Saṃyuktāgama

24. Second Discourse on Rāhula’s Question

Thus have I heard. At one time the Buddha was staying at Rājagaha in the Bamboo Grove, the Squirrels’ Feeding Place. At that time the Blessed One said to Rāhula and the monks:

“Monks, knowing what, seeing what in relation to this body of mine with consciousness and in relation to external objects and any sign will there be no sense of an I, viewing as mine and underlying tendency, fetter and attachment to the I-conceit?“

Rāhula said to the Buddha: “The Blessed One is the master of the Dharma, being its guide and its shelter. It would be well if the Blessed One were to deliver an explanation of the meaning of this statement to the monks. Having heard it from the Buddha, the monks will remember it and receive it respectfully.”

The Buddha said to Rāhula: “Listen, listen and pay careful attention to what I will tell you.” Rāhula said to the Buddha: “Indeed, we are ready to receive the instruction.”

The Buddha said to Rāhula: “You should contemplate whatever bodily form, whether past, future or present, internal or external, gross or subtle, sublime or repugnant, far or near, all such bodily form is not self, is not distinct from the self in the sense of being owned by it, does not exist within the self, nor does a self exist within it. In this way it should be contemplated with balanced wisdom as it really is.

In the same way whatever feeling … perception … formations … consciousness, whether past, future or present, internal or external, gross or subtle, sublime or repugnant, far or near, all such consciousness is not self, is not distinct from the self in the sense of being owned by it, does not exist within the self, nor does a self exist within it. In this way it should be contemplated with balanced wisdom as it really is.

“Monks, knowing like this and seeing like this in relation to this body of mine with consciousness and in relation to external objects and any sign there will be no sense of an I, viewing as mine and underlying tendency, fetter and attachment to the I-conceit.

“Rāhula, when in this way in relation to this body with consciousness and in relation to external objects and any sign there is no sense of an I, viewing as mine and underlying tendency, fetter and attachment to the I-conceit, then a monk goes beyond doubt in his mind, is far removed from all signs, being at peace and liberated. Such a monk is reckoned to have eradicated and removed craving and desire, to have turned around and left all bondage, rightly comprehending the unsurpassed ending of dukkha.”

Then Rāhula and the monks, hearing what the Buddha had said, were delighted and received it respectfully.