they understand,
as it really is.

That 'feeling will come to cease'
they understand,
as it really is.

That 'perception will come to cease'
they understand,
as it really is.

That 'the activies will come to cease'
they understand,
as it really is.

That 'consciousness will come to cease'
they understand,
as it really is.

 

§

 

Owing to the ceasing[4] of body,
the ceasing of feeling,
of perception,
of the activities
of consciousness,
a brother making his resolve in these words:

'Were I not then, it would not now be mine.
It shall not be, and mine it shall not be.'

could burst the bonds that bind to the lower world."

 

§

 

[50] "Even so resolving, lord,
a brother could burst the bonds
that bind to the lower world.

But how knowing, lord,
how seeing,
are the āsavas
straightway[5] destroyed in him?"

"As to that, brother,
the untaught many-folk are troubled
where there is no ground for trouble.

It is by this thought, brother,
that they are troubled:

'Were I not then, it would not now be mine.
It shall not be, and mine it shall not be.'

But the well-taught Ariyan disciple
is not troubled
where there is no ground for trouble.

He is not troubled, brother, by this thought:

'Were I not then, it would not now be mine.
It shall not be, and mine it shall not be.'

 

§

 

By attachment to body, brother,
consciousness,||
if it get a standing,||
may persist.

With body for its object,
with body for its platform,
seeking means of enjoyment,
it may come by growth,
increase,
abundance.

With the activities for its object,
with the activities for its platform,
seeking a means of enjoyment,
it may come by growth,
increase,
abundance.

Were a man, brother, to declare thus:

"Apart from body,
apart from feeling,
apart from perception,
apart from the activities,
I will show forth the coming or the going
or the decease or the rebirth of consciousness,
or the growth or the increase
or the abundance of consciousness" -
to do that were impossible.

If lust for body, brother,
is abandoned by a brother,
by that abandonment of lust
its foothold is cut off.

Thereby there is no platform for consciousness.

If lust for feeling, brother,
is abandoned by a brother,
by that abandonment of lust
its foothold is cut off.

Thereby there is no platform for consciousness.

If lust for perception, brother, is abandoned by a brother,
by that abandonment of lust
its foothold is cut off.

Thereby there is no platform for consciousness.

If lust for the activities, brother, is abandoned by a brother,
by that abandonment of lust
its foothold is cut off.

Thereby there is no platform for consciousness.

So also, brother, if lust for the consciousness-element be abandoned by a brother,
by that abandonment of lust
its foothold is cut off.

Thereby there is no platform for consciousness.

Without that platform
consciousness has no growth,
it generates no action and is freed:
by freedom it is steady:
by its steadiness it is happy:
owing to happiness it is not troubled.

Being untroubled,
of itself it becomes utterly well,
so that it knows:

'Destroyed is rebirth,
lived is the righteous life,
done is the task,
for life in these conditions there is no hereafter.'

Thus knowing, brother,
thus seeing,
the āsavas are straightway destroyed in him."

 


[1] Udānaɱ Lit, 'up-breathing' Comy., 'breathed out an utterance originated by a strong emotion of joy, on this occasion owing to the efficacy of the teaching,' which he illustrates by two stories. Also at D.A. 141 he says, 'as pent-up waters burst forth in a flood, so, when the heart cannot hold a joyous utterance, the excess cannot be contained, but rushes out.' In this connexion cf. the riddling Udānaɱ at Ud. vi, 3 (last line at Thag. 180):

ahu pubbe, tadā n'āhu: n'āhu pubbe, tadā ahu:||
na c'āhu, ca na bhavissati, na c'etarahi vijjati.
|| ||

[2] Text has no c'assa, but on p. 99, 183, no c'assaɱ. I read with Comy.: -

No c'assaɱ no ca me siyā||
na bhavassati na me bhavissati.
|| ||

Comy. says, 'if it were not for my past karma, my present body-person would not exist.' The aspirant who is is earnest here makes up his mind that he shall no more come to be (The Pali future inflexion, bhavissati, is one and the same, not our 'shall be. will be.' It is not easy to say whether a meaning of resolve, 'shall be,' could be conveyed by it -Ed.)

[3] Orambhāgiyāni saŋyojanāni. Cf. D. i, 92, etc. The first five fetters that bind to the world of lust, by breaking which one is reborn in the brāhma world (as non-returner), thence to pass to Nibbāna, to come back no more.

[4] Vibhava, 'the absence of becoming.' Dialog. ii, 340 n.

[5] Anantarā, 'without internal.' Comy., 'Thre are two proximates, the near and the further. Insight of the Path is the close proximate.'


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