Maha-dukkhakkhandha Sutta: The Great Mass of Stress

translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Savatthi at Jeta’s Grove, Anathapindika’s monastery. Then, early in the morning, several monks put on their robes and, carrying their bowls and outer robes, went into Savatthi for alms. The thought occurred to them, “It’s still too early to go into Savatthi for alms. What if we were to visit the park of the wanderers of other persuasions?”

So they headed to the park of the wanderers of other persuasions. On arrival, they exchanged courteous greetings with the wanderers of other persuasions. After an exchange of friendly greetings & courtesies, they sat to one side. As they were sitting there, the wanderers of other persuasions said to them, “Friends, Gotama the contemplative describes the comprehension of sensuality. We, too, describe the comprehension of sensuality. He describes the comprehension of forms. We, too, describe the comprehension of forms. He describes the comprehension of feelings. We, too, describe the comprehension of feelings. So what is the difference, what the distinction, what the distinguishing factor between him and us in terms of his teaching and ours, his message and ours?”

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