Kotthita Sutta: To Kotthita

SN 35.191
PTS: S iv 162
CDB ii 1230 (corresponds to CDB SN 35.232)
Kotthita Sutta: To Kotthita
translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu
Alternate translation: Walshe

Once, Ven. Sariputta and Ven. Maha Kotthita were living near Varanasi, at Isipatana in the Deer Park. Then Ven. Maha Kotthita, in the late afternoon, left his seclusion and went to Ven. Sariputta. On arrival, he exchanged courteous greetings with him. After an exchange of friendly greetings & courtesies, he sat to one side. As he was sitting there, he said to Ven. Sariputta, "Now tell me, friend Sariputta, is the eye the fetter of forms, or are forms the fetter of the eye? Is the ear... Is the nose... Is the tongue... Is the body... Is the intellect the fetter of ideas, or are ideas the fetter of the intellect?"

"No, my friend. The eye is not the fetter of forms, nor are forms the fetter of the eye. Whatever desire & passion arises in dependence on the two of them: That is the fetter there. The ear is not the fetter of sounds... The nose is not the fetter of aromas... The tongue is not the fetter of flavors... The body is not the fetter of tactile sensations... The intellect is not the fetter of ideas, nor are ideas the fetter of the intellect. Whatever desire & passion arises in dependence on the two of them: That is the fetter there.

"Suppose that a black ox and a white ox were joined with a single collar or yoke. If someone were to say, 'The black ox is the fetter of the white ox, the white ox is the fetter of the black' — speaking this way, would he be speaking rightly?"

"No, my friend. The black ox is not the fetter of the white ox, nor is the white ox the fetter of the black. The single collar or yoke by which they are joined: That is the fetter there."

"In the same way, the eye is not the fetter of forms, nor are forms the fetter of the eye. Whatever desire & passion arises in dependence on the two of them: That is the fetter there. The ear is not the fetter of sounds... The nose is not the fetter of aromas... The tongue is not the fetter of flavors... The body is not the fetter of tactile sensations... The intellect is not the fetter of ideas, nor are ideas the fetter of the intellect. Whatever desire & passion arises in dependence on the two of them: That is the fetter there.

"If the eye were the fetter of forms, or if forms were the fetter of the eye, then this holy life for the right ending of stress & suffering would not be proclaimed. But because whatever desire & passion arises in dependence on the two of them is the fetter there, that is why this holy life for the right ending of stress & suffering is proclaimed.

"If the ear were the fetter...

"If the nose were the fetter...

"If the tongue were the fetter...

"If the body were the fetter...

"If the intellect were the fetter of ideas, or if ideas were the fetter of the intellect, then this holy life for the right ending of stress & suffering would not be proclaimed. But because whatever desire & passion arises in dependence on the two of them is the fetter there, that is why this holy life for the right ending of stress & suffering is proclaimed.

"And through this line of reasoning one may know how the eye is not the fetter of forms, nor are forms the fetter of the eye, but whatever desire & passion arises in dependence on the two of them: That is the fetter there. The ear is not the fetter of sounds... The nose is not the fetter of aromas... The tongue is not the fetter of flavors... The body is not the fetter of tactile sensations... The intellect is not the fetter of ideas, nor are ideas the fetter of the intellect, but whatever desire & passion arises in dependence on the two of them: That is the fetter there. There is an eye in the Blessed One. The Blessed One sees forms with the eye. There is no desire or passion in the Blessed One. The Blessed One is well-released in mind.

"There is an ear in the Blessed One...

"There is a nose in the Blessed One...

"There is a tongue in the Blessed One...

"There is a body in the Blessed One...

"There is an intellect in the Blessed One. The Blessed One knows ideas with the intellect. There is no desire or passion in the Blessed One. The Blessed One is well-released in mind.

"It is through this line of reasoning that one may know how the eye is not the fetter of forms, nor are forms the fetter of the eye, but whatever desire & passion arises in dependence on the two of them: That is the fetter there. The ear is not the fetter of sounds... The nose is not the fetter of aromas... The tongue is not the fetter of flavors... The body is not the fetter of tactile sensations... The intellect is not the fetter of ideas, nor are ideas the fetter of the intellect, but whatever desire & passion arises in dependence on the two of them: That is the fetter there."






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