Fearless

Pāli Canon

Pāli Canon

Then Jānussoṇi the brahman went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, exchanged courteous greetings with him. After an exchange of friendly greetings & courtesies, he sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One:

I am of the view & opinion that there is no one who, subject to death, is not afraid or in terror of death.

(The Blessed One said:) “And who is the person who, subject to death, is not afraid or in terror of death?

There is the case of the person who has abandoned passion, desire, fondness, thirst, fever, & craving for sensuality…

Then he comes down with a serious disease. As he comes down with a serious disease, the thought doesn’t occur to him, ‘O, those beloved sensual pleasures will be taken from me, and I will be taken from them!’ He doesn’t grieve, isn’t tormented; doesn’t weep, beat his breast, or grow delirious.

This is a person who, subject to death, is not afraid or in terror of death.”

Then there is the case of the person who has abandoned passion, desire, fondness, thirst, fever, & craving for the body.

Then he comes down with a serious disease. As he comes down with a serious disease, the thought doesn’t occur to him, ‘O, my beloved body will be taken from me, and I will be taken from my body!’ He doesn’t grieve, isn’t tormented; doesn’t weep, beat his breast, or grow delirious.

This, too, is a person who, subject to death, is not afraid or in terror of death.”

Then there is the case of the person who has done what is good, has done what is skillful, has given protection to those in fear, and has not done what is evil, savage, or cruel.

Then he comes down with a serious disease. As he comes down with a serious disease, the thought occurs to him, ‘I have done what is good, have done what is skillful, have given protection to those in fear, and I have not done what is evil, savage, or cruel. To the extent that there is a destination for those who have done what is good, what is skillful, have given protection to those in fear, and have not done what is evil, savage, or cruel, that’s where I’m headed after death.’ He doesn’t grieve, isn’t tormented; doesn’t weep, beat his breast, or grow delirious.

This, too, is a person who, subject to death, is not afraid or in terror of death.”

Then there is the case of the person who has no doubt or perplexity, who has arrived at certainty with regard to the True Dhamma.

Then he comes down with a serious disease. As he comes down with a serious disease, the thought occurs to him, ‘I have no doubt or perplexity. I have arrived at certainty with regard to the True Dhamma.’ He doesn’t grieve, isn’t tormented; doesn’t weep, beat his breast, or grow delirious.

This, too, is a person who, subject to death, is not afraid or in terror of death.”

These, brahman, are four people who, subject to death, are not afraid or in terror of death.”

This reflection is from the Pāli Canon: Fearless, Abhaya Sutta (AN 4:184), translated into English by Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu. [Formatting and Italics added for emphasis.]

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