Itivuttaka 1.24 A Heap of Bones
translated from the Pali by John Ireland
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... ml#iti-024
This was said by the Lord...
"Bhikkhus, the skeletons of a single person, running on and wandering in samsara for an aeon, would make a heap of bones, a quantity of bones as large as this Mount Vepulla, if there were someone to collect them and if the collection were not destroyed."
The bones of a single person
Accumulated in a single aeon
Would make a heap like a mountain —
So said the Great Sage.
He declared it to be
As great as Mount Vepulla
To the north of Vulture's Peak
In the hill-fort of Magadha.
But when one sees with perfect wisdom
The four noble truths as they are —
Suffering, the origin of suffering,
The overcoming of suffering,
And the noble eightfold path
Leading to relief from suffering —
Having merely run on
Seven times at the most,
By destroying all fetters
One makes an end of suffering. [*]Note
[*] This refers to the stream enterer, who is reborn at most seven more times before attaining release.