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Ajivaka Sutta

To the Fatalists' Student

Thus Have I Heard:

On one occasion Ven. 聲anda was staying in Kosambi at Ghosita's monastery. Then a certain householder, a disciple of the Fatalists (Ajivakas), went to him and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to Ven. 聲anda, "Among us, sir, whose Dhamma is well-taught? Who has practiced well in this world? Who in the world is well-gone?"

"In that case, householder, I will question you in return. Answer as you see fit. Now, what do you think: those who teach a Dhamma for the abandoning of passion, for the abandoning of aversion, for the abandoning of delusion -- is their Dhamma well-taught or not? Or how does this strike you?"

"Sir, those who teach a Dhamma for the abandoning of passion, for the abandoning of aversion, for the abandoning of delusion -- their Dhamma is well-taught. That's how it strikes me."

"And what do you think, householder: those who have practiced for the abandoning of passion, for the abandoning of aversion, for the abandoning of delusion -- have they practiced well in this world or not? Or how does this strike you?"

"Sir, those who have practiced for the abandoning of passion, for the abandoning of aversion, for the abandoning of delusion -- they have practiced well in this world. That's how it strikes me."

"And what do you think, householder: those whose passion is abandoned, its root destroyed, like an uprooted palm tree, deprived of the conditions of existence, not destined for future arising; those whose aversion is abandoned ... whose delusion is abandoned, its root destroyed, like an uprooted palm tree, deprived of the conditions of existence, not destined for future arising: are they, in this world, well-gone or not? Or how does this strike you?"

"Sir, those whose passion ... aversion ... delusion is abandoned, its root destroyed, like an uprooted palm tree, deprived of the conditions of existence, not destined for future arising: they, in this world, are well-gone. That's how it strikes me."

"In this way, householder, you have answered yourself: 'Those who teach a Dhamma for the abandoning of passion, for the abandoning of aversion, for the abandoning of delusion -- their Dhamma is well-taught. Those who have practiced for the abandoning of passion, for the abandoning of aversion, for the abandoning of delusion -- they have practiced well in this world. Those whose passion ... aversion ... delusion is abandoned, its root destroyed, like an uprooted palm tree, deprived of the conditions of existence, not destined for future arising: they, in this world, are well-gone.'"

"How amazing, sir. How astounding, that there is neither extolling of one's own Dhamma nor deprecation of another's, but just the teaching of the Dhamma in its proper sphere, speaking to the point without mentioning oneself.

"You, venerable sir, teach the Dhamma for the abandoning of passion ... aversion ... delusion. Your Dhamma is well-taught. You have practiced for the abandoning of passion ... aversion ... delusion. You have practiced well in this world. Your passion ... aversion ... delusion is abandoned, its root destroyed, like an uprooted palm tree, deprived of the conditions of existence, not destined for future arising. You, in this world, are well-gone.

"Magnificent, Master 聲anda! Magnificent! In many ways has Master 聲anda made the Dhamma clear -- just as if he were to place upright what has been overturned, to reveal what has been hidden, to point out the way to one who is lost, or to set out a lamp in the darkness so that those with eyes might see forms. I go to the Buddha for refuge, to the Dhamma, & to the community of monks. May Master 聲anda remember me as a lay follower who has gone for refuge from this day forward, for life."

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