Saṃyutta Nikāya 22

Connected Discourses on the Aggregates

43. With Yourselves as an Island

At Savatthi. “Bhikkhus, dwell with yourselves as an island, with yourselves as a refuge, with no other refuge; with the Dhamma as an island, with the Dhamma as a refuge, with no other refuge. When you dwell with yourselves as an island, with yourselves as a refuge, with no other refuge; with the Dhamma as an island, with the Dhamma as a refuge, with no other refuge, the basis itself should be investigated thus: ‘From what are sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair born? How are they produced?’

“And, bhikkhus, from what are sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair born? How are they produced? Here, bhikkhus, the uninstructed worldling, who is not a seer of the noble ones and is unskilled and undisciplined in their Dhamma, who is not a seer of superior persons and is unskilled and undisciplined in their Dhamma, regards form as self, or self as possessing form, or form as in self, or self as in form. That form of his changes and alters. With the change and alteration of form, there arise in him sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair.

“He regards feeling as self … perception as self … volitional formations as self … consciousness as self, or self as possessing consciousness, or consciousness as in self, or self as in consciousness. That consciousness of his changes and alters. With the change and alteration of consciousness, there arise in him sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair.

“But, bhikkhus, when one has understood the impermanence of form, its change, fading away, and cessation, and when one sees as it really is with correct wisdom thus: ‘In the past and also now all form is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change,’ then sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair are abandoned. With their abandonment, one does not become agitated. Being unagitated, one dwells happily. A bhikkhu who dwells happily is said to be quenched in that respect.

“When one has understood the impermanence of feeling … of perception … of volitional formations … of consciousness, its change, fading away, and cessation, and when one sees as it really is with correct wisdom thus: ‘In the past and also now all consciousness is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change,’ then sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair are abandoned. With their abandonment, one does not become agitated. Being unagitated, one dwells happily. A bhikkhu who dwells happily is said to be quenched in that respect.”