SN.35.234. Udāyīsutta ("With Udāyī")

Saṁyutta Nikāya ("The Linked Discourses")

At one time the venerables Ānanda and Udāyī were staying near Kosambi, in Ghosita’s Monastery.

Then in the late afternoon, Venerable Udāyī came out of retreat, went to Venerable Ānanda, and exchanged greetings with him. When the greetings and polite conversation were over, he sat down to one side and said to Ānanda:

“Reverend Ānanda, the Buddha has explained, opened, and illuminated in many ways how this body is not-self. Is it possible to explain consciousness in the same way? To teach, assert, establish, open, analyze, and make it clear how consciousness is not-self?”

“It is possible, Reverend Udāyī.

Does eye consciousness arise dependent on the eye and sights?”

“Yes, reverend.”

“If the cause and condition that gives rise to eye consciousness were to totally and utterly cease without anything left over, would eye consciousness still be found?”

“No, reverend.”

“In this way, too, it can be understood how consciousness is not-self.

Does ear … nose … tongue … body …

mind consciousness arise dependent on the mind and thoughts?”

“Yes, reverend.”

“If the cause and condition that gives rise to mind consciousness were to totally and utterly cease without anything left over, would mind consciousness still be found?”

“No, reverend.”

“In this way, too, it can be understood how consciousness is not-self.

Suppose there was a person in need of heartwood. Wandering in search of heartwood, they’d take a sharp axe and enter a forest. There they’d see a big banana tree, straight and young and grown free of defects. They’d cut it down at the base, cut off the root, cut off the top, and unroll the coiled sheaths. But they wouldn’t even find sapwood, much less heartwood.

In the same way, a mendicant sees these six fields of contact as neither self nor belonging to self. So seeing, they don’t grasp anything in the world. Not grasping, they’re not anxious. Not being anxious, they personally become extinguished.

They understand: ‘Rebirth is ended, the spiritual journey has been completed, what had to be done has been done, there is no return to any state of existence.’”

Subscribe to The Empty Robot

Get the latest posts delivered right to your inbox



Spread the word: