Koṭṭhita (Abandon Desire for Whatever is Impermanent, Unsatisfactory, & Not-Self)

Saṃyutta Nikaya 35.162-164
Connected Discourses on the Six Sense Bases
To Koṭṭhita (Impermanent,
Unsatisfactory, and
Not-Self)

Then the Venerable Mahakoṭṭhita approached the Blessed One and exchanged greetings with him. When they had concluded their greetings and cordial talk, he sat down to one side and said to the Blessed One: “Venerable Sir, it would be good if the Blessed One would teach me the Dhamma in brief, so that, having heard the Dhamma from the Blessed One, I might dwell alone, withdrawn, diligent, ardent, and resolute.”

“Koṭṭhita, you should abandon desire for whatever is impermanent. And what is impermanent? The eye is impermanent; you should abandon desire for it. Visible forms are impermanent; you should abandon desire for them. Eye-consciousness is impermanent; you should abandon desire for it. Eye-contact is impermanent; you should abandon desire for it. Whatever feeling arises with eye-contact—whether pleasant or unpleasant or neither-unpleasant-nor-pleasant—that is impermanent, too; you should abandon desire for it.

“The ear is impermanent; you should abandon desire for it. Sounds are impermanent; you should abandon desire for them. Ear-consciousness is impermanent; you should abandon desire for it. Ear-contact is impermanent; you should abandon desire for it. Whatever feeling arises with ear-contact—whether pleasant or unpleasant or neither-unpleasant-nor-pleasant—that is impermanent, too; you should abandon desire for it.

“The nose is impermanent; you should abandon desire for it. Odors are impermanent; you should abandon desire for them. Nose-consciousness is impermanent; you should abandon desire for it. Nose-contact is impermanent; you should abandon desire for it. Whatever feeling arises with nose-contact—whether pleasant or unpleasant or neither-unpleasant-nor-pleasant—that is impermanent, too; you should abandon desire for it.

“The tongue is impermanent; you should abandon desire for it. Flavors are impermanent; you should abandon desire for them. Tongue-consciousness is impermanent; you should abandon desire for it. Tongue-contact is impermanent; you should abandon desire for it. Whatever feeling arises with tongue-contact—whether pleasant or unpleasant or neither-unpleasant-nor-pleasant—that is impermanent, too; you should abandon desire for it.

“The body is impermanent; you should abandon desire for it. Tactile objects are impermanent; you should abandon desire for them. Body-consciousness is impermanent; you should abandon desire for it. Body-contact is impermanent; you should abandon desire for it. Whatever feeling arises with body-contact—whether pleasant or unpleasant or neither-unpleasant-nor-pleasant—that is impermanent, too; you should abandon desire for it.

“The mind is impermanent; you should abandon desire for it. Mental phenomena are impermanent; you should abandon desire for them. Mind-consciousness is impermanent; you should abandon desire for it. Mind-contact is impermanent; you should abandon desire for it. Whatever feeling arises with mind-contact—whether pleasant or unpleasant or neither-unpleasant-nor-pleasant—that is impermanent, too; you should abandon desire for it.

“Koṭṭhita, you should abandon desire for whatever is impermanent.”

A second time the Venerable Mahakoṭṭhita sitting to one side said to the Blessed One: “Venerable Sir, it would be good if the Blessed One would teach me the Dhamma in brief, so that, having heard the Dhamma from the Blessed One, I might dwell alone, withdrawn, diligent, ardent, and resolute.”

“Koṭṭhita, you should abandon desire for whatever is unsatisfactory. And what is unsatisfactory? The eye is unsatisfactory; you should abandon desire for it. Visible forms are unsatisfactory; you should abandon desire for them. Eye-consciousness is unsatisfactory; you should abandon desire for it. Eye-contact is unsatisfactory; you should abandon desire for it. Whatever feeling arises with eye-contact—whether pleasant or unpleasant or neither-unpleasant-nor-pleasant—that is unsatisfactory, too; you should abandon desire for it.

“The ear is unsatisfactory; you should abandon desire for it. Sounds are unsatisfactory; you should abandon desire for them. Ear-consciousness is unsatisfactory; you should abandon desire for it. Ear-contact is unsatisfactory; you should abandon desire for it. Whatever feeling arises with ear-contact—whether pleasant or unpleasant or neither-unpleasant-nor-pleasant—that is unsatisfactory, too; you should abandon desire for it.

