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Samyutta Nikaya
Sacca Saṁyutta

56.51 Nakhasikā Sutta
Dirt on the Fingernail

The suffering abandoned by a person who has attained Stream-Entry is huge like the earth.

One day the Buddha, putting a little bit of dirt on his fingernail, asked the monks: “What do you think, monks? Which is more: the little bit of dirt on my fingernail, or this great Earth?”

“Bhante, the great Earth is certainly more. The little bit of dirt on your fingernail is tiny. Compared to the great Earth, it can’t be reckoned or compared. It’s not even a fraction.”

“Monks, in the same way, a person becomes a noble disciple with right view by understanding the Four Noble Truths. The suffering that’s over and destroyed by him is more, the suffering that’s left over is tiny.

“He’s understood, ‘This is suffering, this is the origin of suffering, this is the end of suffering and this is the path that leads to the end of suffering. Therefore, there are at most seven more lives for him.

“Compared to the mass of suffering in the past that’s over and destroyed, it can’t be reckoned or compared. It’s not even a fraction.

“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 end of suffering.’ You should make an effort to understand: ‘This is the path that leads to the end of suffering.’”

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Saṁyutta Nikāya 56.51 Nakhasikā Sutta: Dirt on the Fingernail

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