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With Rohitassa —Bhikkhu Sujato

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3. Various Sectarians

26. With Rohitassa

1.1At Sāvatthī.

1.2Standing to one side, the god Rohitassa said to the Buddha:

1.3“Sir, is it possible to know or see or reach the end of the world by traveling to a place where there’s no being born, growing old, dying, passing away, or being reborn?”

1.4“Reverend, I say it’s not possible to know or see or reach the end of the world by traveling to a place where there’s no being born, growing old, dying, passing away, or being reborn.”

2.1“It’s incredible, sir, it’s amazing, 2.2how well said this was by Master Gotama. 2.3

3.1Once upon a time, I was a hermit called Rohitassa, son of Bhoja. I was a sky-walker with psychic power. 3.2I was as fast as a light arrow easily shot across the shadow of a palm tree by a well-trained expert archer with a strong bow. 3.3My stride was such that it could span from the eastern ocean to the western ocean. 3.4This wish came to me: 3.5‘I will reach the end of the world by traveling.’ 3.6Having such speed and stride, I traveled for my whole lifespan of a hundred years—pausing only to eat and drink, go to the toilet, and sleep to dispel weariness—and I passed away along the way, never reaching the end of the world.

4.1It’s incredible, sir, it’s amazing, 4.2how well said this was by Master Gotama: 4.3‘Reverend, I say it’s not possible to know or see or reach the end of the world by traveling to a place where there’s no being born, growing old, dying, passing away, or being reborn.’”

5.1“But Reverend, I also say there’s no making an end of suffering without reaching the end of the world. 5.2For it is in this fathom-long carcass with its perception and mind that I describe the world, its origin, its cessation, and the practice that leads to its cessation.

6.1The end of the world can never
6.2be reached by traveling.
6.3But without reaching the end of the world,
6.4there’s no release from suffering.

7.1So a clever person, understanding the world,
7.2has completed the spiritual journey, and gone to the end of the world.
7.3A peaceful one, knowing the end of the world,
7.4does not hope for this world or the next.”