Dharma Pearls

Translating Classical Buddhism to Modern English

The Related Discourses


46. Wrong View Regarding the Afterlife

1. Thus I have heard: One time, the Buddha stayed at Anāthapiṇḍada’s Park in Jeta’s Grove of Śrāvastī.

2. It was then that the Bhagavān addressed the monks, “What is it that exists, that arises, that ties, that’s an attachment, and that’s viewed as self and causes sentient beings to create such views and such statements? ‘Sentient beings are alive in this world. After death, they are destroyed and become non-existent. The four elements combine to form a man. When his life ends, earth returns to earth, water returns to water, fire returns to fire, wind returns to wind, and his faculties turn into space. The bier bed being fifth, four people carry his dead body to the graveyard … he’s recognizable before he’s burned. After he’s burned, his bones are made white as a dove. The conceited know generosity, and the intelligent know acceptance. Those who say [its fruit] exists are all vain and speaking falsely. Whether foolish or wise, in the other world after death, they are both destroyed and become non-existent.’”

3. The monks said to the Buddha, “The Bhagavān is the Dharma root, the Dharma eye, and the Dharma refuge …” It’s thus explained in detail and in the sequence of the three sutras (35.7-9) above.

Translator: Charles Patton

Last Revised: 14 September 2020