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Samyutta Nikaya
Sacca Saṁyutta

56.39 Indakhīla Sutta
Stone Pillar

Not understanding the Four Noble Truths, people look everywhere for a teacher.

“Monks, there are recluses who don’t truly understand about suffering, the origin of suffering, the cessation of suffering, and the path that leads to the cessation of suffering. They gaze up at the face of another recluse, thinking, ‘Surely this recluse knows and sees the truth.’

“Suppose there was a light clump of cotton-wool which was taken up by the wind and landed on level ground. The east wind carries it west. The west wind carries it east. The north wind carries it south. And the south wind carries it north. Why is that? It’s because the clump of cotton-wool is so light.

“Monks, in the same way, there are recluses who don’t truly understand about suffering, its origin, its cessation, and the path. They gaze up at the face of another recluse, thinking, ‘Surely this recluse knows and sees the truth.’ Why is that? It’s because they haven’t seen the Four Noble Truths.

“There are recluses who truly understand about suffering, its origin, its cessation, and the path. They don’t gaze up at the face of another recluse, thinking, ‘Surely this recluse knows and sees the truth.’

“Suppose there was an iron pillar or a stone pillar with deep foundations, firmly embedded, well grounded and unshakable. Even if violent storms were to blow from the east, the west, the north, and the south, they couldn’t make it shake, rock or tremble. Why is that? It’s because that stone pillar is firmly embedded, with deep foundations.

“Monks, in the same way, there are recluses who truly understand about suffering, its origin, its cessation, and the path. They don’t gaze up at the face of another recluse, thinking, ‘Surely this recluse knows and sees the truth.’ Why is that? It’s because they have clearly seen the Four Noble Truths. What four? 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 56.39 Indakhīla Sutta: Stone Pillar

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