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Fearless—Bhikkhu Sujato

Numbered Discourses 4

19. Brahmins

184. Fearless

1.1Then the brahmin Jāṇussoṇi went up to the Buddha, and exchanged greetings with him. 1.2When the greetings and polite conversation were over, he sat down to one side and said to the Buddha:

2.1“Master Gotama, this is my doctrine and view: 2.2‘All those liable to death are frightened and terrified of death.’”

2.3“Brahmin, some of those liable to death are frightened and terrified of death. 2.4But some of those liable to death are not frightened and terrified of death.

3.1Who are those frightened of death? 3.2It’s someone who isn’t free of greed, desire, fondness, thirst, passion, and craving for sensual pleasures. 3.3When they fall seriously ill, 3.4they think: 3.5‘The sensual pleasures that I love so much will leave me, and I’ll leave them.’ 3.6They sorrow and wail and lament, beating their breast and falling into confusion. 3.7This is someone who is frightened of death.

4.1Furthermore, it’s someone who isn’t free of greed, desire, fondness, thirst, passion, and craving for the body. 4.2When they fall seriously ill, 4.3they think: 4.4‘This body that I love so much will leave me, and I’ll leave it.’ 4.5They sorrow and wail and lament, beating their breast and falling into confusion. 4.6This, too, is someone who is frightened of death.

5.1Furthermore, it’s someone who hasn’t done good and skillful things that keep them safe, but has done bad, violent, and corrupt things. 5.2When they fall seriously ill, 5.3they think: 5.4‘Well, I haven’t done good and skillful things that keep me safe. 5.5And I have done bad, violent, and corrupt things. 5.6When I depart, I’ll go to the place where people who’ve done such things go.’ 5.7They sorrow and wail and lament, beating their breast and falling into confusion. 5.8This, too, is someone who is frightened of death.

6.1Furthermore, it’s someone who’s doubtful, uncertain, and undecided about the true teaching. 6.2When they fall seriously ill, 6.3they think: 6.4‘I’m doubtful, uncertain, and undecided about the true teaching.’ 6.5They sorrow and wail and lament, beating their breast and falling into confusion. 6.6This, too, is someone who is frightened of death. 6.7These are the four people liable to death who are frightened and terrified of death.

7.1Who are those not frightened of death? 7.2It’s someone who is rid of greed, desire, fondness, thirst, passion, and craving for sensual pleasures. 7.3When they fall seriously ill, 7.4they don’t think: 7.5‘The sensual pleasures that I love so much will leave me, and I’ll leave them.’ 7.6They don’t sorrow and wail and lament, beating their breast and falling into confusion. 7.7This is someone who’s not frightened of death.

8.1Furthermore, it’s someone who is rid of greed, desire, fondness, thirst, passion, and craving for the body. 8.2When they fall seriously ill, 8.3they don’t think: 8.4‘This body that I love so much will leave me, and I’ll leave it.’ 8.5They don’t sorrow and wail and lament, beating their breast and falling into confusion. 8.6This, too, is someone who’s not frightened of death.

9.1Furthermore, it’s someone who hasn’t done bad, violent, and corrupt deeds, but has done good and skillful deeds that keep them safe. 9.2When they fall seriously ill, 9.3they think: 9.4‘Well, I haven’t done bad, violent, and corrupt things. 9.5And I have done good and skillful deeds that keep me safe. 9.6When I depart, I’ll go to the place where people who’ve done such things go.’ 9.7They don’t sorrow and wail and lament, beating their breast and falling into confusion. 9.8This, too, is someone who’s not frightened of death.

10.1Furthermore, it’s someone who’s not doubtful, uncertain, or undecided about the true teaching. 10.2When they fall seriously ill, 10.3they think: 10.4‘I’m not doubtful, uncertain, or undecided about the true teaching.’ 10.5They don’t sorrow and wail and lament, beating their breast and falling into confusion. 10.6This, too, is someone who’s not frightened of death. 10.7These are the four people liable to death who are not frightened and terrified of death.”

11.1“Excellent, Master Gotama! … From this day forth, may Master Gotama remember me as a lay follower who has gone for refuge for life.”