III.10: Loka Suttam
(Surveying) the World
Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
For free distribution only.
[III-10.1]I have heard that on one occasion, when the Blessed One was newly Awakened -- staying at Uruvela by the banks of the Nerañjara River in the shade of the Bodhi tree, the tree of Awakening -- he sat in the shade of the Bodhi tree for seven days in one session, sensitive to the bliss of release. At the end of seven days, after emerging from that concentration, he surveyed the world with the eye of an Awakened One. As he did so, he saw living beings burning with the many fevers and aflame with the many fires born of passion, aversion, and delusion. Then, on realizing the significance of that, he on that occasion exclaimed:
This world is burning.
Afflicted by contact,
it calls disease a "self."
By whatever it construes [things],
that's always otherwise.
the world is
held by becoming
afflicted by becoming
and yet delights
in that very becoming.
Where there's delight,
there is fear.
What one fears
This holy life is lived
for the abandoning of becoming.
Whatever priests or contemplatives say that liberation from becoming is by means of becoming, all of them are not released from becoming, I say.
And whatever priests or contemplatives say that escape from becoming is by means of non-becoming, all of them have not escaped from becoming, I say.
This stress comes into play
in dependence on all acquisitions.
With the ending of all clinging/sustenance,
there's no stress coming into play.
Look at this world:
Beings, afflicted with thick ignorance,
from delight in what has come to be.
All levels of becoming,
in any way,
are inconstant, stressful, subject to change.
Seeing this -- as it's actually present --
with right discernment,
one abandons craving for becoming,
without delighting in non-becoming.
From the total ending of craving
comes fading and cessation without remainder:
For the monk unbound,
through lack of clinging/sustenance,
there's no further becoming.
He has vanquished Mara,
won the battle.
Having gone beyond all levels of being,