T 1670B Nāgasena Bhikṣu Sūtra

Part 2: Dialogues

2.31. The Characteristics of Feeling

The king said to Nāgasena again, “What is the characteristic of feeling?”

Nāgasena replied, “To experience it by oneself is feeling.”

Nāgasena said, “It is like a man who renders a service to the king. The man is intelligent and good, so the king bestows money and material things on him. Then the man, having obtained such things, uses them for his own happiness and does whatever he pleases to do. The man thinks to himself, ‘I have rendered a service to the king and received a reward. Now, I have obtained happiness and happiness is such.’”

Nāgasena again gave a simile, “It is just like in the case of a person who does meritorious deeds by mind, by word of mouth and by bodily action. Thus having done good deeds, the person is reborn into the heaven of bliss on the dissolution of the body after death. While living in heaven in full possession and enjoyment of all the pleasures of sense, he will think to himself, ‘Formerly in the world, I have done good deeds by mind, by word of mouth and by bodily action, as a result, now I have been reborn here experiencing pleasures and enjoyment to the utmost.’ This is called being experienced.”

“Excellent, Nāgasena.”