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Jata Sutta

The Tangle

Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
For free distribution only

At Savatthi. Then the Brahman Jata ("Tangle") Bharadvaja went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, exchanged courteous greetings with him. After this exchange of friendly greetings and courtesies, he sat to one side. As he was sitting there he addressed the Blessed One with a verse:

A tangle within,
a tangle without,
people are entangled
 in a tangle.
Gotama, I ask you this:
 who can untangle this tangle?

[The Buddha:]

A man established in virtue,
developing discernment and mind,
a monk ardent, astute:
 he can untangle this tangle.

Those whose passion,
 and ignorance
 have faded away,
Arahants, their effluents ended:
 for them the tangle's untangled.

Where name-and-form,
 along with perception
 of impingement and form,
totally stop without trace:
 thatís where the tangle
 is cut.

When this was said, the Brahman Jata Bharadvaja said to the Blessed One, "Magnificent, Master Gotama! Magnificent! Just as if he were to place upright what was overturned, to reveal what was hidden, to show the way to one who was lost, or to carry a lamp into the dark so that those with eyes could see forms, in the same way has Master Gotama -- through many lines of reasoning -- made the Dhamma clear. I go to the Blessed One for refuge, to the Dhamma, and to the community of monks. Let me obtain the going forth in Master Gotama's presence, let me obtain admission."

Then the Brahman Jata Bharadvaja received the going forth and the admission in the Blessed One's presence. And not long after his admission -- dwelling alone, secluded, heedful, ardent, and resolute -- he in no long time reached and remained in the supreme goal of the holy life, for which clansmen rightly go forth from home into homelessness, knowing and realizing it for himself in the here and now. He knew: "Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for the sake of this world." And so Ven. Bharadvaja became another one of the Arahants.

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