[I. The First Teachings]

[Anattalakkhaṇasuttaṁ]
[11. The Discourse on the Characteristic of Non-Self]
(The First Arahants)

Atha kho Bhagavā pañcavaggiye bhikkhū āmantesi:
Then the Gracious One addressed the group-of-five monks (saying):

“Rūpaṁ bhikkhave Anattā,
“Bodily form, monks, is not Self, It is the supposed Higher or Cosmic Self that is being denied. The first proof of lack of Self in this sense is that we do not have ultimate control over the constituent parts (khandha).01

rūpañ-ca hidaṁ bhikkhave Attā abhavissa
for if this bodily form, monks, were Self

na-y-idaṁ rūpaṁ ābādhāya saṁvatteyya, labbhetha ca rūpe:
this bodily form would not lead to affliction, and regarding bodily form it might be possible (to say):

‘Evaṁ me rūpaṁ hotu, evaṁ me rūpaṁ mā ahosī.’ ti
‘Let my bodily form be thus, let my bodily form be not thus.’

Yasmā ca kho bhikkhave rūpaṁ Anattā,
But because bodily form, monks, is not Self,

tasmā rūpaṁ ābādhāya saṁvattati, na ca labbhati rūpe:
therefore bodily form does lead to affliction, and regarding bodily form it is not possible (to say):

‘Evaṁ me rūpaṁ hotu, evaṁ me rūpaṁ mā ahosī.’ ti
‘Let my bodily form be thus, let my bodily form be not thus.’

 

Vedanā Anattā,
Feeling is not Self,

vedanā ca hidaṁ bhikkhave Attā abhavissa
for if this feeling, monks, were Self

na-y-idaṁ vedanā ābādhāya saṁvatteyya, labbhetha ca vedanāya:
this feeling would not lead to affliction, and regarding feeling it might be possible (to say):

‘Evaṁ me vedanā hotu, evaṁ me vedanā mā ahosī.’ ti
‘Let my feeling be thus, let my feeling be not thus.’

Yasmā ca kho bhikkhave vedanā Anattā,
But because feeling, monks, is not Self,

tasmā vedanā ābādhāya saṁvattati, na ca labbhati vedanāya:
therefore feeling does lead to affliction, and regarding feeling it is not possible (to say):

‘Evaṁ me vedanā hotu, evaṁ me vedanā mā ahosī.’ ti
‘Let my feeling be thus, let my feeling be not thus.’

 

Saññā Anattā,
Perception is not Self,

saññā ca hidaṁ bhikkhave Attā abhavissa
for if this perception, monks, were Self

na-y-idaṁ saññā ābādhāya saṁvatteyya, labbhetha ca saññāya:
this perception would not lead to affliction, and regarding perception it might be possible (to say):

‘Evaṁ me saññā hotu, evaṁ me saññā mā ahosī.’ ti
‘Let my perception be thus, let my perception be not thus.’

Yasmā ca kho bhikkhave saññā Anattā,
But because perception, monks, is not Self,

tasmā saññā ābādhāya saṁvattati, na ca labbhati saññāya:
therefore perception does lead to affliction, and regarding perception it is not possible (to say):

‘Evaṁ me saññā hotu, evaṁ me saññā mā ahosī.’ ti
‘Let my perception be thus, let my perception be not thus.’

 

Saṅkhārā Anattā,
(Mental) processes This is given in the plural, whereas the others are all in the singular form.02 are not Self,

saṅkhārā ca hidaṁ bhikkhave Attā abhavissaṁsu
for if these (mental) processes, monks, were Self

na-y-ime saṅkhārā ābādhāya saṁvatteyyuṁ, labbhetha ca saṅkhāresu:
these (mental) processes would not lead to affliction, and regarding (mental) processes it might be possible (to say):

‘Evaṁ me saṅkhārā hontu, evaṁ me saṅkhārā mā ahesun.’ ti
‘Let my (mental) processes be thus, let my (mental) processes be not thus.’

