Saṃyutta Nikāya 12

Connected Discourses on Causation

59. Consciousness

At Savatthī. “Bhikkhus, when one dwells contemplating gratification in things that can fetter, there is a descent of consciousness. With consciousness as condition, name-and-form comes to be…. Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering.

“Suppose, bhikkhus, there was a great tree, and all its roots going downwards and across would send the sap upwards. Sustained by that sap, nourished by it, that great tree would stand for a very long time. So too, when one lives contemplating gratification in things that can fetter, there is a descent of consciousness…. Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering.

“When, bhikkhus, one dwells contemplating danger in things that can fetter, there is no descent of consciousness. With the cessation of consciousness comes cessation of name-and-form…. Such is the cessation of this whole mass of suffering.

“Suppose, bhikkhus, there was a great tree. Then a man would come along bringing a shovel and a basket. He would cut down the tree at its foot … he would winnow the ashes in a strong wind or let them be carried away by the swift current of a river. Thus that great tree would be cut off at the root, made like a palm stump, obliterated so that it is no more subject to future arising.

“So too, bhikkhus, when one dwells contemplating danger in things that can fetter, there is no descent of consciousness…. Such is the cessation of this whole mass of suffering.”