1. 'They said, "Blessed one, if you describe in this way
the greatness of this self, what is the other, different one
called self that, overcome by the white and black fruits of
actions, goes to good and bad wombs: that wanders about
to a bourne below or above, overcome by the dualities?"
2. 'Maitri said, "There is another, different one, called the
elemental self, which, overcome by the white and black
fruits of actions, goes to good and bad wombs: that wanders
about to a bourne below or above, overcome by the dualities.
"To explain further: the five subtle elements are called
by the name element, and the five coarse elements are called
by the name element. Their coming together is called the body.
So the one who is said to be the self in the body is said to
be the elemental self. This self is to that one as a drop of
water to the blue lotus on which it rests. The elemental
self is overcome by the strands of nature. Because it is
overcome, it falls into utter delusion. Because of this utter
delusion, it has not seen him rearing in the self—the lord,
the blessed one, the causer of action. Delighting in the mass
of strands and grown dirty, unsteadfast, fickle, utterly
bewildered, full of yearning, distracted, it falls into
conceitedness. I am this: this is mine: thinking like this it binds itself with itself53 like a bird with a net. Overcome
by the fruits that follow on from action, he wanders around."
'They said, "Which is he?"
'Maitri told them:
3. '"It has been said elsewhere, The maker is the elemental self. The causer of action through
the organs of action is the person within. As a lump of iron,
overcome by fire, when beaten by the smiths becomes various, so
the elemental self. overcome by the inner person, when beaten by
the strands becomes various. Its variousness takes this form: the
mass of beings, with three strands, transformed by eighty-four
hundred thousand wombs, The strands are impelled by the person,
as the wheel is by the thrower. And as, when a lump of iron
is beaten, the fire is not overcome, so that person is not overcome.
The elemental self is overcome on account of its close contact.
4. '"It has been said elsewhere:
This body comes into being from sexual intercourse, and, devoid
of understanding, comes out through the gate of urine into a
Hell-realm, It is constructed of bones, smeared with flesh, bound
up with hide, filled with faeces, urine, bile, phlegm, marrow, fat,
marrow of the flesh, and many other impurities.
5. '"It has been said elsewhere:
The elemental self is overcome by these, which are attended
by darkness—confusion, fear, despair, sleepiness, laziness,
negligence, old age, grief, hunger, thirst, wretchedness, anger,
unbelief lack of knowledge, miserliness, compassionlessness,
deludedness, shamelessness, baseness, arrogance, prejudice;
overcome by these, which are attended by passion—craving,
affection, lust, greed, violence, pleasure, hate, secretiveness, envy,
desire, unstead fastness, fickleness, distractedness, rapacity, seeking
for gain, favouritism to friends, clinging to possessions, hatred
towards sense objects that are disliked and clinging to those that
are liked. So it takes on various forms: it takes them on."'