Dharma Pearls

Translating Classical Buddhism to Modern English

The Alternate Related Discourses

180. Crossing the Flood

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

2. There was a god whose radiance was double the usual amount that came during the night to visit the Buddha. Its impressive light completely illuminated Jeta’s Grove bright as daylight. He withdrew to sit at one side and asked the Buddha, “Gautama, were you able to cross the flood?”

The Bhagavān replied, “I really did.”

3. The god said, “Gautama, given that the flood is deep, wide, and unending, there’s nothing to climb on its sides, and there’s no solid footing in its middle, it’s amazing that you were able to cross it!”

The Buddha said, “I really did.”

4. The god again asked, “Gautama, how were you able to cross the flood without anything to hold onto and without any solid footing?”

5. The Buddha answered the god, “If I was lax, I surely would have gone under, and I surely would have been carried away if I went under. If I made effort, then I surely wouldn’t go under, and I wouldn’t be carried away if I didn’t go under. Thus, I was able to cross the great flood that doesn’t have anything to hold onto and no solid footing.”

6. The god then praised him, “Good! Good, monk! It’s amazing that you were able to cross the flood without anything to hold onto and no solid footing!”

7. The god again praised him in verse:

8. After this god spoke this verse, he rejoiced and returned to his palace.

Notes

  1. This sūtra is parallel with SN 1.1 and SĀ 25.57. [back]

Translator: Charles Patton

Last Revised:11 February 2021