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Summary: url=index.html#snp.5.04.than How does one cross the flood of birth and old age, sorrow and grief.
Sn 5.4 PTS: Sn 1049-1060
Mettagu-manava-puccha: Mettagu's Questions
translated from the Pali by
Alternate translation: Ireland
I ask you, O Blessed One. Please tell me. I regard you as knowledgeable, with your self developed. From what have the many forms of stress & suffering arisen in the world?
If you ask me the coming-into-being of stress & suffering, I will tell it to you
as one who discerns.
From acquisition(1) as cause the many forms of stress & suffering come into being in the world. Whoever, unknowing, makes acquisitions
— the fool —
comes to stress & suffering
again & again.
So one who's discerning,
focused on the birth of stress & suffering, their coming-into-being,
should make no acquisitions.
What we asked, you've expounded. Now we ask something else.
Please tell us.
How do the prudent cross over the flood of
birth & aging, lamentation & sorrow?
Please, sage, declare this to me
as this Dhamma has been known by you.
I will teach you the Dhamma
— in the here & now, not quoted words —
knowing which, living mindfully, you'll cross over beyond entanglement in the world.
And I relish, Great Seer, that Dhamma supreme, knowing which, living mindfully, I'll cross over beyond entanglement in the world.
Whatever you're alert to,
above, below, across, in between:<span notetag #fnt-2>([[#fn-2|2]])</span>
dispelling any delight,
any laying claim to those things,
consciousness should not take a stance
The monk who dwells thus
— mindful, heedful —
letting go of his sense of mine, knowing right here would abandon
birth & aging, lamentation & sorrow, stress & suffering.
I relish, Gotama, the Great Seer's words well-expounded, without acquisition, for yes, O Blessed One, you've abandoned stress & suffering as this Dhamma has been known by you. And they, too, would abandon stress & suffering
those whom you, sage, would admonish unceasingly.
Having met you, I bow down to you,
Perhaps you will admonish me
Whoever you recognize as a knowledgeable brahman,
possessing nothing, unentangled in sensuality & becoming
yes, he has crossed over the flood. Having crossed to the far shore,
he is without harshness or doubt.
And any one who has realized, who is knowledgeable here,
having unentangled the bond to becoming and non-,<span notetag #fnt-3>([[#fn-3|3]])</span>
free of craving,
untroubled, undesiring — he,
I tell you, has crossed over birth
The term “acquisition” (upadhi), in its everyday sense, denotes the possessions, baggage, and other paraphernalia that a nomadic family might carry around with it in its wanderings. On the psychological level, it denotes anything for which one might have a sense of “I” or “mine” and which, consequently, one would carry around as a kind of mental baggage.
Nd.II gives six different valid interpretations for “above, below, across, in between”:
Becoming and non-becoming (or dis-becoming) are the two most subtle objects of craving that lead on to continued existence — and suffering — in the round of birth & death.