This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: “Monks, live with the trainings [in heightened virtue, heightened mind, & heightened discernment] as your reward, with discernment uppermost, release the essence, & mindfulness the governing principle. As you live with the trainings as your reward, with discernment uppermost, release the essence, & mindfulness the governing principle, then one of two fruits can be expected: either gnosis right in the here-&-now, or–if there be any remnant of clinging-sustenance–non-return.”
Complete in the training,
not subject to falling away,1
one with discernment
seeing the stopping, the ending of birth:
bears his last body,
has shaken off Māra, I tell you,
has gone beyond aging.
delighting in jhāna,
seeing the stopping, the ending of birth,
conquering Māra, along with his armies,2
be gone-beyond aging & death.
1. Following the reading found in one of the Sri Lankan editions: aparihāna-dhammaṁ. The Thai, Burmese, and another Sri Lankan edition read: apahāna-dhammaṁ, “not subject to abandoning,” which fits the meter better, but not the sense of the verse. The Commentary interprets the more common reading as meaning “not subject to falling away,” but it doesn’t explain how this can be so.
2. Sn 3:2 identifies Māra’s armies as: sensual passions; discontent; hunger & thirst; craving; sloth & torpor; terror; uncertainty; hypocrisy & stubbornness; gains, offerings, fame, & status; and the attitude that praises self while disparaging others.