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Sutta Nipata V.14


Posala's Questions

To one who reveals the past
    -- unperturbed,
        his doubts cut through --
    who has gone to the beyond
    of all phenomena,
I've come with a question.
I ask the Sakyan about the knowledge [1]
of one devoid of perception of forms,
who has abandoned all the body,
            every body,
who sees, within & without,
    'There is nothing':
How is he
    to be led further on?
The Buddha:
The Tathagata, knowing directly
    all stations of consciousness, [2]
knows for one stationed in them
    & the steps leading there.

Knowing directly
the origin of nothingness
to be the fetter of delight,
one then sees there clearly.
That's his genuine knowledge --
    the brahmin who has lived
    to fulfillment.


1. Posala's question concerning the knowledge of the person in the sphere of nothingness has a double meaning: He is asking about the Buddha's knowledge about that person, and also what a person in that sphere of attainment should do to develop his/her knowledge even further. The Buddha's answer deals with the question in both its senses. [Go back]

2. On the seven stations of consciousness, see DN 15. The sphere of nothingness, discussed in this dialogue, is the seventh and most refined. [Go back]

Source: ATI - For Free Distribution Only, as a Gift of Dhamma.

Dhamma Essay:
The Vital Link by Bhikkhu Bodhi

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