Translating Classical Buddhism to Modern English

The Related Discourses

2. The Sense Fields

126 (231). Samṛddhi (4)

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

2. There was then a monk named Samṛddhi who went to the Buddha, bowed his head at the Buddha’s feet, and withdrew to sit at one side. He said to the Buddha, “Bhagavān, there’s what’s called ‘the world.’ What is it that’s called the ‘world’?”

3. The Buddha told Samṛddhi, “What’s fragile and decaying is called ‘the world.’ What’s called fragile and decaying? Samṛddhi, the eye is something fragile and decaying. Whether it’s form, visual consciousness, visual contact, feelings that dependently arise from visual contact, or inner experiences that are painful, pleasant, or neither painful nor pleasant, they are all fragile and decaying. The ear, nose, tongue, body, and mind are likewise. These things that are said to be fragile and decaying are called ‘the world.’”

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


  1. This is sūtra no. 231 in the Taisho edition and no. 304 in Yinshun (T99.2.56b11-20). It’s parallel to SN 35.82 and 84. [back]

Translator: Charles Patton

Last Revised: 10 November 2023