Namo tassa bhagavato arahato
DESCRIPTION OF VIRTUE
“When a wise man, established well in virtue,
Develops consciousness and understanding,
Then as a bhikkhu ardent and sagacious
He succeeds in disentangling this tangle” (S I 13).
This was said. But why was it said? While the Blessed One was living at Sāvatthī,
it seems, a certain deity came to him in the night, and in order to do away with his
doubts, he asked this question:
“The inner tangle and the outer tangle—
This generation is entangled in a tangle.
And so I ask of Gotama this question:
Who succeeds in disentangling this tangle?” (S I 13).
2. Here is the meaning in brief. Tangle is a term for the network of craving. For
that is a tangle in the sense of lacing together, like the tangle called network of
branches in bamboo thickets, etc., because it goes on arising again and again up
and down1 among the objects [of consciousness] beginning with what is visible.
But it is called the inner tangle and the outer tangle because it arises [as craving] for
one’s own requisites and another’s, for one’s own person and another’s, and for
the internal and external bases [for consciousness]. Since it arises in this way, this
generation is entangled in a tangle. As the bamboos, etc., are entangled by the bamboo
tangle, etc., so too this generation, in other words, this order of living beings, is all
entangled by the tangle of craving—the meaning is that it is intertwined, interlaced
by it.  And because it is entangled like this, so I ask of Gotama this question, that is
why I ask this. He addressed the Blessed One by his clan name as Gotama. Who
“From a visible datum sometimes as far down as a mental datum, or vice versa,
following the order of the six kinds of objects of consciousness as given in the teaching”
(Vism-mhṭ 5, see XV.32).