“The one in whom no longer exist the craving and thirst that perpetuate becoming; how could you track that Awakened one, trackless, and of limitless range.”

From the Dhammapada, verse 180:

“The one in whom no longer exist the craving and thirst that perpetuate becoming; how could you track that Awakened one, trackless, and of limitless range?”
The Buddha

“How could you track that Awakened one, trackless, and of limitless range?” The Buddha

3 thoughts on ““The one in whom no longer exist the craving and thirst that perpetuate becoming; how could you track that Awakened one, trackless, and of limitless range.””

    1. Yes, it’s one of the more obscure ones. Another translation is “By what track can you trace that trackless Buddha of limitless range, in whom exists no longer, the entangling and embroiling craving that perpetuates becoming?” That may be no more clear, however. The verse would be pointing to the fact that with our understanding filtered through delusion and craving, we literally can’t understand the Buddha. We can’t know him. His experience is radically different from ours.

      Thanissaro’s translation takes a different tack: “In whom there’s no craving — the sticky ensnarer — to lead him anywherever at all; awakened, his pasture endless, pathless: by what path will you lead him astray?” So he’s taken the main verb to be about not being able to lead the Buddha, not about not being able to track him. In this version, the verse is about the Buddha not being able to be led astray — by craving or delusion. The traditional commentary accompanying this verse involves someone trying to tempt the Buddha to marry his daughter.

      The Buddha’s “pasture” is what we would call his “field,” as in when we ask a scientist what his field is. The Buddha’s field (or expertise and knowledge) is boundless.

      Both versions can be read as being addressed to Mara, the personification of evil and delusion. Mara can neither “track” the Buddha (can’t understand him) and can’t “lead” him.

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