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Saṁyutta Nikāya — The Connected Discourses

SN22: Connected Discourses on the Aggregates

SN22:60 Mahali

1Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Vesālī in the Great Wood in the Hall with the Peaked Roof. Then Mahali the Licchavi approached the Blessed One sn.iii.69 … and said to him:

2"Venerable sir, Pūraṇa Kassapa speaks thus: ‘There is no cause or condition for the defilement of beings; beings are defiled without cause or condition. There is no cause or condition for the purification of beings; beings are purified without cause or condition. ’ What does the Blessed One say about this?"[n.92] In the Samaññaphala Sutta this view is ascribed to the Ājīvika teacher Makkhali Gosāla (DN I 53,24–28). The same source ascribes to Pūraṇa Kassapa the theory of the inefficacy of action (akiriyavāda; DN I 52,21–53,2), stated at SN24.6 but without ascription. At SN46.56 a different noncausality doctrine (ahetukavāda) is ascribed to Pūraṇa Kassapa.

3"There is, Mahali, a cause and condition for the defilement of beings; beings are defiled with cause and condition. There is a cause and condition for the purification of beings; beings are purified with cause and condition."

4"But, venerable sir, what is the cause and condition for the defilement of beings? How is it that beings are defiled with cause and condition?"

5"If, Mahali, this form were exclusively suffering, immersed in suffering, steeped in suffering, and if it were not also steeped in pleasure, beings would not become enamoured with it. But because form is pleasurable, immersed in pleasure, steeped in pleasure, and is not steeped only in suffering, beings become enamoured with it.[n.93] See SN14.34. By being enamoured with it, they are captivated by it, and by being captivated by it they are defiled. This, Mahali, is a cause and condition for the defilement of beings; it is thus that beings are defiled with cause and condition.


6–8"If, Mahali, this feeling were exclusively suffering … If this perception … these volitional formations … sn.iii.70 … this consciousness were exclusively suffering … beings would not become enamoured with it. But because consciousness is pleasurable … beings become enamoured with it. By being enamoured with it, they are captivated by it, and by being captivated by it they are defiled. This too, Mahali, is a cause and condition for the defilement of beings; it is thus that beings are defiled with cause and condition."


9"But, venerable sir, what is the cause and condition for the purification of beings? How is it that beings are purified with cause and condition?"

"If, Mahali, this form were exclusively pleasurable, immersed in pleasure, steeped in pleasure, and if it were not also steeped in suffering, beings would not experience revulsion towards it. But because form is suffering, immersed in suffering, steeped in suffering, and is not steeped only in pleasure, beings experience revulsion towards it. Experiencing revulsion, they become dispassionate, and through dispassion they are purified. This, Mahali, is a cause and condition for the purification of beings; it is thus that beings are purified with cause and condition.

10"If, Mahali, this feeling were exclusively pleasurable … If this perception … these volitional formations … this consciousness were exclusively pleasurable … beings would not experience revulsion towards it. But because consciousness is suffering … beings experience revulsion towards it. Experiencing revulsion, they become dispassionate, and through dispassion they are purified. sn.iii.71 This too, Mahali, is a cause and condition for the purification of beings; it is thus that beings are purified with cause and condition."

1Evaṁ me sutaṁ—​ ekaṁ samayaṁ bhagavā vesāliyaṁ vihārati mahāvane kūṭāgārasālāyaṁ. Atha kho mahāli licchavi yena bhagavā tenupasaṅkami … pe … ekamantaṁ nisinno kho mahāli licchavi bhagavantaṁ etadavoca: 

2"Pūraṇo, bhante, kassapo evamāha: ‘Natthi hetu natthi paccayo sattānaṁ saṅkilesāya; ahetū appaccayā sattā saṅkilissanti. Natthi hetu natthi paccayo sattānaṁ visuddhiyā; ahetū appaccayā sattā visujjhantī’ti. Idha bhagavā kimāhā"ti?

3"Atthi, mahāli, hetu atthi paccayo sattānaṁ saṅkilesāya; sahetū sappaccayā sattā saṅkilissanti. Atthi, mahāli, hetu, atthi paccayo sattānaṁ visuddhiyā; sahetū sappaccayā sattā visujjhantī"ti.

4"Katamo pana, bhante, hetu katamo paccayo sattānaṁ saṅkilesāya; kathaṁ sahetū sappaccayā sattā saṅkilissantī"ti?

