SN.12.48. Lokāyatikasutta ("A Cosmologist")

Saṁyutta Nikāya ("The Linked Discourses")

At Sāvatthī.

Then a brahmin cosmologist went up to the Buddha … Seated to one side he said to the Buddha:

“Master Gotama, does all exist?”

“‘All exists’: this is the oldest cosmology, brahmin.”

“Then does all not exist?”

“‘All doesn’t exist’: this is the second cosmology.

“Well, is all a unity?”

“‘All is a unity’: this is the third cosmology.

“Then is all a plurality?”

“‘All is a plurality’: this is the fourth cosmology.

Avoiding these two extremes, the Realized One teaches by the middle way: ‘Ignorance is a condition for choices.

Choices are a condition for consciousness. … That is how this entire mass of suffering originates. When ignorance fades away and ceases with nothing left over, choices cease. When choices cease, consciousness ceases. … That is how this entire mass of suffering ceases.’”

When he said this, the brahmin cosmologist said to the Buddha, “Excellent, Master Gotama! Excellent! … From this day forth, may Master Gotama remember me as a lay follower who has gone for refuge for life.”

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