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Saŋyutta Nikāya,
V: MahāVagga
56. Sacca Saŋyutta
VII. Vagga Sattama: Cakka-peyyālo

The Book of the Kindred Sayings
Part V: The Great Chapter
56: Kindred Sayings about the Truths
VII. Cyclic-Repetition

Suttas 61-70

Translated by F. L. Woodward

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Sutta 61

Aññatra Suttaɱ

Other Than

[61.1] THUS have I heard:

Then the Exalted One,
taking up a little dust
on the tip of his finger-nail,
said to the monks:

"Now what think ye, monks?

Which is the greater,
this little dust I have taken up
on the tip of my finger-nail,
or this mighty earth?"

"Greater, lord, is this mighty earth.

Exceeding small
is this little dust taken up
on the tip of the Exalted One's fingernail:
it cannot be reckoned,
it cannot be compared therewith.

It does not come to the merest fraction
of a part of it
when set beside the mighty earth, -
this little dust taken up
on the tip of the Exalted One's finger-nail."

[391] "Just so, monks,
few are those beings that are reborn among men:
more numerous are these beings
that are reborn other than men.

What is the cause of that?

It is through not seeing four Ariyan truths.

What four?

The Ariyan truth of Ill,
the Ariyan truth of the arising of Ill,
the Ariyan truth of the ceasing of Ill,
the Ariyan truth of the practice that leads to the ceasing of Ill.

Wherefore, monks, an effort must be made to realize:

'This is Ill'.

'This is the arising of Ill.'

'This is the ceasing of Ill.'

This is the practice that leads to the ceasing of Ill.'"

 


 

Sutta 62

Paccanta Suttaɱ

Outlying

[62.1] THUS have I heard:

Then the Exalted One,
taking up a little dust
on the tip of his finger-nail,
said to the monks:

"Now what think ye, monks?

Which is the greater,
this little dust I have taken up
on the tip of my finger-nail,
or this mighty earth?"

"Greater, lord, is this mighty earth.

Exceeding small
is this little dust taken up
on the tip of the Exalted One's fingernail:
it cannot be reckoned,
it cannot be compared therewith.

It does not come to the merest fraction
of a part of it
when set beside the mighty earth, -
this little dust taken up
on the tip of the Exalted One's finger-nail."

"Just so, monks,
few are those beings that are reborn in the middle districts:
more numerous are they
that are reborn in the outlying districts,
among the unreasoning barbarians.[1]

What is the cause of that?

It is through not seeing four Ariyan truths.

What four?

The Ariyan truth of Ill,
the Ariyan truth of the arising of Ill,
the Ariyan truth of the ceasing of Ill,
the Ariyan truth of the practice that leads to the ceasing of Ill.

Wherefore, monks, an effort must be made to realize:

'This is Ill'.

'This is the arising of Ill.'

'This is the ceasing of Ill.'

This is the practice that leads to the ceasing of Ill.'"

 


 

Sutta 63

Paññā Suttaɱ

Insight

[63.1] THUS have I heard:

Then the Exalted One,
taking up a little dust
on the tip of his finger-nail,
said to the monks:

"Now what think ye, monks?

Which is the greater,
this little dust I have taken up
on the tip of my finger-nail,
or this mighty earth?"

"Greater, lord, is this mighty earth.

Exceeding small
is this little dust taken up
on the tip of the Exalted One's fingernail:
it cannot be reckoned,
it cannot be compared therewith.

It does not come to the merest fraction
of a part of it
when set beside the mighty earth, -
this little dust taken up
on the tip of the Exalted One's finger-nail."

"Just so, monks,
few are those beings that are blessed
with the Ariyan eye of insight:
more numerous are these beings
that are sunk in ignorance and bewilderment.

What is the cause of that?

It is through not seeing four Ariyan truths.

What four?

The Ariyan truth of Ill,
the Ariyan truth of the arising of Ill,
the Ariyan truth of the ceasing of Ill,
the Ariyan truth of the practice that leads to the ceasing of Ill.

Wherefore, monks, an effort must be made to realize:

'This is Ill'.

'This is the arising of Ill.'

'This is the ceasing of Ill.'

This is the practice that leads to the ceasing of Ill.'"

 


 

Sutta 64

Surāmeraya Suttaɱ

Intoxicating Liquor

[64.1] THUS have I heard:

Then the Exalted One,
taking up a little dust
on the tip of his finger-nail,
said to the monks:

"Now what think ye, monks?

Which is the greater,
this little dust I have taken up
on the tip of my finger-nail,
or this mighty earth?"

"Greater, lord, is this mighty earth.

Exceeding small
is this little dust taken up
on the tip of the Exalted One's fingernail:
it cannot be reckoned,
it cannot be compared therewith.

It does not come to the merest fraction
of a part of it
when set beside the mighty earth, -
this little dust taken up
on the tip of the Exalted One's finger-nail."

