4: Mettagūmāṇavapucchā
The Young Man Mettagū's Questions


“Pucchāmi taṁ Bhagavā brūhi me taṁ, icc-āyasmā Mettagū,
“I ask you, Gracious One, please tell this to me, said venerable Mettagū,

maññāmi taṁ vedaguṁ bhāvitattaṁ -
I think you have true understanding, and a developed self -

kuto nu dukkhā samudāgatā ime
how have these countless kinds of suffering

ye keci lokasmiṁ anekarūpā?” [74 (1049) 41]
arisen for whoever is in the world?”


“Dukkhassa ve maṁ pabhavaṁ apucchasi, Mettagū ti Bhagavā,
“You asked me about the origin of suffering, Mettagū said the Gracious One,

taṁ te pavakkhāmi yathā pajānaṁ:
as I know it I will declare it to you:

Upadhīnidānā pabhavanti dukkhā
Because of clinging to a basisClinging to a basis translates the one word upadhi in the Pāḷi, which carries both the meaning of clinging, and forming a basis for the very same clinging.01 countless kinds

ye keci lokasmiṁ anekarūpā. [75 (1050) 42]
of suffering originate for whoever is in the world.


Yo ve avidvā upadhiṁ karoti
The foolish one, without wisdom, clings to a basis,

punappunaṁ dukkham-upeti mando.
and comes to suffering again and again, the fool.

Tasmā pajānaṁ upadhiṁ na kayirā,
Therefore knowing this, do not cling to a basis,

dukkhassa jātippabhavānupassī.” [76 (1051) 43]
seeing the birth and origin of suffering.”


“Yan-taṁ apucchimha akittayī no, icc-āyasmā Mettagū,
“You have proclaimed to us what we asked you about, said venerable Mettagū,

aññaṁ taṁ pucchāma tad-iṅgha brūhi:
another thing we ask, come on, please answer it:

Kathan-nu dhīrā vitaranti oghaṁ
How do the wise ones cross over the flood

jātiṁ jaraṁ sokapariddavañ-ca?
of birth, old age, grief, and lamentation?

Taṁ me muni sādhu viyākarohi,
Please explain this to me, O sage,

tathā hi te vidito esa Dhammo.” [77 (1052) 44]
for this Teaching has been understood by you.”


“Kittayissāmi te Dhammaṁ, Mettagū ti Bhagavā,
“I shall proclaim the Teaching to you, Mettagū said the Gracious One,

diṭṭhe dhamme anītihaṁ,
which is not hearsay in this world,

yaṁ viditvā sato caraṁ,   tare loke visattikaṁ.” [78 (1053) 45]
which, having understood, and living mindfully, one can cross over clinging to the world.”


“Tañ-cāhaṁ abhinandāmi   mahesi Dhammam-uttamaṁ,
“I greatly rejoice in that supreme Teaching, great seer,

yaṁ viditvā sato caraṁ,   tare loke visattikaṁ.” [79 (1054) 46]
which, having understood, and living mindfully, one can cross over clinging to the world.”


“Yaṁ kiñci sampajānāsi, Mettagū ti Bhagavā,
“Whatever you know, Mettagū said the Gracious One,

uddhaṁ adho tiriyañ-cāpi majjhe,
above, below, and across the middle,

etesu nandiñ-ca nivesanañ-ca
dispel the enjoyment of, and settling on, these things,

panujja viññāṇaṁ bhave na tiṭṭhe. [80 (1055) 47]
and consciousness,It means the type of consciousness that is still engaged in result-producing actions (kamma).02 and one will not remain in existence.


Evaṁvihārī sato appamatto,
Living in this way, mindful, and heedful,

bhikkhu caraṁ hitvā mamāyitāni,
the monk who lives on after giving up loved things,

jātiṁ jaraṁ sokapariddavañ-ca
can, being wise, give up birth, old age,

idh' eva vidvā pajaheyya dukkhaṁ.” [81 (1056) 48]
grief, lamentation, and suffering right here.”


“Etābhinandāmi vaco Mahesino, icc-āyasmā Mettagū,
“I greatly rejoice in this, the Great Seer's word, said venerable Mettagū,

Sukittitaṁ Gotam' anūpadhīkaṁ.
O Gotama, well proclaimed is freedom from cleaving.

Addhā hi Bhagavā pahāsi dukkhaṁ,
Surely the Gracious One gave up suffering,

tathā hi te vidito esa Dhammo. [82 (1057) 49]
for this Teaching has been understood by you.


Te cāpi nūna pajaheyyu dukkhaṁ,
Surely they too can give up suffering,

ye tvaṁ Munī aṭṭhitaṁ ovadeyya,
whomever you would continually advise, O Sage,

taṁ taṁ namassāmi samecca Nāgaṁ,
therefore having met the Strong One, I revere him,

appeva maṁ Bhagavā aṭṭhitaṁ ovadeyya!” [83 (1058) 410]
perhaps the Gracious One could continuously advise me!”


“Yaṁ brāhmaṇaṁ vedaguṁ ābhijaññā, Mettagū ti Bhagavā,
“You should know the brahmin who has true understanding, Mettagū, said the Gracious One,

akiñcanaṁ kāmabhave asattaṁ,
who has nothing, and is not clinging to sense existence,

addhā hi so ogham-imaṁ atāri,
for he has surely crossed over the flood,

tiṇṇo ca pāraṁ akhilo akaṅkho. [84 (1059) 411]
without hindrance or doubt, he has crossed beyond.


Vidvā ca so vedagū naro idha,
That man here who is wise, and has true understanding,

bhavābhave saṅgam-imaṁ visajja,
who has released the shackle of repeated existence,

so vītataṇho anīgho nirāso -
he is craving-free, not troubled, not yearning -

atāri so jātijaran-ti brūmī” ti [85 (1060) 4-12]
he has crossed over birth and old age, I say.”

Mettagūmāṇavapucchā niṭṭhitā
The Young Man Mettagū's Questions are Finished