T 1670B Nāgasena Bhikṣu Sūtra

Part 2: Dialogues

2.75. The Buddha Could Comprehend Difficult Things

Nāgasena said to the king, “What is difficult to do was done by the Buddha. What the Buddha knew is very subtle.”

The king asked Nāgasena again, “What was done by the Buddha that is difficult to do? What are the things that the Buddha knew that are subtle?”

“The Buddha said that he knew and could explain what is inside the body of a person, which cannot be seen by the eyes. He understood things concerning the eyes, things concerning the ears, things concerning the nose, things concerning the mouth, and things concerning the body; he understood destruction, doubts, things concerning the mind and things concerning consciousness.”

“Suppose a man were to take some water from the ocean into his mouth, would he know that such portion of it is the water from such a spring, such portion is the water from such a stream, and such portion is the water from such a river?”

The king said, “All the waters have mingled into one, it is very difficult to distinguish them.”

“What the Buddha has done is very difficult. He knew the taste of different waters. Now of the ocean water which is before the eye, the king still could not know, (how much less so when it comes to) the spirit which cannot be seen and the six things which are inside the body.”

“That is why the Buddha understood all things from the position of the mind—to what is seen by the eyes, heard by the ears, smelled by the nose, tasted by the mouth, and felt by the body, and all that is pleasant, unpleasant, cold, hot, course, and smooth. From the mind to physical factors to everything that is alike, the Buddha knows and analyses them all.”

“Excellent, Nāgasena.”