Thanks for your previous help.
Here is my translation (with my interpretation in parentheses) of the main part of SN 22.54, the Upayavagga sutta:
“Bhikkhus, the four stations of consciousness should be seen as like the earth element. Delight and lust should be seen as like the water element. Consciousness with its support* should be seen as like the five kinds of seeds. "
[* The relationship between consciousness and its support is like the relationship between embryo and endosperm; the support (endosperm) is lust (which is also “water”), which nourishes consciousness (embryo) to grow and become established on the four clinging aggregates. Chinese Agama parallels SA 359, SA 360, SA 361 and other suttas use the term "攀援识” – grasping karmic consciousness for such established consciousness.]
“Consciousness, bhikkhus, while standing, might stand attached to form; based upon form, established upon form, with a sprinkling of delight, it might come to growth, increase, and expansion. Or consciousness, while standing, might stand attached to feeling … attached to perception … attached to volition; based upon volition, established upon volition, with a sprinkling of delight, it might come to growth, increase, and expansion."
“Bhikkhus, though someone might say: ‘Apart from form, apart from feeling, apart from perception, apart from volition, I will make known the coming and going of consciousness, its passing away and rebirth, its growth, increase, and expansion’—that is impossible.
“Bhikkhus, if a bhikkhu has abandoned lust for the form element, with the abandoning of lust the support* is cut off: there is no support for the establishing of consciousness. If he has abandoned lust for the feeling element … for the perception element … for the volition element … for the consciousness element, with the abandoning of lust the support is cut off: there is no support for the establishing of consciousness."
[*An embryo can’t develop without endosperm serving as its support.]
“When that consciousness is unestablished, not coming to growth, nongenerative, it is freed (from the four clinging aggregates). By being freed, it stands still (no coming and going, no increase and expansion); by standing still, it is content; by being content, he is imperpurtable. Being imperpurtable, he personally attains Nibbāna. … ”
[Living arahants still have unestablished (non-grasping, non-karmic) aggregate consciousness – Apatiṭṭhā viññāṇa, which ceases at their physical death (as well as when they enter the state of cessation of perception and feeling). With the cessation of ignorance comes the cessation of karmic volition, with the cessation of karmic volition comes the cessation of consciousness, with the cassation of consciousness comes the cessation of name-and-form, … Because an arahant’s aggregate consciousness had ceased at their death, Mara couldn’t find Ven. Vakkali’s consciousness:
“That’s Māra the Wicked searching for Vakkali’s consciousness, wondering: ‘Where is Vakkali’s consciousness established?’ But since his consciousness is not established*, Vakkali has attained final Nibbāna.” (SN 22.87)
- I don’t know why the Buddha used “his consciousness is not established” instead of “his consciousness has ceased”. Nevertheless, IMHO this sentence should not be translated as "the clansman Godhika passed away with an unestablished Consciousness."
For non-arahants: with ignorance of the four noble truths as condition comes karmic volition, with karmic volition as condition comes established karmic consciousness, which does not cease at death and become established in a new nama-rupa …, and hence the rounds of Samsara.]
Your correction and comments would be appreciated. With Metta,