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The Dyad (2)—Bhikkhu Bodhi

Saṃyutta Nikāya 35

Connected Discourses on the Six Sense Bases

93. The Dyad (2)

“Bhikkhus, consciousness comes to be in dependence on a dyad. And how, bhikkhus, does consciousness come to be in dependence on a dyad? In dependence on the eye and forms there arises eye-consciousness. The eye is impermanent, changing, becoming otherwise; forms are impermanent, changing, becoming otherwise. Thus this dyad is moving and tottering, impermanent, changing, becoming otherwise.

“Eye-consciousness is impermanent, changing, becoming otherwise. The cause and condition for the arising of eye-consciousness is also impermanent, changing, becoming otherwise. When, bhikkhus, eye-consciousness has arisen in dependence on a condition that is impermanent, how could it be permanent?

“The meeting, the encounter, the concurrence of these three things is called eye-contact. Eye-contact too is impermanent, changing, becoming otherwise. The cause and condition for the arising of eye-contact is also impermanent, changing, becoming otherwise. When, bhikkhus, eye-contact has arisen in dependence on a condition that is impermanent, how could it be permanent?

“Contacted, bhikkhus, one feels, contacted one intends, contacted one perceives. Thus these things too are moving and tottering, impermanent, changing, becoming otherwise.

“In dependence on the ear and sounds there arises ear-consciousness … … In dependence on the mind and mental phenomena there arises mind-consciousness. The mind is impermanent, changing, becoming otherwise; mental phenomena are impermanent, changing, becoming otherwise. Thus this dyad is moving and tottering, impermanent, changing, becoming otherwise.

“Mind-consciousness is impermanent, changing, becoming otherwise. The cause and condition for the arising of mind-consciousness is also impermanent, changing, becoming otherwise. When, bhikkhus, mind-consciousness has arisen in dependence on a condition that is impermanent, how could it be permanent?

“The meeting, the encounter, the concurrence of these three things is called mind-contact. Mind-contact too is impermanent, changing, becoming otherwise. The cause and condition for the arising of mind-contact is also impermanent, changing, becoming otherwise. When, bhikkhus, mind-contact has arisen in dependence on a condition that is impermanent, how could it be permanent?

“Contacted, bhikkhus, one feels, contacted one intends, contacted one perceives. Thus these things too are moving and tottering, impermanent, changing, becoming otherwise.

“It is in such a way, bhikkhus, that consciousness comes to be in dependence on a dyad.”