Sn 5.7 Nanda manava puccha

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Nanda-manava-puccha: Nanda's Questions

translated from the Pali by

Thanissaro Bhikkhu

[Nanda:]

There are in the world sages, they say in what way? Do they call one a sage for possessing knowledge or possessing a way of life?

[The Buddha:]

Not on account of his views, learning, or knowledge do the skilled here, Nanda, call one a sage. Those who live disarmed, undesiring, untroubled: those, I say, are called sages.

[Nanda:]

Whatever priests & contemplatives describe purity in terms of views & learning, describe purity in terms of precepts & practices, describe purity in terms of manifold ways: have they, dear sir, living there in that way, crossed over birth & aging? I ask you, O Blessed One. Please tell me.

[The Buddha:]

Whatever priests & contemplatives describe purity in terms of views & learning, describe purity in terms of precepts & practices, describe purity in terms of manifold ways: none of them, living there in that way, I tell you, have crossed over birth & aging.

[Nanda:]

Whatever priests & contemplatives describe purity in terms of views & learning, describe purity in terms of precepts & practices, describe purity in terms of manifold ways: if, sage, as you say, they've not crossed over the flood, then who in the world of beings divine & human has crossed over birth & aging? I ask you, O Blessed One. Please tell me.

[The Buddha:]

I don't say that all priests & contemplatives are shrouded in birth & aging. Those here who've abandoned what's seen, heard, & sensed, precepts & practices [1] all who've abandoned their manifold ways again, all who, comprehending craving, are effluent-free: they are the ones, I tell you, who've crossed over the flood.

[Nanda:]

I relish, Gotama, the Great Seer's words well-expounded, without acquisition. Those here who've abandoned what's seen, heard, & sensed, precepts & practices all who've abandoned their manifold ways again, all who, comprehending craving, are effluent-free: I, too, say they've crossed over the flood.

Note

1. For a discussion of the abandoning of precepts and practices, see The Mind Like Fire Unbound, Chapters 3 and 4.