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Saɱyutta Nikāya
4. Saḷāyatana Vagga
38. Jambukhādaka Saɱyutta

The Book of the Kindred Sayings
4. The Book Called the Saḷāyatana-Vagga
Containing Kindred Sayings on the 'Six-Fold Sphere' of Sense and Other Subjects
38. Kindred Sayings about Jambukhādaka

Sutta 16

Dukkara Suttaɱ

Hard to Do

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

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[1] Thus have I heard:

Once the venerable Sāriputta was staying among the folk of Magadha,
at Nālaka village.

Then the Wanderer, Rose-apple-eater came to visit the venerable Sāriputta,
and on coming to him greeted him in friendly wise,
and after the exchange of greetings and courtesies
sat down at one side.

So seated, the Wanderer, Rose-apple-eater,
said to the venerable Sāriputta: -

"Pray, friend Sāriputta, what is hard to do
in this Norm-discipline?"

"Going forth,[1] friend, is hard to do
in this Norm-discipline."

"But, friend, for one who has gone forth,
what is hard to do?"

"For one who has gone forth, friend,
to feel delight
is a thing hard to do."

"But, friend Sāriputta,
what can be hard to do
for one who feels delight?"

"The practice
of what is in conformity with the Norm,[2] friend,
is hard to do
for him who feels delight."

"What then, friend?

Would one who has long[3] practised
in conformity with the Norm
become an Arahant?"

"After no long time, friend."


[1] Pabbajja, the taking to the robes of the mendicant.

[2] Dhammānudhamma-paṭipatti. Cf. K.S. iii, 36 n. Not 'the minor precepts' (as often translated), but in the sense of anuloma-dhamma. Comy. 'accordantly.'

[3] We might translate 'would it be long ere one who has practised ...,' which would seem to suit the answer given. Comy. says 'such an one, if instructed at dawn, will achieve success at nightfall; if instructed at nightfall, he will succeed at dawn.'

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