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Timsa Sutta

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Title: Timsa Sutta: Thirty

Summary: Which is greater, the blood you have shed in your long journey in samsara, or the water in the four great oceans.

SN 15.13

PTS: S ii 187

CDB i 658

Timsa Sutta: Thirty

translated from the Pali by

Thanissaro Bhikkhu

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Now on that occasion the Blessed One was dwelling in Rajagaha, in the Bamboo Grove. Then thirty monks from Pava — all wilderness dwellers, all alms-goers, all triple-robe wearers, all still with fetters — went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side.

Then the thought occurred to the Blessed One, “These thirty monks from Pava… are all still with fetters. What if I were to teach them the Dhamma in such a way that in this very sitting their minds, through lack of clinging, would be released from fermentations?”

So he addressed the monks: “Monks.”

“Yes, lord,” the monks responded.

The Blessed One said, “From an inconceivable beginning comes transmigration. A beginning point is not evident, though beings hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving are transmigrating & wandering on. What do you think, monks? Which is greater, the blood you have shed from having your heads cut off while transmigrating & wandering this long, long time, or the water in the four great oceans?”

“As we understand the Dhamma taught to us by the Blessed One, this is the greater: the blood we have shed from having our heads cut off while transmigrating & wandering this long, long time, not the water in the four great oceans.”

“Excellent, monks. Excellent. It is excellent that you thus understand the Dhamma taught by me.

“This is the greater: the blood you have shed from having your heads cut off while transmigrating & wandering this long, long time, not the water in the four great oceans.

“The blood you have shed when, being cows, you had your cow-heads cut off: Long has this been greater than the water in the four great oceans.

“The blood you have shed when, being water buffaloes, you had your water buffalo-heads cut off… when, being rams, you had your ram-heads cut off… when, being goats, you had your goat-heads cut off… when, being deer, you had your deer-heads cut off… when, being chickens, you had your chicken-heads cut off… when, being pigs, you had your pig-heads cut off: Long has this been greater than the water in the four great oceans.

“The blood you have shed when, arrested as thieves plundering villages, you had your heads cut off… when, arrested as highway thieves, you had your heads cut off… when, arrested as adulterers, you had your heads cut off: Long has this been greater than the water in the four great oceans.

“Why is that? From an inconceivable beginning comes transmigration. A beginning point is not evident, though beings hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving are transmigrating & wandering on. Long have you thus experienced stress, experienced pain, experienced loss, swelling the cemeteries — enough to become disenchanted with all fabrications, enough to become dispassionate, enough to be released.”

That is what the Blessed One said. Gratified, the monks delighted in the Blessed One's words. And while this explanation was being given, the minds of the thirty monks from Pava — through lack of clinging — were released from fermentations.

See also: SN 15.3.

en/tipitaka/sut/sn/sn15/sn15.013.than.txt · Last modified: 2019/09/03 09:26 by Johann