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Argument I Translated from the Maha-Nidina-Sutta of the Digha Nikaya.

"In regard to the self, Ananda, what are the views held concerning it?

"In regard to the self, Ananda, either one holds the view that sensation is the self, saying, ‘Sensation is my self;’

"Or, in regard to the self, Ananda, one holds the view, ‘Verily, sensation is not my self; my self has no sensation;’

"Or, in regard to the self, Ananda, one holds the view, ‘Verily, neither is sensation my self, nor does my self have no sensation. My self has sensation; my self possesses the faculty of sensation.’1

From the commentary on the Maha-Nidana-Sutta:—Sensation is my self gives the heresy of individuality as based on the sensation-group; My self has no sensation, as based on the form-group; and My self has sensation; my self possesses a faculty of sensation, as based on the perception-group, the psychic construction, and the consciousness group. For these three groups have sensation through union with sensation, and possess a faculty of sensation on account of the inseparability of this union.

"In the above case, Ananda, where it is said, ‘Sensation is my self,’ reply should be made as follows: ‘Brother, there are three sensations: the pleasant sensation, the unpleasant sensation, and the indifferent sensation. Which of these three sensations do you hold to be the self?’

"Whenever, Ananda, a person experiences a pleasant sensation, he does not at the same time experience an unpleasant sensation, nor does he experience an indifferent sensation; only the pleasant sensation does he then feel. Whenever, Ananda, a person experiences an unpleasant sensation, he does not at the same time experience a pleasant sensation, nor does he experience an indifferent sensation; only the unpleasant sensation does he then feel. Whenever, Ananda, a person experiences an indifferent sensation, he does not at the same time experience a pleasant sensation, nor does he experience an unpleasant sensation; only the indifferent sensation does he then feel.

"Now pleasant sensations, Ananda, are transitory, are due to causes, originate by dependence, and are subject to decay, disappearance, effacement, and cessation; and unpleasant sensations, Ananda, are transitory, are due to causes, originate by dependence, and are subject to decay, disappearance, effacement, and cessation; and indifferent sensations, Ananda, are transitory, are due to causes, originate by dependence, and are subject to decay, disappearance, effacement, and cessation. While this person is experiencing a pleasant sensation, he thinks, ‘This is my self.’ And after the cessation of this same pleasant sensation, he thinks, ‘My self has passed away.’ While he is experiencing an unpleasant sensation, he thinks, ‘This is my self.’ And after the cessation of this same unpleasant sensation, he thinks, ‘My self has passed away.’ And while he is experiencing an indifferent sensation, he thinks, ‘This is my self.’ And after the cessation of this same indifferent sensation, he thinks, ‘My self has passed away.’ So that he who says, ‘Sensation is my self,’ holds the view that even during his lifetime his self is transitory, that it is pleasant, unpleasant, or mixed, and that it is subject to rise and disappearance.

"Accordingly, Ananda, it is not possible to hold the view, Sensation is my self.’

"In the above case, Ananda, where it is said, ‘Verily sensation is not my self; my self has no sensation,’ reply should be made as follows: ‘But, brother, where there is no sensation, is there any "I am"?’"

"Nay, verily, Reverend Sir."

"Accordingly, Ananda, it is not possible to hold the view, ‘Verily, sensation is not my self; my self has no sensation.’

" In the above case, Ananda, where it is said, ‘ Verily, neither is sensation my self, nor does my self have no sensation. My self has sensation; my self possesses the faculty of sensation,’ reply should be made as follows: ‘Suppose, brother, that utterly and completely, and without remainder, all sensation were to cease—if there were nowhere any sensation, pray, would there be anything, after the cessation of sensation, of which it could be said, " This am I"?’"

"Nay, verily, Reverend Sir."

"Accordingly, Ananda, it is not possible to hold the view, ‘Verily, neither is sensation my self, nor does my self have no sensation. My self has sensation; my self possesses the faculty of sensation.’

"From the time, Ananda, a priest no longer holds the view that sensation is the self, no longer holds the view that the self has no sensation, no longer holds the view that the self has sensation, possesses the faculty of sensation, he ceases to attach himself to anything in the world, and being free from attachment, he is never agitated, and being never agitated, he attains to Nirvana in his own person; and he knows that rebirth is exhausted, that he has lived the holy life, that he has done what it behooved him to do, and that he is no more for this world.

