Bonds

Saṃyojana (SN 41.1)

1. At one time many elder monks were living in the Ambataka grove in Macchikasanda.

2. Then many elder monks after the midday meal, assembled, were seated in a circle and a dispute arose among them; “are bonds and binding things different in meaning and differ in words or are bonds and binding things the same in meaning and different in words?”

3. Some elder monks there declared, “Bonds and binding things are different in meaning and differ in words,” and some other elder monks declared “Bonds and binding things are the same in meaning and different in words.”

4. At that time the householder Citta had entered the path of the wild animals for some business.

5. And Citta the householder overheard this conversation of the elder monks who were seated in a circle and disputing after the midday meal. “Friends, are bonds and binding things different in meaning and different in words or are they the same in meaning and different in words.” He heard some elder monks there declare “bonds and binding things are different in meaning and different in words,” and some other elder monks declare “bonds and binding things are the same in meaning and different in words.”

6. Then Citta the householder approached the elder monks, worshipped and sat on a side.

7. Sitting on a side the householder Citta said to the elder monks: “Venerable sirs, I overheard this conversation of the elder monks who were seated in a circle and disputing after the midday meal. `Friends, are bonds and binding things different in meaning and different in words or are bonds and binding things the same in meaning and different in words.' I heard some elder monks declare, `Bonds and binding things are different in meaning and different in words,' and some other elder monks declare `Bonds and binding things are the same in meaning and different in words'.”

“Householder, it happened so.”

8. “Venerable sirs, bonds and binding things are different in meaning and differ in words, Sirs, I will give a comparison for this, for a certain wise person understands the meaning with a comparison.

9. “It's like a dark buffalo and a fair buffalo are yoked together with a chain or rope and if someone says the dark buffalo is the bond of the fair buffalo and the fair buffalo is the bond of the dark buffalo,' does he express it correctly?”

“No, householder, the dark buffalo is not the bond of the fair buffalo, nor the fair buffalo the bond of the dark buffalo, yet the bond is the chain or the rope with which they are bound together.”

10. “In the same manner sirs, the eye is not the bond of forms and forms are not the bond of the eye, yet the interest and greed that arise on account of these two is the bond there. The ear is not the bond of sounds and sounds are not the bond of the ear, yet the interest and greed that arise on account of these two is the bond there. The nose is not the bond of scents and scents are not the bond of the nose, yet the interest and greed that arise on account of these two is the bond there. The tongue is not the bond of tastes, and tastes are not the bond of the tongue, yet the interest and greed that arise on account of these two is the bond there. The body is not the bond of touches and touches are not the bond of the body, yet the interest and greed that arise on account of these two is the bond there. The mind is not the bond of ideas and ideas are not the bond of the mind, yet the interest and greed that arise on account of these two is the bond there.”

11. “Householder, it's great gain for us, that you have seen through the deep meaning of the words of the Blessed One.”

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