SN.36.4. Pātālasutta ("The Abyss")

Saṁyutta Nikāya ("The Linked Discourses")

“Mendicants, when an uneducated ordinary person says that there’s a hellish abyss under the ocean, they’re speaking of something that doesn’t exist.

‘Hellish abyss’ is a term for painful physical feelings.

When an uneducated ordinary person experiences painful physical feelings they sorrow and wail and lament, beating their breast and falling into confusion. They’re called an uneducated ordinary person who hasn’t stood up in the hellish abyss and has gained no footing.

When an educated noble disciple experiences painful physical feelings they don’t sorrow or wail or lament, beating their breast and falling into confusion. They’re called an educated noble disciple who has stood up in the hellish abyss and gained a footing.

If you can’t abide
those painful physical feelings
that arise and sap your vitality;
if you tremble at their touch,

weeping and wailing,
a weakling lacking strength—
you won’t stand up in the hellish abyss
and gain a footing.

If you can endure
those painful physical feelings
that arise and sap your vitality;
if you don’t tremble at their touch—
you stand up in the hellish abyss
and gain a footing.”

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