"Now it is impossible, Ananda, that to a mind’ so freed a priest should attribute the heresy that the arhat exists after death, or that the arhat does not exist after death, or that the arhat both exists and does not exist after death, or that the arhat neither exists nor does not exist after death.

"And why do I say so?

"Because, Ananda, after a priest has been freed by a thorough comprehension of affirmation and affirmation’s range, of predication and predication’s range, of declaration and declaration’s range, of knowledge and knowledge’s field of action, of rebirth and what rebirth affects, it is impossible for him to attribute such a heretical lack of knowledge and perception to a priest similarly freed."

Argument II Translated from the Samyutta-Nikaya

Thus have I heard.

On a certain occasion the venerable Sariputta was dwelling at Savatthi in Jetavana monastery in Anathapindika’s Park.

Now at that time the following wicked heresy had sprung up in the mind of a priest named Yamaka: "Thus do I understand the doctrine taught by The Blessed One, that on the dissolution of the body the priest who has lost all depravity is annihilated, perishes, and does not exist after death.’"

And a number of priests heard the report: "The following wicked heresy has sprung up in the mind of a priest named Yamaka: ‘Thus do I understand the doctrine taught by The Blessed One, that on the dissolution of the body the priest who has lost all depravity is annihilated, perishes, and does not exist after death.’"

Then drew near these priests to where the venerable Yamaka was; and having drawn near, they greeted the venerable Yamaka; and having passed the compliments of friendship and civility, they sat down respectfully at one side. And seated respectfully at one side, these priests spoke to the venerable Yamaka as follows: "Is the report true, brother Yamaka, that the following wicked heresy has sprung up in your mind: ‘Thus do I understand the doctrine taught by The Blessed One, that on the dissolution of the body the priest who has lost all depravity is annihilated, perishes, and does not exist after death?’"

"Even so, brethren, do I understand the doctrine taught by The Blessed One, that on the dissolution of the body the arhat who has lost all depravity is annihilated, perishes, and does not exist after death."

"Say not so, brother Yamaka. Do not traduce The Blessed One; for it is not well to traduce The Blessed One. The Blessed One would never say that on the dissolution of the body the arhat who has lost all depravity is annihilated, perishes, and does not exist after death."

Nevertheless, in spite of all these priests could say, the venerable Yamaka persisted obstinately to adhere to his pestiferous delusion: "Thus do I understand the doctrine taught by The Blessed One, that on the dissolution of the body the priest who has lost all depravity is annihilated, perishes, and does not exist after death."

And when these priests found themselves unable to detach the venerable Yamaka from this wicked heresy, then these priests arose from their seats and drew near to where the venerable Sariputta was. And having drawn near they spoke to the venerable Sariputta as follows:—

"Brother Sariputta, the following wicked heresy has sprung up in the mind of a priest named Yamaka: ‘Thus do I understand the doctrine taught by The Blessed One, that on the dissolution of the body the priest who has lost all depravity is annihilated, perishes, and does not exist after death.’ Pray, let the venerable Sariputta be so kind as to draw near to where the priest Yamaka is."

And the venerable Sariputta consented by his silence.

Then the venerable Sariputta in the evening of the day arose from meditation, and drew near to where the venerable Yamaka was; and having drawn near, he greeted the venerable Yamaka; and having passed the compliments of friendship and civility, he sat down respectfully at one side. And seated respectfully at one side, the venerable Sariputta spoke to the venerable Yamaka as follows: "Is the report true, brother Yamaka, that the following wicked heresy has sprung up in your mind: ‘Thus do I understand the doctrine taught by The Blessed One, that on the dissolution of the body the priest who has lost all depravity is annihilated, perishes, and does not exist after death?’"

"Even so, brother, do I understand the doctrine taught by The Blessed One, that on the dissolution of the body the priest who has lost all depravity is annihilated, perishes, and does not exist after death."

"What think you, brother Yamaka ? Is form permanent, or transitory?"

"It is transitory, brother."

" And that which is transitory—is it evil, or is it good?"

"It is evil, brother."

"And that which is transitory, evil, and liable to change —is it possible to say of it: ‘This is mine; this am I; this is my self?’"

