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Saŋyutta Nikaya
IV. Saḷāyatana Vagga
44. Avyākata Saŋyutta

Sutta 9

Kutuhalasala Sutta

With Vacchagotta

Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
Provenance, terms and conditons

 


 

[1][pts][bodh] Then Vacchagotta the wanderer went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, exchanged courteous greetings with him. After an exchange of friendly greetings and courtesies, he sat to one side. As he was sitting there, he said to the Blessed One, "Master Gotama, a few days ago a large number of contemplatives, brahmans, and wanderers of various sects were sitting together in the Debating Hall when this conversation arose among them:

'This Purana Kassapa — the leader of a community, the leader of a group, the teacher of a group, honored and famous, esteemed as holy by the mass of people — describes a disciple who has died and passed on in terms of places of rebirth: "That one is reborn there; that one is reborn there." Even when the disciple is an ultimate person, a foremost person, attained to the foremost attainment, Purana Kassapa describes him, when he has died and passed on, in terms of places of rebirth: "That one is reborn there; that one is reborn there."

"'This Makkhali Gosala... This Nigantha Nataputta... This Sañjaya Velatthaputta... This Pakudha Kaccana... This Ajita Kesakambala — the leader of a community, the leader of a group, the teacher of a group, honored and famous, esteemed as holy by the mass of people — describes a disciple who has died and passed on in terms of places of rebirth: "That one is reborn there; that one is reborn there." Even when the disciple is an ultimate person, a foremost person, attained to the foremost attainment, Ajita Kesakambala describes him, when he has died and passed on, in terms of places of rebirth: "That one is reborn there; that one is reborn there."

"This contemplative Gotama — the leader of a community, the leader of a group, the teacher of a group, honored and famous, esteemed as holy by the mass of people — describes a disciple who has died and passed on in terms of places of rebirth: "That one is reborn there; that one is reborn there." But when the disciple is an ultimate person, a foremost person, attained to the foremost attainment, the contemplative Gotama does not describe him, when he has died and passed on, in terms of places of rebirth: "That one is reborn there; that one is reborn there." Instead, he describes him thus: "He has cut through craving, severed the fetter, and by rightly breaking through conceit has made an end of suffering and stress."'

"So I was simply befuddled. I was uncertain: How is the teaching of Gotama the contemplative to be understood?"

"Of course you are befuddled, Vaccha. Of course you are uncertain. When there is a reason for befuddlement in you, uncertainty arises. I designate the rebirth of one who has sustenance, Vaccha, and not of one without sustenance. Just as a fire burns with sustenance and not without sustenance, even so I designate the rebirth of one who has sustenance and not of one without sustenance."

"But, Master Gotama, at the moment a flame is being swept on by the wind and goes a far distance, what do you designate as its sustenance then?"

"Vaccha, when a flame is being swept on by the wind and goes a far distance, I designate it as wind-sustained, for the wind is its sustenance at that time."

"And at the moment when a being sets this body aside and is not yet reborn in another body, what do you designate as its sustenance then?"

"Vaccha, when a being sets this body aside and is not yet reborn in another body, I designate it as craving-sustained, for craving is its sustenance at that time."

 


 

See also:
AN IV.42.

 


 

 [SN 44 Introduction and Contents]  [SN 44 1: With Khema]  [SN 44 2: To Anuradha]  [SN 44 3: Sariputta and Kotthita (1)]  [SN 44 4: Sariputta and Kotthita (2)]  [SN 44 5: Sariputta and Kotthita (3)]  [SN 44 6: Sariputta and Kotthita (4)]  [SN 44 7: With Moggallana]  [SN 44 8: With Vacchagotta]  [SN 44 9: With Vacchagotta]  [SN 44 10: To Ananda]  [SN 44 11: With Sabhiya]


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