Different Aspects of Citta - Knowing the world is knowing oneself

In the 'Gradual Savings' (Book of the Fours, Ch.V,par. 5, Rohitassa) we read that Rohitassa, a deva, asked the Buddha about reaching the world's end. He said to the Buddha:


 'Pray, lord, is it possible for us, by going,

to know, to see, to reach world's end, 

where there is no more being born or growing old, 

no more dying, no more falling (from one existence)

and rising up (in another)?'


   'Your reverence, where there is no more being born or growing old,

no more dying, no more falling from one existence and rising up in another,

I declare that

that end of the world is not by going

to be known, seen or reached.'


   'It is wonderful, lord! It is marvellous, lord,

how well it is said by the Exalted One:

"Where there is no more being born… that end of the world

is not by going to be known, seen or reached!’’ 

    'Formerly, lord, I was the hermit called Rohitassa,

Bhoja's son, one of psychic power, a skywalker…  

The extent of my stride was as the distance

between the eastern and the western oceans.

To me, lord, possessed of such speed and of such a stride,

there came a longing thus: I will reach world's end by going.'

    'But, lord, not to speak of (the time spent over) food and drink,

eating, tasting and calls of nature,

not to speak of struggles to banish sleep and weariness,

though my life-span was a hundred years,

though I lived a hundred years,

though I travelled a hundred years,

yet I reached not world's end but died ere that.

Wonderful indeed, lord! Marvellous it is, lord,

how well it has been said by the Exalted One:

"Your reverence, where there is no more being born…

that end of the world is not by going to be known, seen or reached."


'But, your reverence, I declare not that

there is any making an end of ill without reaching world's end.

Nay, your reverence, in this very fathom-long body,

along with its perceptions and thoughts, I proclaim the world to be,

likewise the origin of the world and the making of the world to end,

likewise the practice going to the ending of the world.

     Not to be reached by going is world's end.

Yet there is no release for man from ill.

Unless he reach world's end.

Then let a man become world-knower, wise, world-ender,

Let him be one who lives the holy life.

Knowing the world's end by becoming calmed.

He longs not for this world or another’.


The Buddha taught people about the 'world' and the way to reach the end of

the world, that is, the end of suffering, dukkha. The way to realize this is

knowing the world, that is, knowing 'this very fathom-long body, along with

its perceptions and thoughts', knowing oneself.

Topic 176