Saṃyutta Nikāya 35

Connected Discourses on the Six Sense Bases

96. Decline

“Bhikkhus, I will teach you about one who is subject to decline, about one who is not subject to decline, and about the six mastered bases. Listen to that….

“And how, bhikkhus, is one subject to decline? Here, bhikkhus, when a bhikkhu has seen a form with the eye, there arise in him evil unwholesome states, memories and intentions connected with the fetters. If the bhikkhu tolerates them and does not abandon them, dispel them, put an end to them, and obliterate them, he should understand this thus: ‘I am declining away from wholesome states. For this has been called decline by the Blessed One.’

“Further, bhikkhus, when a bhikkhu has heard a sound with the ear … cognized a mental phenomenon with the mind, there arise in him evil unwholesome states, memories and intentions connected with the fetters. If the bhikkhu tolerates them and does not abandon them, dispel them, put an end to them, and obliterate them, he should understand this thus: ‘I am declining away from wholesome states. For this has been called decline by the Blessed One.’

“It is in such a way, bhikkhus, that one is subject to decline.

“And how, bhikkhus, is one not subject to decline? Here, bhikkhus, when a bhikkhu has seen a form with the eye, there arise in him evil unwholesome states, memories and intentions connected with the fetters. If the bhikkhu does not tolerate them, but abandons them, dispels them, puts on end to them, and obliterates them, he should understand this thus: ‘I am not declining away from wholesome states. For this has been called nondecline by the Blessed One.’

“Further, bhikkhus, when a bhikkhu has heard a sound with the ear … cognized a mental phenomenon with the mind, there arise in him evil unwholesome states, memories and intentions connected with the fetters. If the bhikkhu does not tolerate them, but abandons them, dispels them, puts an end to them, and obliterates them, he should understand this thus: ‘I am not declining away from wholesome states. For this has been called nondecline by the Blessed One.’

“It is in such a way, bhikkhus, that one is not subject to decline.

“And what, bhikkhus, are the six mastered bases? Here, bhikkhus, when a bhikkhu has seen a form with the eye, there do not arise in him evil unwholesome states, nor any memories and intentions connected with the fetters. The bhikkhu should understand this thus: ‘This base has been mastered. For this has been called a mastered base by the Blessed One.’

“Further, bhikkhus, when a bhikkhu has heard a sound with the ear … cognized a mental phenomenon with the mind, there do not arise in him evil unwholesome states, nor any memories and intentions connected with the fetters. The bhikkhu should understand this thus: ‘This base has been mastered. For this has been called a mastered base by the Blessed One.’ These, bhikkhus, are called the six mastered bases.”