T 1670B Nāgasena Bhikṣu Sūtra

Part 2: Dialogues

2.35. Inseparability of Dharmas

The king asked Nāgasena, “When those conditions come together, can they be separated again, as this is union, this is wisdom, this is thought, this is mind, and this is motion?”

Then Nāgasena said, “If they come together, they cannot be separated again. Suppose the king were to ask his cook to make delicious soup in which there was water, meat, onion, garlic, ginger, salt and glutinous rice. Then the king were to ask his cook, ‘Pick out for me as before cooking, the flavors of water and then of the meat, of the onion, of the ginger, of the salt and of the glutinous rice from the delicious soup that you have made.’ But the soup has already been made, could the cook pick out the flavors one by one and give them to the king?”

“No, once the soup has been made with all these flavors, they could not be separated one from the other.” Then Nāgasena said to the king, “All these things are also the same. Once they have been united together, they cannot be separated, as this is painful and pleasant feelings, this is wisdom, this is motion and this is thought.”

“Excellent, Nāgasena.”