1:9  Hemavata

Sātāgira the yakkha:

Today is the fifteenth,

the uposatha day.

A divine night is at hand.

Let’s go see Gotama,

the Teacher perfectly named.

Hemavata the yakkha:

Is his mind well-directed,

Such,1 toward all beings?

Are his resolves mastered

regarding what’s desirable & not?

Sātāgira the yakkha:

His mind is well-directed

and Such toward all beings.

And his resolves are mastered

regarding what’s desirable & not.

Hemavata the yakkha:

Does he not take what’s not given?

Is he restrained toward beings?

Is he far from complacency?

Does he not neglect jhāna?2

Sātāgira the yakkha:

He doesn’t take what’s not given,

and he’s restrained toward beings.

He’s far from complacency and,

awakened, he does not neglect jhāna.

Hemavata the yakkha:

Does he not tell lies?

Do his ways of speaking not cut things off?

Does he not speak destructively?

Does he not speak idly?3

Sātāgira the yakkha:

He doesn’t tell lies.

His ways of speaking don’t cut things off.

He doesn’t speak destructively.

Deliberating, he speaks what’s of benefit.

Hemavata the yakkha:

Is he not passionate for sensuality?

Is his mind unmuddied?

Has he gone beyond delusion?

Does he have an Eye

with regard to phenomena?

Sātāgira the yakkha:

He’s not passionate for sensuality.

His mind is unmuddied.

He has gone beyond all delusion.

Awakened, he has an Eye

with regard to phenomena.

Hemavata the yakkha:

Is he consummate in clear-knowing?

Is he pure in his conduct?4

Are his effluents ended?

Does he have no further becoming?

Sātāgira the yakkha:

He is both consummate in clear-knowing

& pure in his conduct.

All his effluents are ended.

He has no further becoming.

Hemavata the yakkha:

Consummate the mind of the sage

in action & in ways of speech,

you rightly praise him

as consummate in clear-knowing & conduct.

Consummate the mind of the sage

in action & in ways of speech,

you rightly rejoice in him

as consummate in clear-knowing & conduct.

Consummate the mind of the sage

in action & in ways of speech,

let’s go see Gotama,

consummate in clear-knowing & conduct.

Come, let’s go see Gotama,


with legs like an antelope, thin,

eating little, not greedy,

doing jhāna in the forest.

Having gone to the nāga,5

the lion wandering alone,

indifferent to sensuality,

let’s ask him

about release from Death’s snare.

Let’s ask Gotama,

proclaimer, preacher,

attained to the far shore

of all phenomena:


gone past animosity

& fear.

* * *

Hemavata the yakkha:

In what has the world arisen?

In what does it make acquaintance?

From clinging to what

is the world?

In what is the world


The Buddha:

In six has the world arisen.6

In six does it make acquaintance.

From clinging just to six

is the world,

in six is the world7


Hemavata the yakkha:

Which is that clinging

where the world is afflicted?

When asked the way leading out, please tell

how is one released

from suffering & stress.

The Buddha:

The five strings of sensuality in the world,8

with the heart described as the sixth:

Being dispassioned for desire there:

That’s how one’s released

from suffering & stress.

That is the way leading out of the world

proclaimed to you as it really is,

I have proclaimed to you:

That’s how one is released

from suffering & stress.

Hemavata the yakkha:

Who here crosses

over the flood?

Who here crosses

over the ocean?


without support,9

who doesn’t sink

into the deep?

The Buddha:

Always consummate in virtue,

discerning, well-centered,

internally percipient,10 mindful,

one crosses over the flood

hard to cross.

Abstaining from perceptions of sensuality,

overcoming all fetters,

having totally ended delight in becoming,

one doesn’t sink

into the deep.11

Hemavata the yakkha:

The one deeply discerning,

seeing the subtle goal,

having nothing,

unattached in sensual becoming:

See him, everywhere released,12

the great seer, going the divine way!

Perfectly named,

seeing the subtle goal,

granting discernment,

unattached to sensual nostalgia:

See him, all-knowing, wise,

the great seer, going the noble way!

Truly, it was well-seen today,

well-dawned, well-arisen,

that we saw the One Self-Awakened,

crossed over the flood,


These ten hundred yakkhas,

powerful, prestigious,

all go to you for refuge.

You are our teacher unexcelled.

We will wander from village to village,

town to town,

paying homage     to the One Self-Awakened

& to the Dhamma’s     true rightness.

vv. 153–180


1. Such (tādin): An adjective applied to the mind of one who has attained the goal. It indicates that the mind “is what it is”—indescribable but not subject to change or alteration.

2. See MN 6 and AN 10:71.

3. According to SnA, these four questions deal with the four forms of wrong speech: telling lies, speaking harshly, engaging in divisive tale-bearing, and engaging in idle chatter.

4. See MN 53.

5. See AN 6:43 and Thag 15:2.

6. According to SnA, the “six” are the six internal and external sense media. See the definition of “world” in SN 35:82.

7. The phrase, “is the world,” functions as a lamp here.

8. See Sn 1:3, note 5.

9. On unestablished consciousness, see Ud 8:1, SN 12:64, SN 22:87, and the discussion in The Paradox of Becoming, chapter 7.

10. Reading ajjhatta-saññī with the Thai edition. The other editions read ajjhatta-cintī, “internally thinking.”

11. See SN 1:1.

12. On the phrase, “everywhere released,” see The Paradox of Becoming, chapter 7.