Ajita questions the Buddha

The following is extracted from The Way to the Beyond in which sixteen brāhmaṇa meditation masters walk 1,800 kilometres to receive instruction from the Buddha, and are rewarded with final insight.

The Way to the Beyond

Ajita: “By what is the world enveloped? Why does it not become clear? What do you say is its defilement? What is the world’s great fear?”

Buddha: “The world is enveloped by ignorance, because of heedlessness and meanness it does not become clear. Hunger is its defilement, I say; suffering is the world’s great fear.”

Ajita: “Streams are flowing everywhere, what is the constraint for streams? Tell me the restraint for streams; by what are the streams shut off?”

Buddha: “Whatever streams there are in the world, mindfulness is the constraint for them. That is the restraint for streams, I say; by wisdom they are shut off.”

Ajita: “Wisdom and mindfulness, and mind and body, dear Sir, please tell me this when asked: where do these things cease?”

Buddha: “This question that was asked, Ajita, I can answer it! As to where mind and body ceases without remainder: with the cessation of (rebirth) consciousness, in this place it ceases.”

Ajita: “Those who have discerned the Teaching, and the many in training here, when I ask the prudent one, please tell me their conduct, dear Sir.”

Buddha: “He should not be greedy for sense pleasures, or be disturbed in mind. Being skilful in all things, mindfully the monk should wander.”


Map of The Way to the Beyond


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