thus have i heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Baraṇasi in the Deer Park at Isipatana. There the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus of the group of five thus: “Bhikkhus!”

“Venerable sir!” those bhikkhus replied. The Blessed One said this:

“Bhikkhus, form is nonself. For if, bhikkhus, form were self, this form would not lead to affliction, and it would be possible to have it of form: ‘Let my form be thus; let my form not be thus.’ But because form is nonself, form leads to affliction, and it is not possible to have it of form: ‘Let my form be thus; let my form not be thus.’

“Feeling is nonself…. … Perception is nonself…. Volitional formations are nonself…. Consciousness is nonself. For if, bhikkhus, consciousness were self, this consciousness would not lead to affliction, and it would be possible to have it of consciousness: ‘Let my consciousness be thus; let my consciousness not be thus.’ But because consciousness is nonself, consciousness leads to affliction, and it is not possible to have it of consciousness: ‘Let my consciousness be thus; let my consciousness not be thus.’

“What do you think, bhikkhus, is form permanent or impermanent?”—“Impermanent, venerable sir.”—“Is what is impermanent suffering or happiness?”—“Suffering, venerable sir.”—“Is what is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change fit to be regarded thus: ‘This is mine, this I am, this is my self’?”—“No, venerable sir.”

“Is feeling permanent or impermanent?… Is perception permanent or impermanent?… Are volitional formations permanent or impermanent?… Is consciousness permanent or impermanent?”—“Impermanent, venerable sir.”—“Is what is impermanent suffering or happiness?”— “Suffering, venerable sir.”—“Is what is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change fit to be regarded thus: ‘This is mine, this I am, this is my self’?”—“No, venerable sir.”

“Therefore, bhikkhus, any kind of form whatsoever, whether past, future, or present, internal or external, gross or subtle, inferior or superior, far or near, all form should be seen as it really is with correct wisdom thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’

“Any kind of feeling whatsoever … Any kind of perception whatsoever … Any kind of volitional formations whatsoever … Any kind of consciousness whatsoever, whether past, future, or present, internal or external, gross or subtle, inferior or superior, far or near, all consciousness should be seen as it really is with correct wisdom thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’

“Seeing thus, bhikkhus, the instructed noble disciple experiences revulsion towards form, revulsion towards feeling, revulsion towards perception, revulsion towards volitional formations, revulsion towards consciousness. Experiencing revulsion, he becomes dispassionate. Through dispassion his mind is liberated. When it is liberated there comes the knowledge: ‘It’s liberated.’ He understands: ‘Destroyed is birth, the holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is no more for this state of being.’”

That is what the Blessed One said. Elated, those bhikkhus delighted in the Blessed One’s statement. And while this discourse was being spoken, the minds of the bhikkhus of the group of five were liberated from the taints by nonclinging.

Start meditating

About Bhikkhu Bodhi

Bhikkhu Bodhi is a Buddhist monk of American nationality, born in New York City in 1944. After obtaining a PhD in philosophy from the Claremont Graduate School, he came to Sri Lanka to enter the Sangha. He received the novice ordination in 1972 and the higher ordination in 1973, both under the eminent scholar monk, Ven. Balangoda Ananda Maitreya, with whom he studied Pali and Dhamma. He is the author of several works on Theravāda Buddhism, including four translations of great Pali-suttas, together with their comments. He was editor and president of the Buddhist Publication Society for many years. Bhikkhu Bodhi is founder and president of Buddhist Global Relief.

While you are here …

… We want to ask you something. This website is made out of love for Buddhism and Buddhist meditation. We strive to make the teachings of the Buddha as clear and correct as possible and to make it accessible to anyone who is interested, without commercial intentions.

You can help us in our effort by giving a donation to the Buddho Foundation. Every amount, small or large, is of great value to us, and it only costs you a minute of your time.

With your support, we can continue to do our part in preserving and protecting the Dhamma.

Thank you so much for your generosity!

Donate

Inspiration in your inbox?

Just subscribe to our newsletter and get notified when we post new content on our blog.

And don’t worry, we won’t spam you.

Subscribe to our newsletter And get notified when we add new content
(by subscribing you accept our privacy policy)

Inspiration in your inbox?

Just subscribe to our newsletter and get notified when we post new content on our blog.

And don’t worry, we won’t spam you.

Subscribe to our newsletter And get notified when we add new content
(by subscribing you accept our privacy policy)

Before you leave

Subscribe to our newsletter and get notified when we post new content on our blog.

And don’t worry, we won’t spam you.

Subscribe to our newsletter And get notified when we add new content
(by subscribing you accept our privacy policy)
The Buddho Foundation