ReadingFaithfully.org icon Facebook icon Reddit icon Tumblr icon Mastodon icon RSS icon

MN 44 From… Cūḷavedallasutta: The Shorter Classification

[Note: This is part of a conversation between the lay disciple Visākha and his former wife, the Venerable Dhammadinnā. When their conversation is finished he reports it to the Buddha and the Buddha approves of all of her answers. If you are able it’s good to read the whole sutta.]


…“Ma’am, they speak of this thing called ‘the origin of identity’. What is the origin of identity that the Buddha spoke of?”

“It’s the craving that leads to future lives, mixed up with relishing and greed, chasing pleasure in various realms. That is, craving for sensual pleasures, craving to continue existence, and craving to end existence. The Buddha said that this is the origin of identity.”

“Ma’am, they speak of this thing called ‘the cessation of identity’. What is the cessation of identity that the Buddha spoke of?”

“It’s the fading away and cessation of that very same craving with nothing left over; giving it away, letting it go, releasing it, and not clinging to it. The Buddha said that this is the cessation of identity.”

“Ma’am, they speak of the practice that leads to the cessation of identity. What is the practice that leads to the cessation of identity that the Buddha spoke of?”

“The practice that leads to the cessation of identity that the Buddha spoke of is simply this noble eightfold path, that is: right view, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right immersion.”

“But ma’am, is that grasping the exact same thing as the five grasping aggregates? Or is grasping one thing and the five grasping aggregates another?”

“That grasping is not the exact same thing as the five grasping aggregates. Nor is grasping one thing and the five grasping aggregates another. The desire and greed for the five grasping aggregates is the grasping there.”

“But ma’am, how does identity view come about?”

“It’s when an unlearned ordinary person has not seen the noble ones, and is neither skilled nor trained in the teaching of the noble ones. They’ve not seen good persons, and are neither skilled nor trained in the teaching of the good persons. They regard form as self, self as having form, form in self, or self in form. They regard feeling … perception … choices … consciousness as self, self as having consciousness, consciousness in self, or self in consciousness. That’s how identity view comes about.”

“But ma’am, how does identity view not come about?”

“It’s when a learned noble disciple has seen the noble ones, and is skilled and trained in the teaching of the noble ones. They’ve seen good persons, and are skilled and trained in the teaching of the good persons. They don’t regard form as self, self as having form, form in self, or self in form. They don’t regard feeling … perception … choices … consciousness as self, self as having consciousness, consciousness in self, or self in consciousness. That’s how identity view does not come about.”

“But ma’am, what is the noble eightfold path?”

“It is simply this noble eightfold path, that is: right view, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right immersion.”

“But ma’am, is the noble eightfold path conditioned or unconditioned?”

“The noble eightfold path is conditioned.”

“Are the three practice categories included in the noble eightfold path? Or is the noble eightfold path included in the three practice categories?”

“The three practice categories are not included in the noble eightfold path. Rather, the noble eightfold path is included in the three practice categories. Right speech, right action, and right livelihood: these things are included in the category of ethics. Right effort, right mindfulness, and right immersion: these things are included in the category of immersion. Right view and right thought: these things are included in the category of wisdom.”…


Read the entire translation of Majjhima Nikāya 44 Cūḷavedallasutta: The Shorter Classification by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net.

Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, DhammaTalks.org or Ancient-Buddhist-Texts.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

Or read a translation in Deutsch, Bengali, Čeština, Español, Suomi, Français, हिन्दी, hrvatski, Magyar, Indonesian, Italiano, မြန်မာဘာသာ, Norsk, Português, ру́сский язы́к, සිංහල, Slovenščina, ไทย, Tiếng Việt, or 汉语. Learn how to find your language.

Leave a Comment