The Way to the Beyond

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1: Ajita's Questions

“By what is the world enveloped? Why does it not become clear? What do you say is its defilement? What is the world's great fear?” [57]

“The world is enveloped by ignorance, because of heedlessness and meanness it does not become clear. Hunger is its defilement, I say;Hunger (jappa) = craving (taṇhā).01 suffering is the world's great fear.” [58]

“Streams are flowing everywhere,Streams = cravings.02 what is the constraint for streams? Tell me the restraint for streams; by what are the streams shut off?” [59]

“Whatever streams there are in the world, mindfulness is the constraint for them. That is the restraint for streams, I say; by wisdom they are shut off.” [60]

“Wisdom and mindfulness, and mind and body, dear Sir, please tell me this when asked: where do these things cease?” [61]

“This question that was asked, Ajita, I can answer it! As to where mind and body ceases without remainder: with the cessation of consciousness, in this place it ceases.”i.e. relinking consciousness (paṭisandhiviññāṇaṁ).03 [62]

“Those who have discerned the Teaching, and the many in training here,Trainees are those who have attained the first Path (sotāpatti), but not yet the final Path (Arahatta).04 when I ask the prudent one, please tell me their conduct, dear Sir.” [63]

“He should not be greedy for sense pleasures, or be disturbed in mind. Being skilful in all things, mindfully the monk should wander.”After this exchange the Commentary notes that Ajita and his thousand students attained Arahatta, and that countless others attained the Vision of the Teaching (Dhammacakkhu, i.e. sotāpatti). The same is repeated after all the questions and answers, except for the last, where Piṅgiya only attains to the stage of Non-Returner (Anāgāmī).05 [64]