Note: Having read through the Samyutta Nikaya four times now, this time around, I kept some brief bookmarks and notes…

1. Devatāsaṃyutta - Connected Discourses with Devatas

SN 1.4 Time Flies By

A devata:

"...One should do deeds of merit that bring happiness."

The Buddha:

"...A seeker of peace should drop the world's bait."

SN 1.5 How Many Must One Cut?

One-time reference in Nikayas to “five ties” (pañcasanga), which are:

  1. lust
  2. hatred
  3. delusion
  4. conceit
  5. views

SN 1.7 Not Penetrated

Devata:

"Those who have not penetrated things,
Who may be led into others’ doctrines,
Fast asleep, they have not yet awakened:
It is time for them to awaken."

The Blessed One:

"Those who have penetrated things well,
Who cannot be led into others’ doctrines,
Those awakened ones, having rightly known,
Fare evenly amidst the uneven."

SN 1.9 One Prone to Conceit

Having abandoned conceit, well concentrated,
With lofty mind, everywhere released:
While dwelling alone in the forest, diligent,
One can cross beyond the realm of Death."

SN 1.21 A Sword

As if smitten by a sword,
As if his head were on fire,
A bhikkhu should wander mindfully
To abandon identity view."

SN 1.24 Reining in the Mind

One need not rein in the mind from everything
When the mind has come under control.
From whatever it is that evil comes,
From this one should rein in the mind.

SN 1.61 Name

"What has weighed down everything?
What is most extensive?
What is the one thing that has
All under its control?"

"Name has weighed down everything;
Nothing is more extensive than name.
Name is the one thing that has
All under its control."

SN 1.81 Without Conflict

"Who here in the world are placid?
Whose mode of life is not squandered?
Who here fully understand desire?
Who enjoy perpetual freedom?"

"Whom do parents and brothers worship
When he stands firmly established?
Who is the one of humble birth
That even khattiyas here salute?"

"Ascetics are placid in the world;
The ascetic life is not squandered;
Ascetics fully understand desire;
They enjoy perpetual freedom."

"Parents and brothers worship an ascetic
When he stands firmly established.
Though an ascetic be of humble birth
Even khattiyas here salute him."

2. Devaputtasaṃyutta - Connected Discourses with Young Devas

SN 2:21 With Shiva

(Best read from Bhikkhu Bodhi’s translation)

12. Nidānasaṃyutta - Connected Discourses on Causation

SN 12.15 Kaccanagotta

(Heavy)

“This world, Kaccana, for the most part depends upon a duality—upon the notion of existence and the notion of nonexistence. But for one who sees the origin of the world as it really is with correct wisdom, there is no notion of nonexistence in regard to the world. And for one who sees the cessation of the world as it really is with correct wisdom, there is no notion of existence in regard to the world.

SN 12.38 Volition

At Savatthı̄. “Bhikkhus, what one intends, and what one plans, and whatever one has a tendency towards: this becomes a basis for the maintenance of consciousness. When there is a basis there is a support for the establishing of consciousness. When consciousness is established and has come to growth, there is the production of future renewed existence. When there is the production of future renewed existence, future birth, aging-and-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair come to be. Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering.

“If, bhikkhus, one does not intend, and one does not plan, but one still has a tendency towards something, this becomes a basis for the maintenance of consciousness. When there is a basis, there is a support for the establishing of consciousness … . Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering.

“But, bhikkhus, when one does not intend, and one does not plan, and one does not have a tendency towards anything, no basis exists for the maintenance of consciousness. When there is no basis, there is no support for the establishing of consciousness. When consciousness is unestablished and does not come to growth, there is no production of future renewed existence. When there is no production of future renewed existence, future birth, aging-and-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair cease. Such is the cessation of this whole mass of suffering.”

SN 12.41 Five Fearful Animosities

(Alternate “Mirror of the Dhamma”, this one adds the requirement of penetrating Dependent Origination)

At Savatthı̄. Then the householder Anathapiṇḍika approached the Blessed One, paid homage to him, and sat down to one side. The Blessed One then said to him:

“Householder, when five fearful animosities have subsided in a noble disciple, and he possesses the four factors of stream-entry, and he has clearly seen and thoroughly penetrated with wisdom the noble method, if he wishes he could by himself declare of himself: ‘I am one finished with hell, finished with the animal realm, finished with the domain of ghosts, finished with the plane of misery, the bad destinations, the nether world. I am a stream-enterer, no longer bound to the nether world, fixed in destiny, with enlightenment as my destination.’

“What are the five fearful animosities that have subsided? Householder, one who destroys life engenders, on account of such behaviour, fearful animosity pertaining to the present life and fearful animosity pertaining to the future life, and he experiences mental pain and displeasure. Thus for one who abstains from destroying life, this fearful animosity has subsided.

“One who takes what is not given … … who engages in sexual misconduct … who speaks falsely … who indulges in wine, liquor, and intoxicants that are a basis for negligence engenders, on account of such behaviour, fearful animosity pertaining to the present life and fearful animosity pertaining to the future life, and he experiences mental pain and displeasure. Thus for one who abstains from wine, liquor, and intoxicants that are a basis for negligence, this fearful animosity has subsided.

“These are the five fearful animosities that have subsided.

“What are the four factors of stream-entry that he possesses? Here, householder, the noble disciple possesses confirmed confidence in the Buddha thus: ‘The Blessed One is an arahant, perfectly enlightened, accomplished in true knowledge and conduct, fortunate, knower of the world, unsurpassed leader of persons to be tamed, teacher of devas and humans, the Enlightened One, the Blessed One.’

“He possesses confirmed confidence in the Dhamma thus: ‘The Dhamma is well expounded by the Blessed One, directly visible, immediate, inviting one to come and see, applicable, to be personally experienced by the wise.’

“He possesses confirmed confidence in the Sangha thus: ‘The Sangha of the Blessed One’s disciples is practising the good way, practising the straight way, practising the true way, practising the proper way; that is, the four pairs of persons, the eight types of individuals—this Sangha of the Blessed One’s disciples is worthy of gifts, worthy of hospitality, worthy of offerings, worthy of reverential salutation, the unsurpassed field of merit for the world.’

“He possesses the virtues dear to the noble ones—unbroken, untorn, unblemished, unmottled, freeing, praised by the wise, ungrasped, leading to concentration.

“These are the four factors of stream-entry that he possesses.

“And what is the noble method that he has clearly seen and thoroughly penetrated with wisdom? Here, householder, the noble disciple attends closely and carefully to dependent origination itself thus: ‘When this exists, that comes to be; with the arising of this, that arises. When this does not exist, that does not come to be; with the cessation of this, that ceases. That is, with ignorance as condition, volitional formations come to be; with volitional formations as condition, consciousness … . Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering. But with the remainderless fading away and cessation of ignorance comes cessation of volitional formations; with the cessation of volitional formations, cessation of consciousness … . Such is the cessation of this whole mass of suffering.’

“This is the noble method that he has clearly seen and thoroughly penetrated with wisdom.

“When, householder, these five fearful animosities have subsided in a noble disciple, and he possesses these four factors of stream-entry, and he has clearly seen and thoroughly penetrated with wisdom this noble method, if he wishes he could by himself declare of himself: ‘I am one finished with hell, finished with the animal realm, finished with the domain of ghosts, finished with the plane of misery, the bad destinations, the nether world. I am a stream-enterer, no longer bound to the nether world, fixed in destiny, with enlightenment as my destination.’”

SN 12.51 Thorough Investigation

(My favorite formulation of Dependent Origination)

Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Savatthı̄ in Jeta’s Grove, Anathapiṇḍika’s Park. There the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus thus: “Bhikkhus!”

“Venerable sir!” those bhikkhus replied. The Blessed One said this:

“Bhikkhus, when a bhikkhu is making a thorough investigation, in what way should he thoroughly investigate for the utterly complete destruction of suffering?”

“Venerable sir, our teachings are rooted in the Blessed One, guided by the Blessed One, take recourse in the Blessed One. It would be good if the Blessed One would clear up the meaning of this statement. Having heard it from him, the bhikkhus will remember it.”

“Then listen and attend closely, bhikkhus, I will speak.”

“Yes, venerable sir,” the bhikkhus replied. The Blessed One said this:

“Here, bhikkhus, when he makes a thorough investigation, a bhikkhu thoroughly investigates thus: ‘The many diverse kinds of suffering that arise in the world headed by aging-and-death: what is the source of this suffering, what is its origin, from what is it born and produced? When what exists does aging-and-death come to be? When what does not exist does aging-and-death not come to be?’

“As he thoroughly investigates he understands thus: ‘The many diverse kinds of suffering that arise in the world headed by aging-and-death: this suffering has birth as its source, birth as its origin; it is born and produced from birth. When there is birth, aging-and-death comes to be; when there is no birth, aging-and-death does not come to be.’

“He understands aging-and-death, its origin, its cessation, and the way leading on that is in conformity with its cessation. He practises that way and conducts himself accordingly. This is called a bhikkhu who is practising for the utterly complete destruction of suffering, for the cessation of aging-and-death.

“Then, investigating further, he thoroughly investigates thus: ‘What is the source of this birth, what is its origin, from what is it born and produced? … What is the source of this existence? … this clinging? … this craving? … this feeling? … this contact? … these six sense bases? … this name-and-form? … this consciousness? … What is the source of these volitional formations, what is their origin, from what are they born and produced? When what exists do volitional formations come to be? When what does not exist do volitional formations not come to be?’

“As he thoroughly investigates he understands thus: ‘Volitional formations have ignorance as their source, ignorance as their origin; they are born and produced from ignorance. When there is ignorance, volitional formations come to be; when there is no ignorance, volitional formations do not come to be.’

“He understands volitional formations, their origin, their cessation, and the way leading on that is in conformity with their cessation. He practises that way and conducts himself accordingly. This is called a bhikkhu who is practising for the utterly complete destruction of suffering, for the cessation of volitional formations.

“Bhikkhus, if a person immersed in ignorance generates a meritorious volitional formation, consciousness fares on to the meritorious; if he generates a demeritorious volitional formation, consciousness fares on to the demeritorious; if he generates an imperturbable volitional formation, consciousness fares on to the imperturbable. But when a bhikkhu has abandoned ignorance and aroused true knowledge, then, with the fading away of ignorance and the arising of true knowledge, he does not generate a meritorious volitional formation, or a demeritorious volitional formation, or an imperturbable volitional formation. Since he does not generate or fashion volitional formations, he does not cling to anything in the world. Not clinging, he is not agitated. Not being agitated, he personally attains Nibbana. He understands: ‘Destroyed is birth, the holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is no more for this state of being.’

“If he feels a pleasant feeling, he understands: ‘It is impermanent’; he understands: ‘It is not held to’; he understands: ‘It is not delighted in.’ If he feels a painful feeling, he understands: ‘It is impermanent’; he understands: ‘It is not held to’; he understands: ‘It is not delighted in.’ If he feels a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling, he understands: ‘It is impermanent’; he understands: ‘It is not held to’; he understands: ‘It is not delighted in.’

“If he feels a pleasant feeling, he feels it detached; if he feels a painful feeling, he feels it detached; if he feels a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling, he feels it detached.

