Oghataraṇa Sutta: Crossing the Flood (SN 1.1)

Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s Park. Then, late in the night, a certain extremely beautiful god [devatā], lighting up the entire Jeta’s Grove, approached the Blessed One. Having approached, he paid homage to the Blessed One, stood to one side, and then said to him: “How, dear sir, did you cross the flood?”
“I crossed the flood, friend, by not holding back and not pushing forward.”
“But how is it, dear sir, that by not holding back and not pushing forward, you crossed the flood?”
“When I held back, friend, I sank; but when I pushed forward, I got swept away. It is in this way, friend, that by not holding back and not pushing forward I crossed the flood.”
[The god responded:]
“Indeed, after a long time I see:
a brahmin who is fully quenched,
who by not holding back, not pushing forward,
has reached the end of clinging to the world.”
This is what that god said, and the Teacher approved. Then that god, thinking “The Teacher approves of me,” paid homage to the Blessed One and, keeping him on the right, disappeared right there.

  • Translated by Christopher Ash, October 2022