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Tipitaka >> Sutta Pitaka >> Samyutta Nikaya >> SA 249

SA 249 Translation by Choong Mun-keat (Wei-keat) (2004)


12. 非有非無 Neither existence (remainder) nor non-existence (non-remainder).

T 2, pp. 59c-60a, sūtra No. 249. (= Aṅguttara-nikāya 4 Catukka-nipāta, 173 Paṭisambhidā, 174 Koṭṭhika (vol. ii, pp. 160-161). CSA vol. pp. 276-277; FSA vol. 1, p. 365.)


Thus have I heard.

At one time the Buddha was staying at Jetavana, Anāthapiṇḍika's park at Śrāvastī.

Then the venerable Ānanda went to where the venerable Śāriputra was, and said to the venerable Śāriputra: "I have a question I wish to ask you, do you have time to explain?"

Śāriputra said: "Ask as you wish. If I know, I will answer."

The venerable Ānanda asked Śāriputra: "After the extinction of the six sense-spheres of contact, and the fading away of desire, after cessation, after ending, is there any remainder?

The venerable Śāriputra said to Ānanda: "Do not ask the question, 'After the extinction of the six sense-spheres of contact, and the fading away of desire, after cessation, after ending, is there any remainder?'"

Then Ānanda asked the venerable Śāriputra: "After the extinction of the six sense-spheres of contact, and the fading away of desire, after cessation, after ending, is there no remainder?"

The venerable Śāriputra said to Ānanda: "Also do not ask the question, 'After the extinction of the six sense-spheres of contact, and the fading away of desire, after cessation, after ending, is there no remainder?'"

Then Ānanda asked the venerable Śāriputra: "After the extinction of the six sense-spheres of contact, and the fading away of desire, after cessation, after ending, is there both remainder and no remainder? Or is there neither remainder nor no remainder?"

The venerable Śāriputra said to Ānanda: "Also do not ask the question, 'After the extinction of the six sense-spheres of contact, and the fading away of desire, after cessation, after ending, is there both remainder and no remainder? Or is there neither remainder nor no remainder?'"

Then the venerable Ānanda asked Śāriputra: "According to what you say, after the extinction of the six sense-spheres of contact, and the fading away of desire, after cessation, after ending, one cannot say there is existence (remainder) and one cannot say there is annihilation (no remainder), and one cannot say there is both existence and annihilation, and also one cannot say there is neither existence nor annihilation. What is the meaning of this?"

The venerable Śāriputra said to the venerable Ānanda: "To ask 'After the extinction of the six sense-spheres of contact, and the fading away of desire, after cessation, after ending, is there any remainder?' that is meaningless talk.

"To ask 'Is there no remainder?' that is meaningless talk.

"To ask 'Is there both remainder and no remainder?' that is meaningless talk.

"To ask 'Is there neither remainder nor no remainder?' that is meaningless talk.

"But if one says that after the extinction of the six sense-spheres of contact, and the fading away of desire, after cessation, after ending, there is fading away of all meaningless argument1 and the attaining of nirvāṇa, then this is the teaching of the Buddha."

Then the two noble ones were delighted with each other, and each returned to his place.

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