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Samyutta Nikaya
Sacca Saṁyutta

56.35 Sattisata Sutta
A Hundred Spears

Would it be worth being struck by 100 spears if we could attain Nibbāna?

“Monks, suppose there was a man with a lifespan of a hundred years. Someone might say to him, ‘Come now, my friend, you will be struck with a hundred spears in the morning, a hundred at midday, and a hundred in the late afternoon. You’ll live for a hundred years being struck with three hundred spears every day. But when a hundred years have passed, you will comprehend the Four Noble Truths.’

“Monks, for a son who sees the benefit of realizing the Four Noble Truths it is enough to become a monk.

“Why is that? Monks, the cycle of birth and death has no beginning. The number of blows by spears, swords, arrows, and axes is uncountable. Now this may be so. But I say, the comprehension of the Four Noble Truths doesn’t come with pain or sadness. Rather, the comprehension of the Four Noble Truths comes only with pleasure and happiness. What are the Four Noble Truths? The noble truth of suffering, the Noble Truth of the origin of suffering, the Noble Truth of the cessation of suffering, and the Noble Truth of the path that leads to the cessation of suffering.

“Therefore, monks, you should make an effort to understand: ‘This is suffering.’ You should make an effort to understand: ‘This is the origin of suffering.’ You should make an effort to understand: ‘This is the cessation of suffering.’ You should make an effort to understand: ‘This is the path that leads to the cessation of suffering.’”

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Saṁyutta Nikāya 56.35 Sattisata Sutta: A Hundred Spears

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