In one sutta a monk was teaching, that there's something that is behind our existence, that is permanent (opposite of non-self). Buddha asked for this explicitely, got confirmed, and corrected the view. Which sutta it is?

  • @arthur Can you say anything else about which sutta you're looking for? Because a lot of suttas are about anatta.
    – ChrisW
    Commented Jan 7, 2021 at 14:09
  • @ChrisW, thanks for the help! Names of Monks were very useful. I clearly remember reading a sutta recently where Buddha knew (as he always does) that there was a monk who was spreading the idea, that there's a soul that never dies, i.e., is of non-selfness kind. Buddha asked him explicitly if there's anything of non-self kind, got a positive answer, asked whether he was teaching others about it, got positive answer, told monk that this is wrong, and explained the concept again
    – arthur
    Commented Jan 8, 2021 at 17:39

2 Answers 2


Possibly MN 38, where the monk held:

At one time the Lord was staying near Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery. Now at that time a pernicious view like this had accrued to the monk called Sāti, a fisherman's son: “In so far as I understand Dhamma taught by the Lord it is that this [same; identical; anañña] consciousness itself runs on, fares on, not another."

Note: I chose the translation of I.B. Horner to avoid the contradictory eternalism of the other translators, who use words such as "transmigration" or add words that do not even exist in the sutta, such as "round of rebirths".

  • 1
    this is exactly what I was looking for. In buddhism.stackexchange.com/a/43770/17887 you posted a reference to dhammatalks.net/Books7/… that reference has exactly the translation I was reading Misguided man, to whom have you ever known me to teach the Dhamma in that way?.., which points exactly to MN 38. Well done!
    – arthur
    Commented Feb 5, 2021 at 11:59

Possibly MN 35, however the protagonist is not a bhikkhu but is a Jain:

All the plants and seeds that achieve growth, increase and maturity do so depending on the earth and grounded on the earth. All the hard work that gets done depends on the earth and is grounded on the earth.

In the same way, an individual’s self (attāyaṃ purisapuggalo) is form. Grounded on form they make good and bad choices. An individual’s self is feeling … perception … choices … consciousness. Grounded on consciousness they make good and bad choices.

Aggivessana, are you not saying this: ‘Form is my self, feeling is my self, perception is my self, choices are my self, consciousness is my self’?

Indeed, Master Gotama, that is what I am saying.

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