From Phena Sutta Samyutta Nikaya


From Phena Sutta Samyutta Nikaya

Form is like a glob of foam;

feeling, a bubble;

perception, a mirage;

fabrications, a banana tree;

consciousness, a magic trick —

this has been taught

by the Kinsman of the Sun.

However you observe them,

appropriately examine them,

they’re empty, void

to whoever sees them


Beginning with the body

as taught by the One

with profound discernment:

when abandoned by three things

— life, warmth, & consciousness —

form is rejected, cast aside.

When bereft of these

it lies thrown away,


a meal for others.

That’s the way it goes:

it’s a magic trick,

an idiot’s babbling.

It’s said to be

a murderer.

No substance here

is found.

Thus a monk, persistence aroused,

should view the aggregates

by day & by night,



should discard all fetters;

should make himself

his own refuge;

should live as if

his head were on fire —

in hopes of the state

with no falling away.

This Verse is from Handful of Leaves, Volume III, Samyutta Nikaya 22:95, Phena Sutta: Foam, pp. 237-238.