The Longs Basket
The Brahma-Jāla Suttanta
Partly translated from the Pali by Michael Olds, partly 'adapted/edited' from the Rhys Davids' translation
[pts][wp] These are advanced things, Beggars, matters that are deep, difficult to see, difficult to grasp, subtle, leading one who follows to tranquility and the sublime; things not to be arrived at by mere logic and reasoning, comprehensible only by the wise. These, Beggars are the things the Tathagata teaches, having seen them for himself. These are the things which should be spoken of by one when he speaks in praise of the Tathagata.
[pts][wp] These are the shaman and Brahmans, Beggars, who speculate about the past and the future, whose speculations are about the past and the future or both, and who on sixty-two grounds put forward various assertions regarding them. Whatever shaman or Brahman, Beggars, speculate about the past and the future or both are such in one or another of these sixty-two ways and no other.
[pts][wp] But of these, Beggars, the Tathagata knows that arriving at such views, holding such views, believing such views, trusting such views will have such and such a consequence in terms of rebirth in the hereafter. This and much more the Tathagata is able to see, for he knows as it really is the coming to be and the passing away of sense experience, the satisfaction of sense experience and the way of escape from sense experience. And because he does not cling to what he sees he is objectively detached and he experiences for himself the peace of utter freedom.
These are advanced things, Beggars, matters that are deep, difficult to see, difficult to grasp, subtle, leading one who follows to tranquility and the sublime; things not to be arrived at by mere logic and reasoning, comprehensible only by the wise. These, Beggars are the things the Tathagata teaches, having seen them for himself. These are the things which should be spoken of by one when he speaks in praise of the Tathagata.
Beggars! All of these shaman and Brahman who speculate about the past and the future or both do so based on what they have experienced and are but the struggles of the downbound, blinded by desire, to explain what they do not understand.
[Īs 108-147 'summary' omitted]
[pts][wp] These shaman and Brahman, Beggars, experience what they experience as a consequence of contact through the six senses. Sense experience gives rise to wanting. Wanting gives rise to going after getting. Going after getting gives rise to Living. Living gives rise to Birth. Birth gives rise to aging and death, grief and lamentation, pain and misery, and despair.
When a Beggar, Beggars, knows as it really is the coming to be and the passing away of sense experience, the satisfaction of sense experience and the way of escape from sense experience, it is then that he knows these advanced things beyond mere points of view.
[pts][wp] Whoever, Beggars, who speculates about the past and the future or both is trapped in this 62-staked net of views; though This Way and that, they may struggle to escape; struggle This Way and that, they are caught.
In the same way as The Fisherman, Beggars, or his Skillful Apprentice might drag a fine-meshed net across some small pond, might fairly think: "Any fish of size in this pond are trapped in this net; though This Way and that, they they may struggle to escape; struggle This Way and that, they are caught.
In the same way, Beggars, as when the stem of a cluster of mangoes is cut, the cluster of mangoes is separated from the tree, in the same way, Beggars, that which lead to living for the Tathagata has been broken. His body stands seen by gods and men; at the break-up of the body neither gods nor men shall see him.
Well, then, Ananda, you may remember this Dhamma Perambulation as the Attainment Net, The Dhamma Net, the Brahma Net, the Views Net, or even as The Incomparable Victory in Battle.
This is what the Lucky man said, and those Beggars that were there were pleased and delighted at what he said. And at this time the ten-thousand-fold world system shuddered.
 ANTAANANTIKAA: "end-and-no-enders" is the word, the idea is finitude and infinitude (as opposed to "coming to destruction" or not) but with the meaning encompassing both physical limits and also the limits of "scope of existence", so "end" is really the better concept (before you get too smug about your superior modern science, think about this "round" world you believe in so strongly: how is it that it maintains this physical roundness while traveling through Time?). Both Rhys Davids and Walshe interpret this in the purely physical way, but my position is supported by the definition of LOKA which is a concept which is broader than just this Earth and includes "beings."
[2 ] Who have arrived at the Asanna Realm as a consequence of meditation based on the thought that it is perception that is the cause of Pain and who have directed their efforts toward non-perception.
 Generally held to be scents at this level.
 This idea comes down to having broken through the illusion of the delimiting of things by solidity or resistance. One sees it as not paying attention to the extent one can stretch out one's arm, etc., while another sees it as not paying attention to being stopped by a wall.
Read the complete Rhys Davids translation with introduction and footnotes.
[Notes] [Nidana] [Basic Ethics I] [Basic Ethics II] [On Earning a Living] [On Higher Dhamma] [About the Past] [Eternalists] [Partial Eternalists] [End'n'o-Enders] [Eel-Wrigglers] [Caused-by-Chancers] [About the Future] [Conscious after Death] [Unconscious after Death] [Neither Conscious nor Unconscious] [Annihilationist] [Nibbana-Now] [Conclusion]