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A Leash (2nd) —Bhikkhu Sujato

Linked Discourses 22

10. Flowers

100. A Leash (2nd)

1.1At Sāvatthī.

1.2“Mendicants, transmigration has no known beginning. 1.3No first point is found of sentient beings roaming and transmigrating, hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving. 1.4Suppose a dog on a leash was tethered to a strong post or pillar. Whether walking, standing, sitting, or lying down, it stays right beside that post or pillar.

1.5In the same way, an uneducated ordinary person regards form like this: ‘This is mine, I am this, this is my self.’ 1.6They regard feeling … 1.7perception … 1.8choices … 1.9consciousness like this: ‘This is mine, I am this, this is my self.’ 1.10When walking, they walk right beside the five grasping aggregates. 1.11When standing … 1.12sitting … 1.13lying down, they lie down right beside the five grasping aggregates.

1.14So you should regularly check your own mind: 1.15‘For a long time this mind has been corrupted by greed, hate, and delusion.’ 1.16Sentient beings are corrupted because the mind is corrupted. 1.17Sentient beings are purified because the mind is purified.

2.1Mendicants, have you seen the picture called ‘Conduct’?”

2.2“Yes, sir.”

2.3“That picture was elaborated by the mind, but the mind is even more elaborate than that.

2.4So you should regularly check your own mind: 2.5‘For a long time this mind has been corrupted by greed, hate, and delusion.’ 2.6Sentient beings are corrupted because the mind is corrupted. 2.7Sentient beings are purified because the mind is purified.

3.1I don’t see see any other order of beings as elaborate as the animal realm. 3.2The creatures in the animal realm were elaborated by the mind, but the mind is even more elaborate than that.

3.3So you should regularly check your own mind: 3.4‘For a long time this mind has been corrupted by greed, hate, and delusion.’ 3.5Sentient beings are corrupted because the mind is corrupted. 3.6Sentient beings are purified because the mind is purified.

4.1Suppose an artist or painter had some dye, red lac, turmeric, indigo, or rose madder. And on a polished plank or a wall or a canvas they’d create the image of a woman or a man, complete in all its various parts.

4.2In the same way, when an uneducated ordinary person creates a future life, all they create is form, feeling, perception, choices, and consciousness.

4.3What do you think, mendicants? 4.4Is form permanent or impermanent?”

4.5“Impermanent, sir.”

4.6“Is feeling … 4.7perception … 4.8choices … 4.9consciousness permanent or impermanent?” …

4.10“So you should truly see … 4.11Seeing this … 4.12They understand: ‘… there is no return to any state of existence.’”