Yasmā ca kho bhikkhave saṅkhārā Anattā,
But because (mental) processes, monks, are not Self,

tasmā saṅkhārā ābādhāya saṁvattanti, na ca labbhati saṅkhāresu
therefore (mental) processes do lead to affliction, and regarding (mental) processes it is not possible (to say):

‘Evaṁ me saṅkhārā hontu, evaṁ me saṅkhārā mā ahesun.’-ti
‘Let my (mental) processes be thus, let my (mental) processes be not thus.’

 

Viññāṇaṁ Anattā,
Consciousness is not Self,

viññāṇañ-ca hidaṁ bhikkhave Attā abhavissa
for if this consciousness, monks, were Self

na-y-idaṁ viññāṇaṁ ābādhāya saṁvatteyya, labbhetha ca viññāṇe:
this consciousness would not lead to affliction, and regarding consciousness it might be possible (to say):

‘Evaṁ me viññāṇaṁ hotu, evaṁ me viññāṇaṁ mā ahosī.’ ti
‘Let my consciousness be thus, let my consciousness be not thus.’

Yasmā ca kho bhikkhave viññāṇaṁ Anattā,
But because consciousness, monks, is not Self,

tasmā viññāṇaṁ ābādhāya saṁvattati, na ca labbhati viññāṇe:
therefore consciousness does lead to affliction, and regarding consciousness it is not possible (to say):

‘Evaṁ me viññāṇaṁ hotu, evaṁ me viññāṇaṁ mā ahosī.’ ti
‘Let my consciousness be thus, let my consciousness be not thus.”


Taṁ kiṁ maññatha bhikkhave:
What do you think of this, monks:

“Rūpaṁ niccaṁ vā aniccaṁ vā?” ti
“(Is) bodily form permanent or impermanent?”

“Aniccaṁ Bhante.”
“Impermanent, venerable Sir.”

“Yaṁ panāniccaṁ dukkhaṁ vā taṁ sukhaṁ vā?” ti
“But that which is impermanent, (is) that unpleasant or pleasant?”

“Dukkhaṁ Bhante.”
“Unpleasant, venerable Sir.”

“Yaṁ panāniccaṁ dukkhaṁ vipariṇāmadhammaṁ,
“But that which is unpleasant and changeable,

kallaṁ nu taṁ samanupassituṁ:
is it proper to regard it thus:

‘Etaṁ mama esoham-asmi eso me Attā?’ ” ti
‘This is mine, this I am, this is my Self?’ ”

“No hetaṁ Bhante.”
“Certainly not, venerable Sir.” It is interesting that the second argument against the concept of a Self relies on the notion of suitability to uphold its truth.03

 

“Vedanā niccā vā aniccā vā?” ti
“(Is) feeling permanent or impermanent?”

“Aniccā Bhante.”
“Impermanent, venerable Sir.”

“Yaṁ panāniccaṁ dukkhaṁ vā taṁ sukhaṁ vā?” ti
“But that which is impermanent, (is) that unpleasant or pleasant?”

“Dukkhaṁ Bhante.”
“Unpleasant, venerable Sir.”

“Yaṁ panāniccaṁ dukkhaṁ vipariṇāmadhammaṁ,
“But that which is unpleasant and changeable,

kallaṁ nu taṁ samanupassituṁ:
is it proper to regard it thus:

‘Etaṁ mama esoham-asmi eso me Attā?’ ” ti
‘This is mine, this I am, this is my Self?’ ”

“No hetaṁ Bhante.”
“Certainly not, venerable Sir.”

 

“Saññā niccā vā aniccā vā?” ti
“(Is) perception permanent or impermanent?”

“Aniccā Bhante.”
“Impermanent, venerable Sir.”

“Yaṁ panāniccaṁ dukkhaṁ vā taṁ sukhaṁ vā?” ti
“But that which is impermanent, (is) that unpleasant or pleasant?”

