Pali Text

Searching for the House-Builder

The Buddha makes it clear throughout the Pali Canon that the self, rather than being an essential thing, is actually constantly being constructed. Seeing this wearisome, craving-driven self-building, we can put an end to it:

Anekajātisaṃsāraṃ, sandhāvissaṃ anibbisaṃ.
Gahakāraṃ gavesanto, dukkhā jāti punappunaṃ.
Gahakāraka diṭṭhosi, puna gehaṃ na kāhasi.
Sabbā te phāsukā bhaggā, gahakūṭaṃ visaṅkhataṃ.
Visaṅkhāragataṃ cittaṃ, taṇhānaṃ khayamajjhagā.

Wandering on through many births, passing through, not finding
Searching for the one who builds the house, giving birth to dukkha again and again

I see you, house-builder! You won’t build another house!
Every joist is broken, the ridge-pole undone.
Heart and mind have dismantled constructions, attachment is destroyed.
Dhp 153-4

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