“The nose is unsatisfactory; you should abandon desire for it. Odors are unsatisfactory; you should abandon desire for them. Nose-consciousness is unsatisfactory; you should abandon desire for it. Nose-contact is unsatisfactory; you should abandon desire for it. Whatever feeling arises with nose-contact—whether pleasant or unpleasant or neither-unpleasant-nor-pleasant—that is unsatisfactory, too; you should abandon desire for it.

“The tongue is unsatisfactory; you should abandon desire for it. Flavors are unsatisfactory; you should abandon desire for them. Tongue-consciousness is unsatisfactory; you should abandon desire for it. Tongue-contact is unsatisfactory; you should abandon desire for it. Whatever feeling arises with tongue-contact—whether pleasant or unpleasant or neither-unpleasant-nor-pleasant—that is unsatisfactory, too; you should abandon desire for it.

“The body is unsatisfactory; you should abandon desire for it. Tactile objects are unsatisfactory; you should abandon desire for them. Body-consciousness is unsatisfactory; you should abandon desire for it. Body-contact is unsatisfactory; you should abandon desire for it. Whatever feeling arises with body-contact—whether pleasant or unpleasant or neither-unpleasant-nor-pleasant—that is unsatisfactory, too; you should abandon desire for it.

“The mind is unsatisfactory; you should abandon desire for it. Mental phenomena are unsatisfactory; you should abandon desire for them. Mind-consciousness is unsatisfactory; you should abandon desire for it. Mind-contact is unsatisfactory; you should abandon desire for it. Whatever feeling arises with mind-contact—whether pleasant or unpleasant or neither-unpleasant-nor-pleasant—that is unsatisfactory, too; you should abandon desire for it.

“Koṭṭhita, you should abandon desire for whatever is unsatisfactory.”

A third time the Venerable Mahakoṭṭhita sitting to one side said to the Blessed One: “Venerable Sir, it would be good if the Blessed One would teach me the Dhamma in brief, so that, having heard the Dhamma from the Blessed One, I might dwell alone, withdrawn, diligent, ardent, and resolute.”

“Koṭṭhita, you should abandon desire for whatever is not-Self. And what is not-Self? The eye is not-Self; you should abandon desire for it. Visible forms are not-Self; you should abandon desire for them. Eye-consciousness is not-Self; you should abandon desire for it. Eye-contact is not-Self; you should abandon desire for it. Whatever feeling arises with eye-contact—whether pleasant or unpleasant or neither-unpleasant-nor-pleasant—that is not-Self, too; you should abandon desire for it.

“The ear is not-Self; you should abandon desire for it. Sounds are not-Self; you should abandon desire for them. Ear-consciousness is not-Self; you should abandon desire for it. Ear-contact is not-Self; you should abandon desire for it. Whatever feeling arises with ear-contact—whether pleasant or unpleasant or neither-unpleasant-nor-pleasant—that is not-Self, too; you should abandon desire for it.

“The nose is not-Self; you should abandon desire for it. Odors are not-Self; you should abandon desire for them. Nose-consciousness is not-Self; you should abandon desire for it. Nose-contact is not-Self; you should abandon desire for it. Whatever feeling arises with nose-contact—whether pleasant or unpleasant or neither-unpleasant-nor-pleasant—that is not-Self, too; you should abandon desire for it.

“The tongue is not-Self; you should abandon desire for it. Flavors are not-Self; you should abandon desire for them. Tongue-consciousness is not-Self; you should abandon desire for it. Tongue-contact is not-Self; you should abandon desire for it. Whatever feeling arises with tongue-contact—whether pleasant or unpleasant or neither-unpleasant-nor-pleasant—that is not-Self, too; you should abandon desire for it.

“The body is not-Self; you should abandon desire for it. Tactile objects are not-Self; you should abandon desire for them. Body-consciousness is not-Self; you should abandon desire for it. Body-contact is not-Self; you should abandon desire for it. Whatever feeling arises with body-contact—whether pleasant or unpleasant or neither-unpleasant-nor-pleasant—that is not-Self, too; you should abandon desire for it.

“The mind is not-Self; you should abandon desire for it. Mental phenomena are not-Self; you should abandon desire for them. Mind-consciousness is not-Self; you should abandon desire for it. Mind-contact is not-Self; you should abandon desire for it. Whatever feeling arises with mind-contact—whether pleasant or unpleasant or neither-unpleasant-nor-pleasant—that is not-Self, too; you should abandon desire for it.

“Koṭṭhita, you should abandon desire for whatever is not-Self.”

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