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Liking Sights (1st)—Bhikkhu Sujato

Linked Discourses 35

14. At Devadaha

136. Liking Sights (1st)

1.1“Mendicants, gods and humans like sights, they love them and enjoy them. 1.2But when sights perish, fade away, and cease, gods and humans live in suffering. 1.3Gods and humans like sounds … 1.41.5smells … 1.6tastes … 1.7touches … 1.8thoughts, they love them and enjoy them. 1.9But when thoughts perish, fade away, and cease, gods and humans live in suffering. 1.10The Realized One has truly understood the origin, ending, gratification, drawback, and escape of sights, so he doesn’t like, love, or enjoy them. 1.11When sights perish, fade away, and cease, the Realized One lives happily. 1.12The Realized One has truly understood the origin, ending, gratification, drawback, and escape of sounds … 1.13smells … 1.14tastes … 1.15touches … 1.16thoughts, so he doesn’t like, love, or enjoy them. 1.17When thoughts perish, fade away, and cease, the Realized One lives happily.” 1.18That is what the Buddha said. 1.19Then the Holy One, the Teacher, went on to say:

2.1“Sights, sounds, tastes, smells,
2.2touches and thoughts, the lot of them—
2.3they’re likable, desirable, and pleasurable
2.4as long as you can say that they exist.

3.1In all the world with its gods,
3.2this is reckoned as happiness.
3.3And where they cease
3.4this is reckoned as suffering.

4.1The noble ones have seen that happiness
4.2is the cessation of identity.
4.3Those who see
4.4contradict the whole world.

5.1What others say is happiness
5.2the noble ones say is suffering.
5.3What others say is suffering
5.4the noble ones say is happiness.

6.1See, this teaching is hard to understand,
6.2it confuses the ignorant.
6.3Those who don’t see are closed off;
6.4for them, all is blind darkness.

7.1But those who see are open;
7.2for the good, it is light.
7.3Though it’s right there, the unskilled fools
7.4don’t understand the teaching.

8.1They’re mired in desire to be reborn,
8.2flowing along the stream of lives,
8.3mired in Māra’s sovereignty:
8.4this teaching isn’t easy for them to understand.

9.1Who, apart from the noble ones,
9.2is qualified to understand this state?
9.3When they’ve rightly understood it,
9.4they’re extinguished without defilements.”