“When he feels a feeling terminating with the body, he understands: ‘I feel a feeling terminating with the body.’ When he feels a feeling terminating with life, he understands: ‘I feel a feeling terminating with life.’ He understands: ‘With the breakup of the body, following the exhaustion of life, all that is felt, not being delighted in, will become cool right here; mere bodily remains will be left.’

“Suppose, bhikkhus, a man would remove a hot clay pot from a potter’s kiln and set it on smooth ground: its heat would be dissipated right there and potsherds would be left. So too, when he feels a feeling terminating with the body … terminating with life … . He understands: ‘With the breakup of the body, following the exhaustion of life, all that is felt, not being delighted in, will become cool right here; mere bodily remains will be left.’ “What do you think, bhikkhus, can a bhikkhu whose taints are destroyed generate a meritorious volitional formation, or a demeritorious volitional formation, or an imperturbable volitional formation?”

“No, venerable sir.”

“When there are utterly no volitional formations, with the cessation of volitional formations, would consciousness be discerned?” “No, venerable sir.”

“When there is utterly no consciousness, with the cessation of consciousness, would name-and-form be discerned?”

“No, venerable sir.”

“When there is utterly no name-and-form … no six sense bases … … no contact … no feeling … no craving … no clinging … no existence … no birth, with the cessation of birth, would aging-and-death be discerned?”

“No, venerable sir.”

“Good, good, bhikkhus! It is exactly so and not otherwise! Place faith in me about this, bhikkhus, resolve on this. Be free from perplexity and doubt about this. Just this is the end of suffering.”

SN 12.52 Clinging

At Savatthı̄. “Bhikkhus, when one dwells contemplating gratification in things that can be clung to, craving increases. With craving as condition, clinging comes to be; with clinging as condition, existence; with existence as condition, birth; with birth as condition, aging-and-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair come to be. Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering.

“Suppose, bhikkhus, a great bonfire was burning, consuming ten, twenty, thirty, or forty loads of wood, and a man would cast dry grass, dry cowdung, and dry wood into it from time to time. Thus, sustained by that material, fuelled by it, that great bonfire would burn for a very long time. So too, when one lives contemplating gratification in things that can be clung to, craving increases … . Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering.

“Bhikkhus, when one dwells contemplating danger in things that can be clung to, craving ceases. With the cessation of craving comes cessation of clinging; with the cessation of clinging, cessation of existence … cessation of birth … aging-and-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair cease. Such is the cessation of this whole mass of suffering.

“Suppose, bhikkhus, a great bonfire was burning, consuming ten, twenty, thirty, or forty loads of wood, and a man would not cast dry grass, dry cowdung, or dry wood into it from time to time. Thus, when the former supply of fuel is exhausted, that great bonfire, not being fed with any more fuel, lacking sustenance, would be extinguished. So too, when one lives contemplating danger in things that can be clung to, craving ceases … . Such is the cessation of this whole mass of suffering.”

SN 12.58 Name-and-Form

(An unusual use of name-and-form. By dwelling contemplating the danger of desirable things that fetter, there is no descent of name-and-form.)

SN 12.63 Son’s Flesh

(On the four nutriments.)

SN 12.66 Exploration

(Has the simile of the poison beverage in the fine bronze cup)

SN 12.69 The Surge

(Dependent origination made simple)

14. Dhātusaṃyutta - Connected Discourses on Elements

SN 14.7 Diversity of Perceptions

(nice alternate, simpler dependent origination)

…That’s how diversity of elements gives rise to diversity of perceptions, and diversity of perceptions gives rise to diversity of intentions, and diversity of intentions gives rise to diversity of desires, and diversity of desires gives rise to diversity of passions, and diversity of passions gives rise to diversity of searches.”

SN 14.11 Seven Elements

(Rare mention of “these elements are to be attained as attainments with a residue of formations”.)

“The elements of light, beauty, the dimension of infinite space, the dimension of infinite consciousness, and the dimension of nothingness are attainments with perception. The element of the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception is an attainment with only a residue of conditioned phenomena. The element of the cessation of perception and feeling is an attainment of cessation.”

16. Kassapasaṃyutta - Connected Discourses with Kassapa

SN 16.2 Unafraid of Wrongdoing

(This might be an axiomatic definition of Hiri Ottapa)

SN 16.6 Exhortation

…what do you senseless men know and see that, having gone forth in such a well-expounded Dhamma and Discipline, you compete with each other in regard to your learning, as to who can speak more, who can speak better, who can speak longer?”

17. Lābhasakkārasaṃyutta - Connected Discourses on Gains and Honour

SN 17.3 The Turtle

‘Hunter’ is a term for Māra the Wicked.

‘Harpoon’ is a term for possessions, honor, and popularity.

‘Cord’ is a term for desire with relishing.

Whoever enjoys and likes arisen possessions, honor, and popularity is called a mendicant who has been pierced with a harpoon. They’ve met with tragedy and disaster, and the Wicked One can treat them however he wants.

So brutal are possessions, honor, and popularity. …”

18. Rāhulasaṃyutta - Connected Discourses with Rahula

SN 18:9 Elements

(6 elements)

“What do you think, Rāhula? Is the earth element permanent or impermanent?”

“Impermanent, sir.” …

“… the water element … the fire element … the air element … the space element … Is the consciousness element permanent or impermanent?”

“Impermanent, sir.” …

“Seeing this, a learned noble disciple grows disillusioned with the earth element, water element, fire element, air element, space element, and consciousness element …”

SN 18.22 Rid Of

At Sāvatthī.

Then Venerable Rāhula went up to the Buddha, bowed, sat down to one side, and said to him:

“Sir, how does one know and see so that the mind is rid of ego, possessiveness, and conceit for this conscious body and all external stimuli; and going beyond discrimination, it’s peaceful and well freed?”

“Rāhula, when one truly sees any kind of form at all—past, future, or present; internal or external; coarse or fine; inferior or superior; far or near: all form—with right understanding: ‘This is not mine, I am not this, this is not my self,’ one is freed by not grasping.

When one truly sees any kind of feeling … perception … choices … When one truly sees any kind of consciousness at all—past, future, or present; internal or external; coarse or fine; inferior or superior; far or near: all consciousness—with right understanding: ‘This is not mine, I am not this, this is not my self,’ one is freed by not grasping.

That’s how to know and see so that the mind is rid of ego, possessiveness, and conceit for this conscious body and all external stimuli; and going beyond discrimination, it’s peaceful and well freed.”

20. Opammasaṃyutta - Connected Discourses with Similes

SN 20.1 The Roof Peak

“Mendicants, the rafters of a bungalow all lean to the peak and meet at the peak, and when the peak is demolished they’re all demolished too. In the same way any unskillful qualities are rooted in ignorance and meet in ignorance, and when ignorance is demolished they’re all demolished too.

So you should train like this: ‘We will stay diligent.’ That’s how you should train.”

SN 20.4 Rice Pots

“Mendicants, suppose one person was to give a gift of a hundred pots of rice in the morning, at midday, and in the evening. And someone else was to develop a heart of love, even just as long as it takes to pull a cow’s udder. The latter would be more fruitful.

So you should train like this: ‘We will develop the heart’s release by love. We’ll cultivate it, make it our vehicle and our basis, keep it up, consolidate it, and properly implement it.’ That’s how you should train.”

SN 20.5 The Spear

“Mendicants, suppose there was a sharp-pointed spear. And a man came along and thought, ‘With my hand or fist I’ll fold this sharp spear over, bend it back, and twist it around!’

What do you think, mendicants? Is that man capable of doing so?”

“No, sir. Why not? Because it’s not easy to fold that sharp spear over, bend it back, and twist it around with the hand or fist. That man will eventually get weary and frustrated.”

“In the same way, suppose a mendicant has developed the heart’s release by love, has cultivated it, made it a vehicle and a basis, kept it up, consolidated it, and properly implemented it. Should any non-human think to overthrow their mind, they’ll eventually get weary and frustrated.

So you should train like this: ‘We will develop the heart’s release by love. We’ll cultivate it, make it our vehicle and our basis, keep it up, consolidate it, and properly implement it.’ That’s how you should train.”

22. Khandhasaṃyutta - Connected Discourses on the Aggregates

SN 22.14 Nonself

At Savatthi. “Bhikkhus, form is nonself, feeling is nonself, perception is nonself, volitional formations are nonself, consciousness is nonself. Seeing thus … He understands: ‘ … there is no more for this state of being.’”

SN 22.18 Impermanent with Cause

At Savatthi. “Bhikkhus, form is impermanent. The cause and condition for the arising of form is also impermanent. As form has originated from what is impermanent, how could it be permanent?

“Feeling is impermanent … . Perception is impermanent … . Volitional formations are impermanent … . Consciousness is impermanent. The cause and condition for the arising of consciousness is also impermanent. As consciousness has originated from what is impermanent, how could it be permanent?

“Seeing thus … He understands: ‘ … there is no more for this state of being.’”

SN 22.21 Ananda

(Axiomatic definition of “cessation”)

At Savatthi. Then the Venerable Ananda approached the Blessed One, paid homage to him, sat down to one side, and said to him:

“Venerable sir, it is said, ‘cessation, cessation.’ Through the cessation of what things is cessation spoken of?”

“Form, Ananda, is impermanent, conditioned, dependently arisen, subject to destruction, to vanishing, to fading away, to cessation. Through its cessation, cessation is spoken of.

“Feeling is impermanent … Perception is impermanent … Volitional formations are impermanent … … Consciousness is impermanent, conditioned, dependently arisen, subject to destruction, to vanishing, to fading away, to cessation. Through its cessation, cessation is spoken of.

“It is through the cessation of these things, Ananda, that cessation is spoken of.”

SN 22.35 A Certain Bhikkhu

At Savatthi. Then a certain bhikkhu approached the Blessed One, paid homage to him, sat down to one side, and said to him: “Venerable sir, it would be good if the Blessed One would teach me the Dhamma in brief, so that, having heard the Dhamma from the Blessed One, I might dwell alone, withdrawn, diligent, ardent, and resolute.”

“Bhikkhu, if one has an underlying tendency towards something, then one is reckoned in terms of it. If one does not have an underlying tendency towards something, then one is not reckoned in terms of it.”

“Understood, Blessed One! Understood, Fortunate One!”

“In what way, bhikkhu, do you understand in detail the meaning of what was stated by me in brief?”

“If, venerable sir, one has an underlying tendency towards form, then one is reckoned in terms of it. If one has an underlying tendency towards feeling, then one is reckoned in terms of it. If one has an underlying tendency towards perception, then one is reckoned in terms of it. If one has an underlying tendency towards volitional formations, then one is reckoned in terms of them. If one has an underlying tendency towards consciousness, then one is reckoned in terms of it.

“If, venerable sir, one does not have an underlying tendency towards form, then one is not reckoned in terms of it. If one does not have an underlying tendency towards feeling … towards perception … towards volitional formations … towards consciousness, then one is not reckoned in terms of it.

“It is in such a way, venerable sir, that I understand in detail the meaning of what was stated by the Blessed One in brief.”

