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The Sceptic

After the awakening, while I was following the road between the tree of awakening and the village of Gāya, a naked Ājīvika ascetic called Upaka saw me and said this:

           Your faculties are quite clear, sir, and your complexion is pure and bright.

           On account of whom have you gone forth – who is your teacher?

           Whose Dharma do you consent to?

I then addressed Upaka in verse as follows:

  • I am the
    conqueror of all
    a knower of all,
    I am untainted
    among all phenomena,
  • I have abandoned all,
    And am released
    in the destruction
    of craving.
  • Having come
    to understanding,
    all by myself,
    To whom
    should I defer?
    I have no teacher,
    there is no other
    like me,
    In the entire world
    including its gods,
    I have no equal.
  • I am a liberated,
    an Arahant,
    the unsurpassed teacher,
    I alone am fully awakened,
    I have become cool,
    I’ve been quenched in Nirvana.
  • And I now go
    to the city of Kāsi,
    To set in motion
    the wheen Dharma,
    In this blind world,
    I will beat
    the drum of the deathless.

Upaka then said this to me:

          According to your declaration, sir, you ought to have conquered the infinite.

I replied as follows:

         Conquerors, like me,
         have attained
         The destruction
         of corruption.

         I have conquered
         all evil phenomena,
         Therefore, Upaka,
         I alone
         am the conqueror.

When I said this, Upaka, the naked Ājīvika, simply said ‘Maybe, sir’, before shaking his head and taking a different path.

November 30, 2019

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