"Just so, monks,
few are those beings
that are abstainers from intoxicants,
fermented[2] or distilled,
producing indolence:
more numerous are they
who are non-abstainers therefrom.

What is the cause of that?

It is through not seeing four Ariyan truths.

What four?

The Ariyan truth of Ill,
the Ariyan truth of the arising of Ill,
the Ariyan truth of the ceasing of Ill,
the Ariyan truth of the practice that leads to the ceasing of Ill.

Wherefore, monks, an effort must be made to realize:

'This is Ill'.

'This is the arising of Ill.'

'This is the ceasing of Ill.'

This is the practice that leads to the ceasing of Ill.'"

 


 

Sutta 65

Odakā Suttaɱ

Water Born

[65.1] THUS have I heard:

Then the Exalted One,
taking up a little dust
on the tip of his finger-nail,
said to the monks:

"Now what think ye, monks?

Which is the greater,
this little dust I have taken up
on the tip of my finger-nail,
or this mighty earth?"

"Greater, lord, is this mighty earth.

Exceeding small
is this little dust taken up
on the tip of the Exalted One's fingernail:
it cannot be reckoned,
it cannot be compared therewith.

It does not come to the merest fraction
of a part of it
when set beside the mighty earth, -
this little dust taken up
on the tip of the Exalted One's finger-nail."

"Just so, monks,
few are tbose beings
that are born on land:
more numerous are they
that are born in water.

What is the cause of that?

It is through not seeing four Ariyan truths.

What four?

The Ariyan truth of Ill,
the Ariyan truth of the arising of Ill,
the Ariyan truth of the ceasing of Ill,
the Ariyan truth of the practice that leads to the ceasing of Ill.

Wherefore, monks, an effort must be made to realize:

'This is Ill'.

'This is the arising of Ill.'

'This is the ceasing of Ill.'

This is the practice that leads to the ceasing of Ill.'"

 


 

Sutta 66

Matteyyā Suttaɱ

Reverent to Mothers

[66.1] THUS have I heard:

Then the Exalted One,
taking up a little dust
on the tip of his finger-nail,
said to the monks:

"Now what think ye, monks?

Which is the greater,
this little dust I have taken up
on the tip of my finger-nail,
or this mighty earth?"

"Greater, lord, is this mighty earth.

Exceeding small
is this little dust taken up
on the tip of the Exalted One's fingernail:
it cannot be reckoned,
it cannot be compared therewith.

It does not come to the merest fraction
of a part of it
when set beside the mighty earth, -
this little dust taken up
on the tip of the Exalted One's finger-nail."

"Just so, monks,
few are those beings[3]
that reverence[4] their mothers:
more numerous are they
that reverence not their mothers.

What is the cause of that?

It is through not seeing four Ariyan truths.

What four?

The Ariyan truth of Ill,
the Ariyan truth of the arising of Ill,
the Ariyan truth of the ceasing of Ill,
the Ariyan truth of the practice that leads to the ceasing of Ill.

Wherefore, monks, an effort must be made to realize:

'This is Ill'.

'This is the arising of Ill.'

'This is the ceasing of Ill.'

This is the practice that leads to the ceasing of Ill.'"

 


 

Sutta 67

Petteyyā Suttaɱ

Reverent to Fathers

[67.1] THUS have I heard:

Then the Exalted One,
taking up a little dust
on the tip of his finger-nail,
said to the monks:

"Now what think ye, monks?

Which is the greater,
this little dust I have taken up
on the tip of my finger-nail,
or this mighty earth?"

"Greater, lord, is this mighty earth.

Exceeding small
is this little dust taken up
on the tip of the Exalted One's fingernail:
it cannot be reckoned,
it cannot be compared therewith.

It does not come to the merest fraction
of a part of it
when set beside the mighty earth, -
this little dust taken up
on the tip of the Exalted One's finger-nail."

"Just so, monks,
few are those beings
that reverence their fathers:
more numerous are they
that reverence not their fathers.

What is the cause of that?

It is through not seeing four Ariyan truths.

What four?

The Ariyan truth of Ill,
the Ariyan truth of the arising of Ill,
the Ariyan truth of the ceasing of Ill,
the Ariyan truth of the practice that leads to the ceasing of Ill.

Wherefore, monks, an effort must be made to realize:

'This is Ill'.

'This is the arising of Ill.'

'This is the ceasing of Ill.'

This is the practice that leads to the ceasing of Ill.'"

 


 

Sutta 68

Sāmañña Suttaɱ

Reverent to Recluses[5]

[68.1] THUS have I heard:

Then the Exalted One,
taking up a little dust
on the tip of his finger-nail,
said to the monks:

"Now what think ye, monks?

Which is the greater,
this little dust I have taken up
on the tip of my finger-nail,
or this mighty earth?"

