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Saɱyutta Nikāya
5. Mahā-Vagga
56. Sacca Saɱyutta
5. Papāta Vagga

The Book of the Kindred Sayings
5. The Great Chapter
56. Kindred Sayings about the Truths
5. The Precipice

Sutta 48

Tatiya Chiggaḷa Suttaɱ

Yoke-hole (b)[1]

Translated by F. L. Woodward

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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, this mighty earth
were one mass of water,
and a man were to throw down thereon
a yoke with one hole.

Then comes a wind from the east
and wafts it west,
and a wind from the west
wafts it east:
a north wind wafts it south
and a south wind wafts it north.

Then once at the end of a hundred years
a blind turtle pops up to the surface.

Now what think ye, monks?

Would that blind turtle
push his neck through
that yoke with one hole
whenever he popped up to the surface
at the end of a hundred years?"

"It is unlikely,[2] lord,
that the blind turtle would do that."

"It is just as unlikely, monks,
that one will get birth in human form,
just as unhkely
that a Tathāgata should arise in the world,
an Arahant,
a fully Enlightened One;
just as unlikely, monks,
that the Norm and Discipline proclaimed by a Tathāgata
should be shown in the world.

But now indeed, monks,
this state of human birth is won,
and a Tathāgata has arisen in the world,
and the Norm and Discipline proclaimed by the Tathāgata
is shown in the world.

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] This Sutta introduces the passages (from M. iii) omitted in the previous one.

[2] A-dhiccaṅ. Comy. idaṅ adhicc'uppatikaṅ (viz. provided that the yoke did not rot away, or the sea dry up, or the turtle die), and suggests the meaning as yad'icchā-vasena ('at pleasure')!

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