22. Discourse on Kappa’s Question
Thus have I heard. At one time the Buddha was staying at Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s Park. At that time there was a monk by the name of Kappa who approached the Buddha, paid homage with his head at the Buddha’s feet, withdrew to stand at one side and said to the Buddha:
“As the Blessed One has spoken about the mind of a monk attaining being well liberated—Blessed One, how does the mind of a monk attain being well liberated?”
At that time the Blessed One said to that monk: “It is well, it is well, that you are able to ask the Tathāgata about the mind being well liberated. It is well, Kappa. Listen, listen and pay careful attention to what I will tell you.
“Kappa, you should contemplate with understanding that whatever bodily form, whether past, future or present, internal or external, gross or subtle, sublime or repugnant, far or near, all bodily form, every instance of it, is impermanent. Having rightly contemplated it as impermanent, you will remove craving for bodily form. Having removed craving for bodily form, your mind will be well liberated.
“In the same way contemplating whatever feeling … perception … formations … consciousness, whether past, future or present, internal or external, gross or subtle, sublime or repugnant, far or near, all consciousness, every instance of it, is impermanent. Having rightly contemplated it as impermanent, you will remove craving for consciousness. Having removed craving for consciousness, I say, your mind will be well liberated.
“Kappa, a monk who in this way has well liberated the mind is reckoned by the Tathāgata to have well liberated the mind. Why is that? Because of having eradicated craving and desire. One who has eradicated craving and desire is reckoned by the Tathāgata to have well liberated the mind.”
Then, on hearing what the Buddha had said, the mind of the monk Kappa was greatly delighted. He paid homage to the Buddha and withdrew. At that time the monk Kappa, having received the Buddha’s instruction, reflecting on it alone in a quiet place with diligence and being established in being without negligence … up to … he himself knew that there will be no receiving of further existence. Having well liberated the mind he became an arahant.