I'm reading the book What the Buddha Taught. In the section The Five Aggregates of Chapter II: The Four Noble Truths, when discussing the relationship between the aggregate of consciousness and other four aggregates, the author said:
The Buddha declared in unequivocal terms that consciousness depends on matter, sensation, perception and mental formations, and that it cannot exist independently of them. He says:
‘Consciousness may exist having matter as its means (rūpupāyaṃ), matter as its object (rūpārammaṇaṃ), matter as its support (rūpa-patiṭṭhaṃ), and seeking delight it may grow, increase and develop; or consciousness may exist having sensation as its means . . . or perception as its means . . . or mental formations as its means, mental formations as its object, mental formations as its support, and seeking delight it may grow, increase and develop.
‘Were a man to say: I shall show the coming, the going, the passing away, the arising, the growth, the increase or the development of consciousness apart from matter, sensation, perception and mental formations, he would be speaking of something that does not exist.’ (S III (PTS), p. 58)
First of all, can you help me locate the corresponding sutra as quoted by the author? As I googled the quoted text and browsed a part of Saṁyutta Nikāya on the dhammatalks but couldn't find it. I don't have a copy of Pali Text Society's Saṁyutta Nikāya at hand.
Now as I understand it (correct me if I were wrong), the consciousness (as in viññāṇa) is like a sort of bare awareness, awareness of the presence of an object. If there were no light and eyes, there wouldn't be eye awareness of the light. So we can say the aggregate of consciousness depends on the matter. The consciousness arises out of the condition that there's a sense and a corresponding sense organ (both of which are matter).
But I think sensation, perception and mental formations all happen with the consciousness (bare awareness) as a precondition. Especially for perception (sanna) which is to recognize the object specifically, shouldn't that be based on bare awareness?
So my question, does the aggregate of consciousness depend on the aggregates of sensation, perception and mental formations? If so, why?