Ánanda Sutta (On Self, No Self, and Not-self)
SPIRITUALITY, 9 Aug 2021
Then the wanderer Vacchagotta went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, exchanged courteous greetings with him. After an exchange of friendly greetings and courtesies, he sat down to one side. As he was sitting there he asked the Blessed One: “Now then, Venerable Gotama, is there a self?”
When this was said, the Blessed One was silent.
“Then is there no self?”
A second time, the Blessed One was silent.
Then Vacchagotta the wanderer got up from his seat and left.
Then, not long after Vacchagotta the wanderer had left, Ven. Ánanda said to the Blessed One, “Why, lord, did the Blessed One not answer when asked a question by Vacchagotta the wanderer?”
“Ánanda, if I — being asked by Vacchagotta the wanderer if there is a self — were to answer that there is a self, that would be conforming with those priests and contemplatives who are exponents of Eternalism [the view that there is an eternal, unchanging soul]. If I — being asked by Vacchagotta the wanderer if there is no self — were to answer that there is no self, that would be conforming with those priests and contemplatives who are exponents of Annihilationism [the view that death is the annihilation of consciousness]. If I — being asked by Vacchagotta the wanderer if there is a self — were to answer that there is a self, would that be in keeping with the arising of knowledge that all phenomena are not-self?”
“And if I — being asked by Vacchagotta the wanderer if there is no self — were to answer that there is no self, the bewildered Vacchagotta would become even more bewildered: ‘Does the self I used to have now not exist?'”
The purpose of this website is to propagate Buddha Dharma to the whole world. As we all know that this is the Dharma-Ending age, Buddhism is getting weaker whereas our worldly desires grow stronger. As said before by Shakyamuni Buddha (Scripture Preached by the Buddha on the Total Extinction of the Dharma), in this Dharma-Ending age all Buddhist-Sutras will disappear slowly one by one, starting with Shurangama Sutra and the last one to be Amitabha Infinite Life Sutra. After the first sutra is gone, the world will start to enter a chaotic time where evil deeds will become daily routines.
Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
For free distribution only.
Tags: Buddhism, Religion, Shakyamuni Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama Buddha, Spiritual Science, Spirituality, Sutras, Wisdom
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