About a passage in lokasuttaṃ (Ud3.10)

‘Ye hi keci samaṇā vā brāhmaṇā vā bhavena bhavassa vippamokkhamāhaṁsu, sabbe te avippamuttā bhavasmā’ti vadāmi.
‘Ye vā pana keci samaṇā vā brāhmaṇā vā vibhavena bhavassa nissaraṇamāhaṁsu, sabbe te anissaṭā bhavasmā’ti vadāmi.

I have seen some translations but I am not satisfied. How do you think this passage should be translated? Thank you!


The translations I’ve looked at seem fine.
Here is John Ireland’s:

“Whatever recluses and brahmins have said that freedom from being comes about through some kind of being, none of them, I say, are freed from being. “

Ireland’s footnote on the two sentences:
“These two sentences can be understood to refer, respectively, to the eternalists and the annihilationists, the former affirming the permanence of a self, the latter accepting a temporary self bound for eventual annihilation.”

What do you find unsatisfactory?

Thank you Stephen, I think that translation is inadequate. bhavena = through existence, bhavassa = of existence, bhavasmā = coming from existence and vippamokkha can be vippa + mokkha. It could be something similar to this:

6.1. Whoever thinks that it is possible through existence to escape from the imperfection (or inconvenience) of existence, I say that he has not escaped the imperfection that comes from existence.

6.2. Whoever thinks that it is possible through the cessation of existence to be freed from the danger (or harm) of existence, I say that he has not escaped the danger that comes from existence. (Nissaraṇa = freed from danger).

I don’t really see a distinction between ‘being’ and ‘existence’.

Where does ‘imperfection’ come from?
What does ‘vippa’ alone mean?

Oh no, I have no problem with “being”. I would say that this passage does not seem to refer to liberation from existence (or being), but to liberation from something that belongs to existence (or being). In 6.2, I can know nissarana = nī + saraṇa (danger, harm, conflict), but in 6.1, with vippamokkha, I can only speculate (DPD vippa = brahman. x). I hope those who are good at Pali and Sanskrit can help me clarify this, however, with my English skills, I think I should stop. Thank you Stephen and I’m sorry to bother you!

nice sutta

the sutta ends… such a one has defeated Māra; they’ve gone beyond all states of existence.

Yes, and what is the problem when we understand it like this that in this very life one has gone beyond all states of existence and the sentence does not refer to something that will happen when one dies?

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“Associated with conflict/ war” is what saraṇa means when it is analysed: sa + raṇa.

However, this rather rare adjectival sense of saraṇa is unlikely to be what it means as a component of nissaraṇa. More likely it’s a nominal form of the verb sarati, meaning moving or going. Hence nissaraṇa is a going out from, an escaping.

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