Categories
Samyutta Nikaya

Saṁyutta Nikāya 15.2 Paṭhavi Sutta
The Earth

How many fathers have we had in this saṁsara?

This is how I heard. At one time, the Blessed One was living in the city of Sāvatthi, in Jeta’s park, at Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. The Blessed One addressed the monks, saying, “O monks!”

“Bhante!” those monks replied.

The Blessed One said, “Monks, this cycle of rebirth is endless. The beginning of this extremely long journey cannot be discovered. These beings, hindered by lack of knowledge of the true nature of life and bound by craving, roam and wander on in this endless journey. Suppose, monks, a person would make clay balls the size of a jujube, out of this great earth. Then, he would put each ball down, saying for each one ‘This is my father, this is my father’s father.’

“The generation of that person’s fathers and grandfathers would not come to an end, yet, the great earth would be used up and finished. What is the reason for that? It is because, monks, this cycle of rebirth is endless. The beginning of this extremely long journey cannot be discovered. These beings, hindered by lack of knowledge of the true nature of life and bound by craving, roam and wander on in this endless journey.

“For such a long time, monks, you have experienced various types of suffering, tragedies, and disasters. You have filled the cemetery with your dead bodies. Therefore, monks, the time has come for you to understand the meaningless nature of all conditioned things. The time has come for you to become detached from them. And the time has come for you to be liberated from them.”

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Saṁyutta Nikāya 15.2 Paṭhavi Sutta: The Earth

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