“Good, good, bhikkhu! It is good that you understand in detail the meaning of what was stated by me in brief. If, bhikkhu, one has an underlying tendency towards form … as above in full … then one is not reckoned in terms of it. It is in such a way that the meaning of what was stated by me in brief should be understood in detail.”

Then that bhikkhu, having delighted and rejoiced in the Blessed One’s statement, rose from his seat, and, after paying homage to the Blessed One, keeping him on his right, he departed.

Then, dwelling alone, withdrawn, diligent, ardent, and resolute, that bhikkhu, by realizing it for himself with direct knowledge, in this very life entered and dwelt in that unsurpassed goal of the holy life for the sake of which clansmen rightly go forth from the household life into homelessness. He directly knew: “Destroyed is birth, the holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is no more for this state of being.” And that bhikkhu became one of the arahants.

SN 22.47 Ways of Regarding Things

At Savatthi. “Bhikkhus, those ascetics and brahmins who regard anything as self in various ways all regard as self the five aggregates subject to clinging, or a certain one among them. What five?

“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. He regards feeling as self … perception as self … volitional formations as self … consciousness as self, or self as possessing consciousness, or consciousness as in self, or self as in consciousness.

“Thus this way of regarding things and the notion ‘I am’ have not vanished in him. As ‘I am’ has not vanished, there takes place a descent of the five faculties—of the eye faculty, the ear faculty, the nose faculty, the tongue faculty, the body faculty. There is, bhikkhus, the mind, there are mental phenomena, there is the element of ignorance. When the uninstructed worldling is contacted by a feeling born of ignorance-contact, ‘I am’ occurs to him; ‘I am this’ occurs to him; ‘I will be’ and ‘I will not be,’ and ‘I will consist of form’ and ‘I will be formless,’ and ‘I will be percipient’ and ‘I will be nonpercipient’ and ‘I will be neither percipient nor nonpercipient’—these occur to him.

“The five faculties remain right there, bhikkhus, but in regard to them the instructed noble disciple abandons ignorance and arouses true knowledge. With the fading away of ignorance and the arising of true knowledge, ‘I am’ does not occur to him; ‘I am this’ does not occur to him; ‘I will be’ and ‘I will not be,’ and ‘I will consist of form’ and ‘I will be formless,’ and ‘I will be percipient’ and ‘I will be nonpercipient’ and ‘I will be neither percipient nor nonpercipient’—these do not occur to him.”

SN 22.53 Engagement

(Worth reading the whole thing. Also 22.54, which is the same, but with simile of seeds. Engaged Buddhism would find these suttas problematic)

At Savatthi. “Bhikkhus, one who is engaged is unliberated…”

SN 22.85 Yamaka

(Simile of murderer)

“What do you think, friend Yamaka, is form permanent or impermanent?” - “Impermanent, friend.”… - “Therefore … Seeing thus … He understands: ‘… there is no more for this state of being.’

“What do you think, friend Yamaka, do you regard form as the Tathāgata?” - “No, friend.” - “Do you regard feeling … perception … volitional formations … consciousness as the Tathāgata?” - “No, friend.”

“What do you think, friend Yamaka, do you regard the Tathāgata as in form?” - “No, friend.” - “Do you regard the Tathāgata as apart from form?” - “No, friend.” - “Do you regard the Tathāgata as in feeling? As apart from feeling? As in perception? As apart from perception? As in volitional formations? As apart from volitional formations? As in consciousness? As apart from consciousness?” - “No, friend.”

“What do you think, friend Yamaka, do you regard form, feeling, perception, volitional formations, and consciousness [taken together] as the Tathāgata?” - “No, friend.”

“What do you think, friend Yamaka, do you regard the Tathāgata as one who is without form, without feeling, without perception, without volitional formations, without consciousness?” - “No, friend.”

“But, friend, when the Tathāgata is not apprehended by you as real and actual here in this very life, is it fitting for you to declare: ‘As I understand the Dhamma taught by the Blessed One, a bhikkhu whose taints are destroyed is annihilated and perishes with the breakup of the body and does not exist after death’?”

“Formerly, friend Sāriputta, when I was ignorant, I did hold that pernicious view, but now that I have heard this Dhamma teaching of the Venerable Sāriputta I have abandoned that pernicious view and have made the breakthrough to the Dhamma.”

“If, friend Yamaka, they were to ask you: ‘Friend Yamaka, when a bhikkhu is an arahant, one whose taints are destroyed, what happens to him with the breakup of the body, after death?’—being asked thus, what would you answer?”

“If they were to ask me this, friend, I would answer thus: ‘Friends, form is impermanent; what is impermanent is suffering; what is suffering has ceased and passed away. Feeling … Perception … Volitional formations … Consciousness is impermanent; what is impermanent is suffering; what is suffering has ceased and passed away.’ Being asked thus, friend, I would answer in such a way.”

“Good, good, friend Yamaka! Now, friend Yamaka, I will make up a simile for you in order to convey this same meaning even more clearly. Suppose, friend Yamaka, there was a householder or a householder’s son, a rich man, with much wealth and property, protected by a bodyguard. Then some man would appear who wanted to ruin him, to harm him, to endanger him, to take his life. It would occur to that man: ‘This householder or householder’s son is a rich man, with much wealth and property, protected by a bodyguard. It won’t be easy to take his life by force. Let me get close to him and then take his life.’

“Then he would approach that householder or householder’s son and say to him: ‘I would serve you, sir.’ Then the householder or householder’s son would appoint him as a servant. The man would serve him, rising up before him, retiring after him, doing whatever he wants, agreeable in his conduct, endearing in his speech. The householder or householder’s son would consider him a friend, a bosom friend, and he would place trust in him. But when the man becomes aware that the householder or householder’s son has placed trust in him, then, finding him alone, he would take his life with a sharp knife.

“What do you think, friend Yamaka, when that man had approached that householder or householder’s son and said to him: ‘I would serve you, sir,’ wasn’t he a murderer even then, though the other did not recognize him as ‘my murderer’? And when the man was serving him, rising up before him, retiring after him, doing whatever he wants, agreeable in his conduct, endearing in his speech, wasn’t he a murderer then too, though the other did not recognize him as ‘my murderer’? And when the man came upon him while he was alone and took his life with a sharp knife, wasn’t he a murderer then too, though the other did not recognize him as ‘my murderer’?”

“Yes, friend.”

“So too, friend Yamaka, 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.

“He regards feeling as self … perception as self … volitional formations as self … consciousness as self, or self as possessing consciousness, or consciousness as in self, or self as in consciousness.

“He does not understand as it really is impermanent form as ‘impermanent form’ … impermanent feeling as ‘impermanent feeling’ … impermanent perception as ‘impermanent perception’ … impermanent volitional formations as ‘impermanent volitional formations’ … impermanent consciousness as ‘impermanent consciousness.’

“He does not understand as it really is painful form as ‘painful form’ … painful feeling as ‘painful feeling’ … painful perception as ‘painful perception’ … painful volitional formations as ‘painful volitional formations’ … painful consciousness as ‘painful consciousness.’

“He does not understand as it really is selfless form as ‘selfless form’ … selfless feeling as ‘selfless feeling’ … selfless perception as ‘selfless perception’ … selfless volitional formations as ‘selfless volitional formations’ … selfless consciousness as ‘selfless consciousness.’

“He does not understand as it really is conditioned form as ‘conditioned form’ … conditioned feeling as ‘conditioned feeling’ … conditioned perception as ‘conditioned perception’ … conditioned volitional formations as ‘conditioned volitional formations’ … conditioned consciousness as ‘conditioned consciousness.’

“He does not understand as it really is murderous form as ‘murderous form’ … murderous feeling as ‘murderous feeling’ … murderous perception as ‘murderous perception’ … murderous volitional formations as ‘murderous volitional formations’ … murderous consciousness as ‘murderous consciousness.’

“He becomes engaged with form, clings to it, and takes a stand upon it as ‘my self.’ He becomes engaged with feeling … with perception … with volitional formations … with consciousness, clings to it, and takes a stand upon it as ‘my self.’ These same five aggregates of clinging, to which he becomes engaged and to which he clings, lead to his harm and suffering for a long time.

“But, friend, the instructed noble disciple, who is a seer of the noble ones … does not regard form as self, or self as possessing form, or form as in self, or self as in form.

“He does not regard feeling as self … perception as self … volitional formations as self … consciousness as self, or self as possessing consciousness, or consciousness as in self, or self as in consciousness.

“He understands as it really is impermanent form as ‘impermanent form’ … impermanent consciousness as ‘impermanent consciousness.’

“He understands as it really is painful form as ‘painful form’ … painful consciousness as ‘painful consciousness.’

“He understands as it really is selfless form as ‘selfless form’ … selfless consciousness as ‘selfless consciousness.’

“He understands as it really is conditioned form as ‘conditioned form’ … conditioned consciousness as ‘conditioned consciousness. ’

“He understands as it really is murderous form as ‘murderous form’ … murderous consciousness as ‘murderous consciousness.’

“He does not become engaged with form, cling to it, and take a stand upon it as ‘my self.’ He does not become engaged with feeling … with perception … with volitional formations … with consciousness, cling to it, and take a stand upon it as ‘my self.’ These same five aggregates of clinging, to which he does not become engaged and to which he does not cling, lead to his welfare and happiness for a long time.”

SN 22.87 Vakkali

(“Consciousness unestablished” is Nibbana.)

The Blessed One then addressed the bhikkhus thus: “Come, bhikkhus, let us go to the Black Rock on the Isigili Slope, where the clansman Vakkali has used the knife.”

“Yes, venerable sir,” those bhikkhus replied. Then the Blessed One, together with a number of bhikkhus, went to the Black Rock on the Isigili Slope. The Blessed One saw in the distance the Venerable Vakkali lying on the bed with his shoulder turned.

Now on that occasion a cloud of smoke, a swirl of darkness, was moving to the east, then to the west, to the north, to the south, upwards, downwards, and to the intermediate quarters. The Blessed One then addressed the bhikkhus thus: “Do you see, bhikkhus, that cloud of smoke, that swirl of darkness, moving to the east, then to the west, to the north, to the south, upwards, downwards, and to the intermediate quarters?”

“Yes, venerable sir.”

“That, bhikkhus, is Māra the Evil One searching for the consciousness of the clansman Vakkali, wondering: ‘Where now has the consciousness of the clansman Vakkali been established?’ However, bhikkhus, with consciousness unestablished, the clansman Vakkali has attained final Nibbāna.”

SN 22.93 The River

  At Sāvatthī. “Bhikkhus, suppose there was a mountain river sweeping downwards, flowing into the distance with a swift current. If on either bank of the river kāsa grass or kusa grass were to grow, it would overhang it; if rushes, reeds, or trees were to grow, they would overhang it. If a man being carried along by the current should grasp the kāsa grass, it would break off and he would thereby meet with calamity and disaster; if he should grasp the kusa grass, it would break off and he would thereby meet with calamity and disaster; if he should grasp the rushes, reeds, or trees, they would break off and he would thereby meet with calamity and disaster.

“So too, bhikkhus, the uninstructed worldling … regards form as self, or self as possessing form, or form as in self, or self as in form. That form of his disintegrates and he thereby meets with calamity and disaster. He regards feeling as self … perception as self … volitional formations as self … consciousness as self, or self as possessing consciousness, or consciousness as in self, or self as in consciousness. That consciousness of his disintegrates and he thereby meets with calamity and disaster.

