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Saṃyukta Āgama: Aggregates

1. Impermanence

Thus have I heard. At one time, the Buddha was dwelling in Śrāvastī, in the Jeta Grove, in Anāthapiṇḍada’s Park.

At that time, the Bhagavān said to the bhikṣus, “You should observe the impermanence of [1] form. One who observes thusly, observes correctly. One who correctly observes gives rise to disenchantment. One who is disenchanted exhausts delight and craving. One who exhausts delight and craving is called liberated in mind.

“It is also such as this for observing the impermanence of [2] sensation, [3] conception, [4] formation, and [5] discrimination. One who observes thusly, observes correctly. One who correctly observes gives rise to disenchantment. One who is disenchanted exhausts craving. One who exhausts craving is called liberated in mind.

“Thusly, bhikṣus, one who is liberated in mind, if he wishes to realize, is able to realize, ‘My births have been ended. Brahmacarya has been established. What was to be done has been done, and there is self-knowledge of no further existence.’ As with observing [1] impermanence, it is also such as this for [2] suffering, [3] emptiness, and [4] not-self.”

Then the bhikṣus heard what the Buddha had said, and joyfully practiced in accordance.

3. Without Knowing

Thus have I heard. At one time the Buddha was in Śrāvastī, in the Jeta Grove, in Anāthapiṇḍada’s Park.

At that time, the Bhagavān said to the bhikṣus, “Regarding [1] form: if there is no knowing, no illumination, no severance, and no separation, then suffering cannot be cut off. It is also such as this for [2] sensation, [3] conception, [4] formation, and [5] consciousness: if there is no knowing, no illumination, no severance, and no separation, then suffering cannot be cut off.

“Bhikṣus, regarding [1] form: if there is knowing, illumination, severance, and separation, then suffering can be cut off. It is also such as this for [2] sensation, [3] conception, [4] formation, and [5] consciousness: if there is knowing, illumination, severance, and separation, then it is possible for suffering to be cut off.”

Then the bhikṣus heard what the Buddha had said, and joyfully practiced in accordance.

34. Five Bhikṣus

Thus have I heard. At one time the Bhagavān was dwelling in Vārāṇasī, at the Deer Park of Ṛṣipatana. At that time, the Bhagavān told a group of five bhikṣus, “Form does not exist as a self. If form existed as a self, then form would not be associated with the arising of illness and suffering. Regarding form, it is also not possible to cause it to be like this, or not like this, because form is not oneself. From form and the arising of illness and suffering, one also grasps the desire to make form like this, or not like this. For sensation, conception, synthesis, and discrimination, it is also such as this.

“Bhikṣus, tell me what you think: is form permanent or impermanent?” The bhikṣus addressed the Buddha, saying, “Impermanent, Bhagavān.” “Bhikṣus, is that which is impermanent, suffering?” The bhikṣus addressed the Buddha, saying, “It is suffering, Bhagavān.” “Bhikṣus, regarding these impermanent and afflicting dharmas, easily subject to change, does a well-learned venerable disciple perceive in these a self or a non-self, and thereby dwell in appearances?” The bhikṣus addressed the Buddha saying, “No, Bhagavān, and for sensation, conception, synthesis, and discrimination, it is also such as this.” “For this reason, bhikṣus, all form that exists — whether in the past, the future, or the present; internal or external; coarse or fine; appealing or unappealing; far or near — all these are not a self, not a true self. Correct contemplation of sensation, conception, synthesis, and discrimination is also such as this.

“Bhikṣus, regarding the Five Skandhas, a well-learned venerable disciple perceives they are not a self, not a true self, and contemplates thusly. Regarding the various realms, because there is no clinging, there is no suffering, and because there is no suffering, there is self-awakening and Nirvāṇa. ‘My births have come to an end, Brahmacarya has been established, what was to be done has been done, and there is the self-realization of no further suffering.’”

After the Buddha had spoken this sūtra, the group of five bhikṣus did not give rise to outflows, and their minds attained liberation. After the Buddha had spoken this sūtra, then the bhikṣus heard what the Buddha had said, and blissfully practiced in accordance.


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