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Saɱyutta Nikāya
II. Nidāna Vagga
15. Anamat'agga-Saɱyuttaɱ
I. Paṭhama Vagga

15. Anamatagga-saɱyuttam
Connected Discourses on Without Discoverable Beginning
Sutta 1

Tiṇa-Kaṭṭha Suttaɱ

Crass and Wood

Translated by Bhikkhu Bodhi

Copyright Wisdom Publications.
Reproduced with permission.



[1][pts][olds] Thus have I heard.

On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Sāvatthī in Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's Park.

[2][pts][olds] There the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus thus:

"Venerable sir!" those bhikkhus replied.

[3][pts][olds] The Blessed One said this:

"Bhikkhus, this saṅsāra is without discoverable beginning.[254] A first point is not discerned of beings roaming and wandering on hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving.

[4][pts][olds] Suppose, bhikkhus, a man would cut up whatever grass, sticks, branches, and foliage there are in this Jambudīpa and collect them together into a single heap. Having done so, he would put them down, saying [for each one]: 'This is my mother, this my mother's mother.' The sequence of that man's mothers and grandmothers would not come to an end, yet the grass, wood, branches, and foliage in this Jambudīpa would be used up and exhausted.

[5][pts][olds] For what reason?

Because, bhikkhus, this saṅsāra is without discoverable beginning. A first point is not discerned of beings roaming and wandering on hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving.

[6][pts][olds] For such a long time, bhikkhus, you have experienced suffering, anguish, and disaster, and swelled the cemetery.

[7][pts][olds] It is enough to experience revulsion towards all formations, enough to become dispassionate towards them, enough to be liberated from them."


[254] Anamataggo 'yaɱ bhikkhave saṅsāro. Spk resolves anamatagga into anu amatagga, explaining: "Even if it should be pursued by knowledge for a hundred or a thousand years, it would be with unthought-of beginning, with unknown beginning (vassasataɱ vassasahassaɱ ñāṇena anugantvā pi amataggo aviditaggo). It wouldn't be possible to know its beginning from here or from there; the meaning is that it is without a delimiting first or last point. Saṅsāra is the uninterruptedly occurring succession of the aggregates, etc. (khandhādīnaɱ avicchinnappavattā paṭipāti)."

The BHS equivalent of anamatagga is anavarāgra (e.g., at Mvu I 34,7), "without lower or upper limit." For various explanations, see CPD, s.v. an-amat'-agga.

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