T 1670B Nāgasena Bhikṣu Sūtra

Part 2: Dialogues

2.19. The Bodily Pain of an Emancipated One

The king asked, “If a person has crossed over to the other shore, and will not be reborn hereafter does he still feel any painful sensation?”

Nāgasena replied, “Some he feels and some not.”

“Which painful sensation does he feel and which not?”

“He may feel bodily pain, but not mental pain.”

“What do you mean by the expression that he feels bodily pain but not mental pain?”

“He is liable to suffer bodily pain, because the body still exists, he is not liable to mental pain, because the mind has got rid of all evil, and is without any desire.”

The king said, “If a person who has crossed over to the other shore still cannot get rid of the bodily pain, then he has not attained the Path of nirvana.” Again the king said, “If a person who has attained the Path has no sense desire, and while his mind is in peace, yet bodily pain still exists, then what is the use of attaining nirvana? If a person has attained nirvana, why does he not die?”

“It is like the unripe fruit, we need not force it to ripen, but when it is ripe, we need not wait again.”

Nāgasena continued, “There is a thera by the name of Sariputra who has attained the Path. The following was said by Sariputra when he was alive: ‘I do not seek for death, I do not seek for birth; I abide my time, when my time comes, I shall go.’”

“Excellent, Nāgasena.”

Here ends the first chapter