"Greater, lord, is this mighty earth.

Exceeding small
is this little dust taken up
on the tip of the Exalted One's fingernail:
it cannot be reckoned,
it cannot be compared therewith.

It does not come to the merest fraction
of a part of it
when set beside the mighty earth, -
this little dust taken up
on the tip of the Exalted One's finger-nail."

"Just so, monks,
few are those beings
that reverence recluses:
more numerous are they
that reverence not recluses.

What is the cause of that?

It is through not seeing four Ariyan truths.

What four?

The Ariyan truth of Ill,
the Ariyan truth of the arising of Ill,
the Ariyan truth of the ceasing of Ill,
the Ariyan truth of the practice that leads to the ceasing of Ill.

Wherefore, monks, an effort must be made to realize:

'This is Ill'.

'This is the arising of Ill.'

'This is the ceasing of Ill.'

This is the practice that leads to the ceasing of Ill.'"

 


 

Sutta 69

Brahmañña Suttaɱ

Reverent to Brahmins[6]

[69.1] THUS have I heard:

Then the Exalted One,
taking up a little dust
on the tip of his finger-nail,
said to the monks:

"Now what think ye, monks?

Which is the greater,
this little dust I have taken up
on the tip of my finger-nail,
or this mighty earth?"

"Greater, lord, is this mighty earth.

Exceeding small
is this little dust taken up
on the tip of the Exalted One's fingernail:
it cannot be reckoned,
it cannot be compared therewith.

It does not come to the merest fraction
of a part of it
when set beside the mighty earth, -
this little dust taken up
on the tip of the Exalted One's finger-nail."

"Just so, monks,
few are those beings
that reverence brahmins:
more numerous are they
that reverence not brahmins.

What is the cause of that?

It is through not seeing four Ariyan truths.

What four?

The Ariyan truth of Ill,
the Ariyan truth of the arising of Ill,
the Ariyan truth of the ceasing of Ill,
the Ariyan truth of the practice that leads to the ceasing of Ill.

Wherefore, monks, an effort must be made to realize:

'This is Ill'.

'This is the arising of Ill.'

'This is the ceasing of Ill.'

This is the practice that leads to the ceasing of Ill.'"

 


 

Sutta 70

Pacāyika Suttaɱ

Respect to Elders[7]

[70.1] THUS have I heard:

Then the Exalted One,
taking up a little dust
on the tip of his finger-nail,
said to the monks:

"Now what think ye, monks?

Which is the greater,
this little dust I have taken up
on the tip of my finger-nail,
or this mighty earth?"

"Greater, lord, is this mighty earth.

Exceeding small
is this little dust taken up
on the tip of the Exalted One's fingernail:
it cannot be reckoned,
it cannot be compared therewith.

It does not come to the merest fraction
of a part of it
when set beside the mighty earth, -
this little dust taken up
on the tip of the Exalted One's finger-nail."

"Just so, monks,
few are those beings
that pay respect to the elders of the clan:
more numerous are they
that pay not respect
to[8] the elders of the clan.

What is the cause of that?

It is through not seeing four Ariyan truths.

What four?

The Ariyan truth of Ill,
the Ariyan truth of the arising of Ill,
the Ariyan truth of the ceasing of Ill,
the Ariyan truth of the practice that leads to the ceasing of Ill.

Wherefore, monks, an effort must be made to realize:

'This is Ill'.

'This is the arising of Ill.'

'This is the ceasing of Ill.'

This is the practice that leads to the ceasing of Ill.'"

 


[1] Aviññataresu milakkhesu (Skt. mleccha) in the sense of the Greek barbaroi. Cf. DA. i, 177; SnA. ii, 397 = S.A. on S. i, 188. 'Such as Damiḷā (Tamils), Kirātā, Yavanā (Milakkhā),' Dravidians of S. India, etc. Comy.

[2] Comy. surā = piṭṭha-surā (barley-ferment), odaniya-surā (rice-ferment), pūva-surā (sweetmeats ?), kiṇṇa-pakkhitta (yeast-mixture), sambhāra-saŋyuttā (a concoction of kañji), which are called 'the fivefold secretion (āsava) of flowers but does not mention any sort of toddy, though I think pūva (? jaggery) which is made from fermented kitul-palm juice, would include such.

[3] Text should read sattā.

[4] These terms (vi-ix) occur at Pv. ii, 7; PvA. 104.

[5] Sāmañña = samana-pūjakā, def. at text, 25.

[6] Here in the derived meaning of bāhita-pāpa-pūjakā. Comy. 'a synonym for those who have attained perfection.'

[7] Text follows uddāna in wrongly printing Pacāyilca, which should read apacāyika.

[8] Text again wrong in reading jeṭṭhāpacāyino (taking it as negative of pacāyika) in the second instance. It should be jeṭṭhānapacāyino.


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