705. [Thieves:] In the past, we killed people for sacrifice or for wealth. When we caught them, they were very afraid, trembled with fear, and screamed.
706. But amazingly, you don’t seem to be scared at all. Your body just shines more and more. Even in such a fearful situation, how are you not terrified?
707. [Arahant Adhimutta:] Dear leader of the thieves, I live without desires. I don’t have any mental pain. Truly, everything that brings fear can be overcome by one who has eradicated all fetters.
708. When one understands the Four Noble Truths fully, all chains of existence break apart. When the burden of defilements is dropped, there is no fear at death.
709. This holy life has been well practiced by me. The way to extinguishing has been well completed. I have no fear at death. For me, death is like the curing of a disease.
710. This holy life has been well lived by me. The way to extinguishing has been well completed. I have seen with wisdom that existence is without any enjoyment. Therefore in my case, death is like a poison I have vomited.
711. The liberated one who doesn’t have any attachment, who has crossed over saṁsāra, and who reached the far shore, delights in the end of life when the time of living has ended. He feels like one released from execution. (For Arahants, carrying on in saṁsāra is like awaiting execution.)
712. The one who attained liberation doesn’t long for anything in the world. This is a natural law. He is like someone who jumped out of a burning house. He doesn’t grieve at death.
713. Whatever conditioned thing there is in the world, whatever existence there is, all of that is out of control, non-self. So it has been said by the Great Seer, the Buddha.
714. Whoever understands this as it was taught by the Buddha doesn’t take hold of any existence. For him, existence appears to be a blazing, heated iron ball.
715. I don’t have the thought, “I was in the past.” Nor do I have the thought, “I shall be in the future.” All conditioned things are changing. So, in this case why should I cry?
716. Dear leader of the thieves, clearly life means a formation of causes and effects that gives rise to suffering—dependant arising. Clearly, life means the continuity of conditioned things. There is no fear for one who sees this reality.
717. When by developed wisdom one sees this life, it appears to be like grass and a pile of wood to him. He doesn’t gain anything to hold on to as “mine.” For such a person, there is nothing to grieve thinking, “Oh, I am going to lose what is mine.”
718. I have indeed become disenchanted with my body. I don’t have anything to do with this existence. This body is nothing but fragile. I don’t need another body again.
719. Now, if you have any use for this body, do whatever you want. (Kill me if you please.) As a result, I won’t have any reason to hate or to love.
720. Hearing the strange words of the liberated monk, the thieves couldn’t believe their eyes; they were shocked with hair standing on end. Right there, they threw their swords away and said to the liberated monk:
721. [Thieves:] Great sage, who is indeed your teacher? Whose teaching did you hear to live without sorrow like this? Whose path did you enter?
722. [Arahant Adhimutta:] My great teacher is someone who has realized everything that should be realized. He is someone who conquered the whole world. He is someone who has great compassion. He is someone who knows everything. That Blessed One is my teacher. My great teacher is the superb physician who heals the world with the medicine of Dhamma.
723. The Supreme Buddha taught me the unsurpassed Dhamma which leads to the destruction of all suffering. I entered that Dhamma path and obtained this sorrowless life.
724. Having heard the Dhamma of the Great Seer, those thieves threw away their swords and weapons. Some of the thieves stopped stealing completely and became virtuous. Some others became monks and illuminated the Buddha’s community of disciples. (They became enlightened ones.)
725. Having become monks under the guidance of the Buddha, those wise monks developed enlightenment factors and spiritual powers. Meditating with joyful minds, they gained wisdom. Based on developed spiritual faculties, they went beyond cause and effect condition. They attained the Supreme bliss of Nibbāna.
These verses were said by Arahant Adhimutta.