Vṛkṣasūtra (2nd)

The tree

Setting at Sāvatthī.

There the Blessed One addresed the monks:

“For one who dwells contemplating gratification regarding things that can be grasped at, consciousness is the bringer of name-&-form. Name-&-form is the condition for the six sense fields. The six sense fields are the condition for contact. Contact is the condition for feeling. Feeling is the condition for craving. Craving is the condition for grasping. Grasping is the condition for existence. Existence is the condition for birth. Birth is the condition for old age & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, dejection, and anguish to come to be. Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering.

“Just as for a great tree with roots and trunk and heartwood, the downwards-going roots would send sap upwards for the branches, leaves and fruits, and so that great tree, with such nutriment and such nourishment would stand for a long time.

“In the same way, one who dwells contemplating gratification regarding things that can be grasped at, consciousness is the bringer of name-&-form. (… as before, up to …) Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering.

“For one who dwells contemplating impermanence, non-existence, dispassion, cessation, and relinquishment regarding things that can be grasped at, consciousness is not the bringer of name-&-form. Due to the cessation of that, the six sense fields cease. Due to the cessation of the six sense fields, contact ceases. Due to the cessation of contact, feeling ceases. Due to the cessation of feeling, craving ceases. Due to the cessation of craving, grasping ceases. Due to the cessation of grasping, existence ceases. Due to the cessation of existence, birth ceases. Due to the cessation of birth, old age and death cease; and sorrow, lamentation, pain, dejection, and anguish cease. Such is the cessation of this whole mass of suffering.

“Just as, were a man to approach that same great tree with roots and trunk and heartwood …

“What do you think, monks, would not that great tree for that reason with roots cut, be made like a palm-stump, obliterated so that it is not subject to arising in the future?”

“Yes, venerable sir.”

“In the same way, for one who dwells contemplating impermanence, non-existence, dispassion, cessation, and relinquishment regarding things to be grasped at, consciousness is not the bringer of name-&-form. Due to the cessation of that, the six sense fields cease. (… as before, up to …) Such is the cessation of this whole mass of suffering.”

Then those monks delighted in the Blessed One’s teaching. Having delighted and expressed their gratitude they departed from the Blessed One’s presence.