II. Nidāna Vagga
The Book of the Kindred Sayings
II. The Book Called the Nidāna-Vagga
Containing Kindred sayings on Cause
and Other Subjects
20. Kindred Sayings on Parables
Tip of the Nail
Originally Published by
The Pali Text Society
Which is greater,
this little sand lifted on my finger-nail,
or this great earth?"
A trifle is the little sand
lifted by the Exalted One on to his finger-nail.
It cannot come into reckoning,
it cannot come into comparison,
it cannot form a fraction
when compared with the great earth —
this little sand lifted by the Exalted One on to his finger-nail."
'We will live earnestly'
- even thus."
 Somewhat arbitrarily the commentarial tradition judges that the greater alternative includes only rebirth in the four woeful spheres: — purgatory, animals, asuras and petas, deva-rebirth being included under the former alternative.