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Pabbatopama Sutta

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Title: Pabbatopama Sutta: The Simile of the Mountains

Summary: The Buddha offers a powerful simile to King Pasenadi to underscore the imminence of death and the urgency of Dhamma practice.

SN 3.25

PTS: S i 100

CDB i 192

Pabbatopama Sutta: The Simile of the Mountains

translated from the Pali by

Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Alternate translation: Olendzki (excerpt)

Alternate format: <a href=“http://www.suttareadings.net/audio/index.html#sn03.025” title=“Hear this sutta read aloud at SuttaReadings.net”><img src=“./../../../img/listen_16x16.gif” alt='[SuttaReadings.net icon]' class='suttaReadings' /></a>

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<p>At Savatthi. Then King Pasenadi Kosala approached the Blessed One in the middle of the day and, on arrival, having bowed down, sat to one side. As he was sitting there, the Blessed One said to him: “Well now, great king, where are you coming from in the middle of the day?”

“Just now, lord, I was engaged in the sort of royal affairs typical of head-anointed noble-warrior kings intoxicated with the intoxication of sovereignty, obsessed by greed for sensual pleasures, who have attained stable control in their country, and who rule having conquered a great sphere of territory on earth.”

“What do you think, great king? Suppose a man, trustworthy and reliable, were to come to you from the east and on arrival would say: 'If it please your majesty, you should know that I come from the east. There I saw a great mountain, as high as the clouds, coming this way, crushing all living beings [in its path]. Do whatever you think should be done.' Then a second man were to come to you from the west… Then a third man were to come to you from the north… Then a fourth man were to come to you from the south and on arrival would say: 'If it please your majesty, you should know that I come from the south. There I saw a great mountain, as high as the clouds, coming this way, crushing all living beings. Do whatever you think should be done.' If, great king, such a great peril should arise, such a terrible destruction of human life — the human state being so hard to obtain — what should be done?”

“If, lord, such a great peril should arise, such a terrible destruction of human life — the human state being so hard to obtain — what else should be done but Dhamma-conduct, right conduct, skillful deeds, meritorious deeds?”

“I inform you, great king, I announce to you, great king: aging and death are rolling in on you. When aging and death are rolling in on you, great king, what should be done?”

“As aging and death are rolling in on me, lord, what else should be done but Dhamma-conduct, right conduct, skillful deeds, meritorious deeds?

“There are, lord, elephant battles [fought by] head-anointed noble-warrior kings intoxicated with the intoxication of sovereignty, obsessed by greed for sensual pleasures, who have attained stable control in their country, and who rule having conquered a great sphere of territory on earth; but there is no use for those elephant battles, no scope for them, when aging and death are rolling in. There are cavalry battles… chariot battles… infantry battles… but there is no use for those infantry battles, no scope for them, when aging and death are rolling in. In this royal court there are counselors who, when the enemies arrive, are capable of dividing them by their wits; but there is no use for those battles of wits, no scope for them, when aging and death are rolling in. In this royal court there is abundant bullion and gold stored in vaults and depositories, and with such wealth we are capable of buying off enemies when they come; but there is no use for those battles of wealth, no scope for them, when aging and death are rolling in. As aging and death are rolling in on me, lord, what else should be done but Dhamma-conduct, right conduct, skillful deeds, meritorious deeds?”

“So it is, great king! So it is, great king! As aging and death are rolling in on you, what else should be done but Dhamma-conduct, right conduct, skillful deeds, meritorious deeds?”

That is what the Blessed One said. Having said that, the One Well-Gone, the Teacher, further said this:</p>

Like massive boulders, mountains pressing against the sky, moving in from all sides, crushing the four directions,

so aging and death

come rolling over living beings: noble warriors, brahmans, merchants, workers, outcastes, & scavengers. They spare nothing. They trample everything.

Here elephant troops can hold no ground, nor can chariots or infantry, nor can a battle of wits or wealth win out.

So a wise person, seeing his own good, steadfast, secures confidence in the Buddha, Dhamma, & Sangha.

One who practices the Dhamma in thought, word, & deed, receives praise here on earth and after death rejoices in heaven.

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<b>Provenance:</b>

	<div id="F_sourceCopy">The source of this work is the gift within Access to Insight "Offline Edition 2012.09.10.14", last replication 12. March 2013, generously given by John Bullitt and mentioned as: ©1997 Thanissaro Bhikkhu.</div>
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	<div id="F_sourceTitle">Transcribed from a file provided by the translator.</div>
	<div id="F_atiCopy">This Zugang zur Einsicht edition is <img width="8" src="./../../../img/d2.png" alt="[dana/©]" class='cd'/>2013 (ATI 1997-2012).</div>
	<div id="F_zzeCopy">Translations, rebublishing, editing and additions are in the sphere of responsibility of <em>Zugang zur Einsicht</em>.</div>
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<div id="F_termsOfUse"><b>Scope of this Dhamma-Gift:</b> You are invited to not only use this Dhamma-Gift here for yourself but also to share it, and your merits with it, again as a Dhamma gift and to copy, reformat, reprint, republish and redistribute this work in any medium whatsoever, provided that: (1) you only make such copies, etc. available <em>free of charge</em>; (2) you clearly indicate that any derivatives of this work (including translations) are derived from this source document; and (3) you include the full text of this "Scope of this Dhamma-Gift" in any copies or derivatives of this work. Anything beyond this is not given here.		For additional information about this license, see the [[en:faq#copyright|FAQ]].
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<div id="F_citation"><b>How to cite this document</b> (one suggested style): "Pabbatopama Sutta: The Simile of the Mountains" (SN 3.25), translated from the Pali by  Thanissaro Bhikkhu. <i>Access to Insight</i>, 11 February 2012, [[http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn03/sn03.025.than.html|http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn03/sn03.025.than.html]] . Retrieved on 10 September 2012 (Offline Edition 2012.09.10.14), republished by <i>Zugang zur Einsicht</i> on &nbsp;

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en/tipitaka/sut/sn/sn03/sn03.025.than.txt · Last modified: 2018/11/14 04:26 by Johann