Translating Classical Buddhism to Modern English

The Related Discourses

1. The Aggregates

163 (51). What’s Destroyed

1. Thus have I heard:[1] One time, the Buddha was staying at Anāthapiṇḍada’s Park in Jeta’s Grove of Śrāvastī.

2. It was then that the Bhagavān addressed the monks, “Now, I will discuss things that are destroyed and not destroyed.[2] Listen closely, and consider it well. I will explain this for you.

3. “Monks, form is something destroyed, but the cessation and extinguishment[3] of that form is not something that’s destroyed. Feeling … conception … volition … consciousness is something destroyed, but the cessation and extinguishment of that consciousness is not something that’s destroyed.”

4. After the Buddha spoke this sūtra, the monks who heard what the Buddha taught rejoiced and approved.


  1. This sūtra is parallel with SN 22.32. [back]
  2. destroyed. C. 壞. The Pali parallel has pabhaṅga, which Pali commentators interpreted as “fragile” or “brittle,” but which can mean “destroyed.” 壞 often means simply “to be destroyed,” but it has the connotation of gradual destruction, so it often means something more like “eroded” or “ruined.” In both cases, there’s a sense of destruction over time (i.e., impermanence).
  3. extinguishment. C. 涅槃. I believe here the Chinese is transliterating a verb related to nirvāṇa that’s here a participle meaning “extinguished.” The Pali parallel lacks this, giving two other synonyms for cessation: nirodho vūpasamo atthaṅgamo. [back]

Translator: Charles Patton

Last Revised: 18 October 2022