“What do you think, bhikkhus, is form permanent or impermanent?” - “Impermanent, venerable sir.”… - “Therefore … Seeing thus … He understands: ‘… there is no more for this state of being.’”

SN 22.100 The Leash

“Suppose, bhikkhus, a dog tied up on a leash was bound to a strong post or pillar. If it walks, it walks close to that post or pillar. If it stands, it stands close to that post or pillar. If it sits down, it sits down close to that post or pillar. If it lies down, it lies down close to that post or pillar.

“So too, bhikkhus, the uninstructed worldling regards form thus: ‘This is mine, this I am, this is my self.’ He regards feeling … perception … volitional formations … consciousness thus: ‘This is mine, this I am, this is my self.’ If he walks, he walks close to those five aggregates subject to clinging. If he stands, he stands close to those five aggregates subject to clinging. If he sits down, he sits down close to those five aggregates subject to clinging. If he lies down, he lies down close to those five aggregates subject to clinging.

23. Rādhasaṃyutta - Connected Discourses with Rādha

SN 23.1 Māra

Then Venerable Rādha went up to the Buddha, bowed, sat down to one side, and said to him:

“Sir, they speak of this thing called ‘Māra’. How is Māra defined?”

“When there is form, Rādha, there may be Māra, or the murderer, or the murdered. So you should see form as Māra, the murderer, the murdered, the diseased, the abscess, the dart, the misery, the miserable. Those who see it like this see rightly. When there is feeling … perception … choices … consciousness, there may be Māra, or the murderer, or the murdered. So you should see consciousness as Māra, the murderer, the murdered, the diseased, the abscess, the dart, the misery, the miserable. Those who see it like this see rightly.”

“But sir, what’s the purpose of seeing rightly?”

“Disillusionment is the purpose of seeing rightly.”

“But what’s the purpose of disillusionment?”

“Dispassion is the purpose of disillusionment.”

“But what’s the purpose of dispassion?”

“Freedom is the purpose of dispassion.”

“But what’s the purpose of freedom?”

“Extinguishment is the purpose of freedom.”

“But sir, what is the purpose of extinguishment?”

“Your question goes too far, Rādha. You couldn’t figure out the limit of questions. For extinguishment is the culmination, destination, and end of the spiritual life.”

SN 23.2 A Being

Seated to one side, Venerable Rādha said to the Buddha:

“Sir, they speak of this thing called a ‘sentient being’. How is a sentient being defined?”

“Rādha, when you cling, strongly cling, to desire, greed, relishing, and craving for form, then a being is spoken of. When you cling, strongly cling, to desire, greed, relishing, and craving for feeling … perception … choices … consciousness, then a being is spoken of.

Suppose some boys or girls were playing with sandcastles. As long as they’re not rid of greed, desire, fondness, thirst, passion, and craving for those sandcastles, they cherish them, fancy them, treasure them, and treat them as their own. But when they are rid of greed, desire, fondness, thirst, passion, and craving for those sandcastles, they scatter, destroy, and demolish them with their hands and feet, making them unplayable.

In the same way, you should scatter, destroy, and demolish form, making it unplayable. And you should practice for the ending of craving. You should scatter, destroy, and demolish feeling … perception … choices … consciousness, making it unplayable. And you should practice for the ending of craving. For the ending of craving is extinguishment.”

35 Saḷāyatanasaṃyutta - Connected Discourses on the Six Sense Bases

SN 35.13 Before My Enlightenment

At Sāvatthī. “Bhikkhus, before my enlightenment, while I was still a bodhisatta, not yet fully enlightened, it occurred to me: ‘What is the gratification, what is the danger, what is the escape in the case of the eye? What is the gratification, what is the danger, what is the escape in the case of the ear … the nose … the tongue … the body … the mind?’

“Then, bhikkhus, it occurred to me: ‘The pleasure and joy that arise in dependence on the eye: this is the gratification in the eye. That the eye is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change: this is the danger in the eye. The removal and abandonment of desire and lust for the eye: this is the escape from the eye.

“‘The pleasure and joy that arise in dependence on the ear … the nose … the tongue … the body … the mind: this is the gratification in the mind. That the mind is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change: this is the danger in the mind. The removal and abandonment of desire and lust for the mind: this is the escape from the mind.’

“So long, bhikkhus, as I did not directly know as they really are the gratification, the danger, and the escape in the case of these six internal sense bases, I did not claim to have awakened to the unsurpassed perfect enlightenment in this world with its devas, Māra, and Brahmā, in this generation with its ascetics and brahmins, its devas and humans. But when I directly knew all this as it really is, then I claimed to have awakened to the unsurpassed perfect enlightenment in this world with … its devas and humans.

SN 35.23 The All

(Categorical refutation that Nibbāna can never be described as some sort of heaven where you still exist, your sense doors still exist of where sights, sounds, smells, tastes, touches, and thoughts still exist.)   At Sāvatthī. “Bhikkhus, I will teach you the all. Listen to that….

“And what, bhikkhus, is the all? The eye and forms, the ear and sounds, the nose and odours, the tongue and tastes, the body and tactile objects, the mind and mental phenomena. This is called the all.

“If anyone, bhikkhus, should speak thus: ‘Having rejected this all, I shall make known another all’—that would be a mere empty boast on his part. If he were questioned he would not be able to reply and, further, he would meet with vexation. For what reason? Because, bhikkhus, that would not be within his domain.”

SN 35.71 The Six Bases for Contact

“Bhikkhus, if a bhikkhu does not understand as they really are the origin and the passing away, the gratification, the danger, and the escape, in the case of these six bases for contact, then he has not lived the holy life; he is far away from this Dhamma and Discipline.”

When this was said, a certain bhikkhu said to the Blessed One: “Here, venerable sir, I am lost, for I do not understand as they really are the origin and the passing away, the gratification, the danger, and the escape, in the case of these six bases for contact.”

“What do you think, bhikkhu, do you regard the eye thus: ‘This is mine, this I am, this is my self’?”

“No, venerable sir.”

“Good, bhikkhu! And here, bhikkhu, you should clearly see the eye as it really is with correct wisdom thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’ This itself is the end of suffering.

“Do you regard the ear thus … ? Do you regard the mind thus: ‘This is mine, this I am, this is my self’?”

“No, venerable sir.”

“Good, bhikkhu! And here, bhikkhu, you should clearly see the mind as it really is with correct wisdom thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’ This itself is the end of suffering.”

SN 35.80 Abandoning Ignorance

As above down to:

“But, venerable sir, how should a bhikkhu know, how should he see, for ignorance to be abandoned by him and true knowledge to arise?”

“Here, bhikkhu, a bhikkhu has heard, ‘Nothing is worth adhering to.’ When a bhikkhu has heard, ‘Nothing is worth adhering to,’ he directly knows everything. Having directly known everything, he fully understands everything. Having fully understood everything, he sees all signs differently. He sees the eye differently, he sees forms differently … whatever feeling arises with mind-contact as condition … that too he sees differently.

“When, bhikkhu, a bhikkhu knows and sees thus, ignorance is abandoned by him and true knowledge arises.”

SN 35.83 Phagguna - Sri Lanka’s worst nightmare

Then the Venerable Phagguna approached the Blessed One … and said to him: “Venerable sir, is there any eye by means of which one describing the Buddhas of the past could describe them—those who have attained final Nibbana, cut through proliferation, cut through the rut, exhausted the round, and transcended all suffering? Is there any ear by way of which one describing the Buddhas of the past could describe them? … Is there any mind by way of which one describing the Buddhas of the past could describe them—those who have attained final Nibbana, cut through proliferation, cut through the rut, exhausted the round, and transcended all suffering?”

“There is no eye, Phagguna, by means of which one describing the Buddhas of the past could describe them—those who have attained final Nibbana, cut through proliferation, cut through the rut, exhausted the round, and transcended all suffering. There is no ear by means of which one describing the Buddhas of the past could describe them … . There is no mind by means of which one describing the Buddhas of the past could describe them—those who have attained final Nibbana, cut through proliferation, cut through the rut, exhausted the round, and transcended all suffering.”

SN 35.85 Empty Is the World

Then the Venerable Ananda approached the Blessed One … and said to him: “Venerable sir, it is said, ‘Empty is the world, empty is the world.’ In what way, venerable sir, is it said, ‘Empty is the world’?”

“It is, Ananda, because it is empty of self and of what belongs to self that it is said, ‘Empty is the world.’ And what is empty of self and of what belongs to self? The eye, Ananda, is empty of self and of what belongs to self. Forms are empty of self and of what belongs to self. Eye-consciousness is empty of self and of what belongs to self. Eye-contact is empty of self and of what belongs to self … . Whatever feeling arises with mind-contact as condition—whether pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant—that too is empty of self and of what belongs to self.

“It is, Ananda, because it is empty of self and of what belongs to self that it is said, ‘Empty is the world.’”

SN 35.87 Channa

(Axiomatic definition of “Coming and going”)

When this was said, the Venerable Mahacunda said to the Venerable Channa: “Therefore, friend Channa, this teaching of the Blessed One is to be constantly given close attention: ‘For one who is dependent there is wavering; for one who is independent there is no wavering. When there is no wavering, there is tranquillity; when there is tranquillity, there is no inclination; when there is no inclination, there is no coming and going; when there is no coming and going, there is no passing away and being reborn; when there is no passing away and being reborn, there is neither here nor beyond nor in between the two. This itself is the end of suffering.’”

SN 35.92 The Dyad

(Those who conceive of Nibbana as a heaven have this sutta to straighten them out)

“Bhikkhus, I will teach you the dyad. Listen to that … .

“And what, bhikkhus, is the dyad? The eye and forms, the ear and sounds, the nose and odours, the tongue and tastes, the body and tactile objects, the mind and mental phenomena. This is called the dyad.

“If anyone, bhikkhus, should speak thus: ‘Having rejected this dyad, I shall make known another dyad’—that would be a mere empty boast on his part. If he was questioned he would not be able to reply and, further, he would meet with vexation. For what reason? Because, bhikkhus, that would not be within his domain.”

SN 35.95 Malunkyaputta

"Having seen a form with mindfulness muddled,
Attending to the pleasing sign,
One experiences it with infatuated mind
And remains tightly holding to it.

"Many feelings flourish within,
Originating from the visible form,
Covetousness and annoyance as well
By which one's mind becomes disturbed.
For one who accumulates suffering thus
Nibbana is said to be far away.

"Having heard a sound with mindfulness muddled …

"Having smelt an odour with mindfulness muddled …

"Having enjoyed a taste with mindfulness muddled …

"Having felt a contact with mindfulness muddled …

SN 35.134 At Devadaha

“Bhikkhus, I do not say of all bhikkhus that they still have work to do with diligence in regard to the six bases for contact, nor do I say of all bhikkhus that they do not have work to do with diligence in regard to the six bases for contact.

“I do not say of those bhikkhus who are arahants, whose taints are destroyed, who have lived the holy life, done what had to be done, laid down the burden, reached their own goal, utterly destroyed the fetters of existence, and are completely liberated through final knowledge, that they still have work to do with diligence in regard to the six bases for contact. Why is that? They have done their work with diligence; they are incapable of being negligent.

