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Samyutta Nikaya LVI.31

Simsapa Sutta

The Simsapa Leaves


Once the Blessed One was staying at Kosambi in the Simsapa forest. Then, picking up a few Simsapa leaves with his hand, he asked the monks, "How do you construe this, monks: Which are more numerous, the few Simsapa leaves in my hand or those overhead in the Simsapa forest?"

"The leaves in the hand of the Blessed One are few in number, lord. Those overhead in the forest are far more numerous."

"In the same way, monks, those things that I have known with direct knowledge but have not taught are far more numerous [than what I have taught]. And why haven't I taught them? Because they are not connected with the goal, do not relate to the rudiments of the holy life, and do not lead to disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to calm, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to Unbinding. That is why I have not taught them.

"And what have I taught? 'This is stress...This is the origination of stress...This is the cessation of stress...This is the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress': This is what I have taught. And why have I taught these things? Because they are connected with the goal, relate to the rudiments of the holy life, and lead to disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to calm, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to Unbinding. This is why I have taught them.

"Therefore your duty is the contemplation, 'This is stress...This is the origination of stress...This is the cessation of stress.' Your duty is the contemplation, 'This is the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress.'"

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

Dhamma Essay:
Our Underlying Tendencies by Ayya Khema


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