Winds (Not Clinging to What is Impermanent, Unsatisfactory, & Not-Self)

Saṃyutta Nikaya 24.1, 24.45, 24.71
Connected Discourses on Views
Vāta Sutta
(Winds)

At Sāvatthī.

“Bhikkhus, when there is what, by clinging to what, by adhering to what, does such a view as this arise: ‘The winds do not blow, the rivers do not flow, pregnant women do not give birth, the moon and sun do not rise and set but stand as steady as a pillar’?”

“Venerable sir, our teachings are rooted in the Blessed One, guided by the Blessed One, take recourse in the Blessed One. It would be good if the Blessed One would clear up the meaning of this statement. Having heard it from him, the bhikkhus will remember it.”

“Then listen and attend closely, bhikkhus, I will speak.”

“Yes, venerable sir,” the bhikkhus replied. The Blessed One said this:

“When there is form, bhikkhus, by clinging to form, by adhering to form; when there is feeling, by clinging to feeling, by adhering to feeling; when there is perception, by clinging to perception, by adhering to perception; when there are volitional formations, by clinging to volitional formations, by adhering to volitional formations; when there is consciousness, by clinging to consciousness, by adhering to consciousness—such a view as this arises: ‘The winds do not blow, the rivers do not flow, pregnant women do not give birth, the moon and sun do not rise and set but stand as steady as a pillar.’

“What do you think, bhikkhus, is form permanent or impermanent?”

“Impermanent, venerable sir.”

“Is feeling permanent or impermanent?”

“Impermanent, venerable sir.”

“Is perception permanent or impermanent?”

“Impermanent, venerable sir.”

“Are volitional formations permanent or impermanent?”

“Impermanent, venerable sir.”

“Is consciousness permanent or impermanent?”

“Impermanent, venerable sir.”

“That which is seen, heard, sensed, cognized, attained, sought after, and ranged over by the mind: is that permanent or impermanent?”

“Impermanent, venerable sir.”

“Is what is impermanent unsatisfactory or satisfactory?”

“Unsatisfactory, venerable sir.”

“But without clinging to what is impermanent, unsatisfactory, and subject to change, could such a view as this arise: ‘The winds do not blow, the rivers do not flow, pregnant women do not give birth, the moon and sun do not rise and set but stand as steady as a pillar’?”

“No, venerable sir.”

“Thus, bhikkhus, whatever is impermanent is unsatisfactory. When that is present, it is by clinging to that, that such a view as this arises: ‘The winds do not blow, the rivers do not flow, pregnant women do not give birth, the moon and sun do not rise and set but stand as steady as a pillar.’

“When, bhikkhus, a noble disciple has abandoned perplexity in these six cases, and when, further, he has abandoned perplexity about unsatisfactoriness, the origin of unsatisfactoriness, the cessation of unsatisfactoriness, and the way leading to the cessation of unsatisfactoriness, he is then called a noble disciple who is a stream-enterer, no longer bound to the nether world, fixed in destiny, with enlightenment as his destination.”

“Is what is impermanent, unsatisfactory, 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, feeling, perception, volitional formation or consciousness whatsoever, whether past, future, or present, internal or external, gross or subtle, inferior or superior, far or near—all form, feeling, perception, volitional formation or consciousness—should be seen as it really is with correct wisdom thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not myself.’

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

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