Saṃyutta Nikāya 22

Connected Discourses on the Aggregates

83. Ānanda

At Savatthi. There the Venerable Ānanda addressed the bhikkhus thus: “Friends, bhikkhus!”

“Friend!” those bhikkhus replied. The Venerable Ānanda said this:

“Friends, the Venerable Puṇṇa Mantaniputta was very helpful to us when we were newly ordained. He exhorted us with the following exhortation:

“It is by clinging, Ānanda, that the notion ‘I am’ occurs, not without clinging. And by clinging to what does ‘I am’ occur, not without clinging? It is by clinging to form that ‘I am’ occurs, not without clinging. It is by clinging to feeling … to perception … to volitional formations … to consciousness that ‘I am’ occurs, not without clinging.

“Suppose, friend Ānanda, a young woman—or a man—youthful and fond of ornaments, would examine her own facial image in a mirror or in a bowl filled with pure, clear, clean water: she would look at it with clinging, not without clinging. So too, it is by clinging to form that ‘I am’ occurs, not without clinging. It is by clinging to feeling … to perception … to volitional formations … to consciousness that ‘I am’ occurs, not without clinging.

“What do you think, friend Ānanda, is form permanent or impermanent?”… as in preceding sutta … “Seeing thus … He understands: ‘… there is no more for this state of being.’”

“Friends, the Venerable Puṇṇa Mantaniputta was very helpful to us when we were newly ordained. He exhorted us with that exhortation. And when I heard his Dhamma teaching I made the breakthrough to the Dhamma.”