T 1670B Nāgasena Bhikṣu Sūtra

Part 2: Dialogues

2.17. Knowledge of Having Rebirth

The king asked Nāgasena, “Is the enlightened person aware of the fact that he is not to be reborn again hereafter?”

Nāgasena replied, “Yes, he knows.”

“How does he know?” asked the king. Nāgasena replied, “When he knows that he has no craving, no sense desire, and no defilement (in his mind), then he knows that he will not be born again hereafter. It is just like the farmer who has ploughed and sown rice and fills his granary with much grain. Then for a period, the farmer would neither plough nor sow, but live on the stored-up grain. Is there any hope of getting new grain in this farming family?”

“There should be none.”

“How does the farming family know that there is no hope of getting new grain again?” asked Nāgasena.

“Because the farming family knows that they have neither ploughed nor sown, therefore there is no hope.”

“Just so, the person who obtains the Path is the same. When he knows for himself that he has already eradicated craving and suffering, and his mind is devoid of desire, then he knows that he will not be born again hereafter.”