nibbåna and anattå
Kåyo suñño…: pho††habbå suññå… Mano suñño…: dhammå suññå… Yasmå ca kho Ånanda suññaµ attena vå attaniyena vå, tasmå, Suñño loko ti vuccat⁄ ti. (Sa¬åyatana Saµyutta, 85) The eye, Ånanda, is void of self and of anything to do with self: forms are void of self and of anything to do with self: eye consciousness is void of self and of anything to do with self: eye-contact is void of self and of anything to do with self: whatever feeling arises conditioned by eye-contact, whether pleasant or painful or neither painful nor pleasant, that too is void of self and of anything to do with self. The ear is void…: sounds are void… The nose is void…: smells are void… The tongue is void…: tastes are void… The body is void…: touches are void… The mind is void…: things are void… Since, Ånanda, it is void of self and of anything to do with self, therefore ‘The world is void’, it is said. Thus the Buddha analyses the world into forty-two dhammå, and finds no self. There is no mention, be it noted, of nibbåna. What more remains to be said? We have sabbe saπkhårå aniccå because change is the characteristic of saπkhårå, a synthesis, a process involving time: sabbe saπkhårå dukkhå because suffering is a characteristic of change: and sabbe dhammå anattå because dhamma implies an analysis, a tally of the state of affairs at a given moment, in which no self can be found. If a length of cable is looked at sideways, the strands can be traced without difficulty from end to end, but it is hard to tell how many there are, and to make sure that not one is overlooked. Sabbe sankårå aniccå is existence seen sideways, as a process: impermanence is easy to observe, but can we be certain there is no hidden core of self inside? If a cross-section of the same cable is looked at, although the strands cannot be seen as they run through the cable they can be counted immediately, and not one will pass unnoticed. Sabbe dhammå anattå is existence seen in cross section, as a state: although impermanence is not immediately not evident, a hidden core of self inside would be noticed at once. R¨paµ bhikkhave aniccaµ, vedanå aniccå, saññå aniccå, saπkhårå aniccå, viññå~aµ aniccaµ; r¨paµ bhikkhave anattå, vedanå anattå,
Published on Jun 26, 2013
Part B includes two early essays (Nibbana and Anatta and Sketch for a Proof of Rebirth) as well as notes from a Commonplace Book and Margina...