"Nay, verily, brother."

"Is sensation . . . perception . . . the psychic constructions . . . consciousness permanent, or transitory?"

"It is transitory, brother."

"And that which is transitory—is it evil, or is it good?"

"It is evil, brother."

"And that which is transitory, evil, and liable to change —is it possible to say of it: ‘This is mine; this am I; this is my self?’"

"Nay, verily, brother."

"Accordingly, brother Yamaka, as respects all form whatsoever, past, future, or present, be it subjective or existing outside, gross or subtile, mean or exalted, far or near, the correct view in the light of the highest knowledge is as follows: ‘This is not mine; this am I not; this is not my self.’

"As respects all sensation whatsoever, . . . as respects all perception whatsoever, . . . as respects all psychic constructions whatsoever, . . . as respects all consciousness whatsoever, past, future, or present, be it subjective or existing outside, gross or subtile, mean or exalted, far or near, the correct view in the light of the highest knowledge is as follows: ‘This is not mine; this am I not; this is not my self.’

"Perceiving this, brother Yamaka, the learned and noble disciple conceives an aversion for form, conceives an aversion for sensation, conceives an aversion for perception, conceives an aversion for the psychic constructions, conceives an aversion for consciousness. And in conceiving this aversion he becomes divested of passion, and by the absence of passion he becomes free, and when he is free he becomes aware that he is free; and he knows that rebirth is exhausted, that he has lived the holy life, that he has done what it behooved him to do, and that he is no more for this world.

"What think you, brother Yamaka? Do you consider form as the arhat?"

"Nay, verily, brother."

"Do you consider sensation . . . perception . . . the psychic constructions. . . consciousness as the arhat?"

"Nay, verily, brother."

"What think you, brother Yamaka? Do you consider the arhat as comprised in form?"

"Nay, verily, brother."

"Do you consider the arhat as distinct from form?"

"Nay, verily, brother."

"Do you consider the arhat as comprised in sensation? . . . as distinct from sensation? . . . as comprised in perception? . . . as distinct from perception? . . . as comprised in the psychic constructions? . . . as distinct from the psychic constructions? . . . as comprised in consciousness? "

"Nay, verily, brother."

"Do you consider the arhat as distinct from consciousness?"

"Nay, verily, brother."

"What think you, brother Yamaka? Are form, sensation, perception, the psychic constructions, and consciousness unitedly the arhat?"

"Nay, verily, brother."

"What think you, brother Yamaka? Do you consider the arhat as a something having no form, sensation, perception, psychic constructions, or consciousness?"

"Nay, verily, brother."

"Considering now, brother Yamaka, that you fail to make out and establish the existence of the arhat in the present life, is it reasonable for you to say: ‘Thus do I understand the: doctrine taught by The Blessed One, that on the dissolution) of the body the priest who has lost all depravity is annihilated, perishes, and does not exist after death?’"

"Brother Sariputta, it was because of my ignorance that I held this wicked heresy; but now that I have listened to the doctrinal instruction of the venerable Sariputta, I have abandoned that wicked heresy and acquired the true doctrine."

"But if others were to ask you, brother Yamaka, as follows: ‘Brother Yamaka, the priest who is a arhat and has lost all depravity, what becomes of him on the dissolution of the body, after death?’ what would you reply, brother Yamaka, if you were asked that question?"

"Brother, if others were to ask me as follows: ‘Brother Yamaka, the priest who is a arhat and has lost all depravity, what becomes of him on the dissolution of the body, after death?’ I would reply, brother, as follows, if I were asked that question: ‘Brethren, the form was transitory, and that which was transitory was evil, and that which was evil has ceased and disappeared. The sensation . . . perception . . . psychic constructions . . . consciousness was transitory, and that which was transitory was evil, and that which was evil has ceased and disappeared.’ Thus would I reply, brother, if I were asked that question."

"Well said! well said! brother Yamaka. Come now, brother Yamaka, I will give you an illustration that you may still better comprehend this matter.