5"Rūpañca hidaṁ, mahāli, ekantadukkhaṁ abhavissa dukkhānupatitaṁ dukkhāvakkantaṁ anavakkantaṁ sukhena, nayidaṁ sattā rūpasmiṁ sārajjeyyuṁ. Yasmā ca kho, mahāli, rūpaṁ sukhaṁ sukhānupatitaṁ sukhāvakkantaṁ anavakkantaṁ dukkhena, tasmā sattā rūpasmiṁ sārajjanti; sārāgā saṁyujjanti; saṁyogā saṅkilissanti. Ayaṁ kho, mahāli, hetu, ayaṁ paccayo sattānaṁ saṅkilesāya; evaṁ sahetū sappaccayā sattā saṅkilissanti.


6Vedanā ca hidaṁ, mahāli, ekantadukkhā abhavissa dukkhānupatitā dukkhāvakkantā anavakkantā sukhena, nayidaṁ sattā vedanāya sārajjeyyuṁ. Yasmā ca kho, mahāli, vedanā sukhā sukhānupatitā sukhāvakkantā anavakkantā dukkhena, tasmā sattā vedanāya sārajjanti; sārāgā saṁyujjanti; saṁyogā saṅkilissanti. Ayampi kho, mahāli, hetu, ayaṁ paccayo sattānaṁ saṅkilesāya. Evampi sahetū sappaccayā sattā saṅkilissanti.

7Saññā ca hidaṁ, mahāli … pe … saṅkhārā ca hidaṁ, mahāli, ekantadukkhā abhavissaṁsu dukkhānupatitā dukkhāvakkantā anavakkantā sukhena, nayidaṁ sattā saṅkhāresu sārajjeyyuṁ. Yasmā ca kho, mahāli, saṅkhārā sukhā sukhānupatitā sukhāvakkantā anavakkantā dukkhena, tasmā sattā saṅkhāresu sārajjanti; sārāgā saṁyujjanti; saṁyogā saṅkilissanti. Ayampi kho, mahāli, hetu, ayaṁ paccayo sattānaṁ saṅkilesāya. Evampi sahetū sappaccayā sattā saṅkilissanti.

8Viññāṇañca hidaṁ, mahāli, ekantadukkhaṁ abhavissa dukkhānupatitaṁ dukkhāvakkantaṁ anavakkantaṁ sukhena, nayidaṁ sattā viññāṇasmiṁ sārajjeyyuṁ. Yasmā ca kho, mahāli, viññāṇaṁ sukhaṁ sukhānupatitaṁ sukhāvakkantaṁ anavakkantaṁ dukkhena, tasmā sattā viññāṇasmiṁ sārajjanti; sārāgā saṁyujjanti; saṁyogā saṅkilissanti. Ayampi kho, mahāli, hetu ayaṁ paccayo sattānaṁ saṅkilesāya. Evampi sahetū sappaccayā sattā saṅkilissantī"ti.


9"Katamo pana, bhante, hetu katamo paccayo sattānaṁ visuddhiyā; kathaṁ sahetū sappaccayā sattā visujjhantī"ti?

"Rūpañca hidaṁ, mahāli, ekantasukhaṁ abhavissa sukhānupatitaṁ sukhāvakkantaṁ anavakkantaṁ dukkhena, nayidaṁ sattā rūpasmiṁ nibbindeyyuṁ. Yasmā ca kho, mahāli, rūpaṁ dukkhaṁ dukkhānupatitaṁ dukkhāvakkantaṁ anavakkantaṁ sukhena, tasmā sattā rūpasmiṁ nibbindanti; nibbindaṁ virajjanti; virāgā visujjhanti. Ayaṁ kho, mahāli, hetu, ayaṁ paccayo, sattānaṁ visuddhiyā. Evaṁ sahetū sappaccayā sattā visujjhanti.

10Vedanā ca hidaṁ, mahāli, ekantasukhā abhavissa … pe … saññā ca hidaṁ, mahāli … pe … saṅkhārā ca hidaṁ, mahāli, ekantasukhā abhavissaṁsu … pe … viññāṇañca hidaṁ, mahāli, ekantasukhaṁ abhavissa sukhānupatitaṁ sukhāvakkantaṁ anavakkantaṁ dukkhena, nayidaṁ sattā viññāṇasmiṁ nibbindeyyuṁ. Yasmā ca kho, mahāli, viññāṇaṁ dukkhaṁ dukkhānupatitaṁ dukkhāvakkantaṁ anavakkantaṁ sukhena, tasmā sattā viññāṇasmiṁ nibbindanti; nibbindaṁ virajjanti; virāgā visujjhanti. Ayaṁ kho, mahāli, hetu, ayaṁ paccayo, sattānaṁ visuddhiyā. Evampi sahetū sappaccayā sattā visujjhantī"ti.

Aṭṭhamaṁ.