Anattalakkhana Sutta. — The characteristic of no-Self — [anattā·lakkhaṇa] But it is because rūpa is anatta that rūpa lends itself to dis·ease, and that it cannot. The Anatta-Lakkhana Sutta explains how a wrong view of self arises within impermanence and how this wrong view of self results in ongoing suffering. lakkhaṇa Su a taught by the Buddha. This discourse, when produced in pe-wri en copy, comprised pages because it was meticu- lously anscribed by.

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SN Anattalakkhaṇa Sutta—Mahāsaṅgīti Tipiṭaka Buddhavasse

Blue Red Minimal Poster All. The Discourse on the Not-self Characteristic. Forms, feelings, perception, mental fabrication, and consciousness treated with right discernment: This is not my self. This is not what I am. I have to say this teaching is by far one of my favorites, although I seem to say that every time I come across a discourse! It is notable to me that as much as this discourse helps me, I find myself having to come back to it time and again, as my mind seems to let go of things for a while, but if I’m not careful it will start grabbing on again.

I would venture to Guess that there are even subconscious things that my mind grabs onto in a way which is hidden from my awareness. If I am reading the Canon correctly, that seems to be slightly different than what happens here.

Anattalakkhana Sutta – Wikipedia

It seems to me that the ascetics were released from the effluents permanently, and had ustta need to seek release afterwards ever again. When I first read this discourse I was absolutely Blown Away by it. On further reflection it brought some questions to my mind. If this discourse brings people enlightenment, how are there any not enlightened people in the world?

As I investigated, I really started to believe that context was the key. He gave this discourse to the original group of five ascetics that he had been practicing with. People who left behind their homes and Families and dedicated themselves completely to Enlightenment out in the wild.

This was definitely not the only discourse that he gave them, lakkhaana is one other recorded discourse before this one, a rousing talk on the noble Eightfold Path:. And we actually find a passage in another discourse that says he had to first convince them that he was enlightened, and afterward worked with them for a period of what seems like either weeks or possibly months:.


And so I was able to convince them. I would teach two monks while three went for alms, and we six lived off what the three brought back from their alms round.

Then I would teach three monks while two went for alms, and we six lived off what the two brought back from their alms round.


Then the group of five monks—thus exhorted, thus instructed by me— being subject themselves to birth, seeing the drawbacks of birth, seeking the unborn, unexcelled rest from the yoke, unbinding, reached the unborn, unexcelled rest from the yoke: Having the Buddha as your personal instructor, teaching you all day and resting only to eat and sleep?

What an experience that must have been! Anyways, another thing about this that I like is that in no way to contradicts the other teachings about beings being reborn. If I do just a little bit of guesswork – what I come up with is this answer: It seems to me that the Buddha’s teaching on rebirth says exactly the same thing – just in a larger time scale.

For example if I were to do a whole bunch of evil Deeds – at some point there would be a being that would be subjected to an animal birth or hell, and that beings experience would be much like the one that is resting Behind These Eyes over here. If this body is burned there is the experience of pain here, furthermore, if Pali’s hand is burned Mike does not experience pain, but if Mike’s hand is burned that is where the pain is experienced.

Personally, I’ve noticed a paradox with it. If the Buddha was telling the individual that the aggregates are not who they are, that has to be implying there’s something else there besides the aggregates. Otherwise, he would just be telling the aggregates that they’re not the aggregates.

Then there would merely be another aggregate, which is extraneous and unnecessary. Bhikkhu Thanissaro does seem to think there is some kind of consciousness that is outside the aggregates. Check the notes of the same sutta on dhammatalks. I am not entirely on board with his idea.

Bhikkhu Thanissaro also talks about the aggregates as being things not worth identifying with. I am much more sympathetic to this way of interpreting not self.

There is a tendency to interpret the dhamma as metaphysical, but I don’t think that is as fruitful as an phenomenological approach. A lot of the issues that arise from a metaphysical approach evaporate with a phenomenological approach. From a phenomenological approach, the sutta is essentially saying that the phenomena of the aggregates aren’t worth identifying with.

There is no need to try to see what is implied when phenomena are just viewed as phenomena. I think Bhikkhu Thanissaro thinks this consciousness is something that is persistent, even after parinibbana. He does seem to have an interest in vinnanam anidassanam, which IMO is essentially in line with something like this. This is not dualistic consciousness, however.


Yes, amongst other characteristics related to non-arising such as being originally pure and naturally unconditioned. So I am thinking to myself, if I am not these aggregates what the heck am I?

I figured it out!

If I were these aggregates I would be “other” than myself, right? In that case I would NOT be myself! The moral of the story is don’t get attached to what you are not.

This knowledge then is “self-knowledge” not attached to the other such as forms, feelings, perception, mental fabrication, and consciousness. I’ve been on a Sutta Discovery kick lately, so here’s Piya Tan’s take on this to add to the discussion: Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement and Privacy Policy. Log in or sign up in seconds. Submit a new link. Submit a new text post. Buddhism subscribe unsubscribereaders users here now A reddit for all kinds of Buddhist teachings!

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What is the actual question, and why are you asking? What are you looking for in an answer? Welcome to Reddit, the front page of the internet. Become a Wnatta and subscribe to anatya of thousands of communities. Want to add to the discussion? Why is this one of my favorites? Because it has helped me through so many different things: My wife’s miscarriage Painful recovery from surgery Illness Home buying I really dislike acquisition Everyday frustration involved with those type of things that householders get involved with.

And I’m sure that will help me through many other trials in my life, that have yet to come. This was definitely sutha the only discourse that he gave them, there is one other recorded discourse before this one, a rousing talk on the noble Eightfold Path: What do you think?

As always, it is a pleasure to see you on the boards. May you be well and happy! The continuum does not cease. It’s why the aggregates can be seen for what they are in the first place. If you see an aggregate and you see that as not mine, does it imply aggregate is something else?