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Samyutta Nikaya
Saḷāyatana Saṁyutta

35.28 Ādittapariyāya Sutta
Things on Fire

The Buddha explains the danger of the six sense bases

At one time the Blessed One was living near the city of Gayā, on Gayāsīse, together with a thousand monks. There the Blessed One asked the monks:

“Monks, all is burning. And what is the all that is burning?

The eye is burning. Sights are burning. Eye consciousness is burning. Eye contact is burning. The painful, pleasant, or neutral feeling that is born from the eye contact is also burning. Burning with what? Burning with the fires of greed, hate, and delusion. Burning with birth, old age, and death; with sorrow, crying, pain, sadness, and worry, I say.

The ear is burning. Sounds are burning. Ear consciousness is burning. Ear contact is burning. The painful, pleasant, or neutral feeling that is born from the ear contact is also burning. Burning with what? Burning with the fires of greed, hate, and delusion. Burning with birth, old age, and death; with sorrow, crying, pain, sadness, and worry, I say.

The nose is burning. Smells are burning. Nose consciousness is burning. Nose contact is burning. The painful, pleasant, or neutral feeling that is born from the nose contact is also burning. Burning with what? Burning with the fires of greed, hate, and delusion. Burning with birth, old age, and death; with sorrow, crying, pain, sadness, and worry, I say.

The tongue is burning. Tastes are burning. Tongue consciousness is burning. Tongue contact is burning. The painful, pleasant, or neutral feeling that is born from the tongue contact is also burning. Burning with what? Burning with the fires of greed, hate, and delusion. Burning with birth, old age, and death; with sorrow, crying, pain, sadness, and worry, I say.

The body is burning. Things that are touched are burning. Body consciousness is burning. Body contact is burning. The painful, pleasant, or neutral feeling that is born from the body contact is also burning. Burning with what? Burning with the fires of greed, hate, and delusion. Burning with birth, old age, and death; with sorrow, crying, pain, sadness, and worry, I say.

The mind is burning. Thoughts are burning. Mind consciousness is burning. Mind contact is burning. The painful, pleasant, or neutral feeling that is born from the mind contact is also burning. Burning with what? Burning with the fires of greed, hate, and delusion. Burning with birth, old age, and death; with sorrow, crying, pain, sadness, and worry, I say.

“Seeing this, a learned noble disciple develops detachment towards the eye, sights, eye consciousness, and eye contact. And he develops detachment towards the painful, pleasant, or neutral feeling that is born from the eye contact.

“He develops detachment towards the ear, sounds, ear consciousness, and ear contact. And he develops detachment towards the painful, pleasant, or neutral feeling that is born from the ear contact.

“He develops detachment towards the nose, smells, nose consciousness, and nose contact. And he develops detachment towards the painful, pleasant, or neutral feeling that is born from the nose contact.

“He develops detachment towards the tongue, tastes, tongue consciousness, and tongue contact. And he develops detachment towards the painful, pleasant, or neutral feeling that is born from the tongue contact.

“He develops detachment towards the body, things that are touched, body consciousness, and body contact. And he develops detachment towards the painful, pleasant, or neutral feeling that is born from the body contact.

“He develops detachment towards the mind, thoughts, mind consciousness, and mind contact. And he develops detachment towards the painful, pleasant, or neutral feeling that is born from the mind contact.

“Being detached, desire for all of these fades away. When desire fades away he’s freed from all of these. When he’s freed, he knows he’s liberated.

“He understands: ‘Rebirth is ended, the spiritual journey has been completed, what had to be done to end suffering has been done, there is nothing more to do in order to attain Nibbana.”

“That is what the Blessed One said. Satisfied, the monks were happy with what the Blessed One said. And while this discourse was being taught, the minds of the thousand monks were liberated from defilements by not grasping.

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Saṁyutta Nikāya 35.28 Ādittapariyāya Sutta: Things on Fire

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Notes:

This sermon was given to the three Kassapa brothers—Uruvela Kassapa, Nadī Kassapa, and Gayā Kassapa—along with their followers after they all became monks under the Supreme Buddha. Before that, they were fire worshiping ascetics.

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