The Way to the Beyond

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3: Puṇṇaka's Questions

“To the one who is unmoved, who sees the root,The root of unwholesomeness.01 I have come in need with a question: on account of what did the seers and men, nobles, and brahmins, here in the world offer many sacrifices to the Gods? I ask you, Gracious One, please tell this to me.” [68]

“Whoever of those seers and men, nobles, and brahmins, here in the world, offered many sacrifices to the Gods, they did so yearning, Puṇṇaka, for mundane existence, on account of old age,i.e. fearing old age and death.02 they offered sacrifices.” [69]

“Whoever of those seers and men, nobles, and brahmins, here in the world offered many sacrifices to the Gods, Gracious One, perhaps those heedful of the path of sacrifice have crossed over birth and old age, dear Sir? I ask you, Gracious One, please tell this to me.” [70]

They yearn and they praise, they hunger, and they offer, they hunger for sense pleasures, because of gain they engage in sacrifice, excited by the passion for existence. They have not crossed over birth and old age, I say.” [71]

“If those engaged in sacrifice have not crossed over birth and old age by their sacrifices, dear Sir, then just who in the world of the Gods and men have crossed over birth and old age, dear Sir? I ask you, Gracious One, please explain this to me.” [72]

“The one who has discerned far and near in the world, who has no turmoil anywhere in the world, who is peaceful, not incensed, troubled, or yearning, he has crossed over birth and old age, I say.” [73]