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Samyutta Nikaya XV.3

Assu Sutta

Tears


At Savatthi. There the Blessed One said: "From an inconstruable 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 tears you have shed while transmigrating & wandering this long, long time -- crying & weeping from being joined with what is displeasing, being separated from what is pleasing -- 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 tears we have shed while transmigrating & wandering this long, long time -- crying & weeping from being joined with what is displeasing, being separated from what is pleasing -- 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 tears you have shed while transmigrating & wandering this long, long time -- crying & weeping from being joined with what is displeasing, being separated from what is pleasing -- not the water in the four great oceans.

"Long have you (repeatedly) experienced the death of a mother. The tears you have shed over the death of a mother while transmigrating & wandering this long, long time -- crying & weeping from being joined with what is displeasing, being separated from what is pleasing -- are greater than the water in the four great oceans.

"Long have you (repeatedly) experienced the death of a father...the death of a brother...the death of a sister...the death of a son...the death of a daughter...loss with regard to relatives...loss with regard to wealth...loss with regard to disease. The tears you have shed over loss with regard to disease while transmigrating & wandering this long, long time -- crying & weeping from being joined with what is displeasing, being separated from what is pleasing -- are greater than the water in the four great oceans.

"Why is that? From an inconstruable 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 fabricated things, enough to become dispassionate, enough to be released."

Source: ATI - For Free Distribution Only, as a Gift of Dhamma.

Dhamma Essay:
Giving Dignity to Life by Bhikkhu Bodhi


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