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Saŋyutta Nikaya
Nidāna Vagga
20. Opamma Saŋyutta

Sutta 2

Nakhasikhaṃ

The Pointy-end of the Nail

Translated from the Pali by Michael Olds

 


 

[1][rhyc][than] I HEAR TELL
Once upon a time Bhagava, Savatthi-town revisiting, Jeta-woods, Anathapindika's Park.

[2][rhyc][than] There then The Lucky Man,
lifting up a little tiny itti bitti bit a dust
by the pointy-end of his nail,
addressed the beggars:

[3][rhyc][than] What do you think about this, beggars?
Now which then is the more:
this little tiny itti bitti bit a dust
gathered together and lifted up
on the pointy-end of my nail,
or whatever the great-earth has gathered?

[4][rhyc][than] It is thus, Elder:
the more is that of this great earth.

Of little consideration[1]
is that little tiny itti bitti bit a dust
lifted up by the Lucky Man
on the pointy-end of his nail.

It doesn't even amount to a measure of,
it doesn't even amount to a deposit on,
it doesn't even amount to a fraction of a deposit on
the great earth
that little tiny itti bitti bit a dust
lifted up by The Lucky Man
on the pointy-end of his nail.

[5][rhyc][than] Even so is it, beggars —
little stuff[2] are the beings for whom the result of birth ends up in being human.

More are the beings for whom the result of birth ends up in being other than human.

[6][rhyc][than] Therefore indeed, beggars,
it is thus that you should train yourselves:

'Let us live without carelessness!'[3]

Even thus should you train yourselves beggars.'

 


[1] Appamattako. appa=little matta=by measure; PED cautions 'not to be confounded with 'appamatta1= not carless, but also possibly, 'not [to be] considered', not worth considering, but I suggest that this is exactly what Gotama had in mind.

[2] Appakā

[3] Appamattā.


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