The Way to the Beyond

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4: Mettagū's Questions

“I ask you, Gracious One, please tell this to me, I think you have true understanding, and a developed self - how have these countless kinds of suffering arisen for those who are in the world?” [74]

“You asked me about the origin of suffering, as I know it I will declare it to you: 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 of suffering originate for those who are in the world. The foolish one without wisdom clings to a basis, and comes to suffering again, the fool. Therefore knowing this, do not cling to a basis, seeing the birth and origin of suffering.” [75-76]

“You have proclaimed to us what we asked you about, another thing we ask please answer: how do the wise ones cross over the flood of birth, old age, grief, and lamentation? Please explain this to me, O Sage, for this Teaching has been understood by you.” [77]

“I shall proclaim the Teaching to you, which is not hearsay in this world, which, having understood, and living mindfully, one can cross over clinging to the world.” [78]

“I greatly rejoice in that supreme Teaching, Great Seer, which, having understood, and living mindfully, one can cross over clinging to the world.” [79]

“Whatever you know, above, below, and across the middle, dispel the enjoyment of, and settling on, these things, 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. Living in this way, mindful, and heedful, the monk who lives on after giving up loved things, can, being wise, give up birth, old age, grief, lamentation, and suffering right here.” [80-81]

“I greatly rejoice in this, the Great Seer's word, O Gotama, well-proclaimed is freedom from clinging. Surely the Gracious One gave up suffering, for this Teaching has been understood by you. Surely they too can give up suffering, whomever you would continually advise, O Sage, therefore having met with the Strong One,Nāga.03 I revere him, perhaps the Gracious One could always advise me!” [82-83]

“You should know the brahmin who has true understanding, who has nothing, and is not clinging to sense-existence, for he has surely crossed over the flood, without hindrance or doubt, he has crossed beyond. That man here who is wise, and has true understanding, who has released the shackle of repeated existence, he is craving-free, not troubled, not yearning - he has crossed over birth and old age, I say.” [84-85]