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Saɱyutta Nikāya
3. Khandha Vagga
22. Khandha Saɱyutta
5. Atta-Dīpa Vagga

The Connected Discourses of the Buddha
Part II.
The Book of the Aggregates Khandha-Vagga
22. Connected Discourses on the Aggregates
V. With Yourselves as an Island

Atta-Dīpa Suttaɱ

Sutta 43

With Yourselves as an Island

Translated by Bhikkhu Bodhi

Copyright Bhikkhu Bodhi 2000, The Connected Discourses of the Buddha (Wisdom Publications, 2000)
This selection from The Connected Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Saɱyutta Nikāya by Bhikkhu Bodhi is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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[42] [882]

[1-2][pts][olds][wlsh] At Sāvatthī.

[3][pts][olds] "Bhikkhus, dwell with yourselves as an island, with yourselves as a refuge, with no other refuge; with the Dhamma as an island, with the Dhamma as a refuge, with no other refuge.[53]

[4][pts][olds] When you dwell with yourselves as an island, with yourselves as a refuge, with no other refuge; with the Dhamma as an island, with the Dhamma as a refuge, with no other refuge, the basis itself should be investigated thus:[54] 'From what are sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair born? How are they produced?'

[5][pts][olds] "And, bhikkhus, from what are sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair born? How are they produced?

[6][pts][olds] Here, bhikkhus, the uninstructed worldling, who is not a seer of the noble ones and is unskilled and undisciplined in their Dhamma, who is not a seer of superior persons and is unskilled and undisciplined in their Dhamma, regards form as self, or self as possessing form, or form as in self, or self as in form. That form of his changes and alters. With the change and alteration of form, there arise in him sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair.

[7][pts][olds] "He regards feeling as self ...

[8][pts][olds] perception as self ...

[9][pts][olds] volitional formations as self ...

[10][pts][olds] consciousness as self, or self as possessing consciousness, or consciousness as in self, or self as in consciousness. [43] That consciousness of his changes and alters. With the change and alteration of consciousness, there arise in him sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair.

[11][pts][olds] "But, bhikkhus, when one has understood the impermanence of form, its change, fading away, and cessation, and when one sees as it really is with correct wisdom thus: 'In the past and also now all form is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change,' then sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair are abandoned. With their abandonment, one does not become agitated.[[55]] Being unagitated, one dwells happily. A bhikkhu who dwells happily is said to be quenched in that respect.[56]

[12][pts][olds] "When one has understood the impermanence of feeling ...

[13][pts][olds] of perception ...

[14][pts][olds] of volitional formations ...

[15][pts][olds] of consciousness, its change, fading away, and cessation, and when one sees as it really is with correct wisdom thus: 'In the past and also now all consciousness is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change,' then sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair are abandoned. With their abandonment, one does not become agitated. Being unagitated, one dwells happily. A bhikkhu who dwells happily is said to be quenched in that respect."

 


[53] These words are identical with the Buddha's famous injunction to Ānanda in the Mahāparinibbāna Sutta (at DN II 100,20-22), also below at 47:9, 13, 14 (V 154,5-6, 163,10-11, 164,28-29). In explaining the expression attadipa, "with self as island," Spk says: "What is meant by 'self'? The mundane and supramundane Dhamma (ko pan'ettha attā nama? lokiyalokuttaro dhammo). Therefore he says next, 'with the Dhamma as an island,' etc." This comment overlooks the obvious point that the Buddha is inculcating self-reliance.

[54] The Se reading seems best: yoni yeva upaparikkhitabbā. Be omits yeva and Ee treats yoni as a masculine noun. Spk glosses yoni with kāraṇa, "cause," and refers to MN III 142,23-24: yoni h'esā Bhūmija phalassa adhigamāya; "For this, Bhūmija, is the basis for the achievement of the fruit." See too 35:239 (IV 175,27-28) and AN II 76,24-25. Spkpṭ offers an etymology: yavati etasmā phalaɱ pasavatī ti yoni. At 22:95 we repeatedly find the phrase yoniso upaparikkhati, "carefully investigates," and it is quite possible that here too yoniso was the original reading. A Burmese v.l. cited by Ee actually has yoniso va.

[55] Na paritassati. See n. 33 above and II, n. 137.

[56] Tadaŋganibbuto ti vuccati. Though nibbuto is the past participle generally used to describe one who has attained Nibbāna, the prefix tadaŋga- qualifies that sense, suggesting he has not actually attained Nibbāna but has only approximated its attainment. One might have rendered this expression "one who has attained Nibbāna in that respect," i.e., only in respect of a particular freedom. Spk: He is "quenched in that respect" because of the quenching of the defilements with respect to (or: through the factor of) insight. In this sutta it is just insight (vipassanā va) that is discussed.


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