Khuddaka Nikaya

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Chapter XVI — The Twenties


Adhimutta and the Bandits

Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

For free distribution only.



[The bandit chief:]

Those who
    for the sake of sacrifice
    for the sake of wealth
we have killed in the past,
    against their will
    have trembled and babbled
    from fear.
But you —
    you show no fear;
    your complexion brightens.
Why don't you lament
in the face of what's greatly to be feared

[Ven. Adhimutta:]

There are no painful mental states, chieftain,
in one without longing.
In one whose fetters are ended,
all fears are overcome.
With the ending of [craving]
the guide to becoming,
when phenomena are seen
    for what they are,
then just as in the laying down of a burden,
there's no fear in death.

I've lived well the holy life,
well-developed the path.
Death holds no fear for me.
It's like the end of a disease.

I've     lived well the holy life,
    well-developed the path,
    seen states of becoming
as devoid of allure,
like poison spit out
after it's drunk.

One gone to the far shore
without clinging
without effluent
his task completed,
welcomes the ending of life,
as if freed from a place of execution.
Having attained the supreme Rightness,
unsense of compunctioned with all the world,
as if released from a burning house,
    he doesn't sorrow at death.

Whatever's compounded,
wherever a state of becoming's obtained,
all that has no one in charge:
    so says the Great Seer.
Whoever discerns this,
as taught by the Awakened One,
would no more grasp hold of any state of becoming
than he would a hot iron ball.
I have no 'I was,'
    no 'I will be.'
Fabrications will simply go out of existence.
    What's to lament there in that?
For one who sees, as it has come to be,
the pure arising of phenomena,
the pure seriality of fabrications,
    there's no fear.
When seeing the world with discernment
as on a par with grass and twigs,
finding no 'mineness,'
thinking, 'There's nothing of mine,'
    he feels no sorrow.
Dissatisfied with this carcass,
I'm unsense of compunctioned with becoming.
This body will break up
and there will not be another.
    Do as you like with this carcass.
    From that I will feel
    neither hatred nor love.

Hearing these awesome, hair-raising words,
the young men threw down their weapons and said:

What have you done, sir,
or who have you taken as mentor?
Because of whose teachings
is this lack of sorrow acquired?

[Ven. Adhimutta:]

The     all-knowing,
    all-seeing conqueror:
He is my mentor.
Greatly compassionate teacher,
all the world's healer,
this doctrine is his,
unexcelled, leading to ending.
Because of his teachings
is this lack of sorrow acquired.

The bandits, hearing the good words of the seer,
threw down their swords and their weapons.
Some relinquished their life of crime,
some chose the Going Forth.
Having gone forth in the teachings
of the one well-gone,
developing the powers and factors for Awakening,
    wise, happy,
    exultant in mind,
    their faculties ripened,
they touched uncompounded Unbinding.


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