Saṃyutta Nikāya 12

Connected Discourses on Causation

52. Clinging

At Savatthī. “Bhikkhus, when one dwells contemplating gratification in things that can be clung to, craving increases. With craving as condition, clinging comes to be; with clinging as condition, existence; with existence as condition, birth; with birth as condition, aging-and-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair come to be. Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering.

“Suppose, bhikkhus, a great bonfire was burning, consuming ten, twenty, thirty, or forty loads of wood, and a man would cast dry grass, dry cowdung, and dry wood into it from time to time. Thus, sustained by that material, fuelled by it, that great bonfire would burn for a very long time. So too, when one lives contemplating gratification in things that can be clung to, craving increases…. Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering.

“Bhikkhus, when one dwells contemplating danger in things that can be clung to, craving ceases. With the cessation of craving comes cessation of clinging; with the cessation of clinging, cessation of existence … cessation of birth … aging-and-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair cease. Such is the cessation of this whole mass of suffering.

“Suppose, bhikkhus, a great bonfire was burning, consuming ten, twenty, thirty, or forty loads of wood, and a man would not cast dry grass, dry cowdung, or dry wood into it from time to time. Thus, when the former supply of fuel is exhausted, that great bonfire, not being fed with any more fuel, lacking sustenance, would be extinguished. So too, when one lives contemplating danger in things that can be clung to, craving ceases…. Such is the cessation of this whole mass of suffering.”