Saṃyuktāgama

216. [First Discourse on the Great Ocean]

Thus have I heard. At one time the Buddha was staying at Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s Park.

At that time the Blessed One said to the monks: “Speaking about ‘the great ocean’ is what fools speak about, it is not what noble ones speak about. It is just more or less water.

“What do the noble ones call ‘the ocean’? That is, on having cognized forms with the eye one has thoughts of craving, is defiled by attachment, and lusts for delightful bodily, verbal, and mental activities. This is called the ocean. The whole world, from asuras to devas and humans, are all sinking in such lust for delight. They are like the contents of a dog’s stomach, they are like a disorderly bundle of grass, they are entangled, shackled, and trapped in this world and that world.

In the same way also for the ear cognizing sounds … the nose cognizing odours … the tongue cognizing flavours … the body cognizing tangibles … they are entangled, shackled, and trapped in this world and that world, also [to be recited] in the same way.

When the Buddha had spoken this discourse, hearing what the Buddha had said the monks were delighted and received it respectfully.


Just as for bodily, verbal, and mental deeds, in the same way also for lust, anger, and delusion, and for old age, disease, and death, [discourses] are to be recited in this way. Just as the three discourses on the five faculties, also three discourses on the six faculties are to be recited in this way.