AN 4.5 Anusota Sutta

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Anusota Sutta: With the Flow

translated from the Pali by

Thanissaro Bhikkhu

"These four types of individuals are to be found existing in the world. Which four? The individual who goes with the flow, the individual who goes against the flow, the individual who stands fast, and the one who has crossed over, gone beyond, who stands on firm ground: a brahman.

"And who is the individual who goes with the flow? There is the case where an individual indulges in sensual passions and does evil deeds. This is called the individual who goes with the flow.

"And who is the individual who goes against the flow? There is the case where an individual doesn't indulge in sensual passions and doesn't do evil deeds. Even though it may be with pain, even though it may be with sorrow, even though he may be crying, his face in tears, he lives the holy life that is perfect & pure. This is called the individual who goes against the flow.

"And who is the individual who stands fast? There is the case where an individual, with the total ending of the first set of five fetters, is due to be reborn [in the Pure Abodes], there to be totally unbound, never again to return from that world. This is called the individual who stands fast.

"And who is the individual who has crossed over, gone beyond, who stands on firm ground: a brahman? There is the case where an individual, through the ending of the mental fermentations, enters & remains in the fermentation-free awareness-release & discernment-release, having known & made them manifest for himself right in the here & now. This is called the individual who has crossed over, gone beyond, who stands on firm ground: a brahman.

"These are the four types of individuals to be found existing in the world."

People unrestrained in sensual passions, not devoid of passion, indulging in sensuality: they return to birth & aging, again & again seized by craving, going with the flow. Thus the enlightened one, with mindfulness here established, not indulging in sensuality & evil, though it may be with pain, would abandon sensuality. They call him one who goes against the flow. Whoever, having abandoned the five defilements, is perfect in training, not destined to fall back, skilled in awareness, with faculties composed: he's called one who stands fast In one who, having known, qualities high & low have been destroyed, have gone to their end, do not exist: He's called a master of knowledge, one who has fulfilled the holy life, gone to the world's end, gone beyond.