Thag 16:1  Adhimutta & the Bandits

The bandit chief:

“Those who

for the sake of sacrifice

for the sake of wealth

we have killed in the past,

against their will

have trembled & babbled

from fear.

But you—

you show no fear;

your complexion brightens.

Why don’t you lament

in the face of what’s greatly to be feared?”

Ven. Adhimutta:

“There are no painful mind-states, chieftain,

in one without longing.

In one whose fetters are ended,

all fears are overcome.

With the ending of [craving]

the guide to becoming,

when phenomena are seen

for what they are,

then as in the laying down of a burden,

there’s no fear in death.

I’ve lived well the holy life,

well-developed the path.

Death holds no fear for me.

It’s like the end of a disease.

I’ve     lived well the holy life,

well-developed the path,

seen states of becoming

as devoid of allure,

like poison spit out

after it’s drunk.

One gone to the far shore

without clinging,


his task completed,

welcomes the ending of life,

as if freed from a place of execution.

Having attained the supreme Rightness,

unconcerned with all the world,

as if released from a burning house,

he doesn’t sorrow at death.

Whatever’s compounded,

wherever a state of becoming’s obtained,

all that has no one in charge:

So says the Great Seer.

Whoever discerns this,

as taught by the Awakened One,

would no more grasp hold

of any state of becoming

than he would

a hot iron ball.

I have no ‘I was,’

no ‘I will be.’

Fabrications will simply

go out of existence.

What’s to lament there in that?

For one who sees, as it actually is,

the pure arising of phenomena,

the pure seriality of fabrications,

there’s no fear.

When seeing the world,

with discernment,

as on a par

with grass & twigs,

finding no ‘mine-ness,’

thinking, ‘There’s nothing of mine,’

he feels no sorrow.

Dissatisfied with this carcass,

I’m unconcerned with becoming.

This body will break up

and there will not be another.

Do as you like with this carcass.

From that I will feel

neither hatred nor love.”

Hearing these awesome, hair-raising words,

the young men threw down their weapons & said:

“What have you done, sir,

or who have you taken as mentor?

Because of whose teachings

is this lack of sorrow acquired?”

Ven. Adhimutta:

“The all-knowing,

all-seeing conqueror:

He is my mentor.

Greatly compassionate teacher,

all the world’s healer,

this doctrine is his,

unexcelled, leading to ending.

Because of his teachings

is this lack of sorrow acquired.”

The bandits, hearing the good words of the seer,

threw down their swords & their weapons.

Some relinquished their life of crime,

some chose the Going-forth.

Having gone forth in the teachings

of the One Well-Gone,

developing the strengths

& factors for awakening,1

wise, happy,

exultant in mind,

their faculties ripened,

they touched uncompounded unbinding.


1. On the five strengths, see AN 5:2; on the seven factors for awakening, SN 46:51–52.

See also: AN 4:184; Thig 14