“But I say of those bhikkhus who are trainees, who have not attained their mind’s ideal, who dwell aspiring for the unsurpassed security from bondage, that they still have work to do with diligence in regard to the six bases for contact. Why is that? There are, bhikkhus, forms cognizable by the eye that are agreeable and those that are disagreeable. [One should train so that] these do not persist obsessing one’s mind even when they are repeatedly experienced. When the mind is not obsessed, tireless energy is aroused, unmuddled mindfulness is set up, the body becomes tranquil and untroubled, the mind becomes concentrated and one-pointed. Seeing this fruit of diligence, bhikkhus, I say that those bhikkhus still have work to do with diligence in regard to the six bases for contact.

“There are, bhikkhus, sounds cognizable by the ear … mental phenomena cognizable by the mind that are agreeable and those that are disagreeable. [One should train so that] these do not persist obsessing one’s mind even when they are repeatedly experienced. When the mind is not obsessed, tireless energy is aroused, unmuddled mindfulness is set up, the body becomes tranquil and untroubled, the mind becomes concentrated and one-pointed. Seeing this fruit of diligence, bhikkhus, I say that those bhikkhus still have work to do with diligence in regard to the six bases for contact.”

SN 35.228 The Ocean

  “Bhikkhus, the uninstructed worldling speaks of ‘the ocean, the ocean.’ But that is not the ocean in the Noble One’s Discipline; that is only a great mass of water, a great expanse of water.

“The eye, bhikkhus, is the ocean for a person; its current consists of forms. One who withstands that current consisting of forms is said to have crossed the ocean of the eye with its waves, whirlpools, sharks, and demons. Crossed over, gone beyond, the brahmin stands on high ground.

“The ear, bhikkhus, is the ocean for a person…. The mind is the ocean for a person; its current consists of mental phenomena. One who withstands that current consisting of mental phenomena is said to have crossed the ocean of the mind with its waves, whirlpools, sharks, and demons. Crossed over, gone beyond, the brahmin stands on high ground.”

This is what the Blessed One said. Having said this, the Fortunate One, the Teacher, further said this:

“One who has crossed this ocean so hard to cross,
With its dangers of sharks, demons, waves,
The knowledge-master who has lived the holy life,
Reached the world’s end, is called one gone beyond.”

SN 35.243 Exposition on the Corrupted

(Only slight hint of the ancient Asian custom of calling in a holy man for the purpose of “Ghostbusting”. This custom is not explicitly “laundered”, but seems to be very obliquely tolerated, if in fact that was the intentions of the donors, and this potential intention isn’t explicitly stated either)

“Venerable sir, a new council hall has just been built for the Sakyans of Kapilavatthu and it has not yet been inhabited by any ascetic or brahmin or by any human being at all. Venerable sir, let the Blessed One be the first to use it. When the Blessed One has used it first, then the Sakyans of Kapilavatthu will use it afterwards. That will lead to their welfare and happiness for a long time.”*

Bhikkhu Bodhi: “This invitation reflects the widespread belief in South Asian religion that it is auspicious to invite a holy man to spend the first night in a new residence before the lay owners move in to occupy it. This honour would have been especially cherished by the Sakyans, who were the Buddha’s own kinsmen. Similar ceremonies are reported at MN I 353–54 and DN II 84–85 (= Ud 85–86).”

SN 35.247 The Simile of the Six Animals

“Bhikkhus, suppose a man with limbs wounded and festering would enter a wood of thorny reeds, and the Kusa thorns would prick his feet and the reed blades would slash his limbs. Thus that man would thereby experience even more pain and displeasure. So too, bhikkhus, some bhikkhu here, gone to the village or the forest, meets someone who reproaches him thus: ‘This venerable one, acting in such a way, behaving in such a way, is a foul village thorn.’ Having understood him thus as a ‘thorn,’ one should understand restraint and nonrestraint.

“And how, bhikkhus is there nonrestraint? Here, having seen a form with the eye, a bhikkhu is intent upon a pleasing form and repelled by a displeasing form. He dwells without having set up mindfulness of the body, with a limited mind, and he does not understand as it really is that liberation of mind, liberation by wisdom, wherein those evil unwholesome states cease without remainder. Having heard a sound with the ear … Having cognized a mental phenomenon with the mind, he is intent upon a pleasing mental phenomenon and repelled by a displeasing mental phenomenon. He dwells without having set up mindfulness of the body, with a limited mind, and he does not understand as it really is that liberation of mind, liberation by wisdom, wherein those evil unwholesome states cease without remainder.

“Suppose, bhikkhus, a man would catch six animals—with different domains and different feeding grounds—and tie them by a strong rope. He would catch a snake, a crocodile, a bird, a dog, a jackal, and a monkey, and tie each by a strong rope. Having done so, he would tie the ropes together with a knot in the middle and release them. Then those six animals with different domains and different feeding grounds would each pull in the direction of its own feeding ground and domain. The snake would pull one way, thinking, ‘Let me enter an anthill.’ The crocodile would pull another way, thinking, ‘Let me enter the water.’ The bird would pull another way, thinking, ‘Let me fly up into the sky.’ The dog would pull another way, thinking, ‘Let me enter a village.’ The jackal would pull another way, thinking, ‘Let me enter a charnel ground.’ The monkey would pull another way, thinking, ‘Let me enter a forest.’

“Now when these six animals become worn out and fatigued, they would be dominated by the one among them that was strongest; they would submit to it and come under its control. So too, bhikkhus, when a bhikkhu has not developed and cultivated mindfulness directed to the body, the eye pulls in the direction of agreeable forms and disagreeable forms are repulsive; the ear pulls in the direction of agreeable sounds and disagreeable sounds are repulsive; the nose pulls in the direction of agreeable odours and disagreeable odours are repulsive; the tongue pulls in the direction of agreeable tastes and disagreeable tastes are repulsive; the body pulls in the direction of agreeable tactile objects and disagreeable tactile objects are repulsive; the mind pulls in the direction of agreeable mental phenomena and disagreeable mental phenomena are repulsive.

“It is in such a way that there is nonrestraint.

“And how, bhikkhus, is there restraint? Here, having seen a form with the eye, a bhikkhu is not intent upon a pleasing form and not repelled by a displeasing form. He dwells having set up mindfulness of the body, with a measureless mind, and he understands as it really is that liberation of mind, liberation by wisdom, wherein those evil unwholesome states cease without remainder. Having heard a sound with the ear … Having cognized a mental phenomenon with the mind, he is not intent upon a pleasing mental phenomenon and not repelled by a displeasing mental phenomenon. He dwells having set up mindfulness of the body, with a measureless mind, and he understands as it really is that liberation of mind, liberation by wisdom, wherein those evil unwholesome states cease without remainder. It is in such a way that there is restraint.

“Suppose, bhikkhus, a man would catch six animals—with different domains and different feeding grounds—and tie them by a strong rope. He would catch a snake, a crocodile, a bird, a dog, a jackal, and a monkey, and tie each by a strong rope. Having done so, he would bind them to a strong post or pillar. Then those six animals with different domains and different feeding grounds would each pull in the direction of its own feeding ground and domain. The snake would pull one way, thinking, ‘Let me enter an anthill’ … (as above) … The monkey would pull another way, thinking, ‘Let me enter a forest.’

“Now when these six animals become worn out and fatigued, they would stand close to that post or pillar, they would sit down there, they would lie down there. So too, bhikkhus, when a bhikkhu has developed and cultivated mindfulness directed to the body, the eye does not pull in the direction of agreeable forms nor are disagreeable forms repulsive; the ear does not pull in the direction of agreeable sounds nor are disagreeable sounds repulsive; the nose does not pull in the direction of agreeable odours nor are disagreeable odours repulsive; the tongue does not pull in the direction of agreeable tastes nor are disagreeable tastes repulsive; the body does not pull in the direction of agreeable tactile objects nor are disagreeable tactile objects repulsive; the mind does not pull in the direction of agreeable mental phenomena nor are disagreeable mental phenomena repulsive.

“It is in such a way that there is restraint.

“‘A strong post or pillar’: this, bhikkhus, is a designation for mindfulness directed to the body. Therefore, bhikkhus, you should train yourselves thus: ‘We will develop and cultivate mindfulness directed to the body, make it our vehicle, make it our basis, stabilize it, exercise ourselves in it, and fully perfect it.’ Thus should you train yourselves.”

SN 35.248 The Sheaf of Barley

“Bhikkhus, suppose a sheaf of barley were set down at a crossroads. Then six men would come along with flails in their hands and they would strike that sheaf of barley with the six flails. Thus that sheaf of barley would be well struck, having been struck by the six flails. Then a seventh man would come along with a flail in his hand and he would strike that sheaf of barley with the seventh flail. Thus that sheaf of barley would be struck even still more thoroughly, having been struck by the seventh flail.

“So too, bhikkhus, the uninstructed worldling is struck in the eye by agreeable and disagreeable forms; struck in the ear by agreeable and disagreeable sounds; struck in the nose by agreeable and disagreeable odours; struck in the tongue by agreeable and disagreeable tastes; struck in the body by agreeable and disagreeable tactile objects; struck in the mind by agreeable and disagreeable mental phenomena. If that uninstructed worldling sets his mind upon future renewed existence, then that senseless man is struck even still more thoroughly, just like the sheaf of barley struck by the seventh flail.

“Once in the past, bhikkhus, the devas and the asuras were arrayed for battle. Then Vepacitti, lord of the asuras, addressed the asuras thus: ‘Good sirs, if in this impending battle the asuras win and the devas are defeated, bind Sakka, lord of the devas, by his four limbs and neck and bring him to me in the city of the asuras.’ And Sakka, lord of the devas, addressed the Tāvatiṃsa devas: ‘Good sirs, if in this impending battle the devas win and the asuras are defeated, bind Vepacitti, lord of the asuras, by his four limbs and neck and bring him to me in Sudhamma, the assembly hall of the devas.’

“In that battle the devas won and the asuras were defeated. Then the Tāvatiṃsa devas bound Vepacitti by his four limbs and neck and brought him to Sakka in Sudhamma, the assembly hall of the devas. And there Vepacitti, lord of the asuras, was bound by his four limbs and neck.

“When it occurred to Vepacitti: ‘The devas are righteous, the asuras are unrighteous; now right here I have gone to the city of the devas,’ he then saw himself freed from the bonds around his limbs and neck and he enjoyed himself furnished and endowed with the five cords of divine sensual pleasure. But when it occurred to him: ‘The asuras are righteous, the devas are unrighteous; now I will go there to the city of the asuras,’ then he saw himself bound by his four limbs and neck and he was deprived of the five cords of divine sensual pleasure.

“So subtle, bhikkhus, was the bondage of Vepacitti, but even subtler than that is the bondage of Māra. In conceiving, one is bound by Māra; by not conceiving, one is freed from the Evil One.

36 Vedanāsaṃyutta - Connected Discourses on Feeling

SN 36.21 Sīvaka

(Rare sutta explaining kamma, which would problematic for those who believe in the Commentarial concept of Parami)

“Whatever a person experiences, whether it be pleasant or painful or neither painful-nor-pleasant, all that is caused by what was done in the past,’ they overshoot what one knows by oneself and they overshoot what is considered to be true in the world. Therefore I say that this is wrong on the part of those ascetics and brahmins.”

