Categories
Samyutta Nikaya
Anamatagga Saṁyutta

15.20 Vēpulla Sutta
Vēpulla Mountain

History can be unseen, but saṁsara has continued.

At one time, the Blessed One was staying in the city of Rājagaha on the Gijjhakūṭa Mountain. The Blessed One addressed the monks, saying, “O monks!”

“Bhante!” those monks replied.

The Blessed One said, “Monks, this cycle of rebirth is endless. The beginning of this extremely long journey cannot be discovered. These beings, hindered by lack of knowledge of the true nature of life and bound by craving, roam and wander on in this endless journey.

“Monks, in the past, this Vēpulla mountain was called Pācinavaṁsa and the people who lived at that time were called Tivaras. The lifespan of Tivaras was 40,000 years. They could climb the Pācinavaṁsa mountain in four days and descend in four days. At that time, the Blessed One Kakusandha, the Arahant, the supremely enlightened Buddha lived in the world. Monk Vidhura and monk Sañjīva were his two chief disciples. See, monks! The previous name for this mountain has disappeared; those people have died; and that Blessed One has passed away. So impermanent are conditioned things, monks, so unstable, so unreliable. Therefore, monks, the time has come for you to understand the meaningless nature of all conditioned things. The time has come for you to become detached from them. And the time has come for you to be liberated from them.

“At another time, monks, in the past, this Vēpulla mountain was called Vaṇkaka and the people who lived at that time were called Rohitassas. The lifespan of Rohitassas was 30,000 years. They could climb the Vaṇkaka mountain in three days and descend in three days. At that time, the Blessed One Koṇāgamana, the Arahant, the supremely enlightened Buddha lived in the world. Monk Bhiyyosa and monk Uttara were his two chief disciples. See, monks! The previous name for this mountain has disappeared; those people have died; and that Blessed One has passed away. So impermanent are conditioned things, monks, so unstable, so unreliable. Therefore, monks, the time has come for you to understand the meaningless nature of all conditioned things. The time has come for you to become detached from them. And the time has come for you to be liberated from them.

“At still another time, monks, in the past, this Vēpulla mountain was called Supassa and the people who lived at that time were called Suppiyas. The lifespan of Suppiyas was 20,000 years. They could climb the Supassa mountain in two days and descend in two days. At that time, the Blessed One Kassapa, the Arahant, the supremely enlightened Buddha lived in the world. Monk Tissa and monk Bhāradvāja were his two chief disciples. See, monks! The previous name for this mountain has disappeared; those people have died; and that Blessed One has passed away. So impermanent are conditioned things, monks, so unstable, so unreliable. Therefore, monks, the time has come for you to understand the meaningless nature of all conditioned things. The time has come for you to become detached from them. And the time has come for you to be liberated from them.

“At present, monks, this Vēpulla mountain is called Vēpulla and at present these people are called Magadhans. The lifespan of Magadhans is short, limited, and passing quickly; one who lives long, lives a hundred years, or a little more. The Magadhans climb the Vēpulla mountain in a moment and descend in a moment. At present, I live in the world, the Arahant, the supremely enlightened one. Monk Sāriputta and monk Moggallāna are my two chief disciples. There will come a time, monks, when the name for this mountain will have disappeared, when these people will have died, and I will have passed away. So impermanent are conditioned things, monks, so unstable, so unreliable. Therefore, monks, the time has come for you to understand the meaningless nature of all conditioned things. The time has come for you to become detached from them. And the time has come for you to be liberated from them.”

The Blessed One taught this. Having taught this, the Well-Gone One, the great teacher, further said thus:

The mountain Vepulla
was called Pācīnavaṁsa by the Tivaras,
Vaṇkaka by the Rohitassas,
Supassa by the Suppiyas,
and Vepulla by the Magadhans.

Conditioned things are indeed impermanent,
their nature is to arise and pass away.
Having arisen, they cease:
the cessation of desire for all conditioned things
is truly the ultimate peace.”

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Saṁyutta Nikāya 15.20 Vēpulla Sutta: Vēpulla Mountain

Further Reading:

There is a shorter version of this sutta at Itv 24.

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