Saṃyuktāgama

73. Discourse on the Heavy Burden

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: “I will now teach you the heavy burden, the taking up of the burden, the relinquishing of the burden, and the one who carries the burden. Listen and pay careful attention to what I shall tell you.

“What is the heavy burden? That is, it is the five aggregates of clinging. What are the five? They are the bodily form aggregate of clinging … the feeling … the perception … the formations … the consciousness aggregate of clinging.

“What is the taking up of the burden? It is craving for future becoming, which is conjoined with lust and joy, delighting with attachment here and there.

“What is the relinquishing of the burden? It is if the craving for future becoming, which is conjoined with lust and joy, delighting with attachment here and there, has been forever abandoned without remainder, has ceased, been vomited out, been eradicated, faded away, ceased, and disappeared.

“Who is the one who carries the burden? That is, he is the person; a person who has such a name, such a birth, such a clan, such food, such experience of pleasure and pain, such life span, such length of existence, such limit of the life span.

“This is called the heavy burden, the taking up of the burden, the relinquishing of the burden, and the one who carries the burden.”

At that time the Blessed One spoke these stanzas:

“Having relinquished the heavy burden,
one should not take it up again.
The heavy load is great dukkha,
relinquishing the load is a great delight.

“One should abandon all craving
and eradicate all formations.
Fully understanding existence and the remainder of the mental sphere
one will no more revolve in further existence.”

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