Bile, phlegm, and also wind,
Imbalance and climate too,
Carelessness and assault,
With kamma result as the eighth.

SN 36.22 The Theme of the Hundred and Eight

(This suffices as Abhidhamma enough for me)

SN 36.29 Ascetics and Brahmins

  “Those ascetics or brahmins, bhikkhus, who do not understand feeling, its origin, its cessation, and the way leading to its cessation: these I do not consider to be ascetics among ascetics … nor do they enter and dwell in the goal of asceticism or the goal of brahminhood.

“But, bhikkhus, those ascetics and brahmins who understand feeling, its origin, its cessation, and the way leading to its cessation: these I consider to be ascetics among ascetics … and they enter and dwell in the goal of asceticism and the goal of brahminhood.”

38 Jambukhādakasaṃyutta - Connected Discourses with Jambukhādaka

SN 38.8 Taints

(Axiomatic definition. The Bhikkhu Bodhi translation is the better one.)

SN 38.15 Identity

(Axiomatic definition)

“Reverend Sāriputta, they speak of this thing called ‘identity’. What is identity?”

“Reverend, the Buddha said that these five grasping aggregates are identity. That is, form, feeling, perception, choices, and consciousness. The Buddha said that these five grasping aggregates are identity.”

“But, reverend, is there a path and a practice for completely understanding this identity?”

“There is.” … [this Noble Eightfold Path]

45. Maggasaṃyutta - Connected Discourses on the Path

SN 45.151 Nāgas

“Bhikkhus, based upon the Himalayas, the king of mountains, the nāgas nurture their bodies and acquire strength. When they have nurtured their bodies and acquired strength, they then enter the pools. From the pools they enter the lakes, then the streams, then the rivers, and finally they enter the ocean. There they achieve greatness and expansiveness of body. So too, bhikkhus, based upon virtue, established upon virtue, a bhikkhu develops and cultivates the Noble Eightfold Path, and thereby he achieves greatness and expansiveness in [wholesome] states.

“And how does a bhikkhu do so? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu develops right view … right concentration, which is based upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, maturing in release. It is in this way, bhikkhus, that a bhikkhu, based upon virtue, established upon virtue, develops and cultivates the Noble Eightfold Path, and thereby achieves greatness and expansiveness in [wholesome] states.”

SN 45.161 Searches

(Axiomatic definition)

“Bhikkhus, there are these three searches. What three? The search for sensual pleasure, the search for existence, the search for a holy life.44 These are the three searches. The Noble Eightfold Path is to be developed for direct knowledge of these three searches.

“What Noble Eightfold Path? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu develops right view … right concentration, which is based upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, maturing in release. This Noble Eightfold Path is to be developed for direct knowledge of these three searches.”

… “What Noble Eightfold Path? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu develops right view … right concentration, which has as its final goal the removal of lust, the removal of hatred, the removal of delusion.”…

… “What Noble Eightfold Path? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu develops right view … right concentration, which has the Deathless as its ground, the Deathless as its destination, the Deathless as its final goal.”… [55]

… “What Noble Eightfold Path? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu develops right view … right concentration, which slants, slopes, and inclines towards Nibbāna. This Noble Eightfold Path is to be developed for direct knowledge of these three searches.”

SN 45.166 Barrenness

“Bhikkhus, there are these three kinds of barrenness. What three? The barrenness of lust, the barrenness of hatred, the barrenness of delusion. These are the three kinds of barrenness. The Noble Eightfold Path is to be developed for direct knowledge of these three kinds of barrenness, for the full understanding of them, for their utter destruction, for their abandoning.”

46. Bojjhaṅgasaṃyutta - Connected Discourses on the Factors of Enlightenment

SN 46.2 The Body

(Carte blanche, and exhortation to do all that which supports and causes mindfulness, etc.)

(i. The nutriments for the hindrances)

At Sāvatthı̄. “Bhikkhus, just as this body, sustained by nutriment, subsists in dependence on nutriment and does not subsist without nutriment, so too the five hindrances, sustained by nutriment, subsist in dependence on nutriment and do not subsist without nutriment.

“And what, bhikkhus, is the nutriment for the arising of unarisen sensual desire and for the increase and expansion of arisen sensual desire? There is, bhikkhus, the sign of the beautiful: frequently giving careless attention to it is the nutriment for the arising of unarisen sensual desire and for the increase and expansion of arisen sensual desire.

“And what, bhikkhus, is the nutriment for the arising of unarisen ill will and for the increase and expansion of arisen ill will? There is, bhikkhus, the sign of the repulsive: frequently giving careless attention to it is the nutriment for the arising of unarisen ill will and for the increase and expansion of arisen ill will.

“And what, bhikkhus, is the nutriment for the arising of unarisen sloth and torpor and for the increase and expansion of arisen sloth and torpor? There are, bhikkhus, discontent, lethargy, lazy stretching, drowsiness after meals, sluggishness of mind: frequently giving careless attention to them is the nutriment for the arising of unarisen sloth and torpor and for the increase and expansion of arisen sloth and torpor.

“And what, bhikkhus, is the nutriment for the arising of unarisen restlessness and remorse and for the increase and expansion of arisen restlessness and remorse? There is, bhikkhus, unsettledness of mind: frequently giving careless attention to it is the nutriment for the arising of unarisen restlessness and remorse and for the increase and expansion of arisen restlessness and remorse.

“And what, bhikkhus, is the nutriment for the arising of unarisen doubt and for the increase and expansion of arisen doubt? There are, bhikkhus, things that are the basis for doubt: frequently giving careless attention to them is the nutriment for the arising of unarisen doubt and for the increase and expansion of arisen doubt.

“Just as this body, bhikkhus, sustained by nutriment, subsists in dependence on nutriment and does not subsist without nutriment, so too the five hindrances, sustained by nutriment, subsist in dependence on nutriment and do not subsist without nutriment.

(ii. The nutriments for the enlightenment factors)

“Bhikkhus, just as this body, sustained by nutriment, subsists in dependence on nutriment and does not subsist without nutriment, so too the seven factors of enlightenment, sustained by nutriment, subsist in dependence on nutriment and do not subsist without nutriment.

“And what, bhikkhus, is the nutriment for the arising of the unarisen enlightenment factor of mindfulness and for the fulfilment by development of the arisen enlightenment factor of mindfulness? There are, bhikkhus, things that are the basis for the enlightenment factor of mindfulness: frequently giving careful attention to them is the nutriment for the arising of the unarisen enlightenment factor of mindfulness and for the fulfilment by development of the arisen enlightenment factor of mindfulness.

“And what, bhikkhus, is the nutriment for the arising of the unarisen enlightenment factor of discrimination of states and for the fulfilment by development of the arisen enlightenment factor of discrimination of states? There are, bhikkhus, wholesome and unwholesome states, blameable and blameless states, inferior and superior states, dark and bright states with their counterparts: frequently giving careful attention to them is the nutriment for the arising of the unarisen enlightenment factor of discrimination of states and for the fulfilment by development of the arisen enlightenment factor of discrimination of states.

“And what, bhikkhus, is the nutriment for the arising of the unarisen enlightenment factor of energy and for the fulfilment by development of the arisen enlightenment factor of energy? There are, bhikkhus, the element of arousal, the element of endeavour, the element of exertion: frequently giving careful attention to them is the nutriment for the arising of the unarisen enlightenment factor of energy and for the fulfilment by development of the arisen enlightenment factor of energy.

“And what, bhikkhus, is the nutriment for the arising of the unarisen enlightenment factor of rapture and for the fulfilment by development of the arisen enlightenment factor of rapture? There are, bhikkhus, things that are the basis for the enlightenment factor of rapture: frequently giving careful attention to them is the nutriment for the arising of the unarisen enlightenment factor of rapture and for the fulfilment by development of the arisen enlightenment factor of rapture.

“And what, bhikkhus, is the nutriment for the arising of the unarisen enlightenment factor of tranquillity and for the fulfilment by development of the arisen enlightenment factor of tranquillity? There are, bhikkhus, tranquillity of body, tranquillity of mind: frequently giving careful attention to them is the nutriment for the arising of the unarisen enlightenment factor of tranquillity and for the fulfilment by development of the arisen enlightenment factor of tranquillity.

“And what, bhikkhus, is the nutriment for the arising of the unarisen enlightenment factor of concentration and for the fulfilment by development of the arisen enlightenment factor of concentration? There are, bhikkhus, the sign of serenity, the sign of nondispersal: frequently giving careful attention to them is the nutriment for the arising of the unarisen enlightenment factor of concentration and for the fulfilment by development of the arisen enlightenment factor of concentration.

“And what, bhikkhus, is the nutriment for the arising of the unarisen enlightenment factor of equanimity and for the fulfilment by development of the arisen enlightenment factor of equanimity? There are, bhikkhus, things that are the basis for the enlightenment factor of equanimity: frequently giving careful attention to them is the nutriment for the arising of the unarisen enlightenment factor of equanimity and for the fulfilment by development of the arisen enlightenment factor of equanimity.

“Just as this body, bhikkhus, sustained by nutriment, subsists in dependence on nutriment and does not subsist without nutriment, so too these seven factors of enlightenment, sustained by nutriment, subsist in dependence on nutriment and do not subsist without nutriment.”

SN 46.28 Partaking of Penetration

(Rare object of meditation of space, this time by the Buddha)

“Bhikkhus, I will teach you the path that partakes of penetration. Listen to that….

“And what, bhikkhus, is the path that partakes of penetration? It is: the seven factors of enlightenment. What seven? The enlightenment factor of mindfulness … the enlightenment factor of equanimity.”

When this was said, the Venerable Udāyı̄ asked the Blessed One: “Venerable sir, how are the seven factors of enlightenment developed and cultivated so that they lead to penetration?”

“Here, Udāyı̄, a bhikkhu develops the enlightenment factor of mindfulness, which is based upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, maturing in release; which is vast, exalted, measureless, without ill will. With a mind that has developed the enlightenment factor of mindfulness, he penetrates and sunders the mass of greed that he has never before penetrated and sundered; he penetrates and sunders the mass of hatred that he has never before penetrated and sundered; he penetrates and sunders the mass of delusion that he has never before penetrated and sundered….

“He develops the enlightenment factor of equanimity, which is based upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, maturing in release; which is vast, exalted, measureless, without ill will. With a mind that has developed the enlightenment factor of equanimity, he penetrates and sunders the mass of greed … the mass of hatred … the mass of delusion that he has never before penetrated and sundered.

“It is, Udāyı̄, when the seven factors of enlightenment are developed and cultivated in this way that they lead to penetration.”

SN 46.51 Nutriment

(Another “carte blanche” sutta- do that which is appropriate for each of the 7 factors of enlightenment, which gives no reason not to include physical exercise, in the case of energy)

(Also, an interesting antidote to doubt…)

“And what, bhikkhus, is the denourishment that prevents unarisen doubt from arising and arisen doubt from increasing and expanding? There are, bhikkhus, wholesome and unwholesome states, blameable and blameless states, inferior and superior states, dark and bright states with their counterparts: frequently giving careful attention to them is the denourishment that prevents unarisen doubt from arising and arisen doubt from increasing and expanding.”

