Aṅguttara Nikāya

The Book of the Tens

58. Roots

“Bhikkhus, wanderers of other sects may ask you: (1) ‘In what, friends, are all things rooted? (2) Through what do they come into being? (3) From what do they originate? (4) Upon what do they converge? (5) By what are they headed? (6) What exercises authority over them? (7) What is their supervisor? (8) What is their core? (9) In what do they culminate? (10) What is their consummation?’ If you are asked thus, how would you answer them?”

“Bhante, 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 retain it in mind.”

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

“Yes, Bhante,” those bhikkhus replied. The Blessed One said this:

“Bhikkhus, if wanderers of other sects should ask you: ‘What, friends, are all things rooted in? … … What is their consummation?’ you should answer them as follows.

“‘Friends, (1) all things are rooted in desire. (2) They come into being through attention. (3) They originate from contact. (4) They converge upon feeling. (5) They are headed by concentration. (6) Mindfulness exercises authority over them. (7) Wisdom is their supervisor. (8) Liberation is their core. (9) They culminate in the deathless. (10) Their consummation is nibbāna.’

“If you are asked thus, bhikkhus, it is in such a way that you should answer those wanderers of other sects.”