Dharma Pearls

Translating Classical Buddhism to Modern English

The Related Discourses

1. The Aggregates

5. Rightly Considered

Thus have I heard:1 One time, the Buddha stayed in the kingdom of Śrāvastī at Anāthapiṇḍada Park in Jeta Grove.

It was then that the Bhagavān addressed the monks, “You must rightly consider form and contemplate it to be impermanent, knowing it as it really is. What is the reason for that? When he rightly considers form, contemplates form to be impermanent, and knows it as it really is, a monk puts an end to desire and greed for form. When he ends his desire and greed, I say his mind is liberated.

“Thus must you rightly consider sensation, perception, volition, and consciousness and contemplate consciousness to be impermanent, knowing it as it really is. What is the reason for that? When someone rightly considers consciousness and contemplates consciousness to be impermanent, they put an end to desire and greed for consciousness. When someone ends their desire and greed, I say their mind is liberated.

“So it is that if someone whose mind is liberated wants to realize it himself, then he can realize: ‘My births have ended; the religious practice has been established; and the task has been done.’ He himself knows that he will not be subject to a later existence.2

The monks who heard what the Buddha had taught then rejoiced and handed it down.

Endnotes

  1. This sutra is parallel to SN 22.52 and SA 2.5.
  2. The Taisho includes an abbreviated sutra note identical to the one found in SA 1.1 which reads: 如是正思惟無常,苦、空、非我亦復如是. However, it appears to be inconsistent with the summary verse at the end of SA 1.10, and the parallel sutra at SA 2.5 doesn’t have these variants. I have followed Yinshun’s lead in removing the note.