SN 46.52 A Method of Exposition

(Exercise is hinted at strongly. Also, sitting without fidgeting could be construed as an enlightnement factor [to the delight of any “Texas Sharpshooter”])

“Whatever bodily energy there is, is the enlightenment factor of energy; whatever mental energy there is, is also the enlightenment factor of energy. Thus what is spoken of concisely as the enlightenment factor of energy becomes, by this method of exposition, twofold.

“Whatever tranquillity of body there is, is the enlightenment factor of tranquillity; whatever tranquillity of mind there is, is also the enlightenment factor of tranquillity. Thus what is spoken of concisely as the enlightenment factor of tranquillity becomes, by this method of exposition, twofold.”

SN 46.53 (3) Fire

Then, in the morning, a number of bhikkhus dressed and, taking their bowls and robes, entered Sāvatthı̄ for alms … (as in §52 down to:) … [The Blessed One said:]

“Bhikkhus, when wanderers of other sects speak thus, they should be asked: ‘Friends, when the mind becomes sluggish, which factors of enlightenment is it untimely to develop on that occasion, and which factors of enlightenment is it timely to develop on that occasion? Then, friends, when the mind becomes excited, which factors of enlightenment is it untimely to develop on that occasion, and which factors of enlightenment is it timely to develop on that occasion?’ Being asked thus, those wanderers would not be able to reply and, further, they would meet with vexation. For what reason? Because that would not be within their domain. I do not see anyone, bhikkhus, in this world with its devas, Māra, and Brahmā, in this generation with its ascetics and brahmins, its devas and humans, who could satisfy the mind with an answer to these questions except the Tathāgata or a disciple of the Tathāgata or one who has heard it from them.

(i. The sluggish mind: untimely)

“On an occasion, bhikkhus, when the mind becomes sluggish, it is untimely to develop the enlightenment factor of tranquillity, the enlightenment factor of concentration, and the enlightenment factor of equanimity. For what reason? Because the mind is sluggish, bhikkhus, and it is difficult to arouse it with those things.

“Suppose, bhikkhus, a man wants to make a small fire flare up. If he throws wet grass, wet cowdung, and wet timber into it, sprays it with water, and scatters soil over it, would he be able to make that small fire flare up?”

“No, venerable sir.”

“So too, bhikkhus, on an occasion when the mind becomes sluggish, it is untimely to develop the enlightenment factor of tranquillity, the enlightenment factor of concentration, and the enlightenment factor of equanimity. For what reason? Because the mind is sluggish, bhikkhus, and it is difficult to arouse it with those things.

(ii. The sluggish mind: timely)

“On an occasion, bhikkhus, when the mind becomes sluggish, it is timely to develop the enlightenment factor of discrimination of states, the enlightenment factor of energy, and the enlightenment factor of rapture. For what reason? Because the mind is sluggish, bhikkhus, and it is easy to arouse it with those things.

“Suppose, bhikkhus, a man wants to make a small fire flare up. If he throws dry grass, dry cowdung, and dry timber into it, blows on it, and does not scatter soil over it, would he be able to make that small fire flare up?”

“Yes, venerable sir.”

“So too, bhikkhus, on an occasion when the mind becomes sluggish, it is timely to develop the enlightenment factor of discrimination of states, the enlightenment factor of energy, and the enlightenment factor of rapture. For what reason? Because the mind is sluggish, bhikkhus, and it is easy to arouse it with those things.

(iii. The excited mind: untimely)

“On an occasion, bhikkhus, when the mind becomes excited, it is untimely to develop the enlightenment factor of discrimination of states, the enlightenment factor of energy, and the enlightenment factor of rapture. For what reason? Because the mind is excited, bhikkhus, and it is difficult to calm it down with those things.

“Suppose, bhikkhus, a man wants to extinguish a great bonfire. If he throws dry grass, dry cowdung, and dry timber into it, blows on it, and does not scatter soil over it, would he be able to extinguish that great bonfire?”

“No, venerable sir.”

“So too, bhikkhus, on an occasion when the mind becomes excited, it is untimely to develop the enlightenment factor of discrimination of states, the enlightenment factor of energy, and the enlightenment factor of rapture. For what reason? Because the mind is excited, bhikkhus, and it is difficult to calm it down with those things.

(iv. The excited mind: timely)

“On an occasion, bhikkhus, when the mind becomes excited, it is timely to develop the enlightenment factor of tranquillity, the enlightenment factor of concentration, and the enlightenment factor of equanimity. For what reason? Because the mind is excited, bhikkhus, and it is easy to calm it down with those things.

“Suppose, bhikkhus, a man wants to extinguish a great bonfire. If he throws wet grass, wet cowdung, and wet timber into it, sprays it with water, and scatters soil over it, would he be able to extinguish that great bonfire?”

“Yes, venerable sir.”

“So too, bhikkhus, on an occasion when the mind becomes excited, it is timely to develop the enlightenment factor of tranquillity, the enlightenment factor of concentration, and the enlightenment factor of equanimity. For what reason? Because the mind is excited, bhikkhus, and it is easy to calm it down with those things.

“But mindfulness, bhikkhus, I say is always useful.”

47 Satipaṭṭhānasaṃyutta - Connected Discourses on the Establishments of Mindfulness

SN 47.8 The Cook

(i. The incompetent cook)

“Bhikkhus, suppose a foolish, incompetent, unskilful cook were to present a king or a royal minister with various kinds of curries: sour, bitter, pungent, sweet, sharp, mild, salty, bland.

“That foolish, incompetent, unskilful cook does not pick up the sign of his own master’s preference: ‘Today this curry pleased my master, or he reached for this one, or he took a lot of this one, or he spoke in praise of this one; or the sour curry pleased my master today, or he reached for the sour one, or he took a lot of the sour one, or he spoke in praise of the sour one; or the bitter curry … or the pungent curry … or the sweet curry … or the sharp curry … or the mild curry … or the salty curry … or the bland curry pleased my master … or he spoke in praise of the bland one.’

“That foolish, incompetent, unskilful cook does not gain [gifts of] clothing, wages, and bonuses. For what reason? Because that foolish, incompetent, unskilful cook does not pick up the sign of his own master’s preference.

“So too, bhikkhus, here some foolish, incompetent, unskilful bhikkhu dwells contemplating the body in the body, ardent, clearly comprehending, mindful, having removed covetousness and displeasure in regard to the world. While he dwells contemplating the body in the body, his mind does not become concentrated, his corruptions are not abandoned, he does not pick up that sign. He dwells contemplating feelings in feelings … mind in mind … phenomena in phenomena, ardent, clearly comprehending, mindful, having removed covetousness and displeasure in regard to the world. While he dwells contemplating phenomena in phenomena, his mind does not become concentrated, his corruptions are not abandoned, he does not pick up that sign.

“That foolish, incompetent, unskilful bhikkhu does not gain pleasant dwellings in this very life, nor does he gain mindfulness and clear comprehension. For what reason? Because, bhikkhus, that foolish, incompetent, unskilful bhikkhu does not pick up the sign of his own mind.

(ii. The competent cook)

“Suppose, bhikkhus, a wise, competent, skilful cook were to present a king or a royal minister with various kinds of curries: sour, bitter, pungent, sweet, sharp, mild, salty, bland.

“That wise, competent, skilful cook picks up the sign of his own master’s preference: ‘Today this curry pleased my master … or he spoke in praise of the bland one.’

“That wise, competent, skilful cook gains [gifts of] clothing, wages, and bonuses. For what reason? Because that wise, competent, skilful cook picks up the sign of his own master’s preference.

“So too, bhikkhus, here some wise, competent, skilful bhikkhu dwells contemplating the body in the body, ardent, clearly comprehending, mindful, having removed covetousness and displeasure in regard to the world. While he dwells contemplating the body in the body, his mind becomes concentrated, his corruptions are abandoned, he picks up that sign. He dwells contemplating feelings in feelings … mind in mind … phenomena in phenomena, ardent, clearly comprehending, mindful, having removed covetousness and displeasure in regard to the world. While he dwells contemplating phenomena in phenomena, his mind becomes concentrated, his corruptions are abandoned, he picks up that sign.

“That wise, competent, skilful bhikkhu gains pleasant dwellings in this very life, and he gains mindfulness and clear comprehension. For what reason? Because, bhikkhus, that wise, competent, skilful bhikkhu picks up the sign of his own mind.”

SN 47.9 Ill

I have taught the Dhamma, Ānanda, without making a distinction between inside and outside. The Tathāgata has no closed fist of a teacher in regard to the teachings. If, Ānanda, anyone thinks, ‘I will take charge of the Bhikkhu Saṅgha,’ or ‘The Bhikkhu Saṅgha is under my direction,’ it is he who should make some pronouncement concerning the Bhikkhu Saṅgha. But, Ānanda, it does not occur to the Tathāgata, ‘I will take charge of the Bhikkhu Saṅgha,’ or ‘The Bhikkhu Saṅgha is under my direction, ’ so why should the Tathāgata make some pronouncement concerning the Bhikkhu Saṅgha?

“Those bhikkhus, Ānanda, either now or after I am gone, who dwell with themselves as their own island, with themselves as their own refuge, with no other refuge; with the Dhamma as their island, with the Dhamma as their refuge, with no other refuge—it is these bhikkhus, Ānanda, who will be for me topmost of those keen on the training.”

SN 47.41 The Deathless

At Sāvatthī. “Bhikkhus, dwell with your minds well established in the four establishments of mindfulness. Do not let the Deathless be lost on you.

“In what four? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu dwells contemplating the body in the body … feelings in feelings … mind in mind … phenomena in phenomena, ardent, clearly comprehending, mindful, having removed covetousness and displeasure in regard to the world. Dwell, bhikkhus, with your minds well established in these four establishments of mindfulness. Do not let the Deathless be lost on you.”

48 Indriyasaṃyutta - Connected Discourses on the Faculties

SN 48.11 Obtainment

(The Bhikkhu Bodhi translation is the better one)

“And what, bhikkhus, is the faculty of energy? The energy that one obtains on the basis of the four right strivings. This is called the faculty of energy.

Footnote: Sammappadhāne ārabbha. Spk: Sammappadhāne paṭicca, sammappadhāne bhāvento ti attho; “in dependence on the right strivings; the meaning is, ‘by developing the right strivings.’”

(…but that could also be interpreted literally, and more loosely, as in “whatever’s appropriate” [in reference to “the right strivings”].)

SN 48.26 Stream-Enterer

“Mendicants, there are these six faculties. What six? The faculties of the eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, and mind. A noble disciple comes to truly understand these six faculties’ origin, ending, gratification, drawback, and escape. Such a noble disciple is called a stream-enterer, not liable to be reborn in the underworld, bound for awakening.”

SN 48.50 At Āpaṇa

When a noble disciple has tried again and again, recollected again and again, entered immersion again and again, and understood with wisdom again and again, they will be confident of this: ‘I have previously heard of these things. But now I have direct meditative experience of them, and see them with penetrating wisdom.’ For their faith is the faculty of faith.”

