Saṃyutta Nikāya 12

Connected Discourses on Causation

25. Bhūmija

At Sāvatthī.

i

Then, in the evening, the Venerable Bhūmija emerged from seclusion and approached the Venerable Sāriputta. He exchanged greetings with the Venerable Sāriputta and, when they had concluded their greetings and cordial talk, he sat down to one side and said to him:

“Friend Sāriputta, some ascetics and brahmins, proponents of kamma, maintain that pleasure and pain are created by oneself; some ascetics and brahmins, proponents of kamma, maintain that pleasure and pain are created by another; some ascetics and brahmins, proponents of kamma, maintain that pleasure and pain are created both by oneself and by another; some ascetics and brahmins, proponents of kamma, maintain that pleasure and pain have arisen fortuitously, being created neither by oneself nor by another. Now, friend Sāriputta, what does the Blessed One say about this? What does he teach? How should we answer if we are to state what has been said by the Blessed One and not misrepresent him with what is contrary to fact? And how should we explain in accordance with the Dhamma so that no reasonable consequence of our assertion would give ground for criticism?”

“Friend, the Blessed One has said that pleasure and pain are dependently arisen. Dependent on what? Dependent on contact. If one were to speak thus one would be stating what has been said by the Blessed One and would not misrepresent him with what is contrary to fact; one would explain in accordance with the Dhamma, and no reasonable consequence of one’s assertion would give ground for criticism.

“Therein, friend, in the case of those ascetics and brahmins, proponents of kamma, who maintain that pleasure and pain are created by oneself, and those who maintain that pleasure and pain are created by another, and those who maintain that pleasure and pain are created both by oneself and by another, and those who maintain that pleasure and pain have arisen fortuitously, being created neither by oneself nor by another—in each case that is conditioned by contact.

“Therein, friends, in the case of those ascetics and brahmins, proponents of kamma, who maintain that pleasure and pain are created by oneself, and those who maintain that pleasure and pain are created by another, and those who maintain that pleasure and pain are created both by oneself and by another, and those who maintain that pleasure and pain have arisen fortuitously, being created neither by oneself nor by another—in each case it is impossible that they will experience anything without contact.”

ii

The Venerable Ānanda heard this conversation between the Venerable Sāriputta and the Venerable Bhūmija. He then approached the Blessed One, paid homage to him, sat down to one side, and reported to the Blessed One the entire conversation between the Venerable Sāriputta and the Venerable Bhūmija. The Blessed One said:

“Good, good, Ānanda! Anyone answering rightly would answer just as Sāriputta has done. I have said, Ānanda, that pleasure and pain are dependently arisen. Dependent on what? Dependent on contact. If one were to speak thus one would be stating what has been said by me and would not misrepresent me with what is contrary to fact; one would explain in accordance with the Dhamma, and no reasonable consequence of one’s assertion would give ground for criticism.

“Therein, Ānanda, in the case of those ascetics and brahmins, proponents of kamma, who maintain that pleasure and pain are created by oneself … and those who maintain that pleasure and pain have arisen fortuitously … in each case that is conditioned by contact.

“Therein, Ānanda, in the case of those ascetics and brahmins, proponents of kamma, who maintain that pleasure and pain are created by oneself … and those who maintain that pleasure and pain have arisen fortuitously … in each case it is impossible that they will experience anything without contact.

iii

“Ānanda, when there is the body, because of bodily volition pleasure and pain arise internally; when there is speech, because of verbal volition pleasure and pain arise internally; when there is the mind, because of mental volition pleasure and pain arise internally—and with ignorance as condition. “Either on one’s own initiative, Ānanda one generates that bodily volitional formation conditioned by which pleasure and pain arise internally; or prompted by others one generates that bodily volitional formation conditioned by which pleasure and pain arise internally. Either deliberately, Ānanda, one generates that bodily volitional formation conditioned by which pleasure and pain arise internally; or undeliberately one generates that bodily volitional formation conditioned by which pleasure and pain arise internally.

“Either on one’s own initiative, Ānanda, one generates that verbal volitional formation conditioned by which pleasure and pain arise internally; or prompted by others one generates that verbal volitional formation conditioned by which pleasure and pain arise internally. Either deliberately, Ānanda, one generates that verbal volitional formation conditioned by which pleasure and pain arise internally; or undeliberately one generates that verbal volitional formation conditioned by which pleasure and pain arise internally.

“Either on one’s own initiative, Ānanda, one generates that mental volitional formation conditioned by which pleasure and pain arise internally; or prompted by others one generates that mental volitional formation conditioned by which pleasure and pain arise internally. Either deliberately, Ānanda, one generates that mental volitional formation conditioned by which pleasure and pain arise internally; or undeliberately one generates that mental volitional formation conditioned by which pleasure and pain arise internally.

“Ignorance is comprised within these states. But with the remainderless fading away and cessation of ignorance that body does not exist conditioned by which that pleasure and pain arise internally; that speech does not exist conditioned by which that pleasure and pain arise internally; that mind does not exist conditioned by which that pleasure and pain arise internally. That field does not exist, that site does not exist, that base does not exist, that foundation does not exist conditioned by which that pleasure and pain arise internally.”