Sutta Nipāta 5.5

The Way to the Beyond

The Young Man Mettagū’s Questions

“I ask you, Gracious One, please tell this to me,” said venerable Mettagū,
“I think you have true understanding, and a developed self—
how have these countless kinds of suffering
arisen for whoever is in the world?”

“You asked me about the origin of suffering, Mettagū,” said the Gracious One,
“as I know it I will declare it to you:
Because of clinging to a basis countless kinds
of suffering originate for whoever is in the world.

“The foolish one, without wisdom, clings to a basis,
and comes to suffering again and again, the fool.
Therefore knowing this, do not cling to a basis,
seeing the birth and origin of suffering.”

“You have proclaimed to us what we asked you about,” said venerable Mettagū,
“another thing we ask, come on, please answer it:
How do the wise ones cross over the flood
of birth, old age, grief, and lamentation?
Please explain this to me, O sage,
for this Teaching has been understood by you.”

“I shall proclaim the Teaching to you, Mettagū” said the Gracious One,
“which is not hearsay in this world,
which, having understood, and living mindfully, one can cross over clinging to the world.”

“I greatly rejoice in that supreme Teaching, great seer,
which, having understood, and living mindfully, one can cross over clinging to the world.”

“Whatever you know, Mettagū,” said the Gracious One,
“above, below, and across the middle,
dispel the enjoyment of, and settling on, these things,
and consciousness, and one will not remain in existence.

“Living in this way, mindful, and heedful,
the monk who lives on after giving up loved things,
can, being wise, give up birth, old age,
grief, lamentation, and suffering right here.”

“I greatly rejoice in this, the Great Seer’s word,” said venerable Mettagū,
“O Gotama, well proclaimed is freedom from clinging.
Surely the Gracious One gave up suffering,
for this Teaching has been understood by you.

“Surely they too can give up suffering,
whomever you would continually advise, O Sage,
therefore having met the Strong One, I revere him,
perhaps the Gracious One could continuously advise me!”

“You should know the brahmin who has true understanding, Mettagū,” said the Gracious One,
“who has nothing, and is not clinging to sense existence,
for he has surely crossed over the flood,
without hindrance or doubt, he has crossed beyond.

“That man here who is wise, and has true understanding,
who has released the shackle of repeated existence,
he is craving-free, not troubled, not yearning—
he has crossed over birth and old age, I say.”

The Young Man Mettagū’s Questions are Finished