Saṃyutta Nikāya 22

Connected Discourses on the Aggregates

94. Flowers

At Savatthi. “Bhikkhus, I do not dispute with the world; rather, it is the world that disputes with me. A proponent of the Dhamma does not dispute with anyone in the world. Of that which the wise in the world agree upon as not existing, I too say that it does not exist. And of that which the wise in the world agree upon as existing, I too say that it exists.

“And what is it, bhikkhus, that the wise in the world agree upon as not existing, of which I too say that it does not exist? Form that is permanent, stable, eternal, not subject to change: this the wise in the world agree upon as not existing, and I too say that it does not exist. Feeling … Perception … Volitional formations … Consciousness that is permanent, stable, eternal, not subject to change: this the wise in the world agree upon as not existing, and I too say that it does not exist.

“That, bhikkhus, is what the wise in the world agree upon as not existing, of which I too say that it does not exist.

“And what is it, bhikkhus, that the wise in the world agree upon as existing, of which I too say that it exists? Form that is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change: this the wise in the world agree upon as existing, and I too say that it exists. Feeling … Perception … Volitional formations … Consciousness that is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change: this the wise in the world agree upon as existing, and I too say that it exists.

“That, bhikkhus, is what the wise in the world agree upon as existing, of which I too say that it exists.

“There is, bhikkhus, a world-phenomenon in the world to which the Tathagata has awakened and broken through. Having done so, he explains it, teaches it, proclaims it, establishes it, discloses it, analyses it, elucidates it.

“And what is that world-phenomenon in the world to which the Tathagata has awakened and broken through? Form, bhikkhus, is a world-phenomenon in the world to which the Tathagata has awakened and broken through. Having done so, he explains it, teaches it, proclaims it, establishes it, discloses it, analyses it, elucidates it. When it is being thus explained … … and elucidated by the Tathagata, if anyone does not know and see, how can I do anything with that foolish worldling, blind and sightless, who does not know and does not see?

“Feeling … Perception … Volitional formations … Consciousness is a world-phenomenon in the world to which the Tathagata has awakened and broken through. Having done so, he explains it, teaches it, proclaims it, establishes it, discloses it, analyses it, elucidates it. When it is being thus explained … and elucidated by the Tathagata, if anyone does not know and see, how can I do anything with that foolish worldling, blind and sightless, who does not know and does not see?

“Bhikkhus, just as a blue, red, or white lotus is born in the water and grows up in the water, but having risen up above the water, it stands unsullied by the water, so too the Tathagata was born in the world and grew up in the world, but having overcome the world, he dwells unsullied by the world.”