Buddha's World

 DISPASSION

Once while the Lord was abiding at Ayojjhaya on the bank of the Ganga, he spoke these words to the Bhikkus:

"Imagine,Bhikkus, that a large patch of froth was floating on the river Ganga,and suppose that a clear-sighted man were to look at it, observe it andexamine it properly. Seeing it, observing it and examining it properly,the froth would appear to him to be empty, unsubstantial and without anessence. What essence, Bhikkus, could be found in a lump of froth? Inthe same way, Bhikkus, whatever form, past, present or future, inner orouter, gross or subtle, inferior or superior, far or near, is seen,observed and properly examined, will appear empty, unsubstantial and without an essence. What essence couldthere be in form?

"Imagine,Bhikkus, that when it is raining large drops in autumn, a great bubblearises and bursts on the water, and suppose that a clear-sighted manwere to see it, observe it and examine it properly. The bubble wouldappear to him to be empty, unsubstantial and without an essence. Whatessence, Bhikkus, could be found in a water-bubble? In the same way,Bhikkus, whatever feeling, past, present or future, inner or outer,gross or subtle, inferior or superior, far or near, is felt, observedand properly examined, will appear empty, unsubstantial and without an essence. What essence could there be in feeling? 

"Imagine,Bhikkus, that at midday in the last month of the hot season a mirageappeared, and suppose that a clear-sighted man were to see it, observeit and examine it properly. The mirage would appear to him to be empty,unsubstantial and without an essence. What essence, Bhikkus, could befound in a mirage? In the same way, Bhikkus, whatever perception isseen, observed and examined properly, will appear empty, unsubstantial and without an essence. What essence could there be in perception?

"Imagine,Bhikkus, that a man in need of strong timber should come upon a young,tall, plantain tree, and suppose that he chopped it down at the root,cut off the top and stripped away the outer skin. Looking at it,observing it and examining it properly, he would find no wood inside,and it would appear to him to be empty, unsubstantial and without anessence. What essence, Bhikkus, could there be in a plantain tree? Inthe same way, Bhikkus, whatever mental activity is experienced,observed and examined properly, will appear empty, unsubstantial and without an essence. What essence can there be in mental activity?

"Imagine,Bhikkus, that a magician produced an illusion in a thoroughfare, andsuppose that a clear-sighted man were to see it, observe it and examineit properly. The magical illusion would appear to him to be empty,unsubstantial and without an essence. What essence, Bhikkus, could befound in a magical illusion? In the same way, Bhikkus, whateverconsciousness is experienced, observed and examined properly, will appear empty, unsubstantial and without an essence.

"Understandingthis, the disciple of the Noble Eightfold Path is dispassionate towardsthe body, towards feeling and perception, mental activity andconsciousness. Being dispassionate, he is detached; being detached, heis released from bondage; in release from bondage there is knowledge of freedom, and the disciple then knows:

Finished is birth,
Lived is the Life,
Done is all duty,
No longer is there
This or that.

Samyutta Nikaya

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