SN 48.53 A Trainee

Furthermore, a mendicant who is a trainee reflects: ‘Is there any other ascetic or brahmin elsewhere whose teaching is as true, as real, as accurate as that of the Buddha?’ They understand: ‘There is no other ascetic or brahmin elsewhere whose teaching is as true, as real, as accurate as that of the Buddha.’ This too is a way that a mendicant who is a trainee can understand that they are a trainee.

Furthermore, a mendicant who is an adept understands the six faculties: eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, and mind. They understand: ‘These six faculties will totally and utterly cease without anything left over. And no other six faculties will arise anywhere anyhow.’ This too is a way that a mendicant who is an adept can understand that they are an adept.”

49. Sammappadhānasaṃyutta - Connected Discourses on the Right Strivings

SN 49.35 Searches, Etc.

  “Mendicants, there are these three searches. What three? The search for sensual pleasures, the search for continued existence, and the search for a spiritual path. These are the three searches.

The four right efforts should be developed for the direct knowledge, complete understanding, finishing, and giving up of these three searches. What four? It’s when a mendicant generates enthusiasm, tries, makes an effort, exerts the mind, and strives so that bad, unskillful qualities don’t arise. … so that skillful qualities that have arisen remain, are not lost, but increase, mature, and are completed by development.

These four right efforts should be developed for the direct knowledge, complete understanding, finishing, and giving up of these three searches.”

51. Iddhipādasaṃyutta - Connected Discourses on the Bases for Spiritual Power

SN 51.11 Before

“Mendicants, before my awakening—when I was still unawakened but intent on awakening—I thought: ‘What’s the cause, what’s the reason for the development of the bases of psychic power?’ Then it occurred to me: ‘It’s when a mendicant develops the basis of psychic power that has immersion due to enthusiasm, and active effort. They think: “My enthusiasm won’t be too lax or too tense. And it’ll be neither constricted internally nor scattered externally.” And they meditate perceiving continuity: as before, so after; as after, so before; as below, so above; as above, so below; as by day, so by night; as by night, so by day. And so, with an open and unenveloped heart, they develop a mind that’s full of radiance.

55. Sotāpattisaṃyutta - Connected Discourses on Stream-Entry

SN 55.39 Kāḷigodhā

(A rare sutta where you only need to have faith in the triple gem plus generosity, to be a stream-winner. Many many formulations of the 4 things you need to be a Sottapana have been given, and generosity doesn’t count as a fourth factor until here!! The only other where generosity cuts it as the 4th factor: 55.42. [So that’s 2 out of 74 Suttas in that Samyutta.])

At one time the Buddha was staying in the land of the Sakyans, near Kapilavatthu in the Banyan Tree Monastery. Then the Buddha robed up in the morning and, taking his bowl and robe, went to the home of Kāḷigodhā the Sakyan lady, where he sat on the seat spread out. Then Kāḷigodhā went up to the Buddha, bowed, and sat down to one side. The Buddha said to her:

“Godhā, a female noble disciple who has four things is a stream-enterer, not liable to be reborn in the underworld, bound for awakening. What four? It’s when a noble disciple has experiential confidence in the Buddha … the teaching … the Saṅgha … And they live at home rid of the stain of stinginess, freely generous, open-handed, loving to let go, committed to charity, loving to give and to share. A female noble disciple who has these four things is a stream-enterer, not liable to be reborn in the underworld, bound for awakening.”

“Sir, these four factors of stream-entry that were taught by the Buddha are found in me, and I am seen in them. For I have experiential confidence in the Buddha … the teaching … the Saṅgha … And I share without reservation all the gifts available to give in our family with those who are ethical and of good character.”

“You’re fortunate, Godhā, so very fortunate, You have declared the fruit of stream-entry.”

56. Saccasaṃyutta - Connected Discourses on the Truths

SN 56.17 Ignorance

(Axiomatic definition)

Sitting to one side, that bhikkhu said to the Blessed One: “Venerable sir, it is said, ‘ignorance, ignorance.’ What is ignorance, venerable sir, and in what way is one immersed in ignorance?”

“Bhikkhu, not knowing suffering, not knowing the origin of suffering, not knowing the cessation of suffering, not knowing the way leading to the cessation of suffering: this is called ignorance, bhikkhu, and it is in this way that one is immersed in ignorance.

SN 56.20 Actual

(Inspiring of faith/confidence)

“Bhikkhus, these four things are actual, unerring, not otherwise. What four?

“‘This is suffering’: this, bhikkhus, is actual, unerring, not otherwise. ‘This is the origin of suffering’: this is actual, unerring, not otherwise. ‘This is the cessation of suffering’: this is actual, unerring, not otherwise. ‘This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering’: this is actual, unerring, not otherwise.

“These four things, bhikkhus, are actual, unerring, not otherwise.

“Therefore, bhikkhu, an exertion should be made to understand: ‘This is suffering.’… An exertion should be made to understand: ‘This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering.’”

“Therefore, bhikkhu, an exertion should be made to understand: ‘This is suffering.’… An exertion should be made to understand: ‘This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering.’”

SN 56.31 The Siṃsapā Grove

(The famous “handful of leaves”)

On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Kosambī in a siṃsapā grove. Then the Blessed One took up a few siṃsapā leaves in his hand and addressed the bhikkhus thus: “What do you think, bhikkhus, which is more numerous: these few siṃsapā leaves that I have taken up in my hand or those in the siṃsapā grove overhead?”

“Venerable sir, the siṃsapā leaves that the Blessed One has taken up in his hand are few, but those in the siṃsapā grove overhead are numerous.”

“So too, bhikkhus, the things I have directly known but have not taught you are numerous, while the things I have taught you are few. And why, bhikkhus, have I not taught those many things? Because they are unbeneficial, irrelevant to the fundamentals of the holy life, and do not lead to revulsion, to dispassion, to cessation, to peace, to direct knowledge, to enlightenment, to Nibbāna. Therefore I have not taught them.

“And what, bhikkhus, have I taught? I have taught: ‘This is suffering’; I have taught: ‘This is the origin of suffering’; I have taught: ‘This is the cessation of suffering’; I have taught: ‘This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering.’ And why, bhikkhus, have I taught this? Because this is beneficial, relevant to the fundamentals of the holy life, and leads to revulsion, to dispassion, to cessation, to peace, to direct knowledge, to enlightenment, to Nibbāna. Therefore I have taught this.

“Therefore, bhikkhus, an exertion should be made to understand: ‘This is suffering.’… An exertion should be made to understand: ‘This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering.’”

SN 56.33 Stick

(Heavy)

“Bhikkhus, just as a stick thrown up into the air falls now on its bottom, now on its top, so too as beings roam and wander on, hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving, now they go from this world to the other world, now they come from the other world to this world. For what reason? Because they have not seen the Four Noble Truths. What four? The noble truth of suffering … the noble truth of the way leading to the cessation of suffering.

“Therefore, bhikkhus, an exertion should be made to understand: ‘This is suffering.’… An exertion should be made to understand: ‘This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering.’”

SN 56.34 Clothes

(Famous “head were ablaze” simile)

SN 56.35 A Hundred Spears

(Famous)

SN 56.37 The Sun

(Inspiring)

“Bhikkhus, this is the forerunner and precursor of the rising of the sun, that is, the dawn. So too, bhikkhus, for a bhikkhu this is the forerunner and precursor of the breakthrough to the Four Noble Truths as the really are, that is, right view. It is to be expected that a bhikkhu with right view will understand as it really is: ‘This is suffering.’… ‘This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering.’

“Therefore, bhikkhus, an exertion should be made to understand: ‘This is suffering.’… An exertion should be made to understand: ‘This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering.’”

SN 56.39 Indra’s Pillar

(On confidence/saddha)

“Bhikkhus, those ascetics or brahmins who do not understand as it really is ‘This is suffering’ … ‘This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering’—they look up at the face of another ascetic or brahmin, thinking: ‘This worthy is surely one who really knows, who really sees.’

“Suppose, bhikkhus, a tuft of cotton wool or kapok, light, wafted by the wind, had settled on an even piece of ground. An easterly wind would drive it westward; a westerly wind would drive it eastward; a northerly wind would drive it southward; a southerly wind would drive it northward. For what reason? Because of the lightness of the tuft.

“So too, bhikkhus, those ascetics or brahmins who do not understand as it really is ‘This is suffering’ … ‘This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering’—they look up at the face of another ascetic or brahmin, thinking: ‘This worthy is surely one who really knows, who really sees.’ For what reason? Because they have not seen the Four Noble Truths.

“But, bhikkhus, those ascetics or brahmins who understand as it really is ‘This is suffering’ … ‘This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering’—they do not look up at the face of another ascetic or brahmin, thinking: ‘This worthy is surely one who really knows, who really sees.’

“Suppose, bhikkhus, there was an iron pillar or an Indra’s pillar with a deep base, securely planted, immobile, unshaking. Even if a forceful blast of wind comes—whether from the east, the west, the north, or the south—that pillar would not shake, quake, or tremble. For what reason? Because the pillar has a deep base and is securely planted.

“So too, bhikkhus, those ascetics or brahmins who understand as it really is ‘This is suffering’ … ‘This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering’—they do not look up at the face of another ascetic or brahmin, thinking: ‘This worthy is surely one who really knows, who really sees.’ For what reason? Because, bhikkhus, they have clearly seen the Four Noble Truths. What four? The noble truth of suffering … the noble truth of the way leading to the cessation of suffering.

“Therefore, bhikkhus, an exertion should be made to understand: ‘This is suffering.’… An exertion should be made to understand: ‘This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering.’”

SN 56.45 The Hair

(Firing arrows head through butt, firing arrows that split a hair down the tip into seven strands)

On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Vesālī in the Great Wood in the Hall with the Peaked Roof. Then, in the morning, the Venerable Ānanda dressed and, taking bowl and robe, entered Vesālī for alms. The Venerable Ānanda saw a number of Licchavi youths practising archery in the training hall, shooting arrows from a distance through a very small keyhole, head through butt, without missing. When he saw this, the thought occurred to him: “These Licchavi youths are indeed trained! These Licchavi youths are indeed well trained, in that they shoot arrows from a distance through a very small keyhole, head through butt, without missing.”

Then, when the Venerable Ānanda had walked for alms in Vesālī and had returned from his alms round, after his meal he approached the Blessed One, paid homage to him, sat down to one side, and reported what he had seen.

[The Blessed One said:] “What do you think, Ānanda, which is more difficult and challenging: to shoot arrows from a distance through a very small keyhole, head through butt, without missing, or to pierce with the arrowhead the tip of a hair split into seven strands?”

“It is more difficult and challenging, venerable sir, to pierce with the arrowhead the tip of a hair split into seven strands.”

“But, Ānanda, they pierce something even more difficult to pierce who pierce as it really is: ‘This is suffering’ …; who pierce as it really is: ‘This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering.’

“Therefore, Ānanda, an exertion should be made to understand: ‘This is suffering.’… An exertion should be made to understand: ‘This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering.’”

SN 56.63 Wisdom

(Inspiring)

“… the sentient beings who have the noble eye of wisdom are few, while those who are ignorant and confused are many. …”