“Dukkhaṁ Bhante.”
“Unpleasant, venerable Sir.”

“Yaṁ panāniccaṁ dukkhaṁ vipariṇāmadhammaṁ,
“But that which is unpleasant and changeable,

kallaṁ nu taṁ samanupassituṁ:
is it proper to regard it thus:

‘Etaṁ mama esoham-asmi eso me Attā?’ ” ti
‘This is mine, this I am, this is my Self?’ ”

“No hetaṁ Bhante.”
“Certainly not, venerable Sir.”

 

“Saṅkhārā niccā vā aniccā vā?” ti
“(Are) (mental) processes permanent or impermanent?”

“Aniccā Bhante.”
“Impermanent, venerable Sir.”

“Yaṁ panāniccaṁ dukkhaṁ vā taṁ sukhaṁ vā?” ti
“But that which is impermanent, (is) that unpleasant or pleasant?”

“Dukkhaṁ Bhante.”
“Unpleasant, venerable Sir.”

“Yaṁ panāniccaṁ dukkhaṁ vipariṇāmadhammaṁ,
“But that which is unpleasant and changeable,

kallaṁ nu taṁ samanupassituṁ:
is it proper to regard it thus:

‘Etaṁ mama esoham-asmi eso me Attā?’ ” ti
‘This is mine, this I am, this is my Self?’ ”

“No hetaṁ Bhante.”
“Certainly not, venerable Sir.”


“Viññāṇaṁ niccaṁ vā aniccaṁ vā?” ti
“(Is) consciousness permanent or impermanent?”

“Aniccaṁ Bhante.”
“Impermanent, venerable Sir.”

“Yaṁ panāniccaṁ dukkhaṁ vā taṁ sukhaṁ vā?” ti
“But that which is impermanent, (is) that unpleasant or pleasant?”

“Dukkhaṁ Bhante.”
“Unpleasant, venerable Sir.”

“Yaṁ panāniccaṁ dukkhaṁ vipariṇāmadhammaṁ,
“But that which is unpleasant and changeable,

kallaṁ nu taṁ samanupassituṁ:
is it proper to regard it thus:

‘Etaṁ mama esoham-asmi eso me Attā?’ ” ti
‘This is mine, this I am, this is my Self?’ ”

“No hetaṁ Bhante.”
“Certainly not, venerable Sir.”

 

“Tasmātiha bhikkhave yaṁ kiñci rūpaṁ atītānāgatapaccuppannaṁ,
“Therefore monks, whatever bodily form (there is) in the past, future or present,

ajjhattaṁ vā bahiddhā vā, oḷārikaṁ vā sukhumaṁ vā hīnaṁ vā paṇītaṁ vā,
internal or external, gross or fine, inferior or excellent,

yaṁ dūre vā santike vā sabbaṁ rūpaṁ:
whether far or near, regarding all form:

‘Netaṁ mama, nesoham-asmi, na me so attā,’ ti
‘This is not mine, I am not this, this is not my Self,’

evam-etaṁ yathābhūtaṁ sammappaññāya daṭṭhabbaṁ.
in just this way, as it really is, it should be seen with full wisdom.

 

Yā kāci vedanā atītānāgatapaccuppannā,
Whatever feeling (there is) in the past, future or present,

ajjhattā vā bahiddhā vā, oḷārikā vā sukhumā vā hīnā vā paṇītā vā,
internal or external, gross or fine, inferior or excellent,

yā dūre vā santike vā sabbā vedanā:
whether far or near, regarding all feeling:

‘Netaṁ mama, nesoham-asmi, na me so attā,’ ti
‘This is not mine, I am not this, this is not my Self,’

evam-etaṁ yathābhūtaṁ sammappaññāya daṭṭhabbaṁ.
in just this way, as it really is, it should be seen with full wisdom.

