Originally Published by
The Pali Text Society
Suppose, brethren, there were four archers mighty with the bow, well trained, expert, past masters in their art standing one at each quarter, [pts][wp][ati] and a man were to come saying: "I will catch and bring the shafts let fly by these four archers mighty with the bow ... or ever they reach the ground."
[pts][wp][ati]'Even, lord, if he caught and brought the shafts let fly by only one of the four archers mighty with the bow ... or ever they reached the ground, it were enough for him to be called a swift man possessed of supreme speed. What need to speak of four such bowmen?'
[pts][wp][ati]Brethren, as is the speed of that man, as is the speed of moon and sun, swifter than he, as is the speed of those spirits who run ahead of moon and sun swifter than he, swifter than them both, so swifter than even these is the passing away of the things of this life.
 Cf. above, i, 86. One adjective in the formula is here missing.
 Aerial devata's now preceding, now falling behind when they stay to bathe ... In the Expositor i, 80, the spirits are called Yama's. Comy.
 Ayusankhara, - things of physical life, for the incorporeal things pass away too quick for any reckoning. Comy.