13. Abhisamaya Saŋyutta
The Tip of the Nail
Originally Published by
The Pali Text Society
On a certain occasion the Exalted One was staying near Sāvathi at the Jeta's Grove, in Anāthapiṇḍika's Park.
'What think ye, brethren?
Whether is this pinch of dust
that I have taken up on my finger-nail
or the mighty earth?'
[wp][ati][bd] The latter, lord, the mighty earth is the greater.
Infinitely small is this pinch of dust
taken up by the Exalted One on his finger-nail,
not by a hundredth part,
nor by a thousandth part,
not by a hundred thousandth part
does it equal the mighty earth
when set beside it
this pinch of dust
taken up by the Exalted One
on his finger-nail.'
[wp][ati][bd] Even so, brethren,
for the Ariyan disciple who has won vision,
for the person who has understanding
this is the greater ill, to wit,
that which for him is wholly perished,
little is the ill that remains,
not worth the hundredth part,
not worth the thousandth part,
not worth the hundred thousandth part
when measured with the former ill
which for him is wholly perished,
to wit, a term of seven times.
 Sattakkhattuŋ paramatā. Cf. Points of Controversy, 77, 268; S. v, 458; A. i, 233 f. The Comy. explains as 'a measure of seven lives (bhavā),' or rebirths.