Dharma Pearls

Translating Classical Buddhism to Modern English

The Related Discourses

35. Views

1. The Six Abodes of Views

1. Thus I have 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, “What is it that exists, that arises, that ties and becomes an attachment, and that’s viewed as self and causes sentient beings to be covered by ignorance, to take craving as their forerunner, to rush down the long road, to spin on the wheel of birth and death, to circulate in birth and death, and to not know the ultimate end?” The monks said to the Buddha, “The Bhagavān is the Dharma root, the Dharma eye, and the Dharma refuge. Please let him have sympathy and explain its meaning in detail! After they hear it, the monks will accept and approve of it.”

3. The Buddha told the monks, “Listen closely and well consider it. I will explain it for you.

“Monks, it’s because form exists, because something of form arises, and because form ties and becomes an attachment that form is viewed as self. That causes sentient beings to be covered by ignorance, to take craving as their forerunner, to rush down a long road, to spin on the wheel of birth and death, to circulate in birth and death, and to not know the ultimate end. Feeling, perception, volition, and consciousness are likewise.

4. “Monks, is form permanent, or is it impermanent?”

They replied, “Impermanent, Bhagavān.”

5. Again, he asked, “If something is impermanent, is it painful?” They replied, “It’s painful, Bhagavān.”

6. “So it is, monks. If something is impermanent, it’s painful. Because of this painful existence, things arise. They tie and become attachments, and they’re viewed as self. That causes sentient beings to be covered by ignorance, to take craving as their forerunner, to rush down a long road, to spin on the wheel of birth and death, to circulate in birth and death, and to not know the ultimate end. Feeling, perception, volition, and consciousness are likewise.

7. “Therefore, monks, all form that exists [42a] in the past, future, and present, whether internal or external, crude or fine, attractive or ugly, and far or near are all not self, not other than self, and not both. This is called correct wisdom. Feeling, perception, volition, and consciousness are likewise.

8. “Thus, what’s seen, heard, realized, recognized, and investigated with thought, perception, and contemplation is all not self, not other than self, and not both. This is called right wisdom.

9. “Suppose there’s a view that says, ‘There is self, there is the world, there is this life. They are permanent, eternal, and not subject to change.’ All that is not self, not other than self, and not both. This is called right wisdom.

10. “Suppose there’s another view: ‘That’s not this self, doesn’t belong to this self, isn’t a future self, and won’t belong to a future self.’ All that is not self, not other than self, and not both. This is called right wisdom.

11. “If a well-versed noble disciple observes these six abodes of views as not self and not belonging to self, then observing in this way ends suspicions about the Buddha and ends suspicions about the teaching and community.

12. “Monks, this is called the well-versed noble disciple who is no longer capable of doing physical, verbal, or mental acts that head for the three bad destinies. Even if he’s negligent, this noble disciple is certainly headed for complete awakening. Within seven rebirths in heaven or among humans, they’ll reach the limit of suffering.”

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

Notes

  1. This sūtra is parallel with the six abodes of views section of MN 22 and MĀ 200. [back]

Translator: Charles Patton

Last Revised: 30 September 2020