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Saṁyutta Nikāya — The Connected Discourses

SN22: Connected Discourses on the Aggregates

SN22:97 The Fingernail

1At Sāvatthī. Sitting to one side, that bhikkhu said to the Blessed One: "Is there, venerable sir, any form that is permanent, stable, eternal, not subject to change, and that will remain the same just like eternity itself? Is there any feeling … any perception … any volitional formations … any consciousness that is permanent, stable, eternal, not subject to change, and that will remain the same just like eternity itself?" "Bhikkhu, there is no form … no feeling … no perception … no volitional formations … no consciousness that is permanent, stable, eternal, not subject to change, and that will remain the same just like eternity itself."

2Then the Blessed One took up a little bit of soil in his fingernail and said to that bhikkhu: "Bhikkhu, there is not even this much form that is permanent, stable, eternal, not subject to change, and that will remain the same just like eternity itself. If there was this much form that was permanent, stable, eternal, not subject to change, this living of the holy life for the complete destruction of suffering could not be discerned. But because there is not even this much form that is permanent, stable, eternal, not subject to change, this living of the holy life for the complete destruction of suffering is discerned. sn.iii.148


3–5"There is not even this much feeling … perception … volitional formations … consciousness that is permanent, stable, eternal, not subject to change, and that will remain the same just like eternity itself. If there was this much consciousness … But because there is not even this much consciousness that is permanent, stable, eternal, not subject to change, this living of the holy life for the complete destruction of suffering is discerned.


6"What do you think, bhikkhu, is form permanent or impermanent?" - "Impermanent, venerable sir." … sn.iii.149 … - "Therefore … Seeing thus … He understands: ‘ … there is no more for this state of being.’"

1Sāvatthinidānaṁ. Ekamantaṁ nisinno kho so bhikkhu bhagavantaṁ etadavoca: "atthi nu kho, bhante, kiñci rūpaṁ yaṁ rūpaṁ niccaṁ dhuvaṁ sassataṁ avipariṇāmadhammaṁ sassatisamaṁ tatheva ṭhassati? Atthi nu kho, bhante, kāci vedanā yā vedanā niccā dhuvā sassatā avipariṇāmadhammā sassatisamaṁ tatheva ṭhassati? Atthi nu kho, bhante, kāci saññā … pe … keci saṅkhārā, ye saṅkhārā niccā dhuvā sassatā avipariṇāmadhammā sassatisamaṁ tatheva ṭhassanti? Atthi nu kho, bhante, kiñci viññāṇaṁ, yaṁ viññāṇaṁ niccaṁ dhuvaṁ sassataṁ avipariṇāmadhammaṁ sassatisamaṁ tatheva ṭhassatī"ti? "Natthi kho, bhikkhu, kiñci rūpaṁ, yaṁ rūpaṁ niccaṁ dhuvaṁ sassataṁ avipariṇāmadhammaṁ sassatisamaṁ tatheva ṭhassati. Natthi kho, bhikkhu, kāci vedanā … kāci saññā … keci saṅkhārā … pe … kiñci viññāṇaṁ, yaṁ viññāṇaṁ niccaṁ dhuvaṁ sassataṁ avipariṇāmadhammaṁ sassatisamaṁ tatheva ṭhassatī"ti.

2Atha kho bhagavā parittaṁ nakhasikhāyaṁ paṁsuṁ āropetvā taṁ bhikkhuṁ etadavoca: "ettakampi kho, bhikkhu, rūpaṁ natthi niccaṁ dhuvaṁ sassataṁ avipariṇāmadhammaṁ sassatisamaṁ tatheva ṭhassati. Ettakañcepi, bhikkhu, rūpaṁ abhavissa niccaṁ dhuvaṁ sassataṁ avipariṇāmadhammaṁ, nayidaṁ brahmacariyavāso paññāyetha sammā dukkhakkhayāya. Yasmā ca kho, bhikkhu, ettakampi rūpaṁ natthi niccaṁ dhuvaṁ sassataṁ avipariṇāmadhammaṁ, tasmā brahmacariyavāso paññāyati sammā dukkhakkhayāya".


3Ettakāpi kho, bhikkhu, vedanā natthi niccā dhuvā sassatā avipariṇāmadhammā sassatisamaṁ tatheva ṭhassati. Ettakā cepi, bhikkhu, vedanā abhavissa niccā dhuvā sassatā avipariṇāmadhammā, na yidaṁ brahmacariyavāso paññāyetha sammā dukkhakkhayāya. Yasmā ca kho, bhikkhu, ettakāpi vedanā natthi niccā dhuvā sassatā avipariṇāmadhammā, tasmā brahmacariyavāso paññāyati sammā dukkhakkhayāya.

4Ettakāpi kho, bhikkhu, saññā natthi … pe … ettakāpi kho, bhikkhu, saṅkhārā natthi niccā dhuvā sassatā avipariṇāmadhammā sassatisamaṁ tatheva ṭhassanti. Ettakā cepi, bhikkhu, saṅkhārā abhavissaṁsu niccā dhuvā sassatā avipariṇāmadhammā, na yidaṁ brahmacariyavāso paññāyetha sammā dukkhakkhayāya. Yasmā ca kho, bhikkhu, ettakāpi saṅkhārā natthi niccā dhuvā sassatā avipariṇāmadhammā, tasmā brahmacariyavāso paññāyati sammā dukkhakkhayāya.

5Ettakampi kho, bhikkhu, viññāṇaṁ natthi niccaṁ dhuvaṁ sassataṁ avipariṇāmadhammaṁ sassatisamaṁ tatheva ṭhassati. Ettakampi kho, bhikkhu, viññāṇaṁ abhavissa niccaṁ dhuvaṁ sassataṁ avipariṇāmadhammaṁ, na yidaṁ brahmacariyavāso paññāyetha sammā dukkhakkhayāya. Yasmā ca kho, bhikkhu, ettakampi viññāṇaṁ natthi niccaṁ dhuvaṁ sassataṁ avipariṇāmadhammaṁ, tasmā brahmacariyavāso paññāyati sammā dukkhakkhayāya.


6Taṁ kiṁ maññasi, bhikkhu, rūpaṁ niccaṁ vā aniccaṁ vā"ti? "Aniccaṁ, bhante". "Vedanā … saññā … saṅkhārā … viññāṇaṁ niccaṁ vā aniccaṁ vā"ti? "Aniccaṁ, bhante" … pe … "tasmātiha … pe … evaṁ passaṁ … pe … nāparaṁ itthattāyāti pajānātī"ti.

Pañcamaṁ.