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Chris wrote:Hello sukhamanveti, all,
SN 15.14-19 Mata Sutta Mother
At Savatthi. There the Blessed One said: "From an inconstruable beginning comes transmigration. A beginning point is not evident, though beings hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving are transmigrating & wandering on. A being who has not been your mother at one time in the past is not easy to find... A being who has not been your father... your brother... your sister... your son... your daughter at one time in the past is not easy to find.
"Why is that? From an inconstruable beginning comes transmigration. A beginning point is not evident, though beings hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving are transmigrating & wandering on. Long have you thus experienced stress, experienced pain, experienced loss, swelling the cemeteries — enough to become disenchanted with all fabricated things, enough to become dispassionate, enough to be released."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
phil wrote:I think (but am not sure) that this is the same samyutta in which the Buddha uses various striking similes to drive home the beginningless(?) nature of samsara, to drive home how long "we" have been wandering. We have cried more tears of grief than all the water in all the seas, is one. Another is that if there were a mountain a mile (roughly) wide and long and high, and we were to walk past it once every 100 years and brush it once with a piece of velvety cloth, the time it would take to wear the mountain down to dust would be less than the time we have been wandering through samsara!
I think the point of these similes is to condition samvega (sense of urgency) but I have also known Dhamma friends who take it as a way to detach from having a lot of expectations for results/progress in this one lifetime. I favour the former response!
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