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AN 6.38 Attakārī Sutta: Self-Doing

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AN 6.1.4.8 Attakārī Sutta: Self-Doing (AN 6.38; PTS A III, 337)Edit

Then a certain Brahmin approached the Blessed One; having approached the Blessed One, he exchanged friendly greetings. After pleasant conversation had passed between them, he sat to one side. Having sat to one side, the Brahmin spoke to the Blessed One thus:

“Venerable Gotama, I am one of such a doctrine, of such a view: ‘There is no self-doer [natthi attakāro'], there is no other-doer [natthi parakāro]’.”

“I have not, Brahmin, seen or heard such a doctrine, such a view. How, indeed, could one – moving forward by himself [sayaṃ abhikkamanto], moving back by himself [sayaṃ paṭikkamanto] – say: ‘There is no self-doer, there is no other-doer’? What do you think, Brahmin, is there an element or principle [dhātu] of initiating or beginning [ārabbha] [sc. an action]?"

"Just so, Venerable Sir."

"When there is an element of initiating, are initiating beings [ārabbhavanto sattā] clearly discerned?"

“Just so, Venerable Sir.”

“So, Brahmin, when there is the element of initiating, initiating beings are clearly discerned; of (such) beings, this is the self-doer, this, the other-doer. What do you think, Brahmin, is there an element of exertion [nikkamadhātu] . . . is there an element of effort [parakkamadhātu] . . . is there an element of power [thāmadhātu] . . . is there an element of continuing [ṭhitidhātu] . . . is there an element of performing (actions) [upakkamadhātu]?”

“Just so, Venerable Sir.”

“When there is an element of performing (actions), are (act-) performing beings clearly discerned?”

“Just so, Venerable Sir.”

“So, Brahmin, when there is the element of performing (actions), (act-) performing beings are clearly discerned; of (such) beings, this is the self-doer, this, the other-doer. I have not, Brahmin, seen or heard such a doctrine, such a view [sc. as yours]. How, indeed, could one – moving forward by himself, moving back by himself – say ‘There is no self-doer, there is no other-doer’?”

“Wonderful, Venerable Gotama! Wonderful, Venerable Gotama! Venerable Gotama has made the Dhamma clear in many ways, as though he were turning upright what had been turned upside down, revealing what had been concealed, showing the way to one who was lost, or holding up a lamp in the dark for those with eyesight to see forms. I go to Venerable Gotama for refuge, and to the Dhamma and to the Saṅgha of bhikkhus. From this day, for as long as I am endowed with breath, let Venerable Gotama remember me as a lay follower who has gone to him for refuge.”


Translated by Citta (27.9.10)Edit

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