"Suppose, brother Yamaka, there were a householder, or a son of a householder, rich, wealthy, and affluent, and thoroughly well guarded, and some man were to become unfriendly, inimical, and hostile to him, and were to wish to kill him. And suppose it were to occur to this man as follows: ‘This householder, or son of a householder, is rich, wealthy, and affluent, and thoroughly well-guarded. It would not be easy to kill him by violence. What if now I were to ingratiate myself with him and then kill him.’ And suppose he were to draw near to that householder, or son of a householder, and say as follows: ‘ Lord, I would like to

enter your service.’ And suppose the householder, or son of a householder, were to admit him into his service; and the man were to be his servant, rising before him and retiring after him, willing and obliging and pleasant-spoken. And suppose the householder, or son of a householder, were to treat him as a friend, were to treat him as a comrade, and repose confidence in him. And suppose then, brother, that when that man judged that the householder, or son of a householder, had acquired thorough confidence in him, he were to get him into some secluded spot and kill him with a sharp weapon.

"What think you, brother Yamaka? When that mans drew near to that householder, or son of a householder, and said as follows: ‘Lord, I would like to enter your service,’ was he not a murderer, though not recognized as such ?

"And also when he was his servant, rising before him and; retiring after him, willing and obliging and pleasant-spoken, was he not a murderer, though not recognized as such?

"And also when he got him into a secluded spot and he killed him with a sharp weapon, was he not a murderer, though not recognized as such?"

"Even so, brother."

"In exactly the same way, brother, the ignorant, unconversed man, who is not a follower of noble disciples, not conversant with the Noble Doctrine, not disciplined in the Noble Doctrine, not a follower of good people, not conversant with the Doctrine held by good people, not trained in ‘the Doctrine held by good people, not disciplined in the Doctrine held by good people, considers form in the light of anti self—either the self as possessing form, or form as comprised in the self, or the self as comprised in form. Considers sensation . . . perception . . . the psychic constructions . . . : consciousness in the light of a self—either the self as possessing consciousness, or consciousness as comprised in the self, or the self as comprised in consciousness.

"He does not recognize the fact that form is transitory. He does not recognize the fact that sensation . . . perception . . . the psychic constructions . . . consciousness is transitory.

"He does not recognize the fact that form . . . sensation . . . perception . . . the psychic constructions . . . consciousness is evil."

"He does not recognize the fact that form . . . sensation . . . perception . . . the psychic constructions . . . consciousness is not a self.

"He does not recognize the fact that form . . . sensation . . . perception . . . the psychic constructions . . . consciousness is due to causes.

"He does not recognize the fact that form . . . sensation . . . perception . . . the psychic constructions . . . consciousness is a murderer.

"And he seeks after form, attaches himself to it, and makes the affirmation that it is his self. And he seeks after sensation, . . . perception, . . . the psychic constructions, . . . consciousness, attaches himself to it, and makes the affirmation that it is his self. And these five attachment-groups, sought after and become attached, long inure to his detriment and misery.

"But the learned and noble disciple, brother, who is a follower of noble disciples, conversant with the Noble Doctrine, disciplined in the Noble Doctrine, a follower of good people, conversant with the Doctrine held by good people, disciplined in the Doctrine held by good people, does not consider form in the light of a self—neither the self as possessing Form, nor form as comprised in the self, nor the self as comprised in form. Does not consider sensation . . . perception . . . the psychic constructions . . . consciousness in the light of a self—neither the self as possessing consciousness, nor consciousness as comprised in the self, nor the self as comprised in consciousness.

"He recognizes the fact that form . . . sensation . . . perception . . . the psychic constructions . . . consciousness is transitory.

"He recognizes the fact that form . . . sensation . . . perception . . . the psychic constructions consciousness is evil.

" He recognizes the fact that form . . . sensation . . . perception . . . the psychic constructions . . . consciousness is not a self.

"He recognizes the fact that form . . . sensation . . . perception . . . the psychic constructions . . . consciousness is due to causes.

‘‘He recognizes the fact that form . . . sensation . . . perception . . . the psychic constructions . . . consciousness is a murderer.

"And he does not seek after form, . . . sensation, . . . perceptions, . . . the psychic constructions, . . . consciousness, nor attach himself to it, nor make the affirmation that it is his self. And these five attachment-groups, not sought after and not become attached, long inure to his welfare and use happiness."

