Saṃyutta Nikāya 22

Connected Discourses on the Aggregates

58. The Perfectly Enlightened One

At Savatthi. “Bhikkhus, the Tathagata, the Arahant, the Perfectly Enlightened One, liberated by nonclinging through revulsion towards form, through its fading away and cessation, is called a Perfectly Enlightened One. A bhikkhu liberated by wisdom, liberated by nonclinging through revulsion towards form, through its fading away and cessation, is called one liberated by wisdom.

“The Tathagata, the Arahant, the Perfectly Enlightened One, liberated by nonclinging through revulsion towards feeling … perception … volitional formations … consciousness, through its fading away and cessation, is called a Perfectly Enlightened One. A bhikkhu liberated by wisdom, liberated by nonclinging through revulsion towards feeling … perception … volitional formations … consciousness, through its fading away and cessation, is called one liberated by wisdom.

“Therein, bhikkhus, what is the distinction, what is the disparity, what is the difference between the Tathagata, the Arahant, the Perfectly Enlightened One, and a bhikkhu liberated by wisdom?”

“Venerable sir, our teachings are rooted in the Blessed One, guided by the Blessed One, take recourse in the Blessed One. It would be good if the Blessed One would clear up the meaning of this statement. Having heard it from him, the bhikkhus will remember it.”

“Then listen and attend closely, bhikkhus, I will speak.”

“Yes, venerable sir,” the bhikkhus replied. The Blessed One said this:

“The Tathagata, bhikkhus, the Arahant, the Perfectly Enlightened One, is the originator of the path unarisen before, the producer of the path unproduced before, the declarer of the path undeclared before. He is the knower of the path, the discoverer of the path, the one skilled in the path. And his disciples now dwell following that path and become possessed of it afterwards.

“This, bhikkhus, is the distinction, the disparity, the difference between the Tathagata, the Arahant, the Perfectly Enlightened One, and a bhikkhu liberated by wisdom.”