Saṁyutta Nikāya — The Linked Discourses

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56. Saccasaṁyutta: On the Truths

IV. In a Rosewood Forest — SN 56.36: Living Creatures

1Suppose a person was to strip all the grass, sticks, branches, and leaves in India, gather them together into one pile, and make them into stakes. Then they’d impale the large creatures in the ocean on large stakes; the medium-sized creatures on medium-sized stakes; and the small creatures on small stakes. They wouldn’t run out of sizable creatures in the ocean before using up all the grass, sticks, branches, and leaves in India.

There are far more small creatures in the ocean than this, so it wouldn’t be feasible to impale them on stakes. Why is that? Because of the small size of those life-forms. That’s how big the plane of loss is.

A person accomplished in view, exempt from that vast plane of loss, truly understands: ‘This is suffering’ … ‘This is the origin of suffering’ … ‘This is the cessation of suffering’ … ‘This is the practice that leads to the cessation of suffering’.

3That’s why you should practice meditation …”

1"Seyyathāpi, bhikkhave, puriso yaṁ imasmiṁ jambudīpe tiṇakaṭṭhasākhāpalāsaṁ tacchetvā ekajjhaṁ saṁhareyya; ekajjhaṁ saṁharitvā sūlaṁ kareyya. Sūlaṁ karitvā ye mahāsamudde mahantakā pāṇā te mahantakesu sūlesu āvuneyya, ye mahāsamudde majjhimakā pāṇā te majjhimakesu sūlesu āvuneyya, ye mahāsamudde sukhumakā pāṇā te sukhumakesu sūlesu āvuneyya. Apariyādinnā ca, bhikkhave, mahāsamudde oḷārikā pāṇā assu.

2Atha imasmiṁ jambudīpe tiṇakaṭṭhasākhāpalāsaṁ parikkhayaṁ pariyādānaṁ gaccheyya. Ito bahutarā kho, bhikkhave, mahāsamudde sukhumakā pāṇā, ye na sukarā sūlesu āvunituṁ. Taṁ kissa hetu? Sukhumattā, bhikkhave, attabhāvassa.

Evaṁ mahā kho, bhikkhave, apāyo. Evaṁ mahantasmā kho, bhikkhave, apāyasmā parimutto diṭṭhisampanno puggalo ‘idaṁ dukkhan’ti yathābhūtaṁ pajānāti … pe … ‘Ayaṁ dukkha­nirodha­gāminī paṭipadā’ti yathābhūtaṁ pajānāti.

3Tasmātiha, bhikkhave, ‘idaṁ dukkhan’ti yogo karaṇīyo … pe … ‘Ayaṁ dukkha­nirodha­gāminī paṭipadā’ti yogo karaṇīyo"ti.