T 1670B Nāgasena Bhikṣu Sūtra

Part 2: Dialogues

2.64. An Arhat’s Ability to Travel

The king asked Nāgasena again, “How far is it from here to the seventh heaven of Brahman?”

Nāgasena said, “It is very far. Suppose a rock as large as the palace of the king were to fall from the seventh heaven of Brahman, it would take six months to reach the earth.”

“Your sramanas say that a person who has attained arhathood flies to the seventh heaven of Brahman as quickly as one could extend forth his bent arm or have it bend back again. These words I could not believe. How could he go thousands and thousands of li so fast.”

Nāgasena asked the king: “Great king, in which country were you born?”

“I was born in the kingdom of Yonaka, in a country named Alasanda.”

“How many li is it from here to Alasanda?”

“It is about two thousand yojana, equal to eight thousand li.”

“Do you think of your country which is far away from here?”

“Yes, I always think of things in my country.”

“Great king, try to recollect any business you once did in your country … have you done so?”

“Yes, I have done so.”

“So quick it is, great king, that you have gone and returned a distance of about eighty thousand li.”

“Excellent, Nāgasena.”