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Saɱyutta Nikāya
5. Mahā-Vagga
56. Sacca Saɱyutta
4. Siɱsapā Vagga

The Book of the Kindred Sayings
5. The Great Chapter
56. Kindred Sayings about the Truths
4. Siɱsapā Grove

Sutta 35

Satti-Sata Suttaɱ

A Hundred Years

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

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[1][bodh][than] THUS have I heard:

Once the Exalted One addressed the monks,


"Yes, lord," replied those monks to the Exalted One.

The Exalted One said:

"Suppose, monks, a man
whose span of life is a hundred years.[1]

Then they say to that man
who lives a hundred years:

'See here, good fellow!

At early dawn
they will torture you with a hundred spears,
again at midday
and again at eventide.

Now look you, friend,
thus tortured day by day
with three hundred spears,
you will live on to a hundred,
reach a hundred years of age.

At the end of a hundred years
you shall comprehend four Ariyan truths
hitherto not comprehended.'

Well, monks, a clansman
who had any sense
might well undertake it.[2]


Because, monks,
incalculable[3] is the beginning
of this faring [373] on.

The earliest point is not revealed
(of the pain)
of blows from spears,
and axes.

Even if this were to befall one, monks,
I would not deem the full comprehension
of four Ariyan truths
to be won with sorrow and woe,
but with joy and gladness.

What are the four?[4]

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] Text should read vassa-sata-jīvin tam enaṅ.

[2] Alaṅ upagantuṅ (the torture).

[3] Anamatagga ('un-thought of-beginning'). Cf. K.S. ii, cap. xv ff.

[4] Text misprints vadāmi, 1. 7, pharasu (1. 4), and at 1. 8 omits abhisamayaṅ.

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