3.1.2 Like a Handful of Leaves

Once the Bhagavā was staying in the Sīsapa forest at Kosambi. Then and there the Bhagavā, taking up a few Sīsapa leaves with his hand he addressed the Bhikkhus: ‘What do you think, O’ Bhikkhus, which are more numerous, the few Sīsapa leaves in my hand or those in the Sīsapa forest above?’

‘The leaves in the hand of the Bhagavā are limited in number, Bhante, those in the forest above are far more numerous.’

‘Similarly, in the same way, O’ Bhikkhus, what is known through my special knowledge but I have not declared to you is far more numerous. And why haven’t I declared it? Because it is not connected with the goal, does not affect the holy life, and does not lead to weariness of the world, to dispassion, to cessation, to tranquillity, to universal knowledge, to full enlightenment, to nibbāna. That is why I have not declared it.

And what have I taught? ‘This is suffering. This is the origination of suffering. This is the eradication of suffering. This is the path leading to the eradication of suffering’ ‘This is what I have taught. And why have I taught this? Because it is connected with the goal, supports the holy life, and does lead to weariness of the world, to dispassion, to cessation, to tranquillity, to special knowledge, to full enlightenment, to nibbāna. That is why I have declared it!

Therefore I emphasise, O’ Bhikkhus, make it your obligation to practice: ‘This is suffering’. Make it your obligation to practice: ‘This is the origination of suffering’. Make it your obligation to practice: ‘This is the eradication of suffering’. Make it your obligation to practice: ‘This is the path leading to the eradication of suffering’.


Last modified: Monday, 14 December 2015, 8:31 AM