At Sāvatthī.

“Practitioners, be your own island, your own refuge, with no other refuge. Let the Dharma be your island and your refuge, with no other refuge.

When you live like this, you should examine the cause: ‘From what are sorrow, lamentation, pain, sadness, and distress born and produced?’

And, practitioners, from what are sorrow, lamentation, pain, sadness, and distress born and produced? It’s when an uneducated ordinary person has not seen the noble ones, and is neither skilled nor trained in the Dharma of the noble ones. They’ve not seen good persons, and are neither skilled nor trained in the Dharma of the good persons. They regard form as atman, atman as having form, form in atman, or atman in form. But that form of theirs decays and perishes, which gives rise to sorrow, lamentation, pain, sadness, and distress.

They regard feeling as atman …

They regard thinking as atman …

They regard choices as atman …

They regard consciousness as atman, atman as having consciousness, consciousness in atman, or atman in consciousness. But that consciousness of theirs decays and perishes, which gives rise to sorrow, lamentation, pain, sadness, and distress.

Sorrow, lamentation, pain, sadness, and distress are given up when you understand the impermanence of form—its perishing, fading away, and cessation—and you truly see with right understanding that all form, whether past or present, is impermanent, misfortune, and perishable. When these things are given up there’s no anxiety. Without anxiety you live happily. A practitioner who lives happily is said to be extinguished in that respect.

Sorrow, lamentation, pain, sadness, and distress are given up when you understand the impermanence of feeling … thinking … choices … consciousness—its perishing, fading away, and cessation—and you truly see with right understanding that all consciousness, whether past or present, is impermanent, misfortune, and perishable. When these things are given up there’s no anxiety. Without anxiety you live happily. A practitioner who lives happily is said to be extinguished in that respect.”


Practitioner’s Modern Translation (PMT) by Jay N. Forrest is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Based on a public domain work by Bhikkhu Sujato at https://suttacentral.net/.