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Saɱyutta Nikāya
II. Nidāna Vagga
13. Abhisamaya Saɱyutta

The Book of the Kindred Sayings
Part II. The Book Called the Nidāna-Vagga
Containing Kindred sayings on Cause
and Other Subjects
13. The Kindred Sayings on Understanding

Sutta 1

Nakha-Sikhā Suttaɱ

The Tip of the Nail

Translated by Mrs. Rhys Davids
Assisted by F. L. Woodward

Originally Published by
The Pali Text Society
Public Domain



[1][bodh][than][olds] THUS have I heard.

On a certain occasion the Exalted One was staying near Sāvathi at the Jeta's Grove, in Anāthapiṇḍika's Park.

[2][bodh][than][olds] Then the Exalted One took up
a little pinch of dust
on the tip of his finger-nail
and said to the brethren: —

"What think ye, brethren?

Whether is this pinch of dust
that I have taken up on my finger-nail
the greater,
or the mighty earth?"

[3][bodh][than][olds] "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."

[4][bodh][than][olds] "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,
wholly finished;
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,
wholly finished,
to wit, a term of seven times.[1]

[5][bodh][than][olds] So great in good, brethren,
is it to be wise in the Norm;
so great in good is it
to have gained the eye of the Norm."


[1] Satta-k-khattuṅ 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.

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