15. Anamataggasaṁyutta: On the Unknowable Beginning
I. The First Chapter — SN15.1: Grass and Sticks
- © Translated from the Pali by Bhante Sujato. (More copyright information)
1So I have heard. At one time the Buddha was staying near Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. There the Buddha addressed the mendicants: “Mendicants!”
“Venerable sir,” they replied. The Buddha said this:
2“Mendicants, transmigration has no known beginning. No first point is found of sentient beings roaming and transmigrating, hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving. Suppose a person was to strip all the grass, sticks, branches, and leaves in India, gather them together into one pile, and chop them each into four inch pieces. They’d lay them down, saying: ‘This is my mother, this is my grandmother.’ The grass, sticks, branches, and leaves of India would run out before that person’s mothers and grandmothers.
Why is that? Transmigration has no known beginning. No first point is found of sentient beings roaming and transmigrating, hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving. For such a long time you have undergone suffering, agony, and disaster, swelling the cemeteries. This is quite enough for you to become disillusioned, dispassionate, and freed regarding all conditions.”
1Evaṁ me sutaṁ — ekaṁ samayaṁ bhagavā sāvatthiyaṁ vihārati jetavane anāthapiṇḍikassa ārāme. Tatra kho bhagavā bhikkhū āmantesi: "bhikkhavo"ti.
"Bhadante"ti te bhikkhū bhagavato paccassosuṁ. Bhagavā etadavoca:
2"Anamataggoyaṁ, bhikkhave, saṁsāro. Pubbā koṭi na paññāyati avijjānīvaraṇānaṁ sattānaṁ taṇhāsaṁyojanānaṁ sandhāvataṁ saṁsarataṁ. Seyyathāpi, bhikkhave, puriso yaṁ imasmiṁ jambudīpe tiṇakaṭṭhasākhāpalāsaṁ taṁ chetvā ekajjhaṁ saṁharitvā caturaṅgulaṁ caturaṅgulaṁ ghaṭikaṁ katvā nikkhipeyya: ‘Ayaṁ me mātā, tassā me mātu ayaṁ mātā’ti, apariyādinnāva, bhikkhave, tassa purisassa mātumātaro assu, atha imasmiṁ jambudīpe tiṇakaṭṭhasākhāpalāsaṁ parikkhayaṁ pariyādānaṁ gaccheyya.
Taṁ kissa hetu? Anamataggoyaṁ, bhikkhave, saṁsāro. Pubbā koṭi na paññāyati avijjānīvaraṇānaṁ sattānaṁ taṇhāsaṁyojanānaṁ sandhāvataṁ saṁsarataṁ. Evaṁ dīgharattaṁ vo, bhikkhave, dukkhaṁ paccanubhūtaṁ tibbaṁ paccanubhūtaṁ byasanaṁ paccanubhūtaṁ, kaṭasī vaḍḍhitā. Yāvañcidaṁ, bhikkhave, alameva sabbasaṅkhāresu nibbindituṁ alaṁ virajjituṁ alaṁ vimuccitun"ti.