"Even so, brother Sariputta, is it with those venerable: persons who have for co-religionists such compassionate and benevolent exhorters and instructors as you. And now: that I have listened to the doctrinal instruction of the venerable Sariputta my mind has lost all attachment and become released from the depravities."

Thus spake the venerable Sariputta, and, delighted, the venerable Yamaka applauded the speech of the venerable Sariputta.

Argument III Translated from the Samyutta-Nikaya

Thus have I heard.

On a certain occasion The Blessed One was dwelling at Savatthi in Jetavana monastery in Anathapindika’s Park. And there The Blessed One addressed the monks.

"Monks," said he.

"Lord," said the monks to The Blessed One in reply.

And The Blessed One spoke as follows:—

"Even the ignorant, unconverted man, O monks, may conceive an aversion for this body which is composed of the four elements, may divest himself of passion for it, and attain to freedom from it. And why do I say so? Because, O monks, the increase and the wasting away of this body which is composed of the four elements are evident, and the way in which it is obtained [i.e., conception] and afterwards laid away again [i.e., death]. Therefore here the ignorant, unconverted man may conceive aversion, divest himself of passion, and attain to freedom. But that, 0 monks, which is called mind, intellect, consciousness,—here the ignorant, unconverted man is not equal to conceiving aversion, is not equal to divesting himself of passion, is not equal to attaining freedom., And why do I say so? Because, O monks, from time immemorial the ignorant, unconverted man has held, cherished and affected the notion, ‘This is mine; this am I; this is my self.’ Therefore here the ignorant unconverted man is not equal to conceiving aversion, is not equal to divesting himself of passion, is not equal to attaining freedom. But it were better, O monks, if the ignorant unconverted man regarded the body which is composed of the four elements as a self, rather than the mind. And why do I say so ? Because it is evident, O monks, that this body which is composed of the four elements lasts one year, lasts two years lasts three yeas, lasts four years, lasts five yeas, lasts ten yeas, lasts twenty years, lasts thirty yeas, lasts forty yeas, lasts fifty yeas, lasts a hundred yeas, and even more. But that, O monks which is called mind, intellect, consciousness, keeps up an incessant round by day and by night of perishing as one thing and springing up as another.

"Here the learned and noble disciple, O monks, attentively confides Dependent Origination—Behold this exists when that exists, this originates from the origination of the other; this does not exist when that does not exist, this ceases from the cessation of the other O monks, a pleasant sensation originates in dependence on contact with pleasant objects; but when that contact with pleasant objects ceases, the feeling sprung from that contact, the pleasant sensation that originated in dependence on contact with pleasant objects ceases and comes to an end. O monks, an unpleasant sensation . . . An indifferent sensation originates in dependence on contact with indifferent objects; but when that contact with indifferent objects ceases,-the feeling sprung from that contact, the indifferent sensation that originated in dependence on contact with indifferent objects ceases and comes to an end.

"Just as, O monks, heat comes into existence and flame into being from the friction and concussion of two sticks of wood, but on the separation and parting of these two sticks of wood the heat sprung from those two sticks of wood ceases and comes to an end: in exactly the same way, O monks, a pleasant sensation originates in dependence on contact with pleasant objects; but when that contact with pleasant objects ceases, the feeling sprung from that contact, the pleasant sensation that originated in dependence on contact with pleasant objects ceases and comes to an end. An unpleasant sensation . . . an indifferent sensation originates in dependence on contact with indifferent objects; but when that contact with indifferent objects ceases, the feeling sprung from that contact, the indifferent sensation that originated in dependence on contact with indifferent objects ceases and comes to an end.

Perceiving this, O monks, the learned and noble disciple conceives an aversion for contact, conceives an aversion for sensation, conceives an aversion for perception, conceives an aversion for the psychic constructions, conceives an aversion for consciousness. And in conceiving this aversion he becomes divested of passion, and by the absence of passion he becomes free, and when he is free he becomes aware that he is free; and he knows that rebirth is exhausted, that he has lived the holy life, that he has done what it behooved him to do, and that he is no more for this world.

Verse Summation Translated from the Visudhi-Magga

Therefore has it been said as follows:—

Misery alone exists, but none who are miserable. No doer is there; nothing but the deed is found. Nirvana is, but not the man who seeks it. The Way exists, but not the traveler on it."