II. Nidāna Vagga
I. Paṭhama Vagga
Connected Discourses on Without Discoverable Beginning
Translated by Bhikkhu Bodhi
Copyright Wisdom Publications.
Reproduced with permission.
 Thus have I heard.
On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Sāvatthī in Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's Park.
There the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus thus:
"Venerable sir!" those bhikkhus replied.
The Blessed One said this:
"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.
Suppose, bhikkhus, a man would reduce this great earth to balls of clay the size of jujube kernels and put them down, saying [for each one]: 'This is my father, this my father's father.' The sequence of that man's fathers and grandfathers would not come to an end, yet this great earth would be used up and exhausted.
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.
For such a long time, bhikkhus, you have experienced suffering, anguish, and disaster, and swelled the cemetery. It is enough to experience revulsion towards all formations, enough to become dispassionate towards them, enough to be liberated from them."
 Anamataggo 'yaɱ bhikkhave saṅsāro. Spk resolves anamatagga into anu amatatgga, 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 paṭipāṭi)."