 

Yā kāci saññā atītānāgatapaccuppannā,
Whatever perception (there is) in the past, future or present,

ajjhattā vā bahiddhā vā, oḷārikā vā sukhumā vā hīnā vā paṇītā vā,
internal or external, gross or fine, inferior or excellent,

yā dūre vā santike vā sabbā saññā:
whether far or near, regarding all perception:

‘Netaṁ mama, nesoham-asmi, na me so attā,’ ti
‘This is not mine, I am not this, this is not my Self,’

evam-etaṁ yathābhūtaṁ sammappaññāya daṭṭhabbaṁ.
in just this way, as it really is, it should be seen with full wisdom.

 

Ye keci saṅkhārā atītānāgatapaccuppannā,
Whatever (mental) processes (there are) in the past, future or present,

ajjhattā vā bahiddhā vā, oḷārikā vā sukhumā vā hīnā vā paṇītā vā,
internal or external, gross or fine, inferior or excellent,

ye dūre vā santike vā sabbe saṅkhārā:
whether far or near, regarding all (mental) processes:

‘Netaṁ mama, nesoham-asmi, na me so attā,’ ti
‘This is not mine, I am not this, this is not my Self,’

evam-etaṁ yathābhūtaṁ sammappaññāya daṭṭhabbaṁ.
in just this way, as it really is, it should be seen with full wisdom.

 

Yaṁ kiñci viññāṇaṁ atītānāgatapaccuppannaṁ,
Whatever consciousness (there is) in the past, future or present,

ajjhattaṁ vā bahiddhā vā, oḷārikaṁ vā sukhumaṁ vā hīnaṁ vā paṇītaṁ vā,
internal or external, gross or fine, inferior or excellent,

yaṁ dūre vā santike vā sabbaṁ viññāṇaṁ:
whether far or near, regarding all consciousness:

‘Netaṁ mama, nesoham-asmi, na me so attā,’ ti
‘This is not mine, I am not this, this is not my Self,’

evam-etaṁ yathābhūtaṁ sammappaññāya daṭṭhabbaṁ.
in just this way, as it really is, it should be seen with full wisdom.

 

Evaṁ passaṁ bhikkhave sutavā Ariyasāvako rūpasmim-pi nibbindati,
Seeing in this way, monks, the learned, Noble disciple, grows weary of bodily form,

vedanāya pi nibbindati, saññāya pi nibbindati,
and weary of feeling, and weary of perception,

saṅkhāresu pi nibbindati, viññāṇasmim-pi nibbindati,
and weary of (mental) processes, and weary of consciousness,

nibbindaṁ virajjati, virāgā vimuccati,
through weariness he becomes dispassionate, through dispassion he is liberated,

vimuttasmiṁ vimuttam-iti ñāṇaṁ hoti:
in liberation, there is the knowledge that such is liberation:

‘Khīṇā jāti
‘Destroyed is (re)birth

vusitaṁ brahmacariyaṁ
accomplished is the spiritual life

kataṁ karaṇīyaṁ
done is what ought to be done

nāparaṁ itthattāyā’ ti pajānātī’ ti.
there is no more of this mundane state’ - this he knew.

Idam-avoca Bhagavā,
The Gracious One said this,

attamanā pañcavaggiyā bhikkhū Bhagavato bhāsitaṁ abhinanduṁ.
and the group-of-five monks were uplifted and greatly rejoiced in what was said by the Gracious One.

Imasmiñ-ca pana veyyākaraṇasmiṁ bhaññamāne,
Moreover, as this sermon was being given,

pañcavaggiyānaṁ bhikkhūnaṁ anupādāya āsavehi cittāni vimucciṁsu,
the group-of-five monks' minds were liberated from the pollutants, without attachment,

tena kho pana samayena cha loke Arahanto honti.
and at that time there were six Worthy Ones in the world.

Paṭhamabhāṇavāraṁ
The First Section for Recital [is Finished]