The problem of action at a temporal distance

over on the always fascinating blog of @Jayarava there is an article about an article that I read with much interest and wanted to comment on here.


I think Buddhists noticed certain problems in early Buddhist doctrine and responded. In particular I noted that there was a problem I called “action at a temporal distance”. Let’s say that I make a great donation to a Buddhist monastery and earn a vast amount of merit (puṇya, aka “good karma”) in the process. Some Buddhist texts say “I am the heir of my actions”, i.e. the person who experiences the consequences is the same as the one who acts. And this can stretch across lifetimes. This is the main theme of the Jātaka and Avadāna literature and one of the main ways that Buddhists talk about morality.

At the same time, however, most readings of the doctrine of dependent arising say that I am not the same person from moment to moment, let alone from lifetime to lifetime. So the one who experiences the consequences is not the same as the one who acts, but only arises in dependence on their actions.

If the action of giving is a discrete event which lasts for a few seconds (maybe) and then ceases, how can that be the condition for some effect in the future given dependent arising? The standard formula is

This being, that becomes. When this arises, that arises.
This not being, that does not become. When that ceases, this ceases.

I argued that this means that the condition has to be present for the effect to arise, and if it is absent the effect ceases or never arises in the first place. The Theravādins in academia disagreed with this extremely enough to reject my article outright, but it is undoubtedly how proponents of sarvāstivāda understood it.

Thus Buddhist morality tales and Buddhist metaphysical texts tell a very different story about continuity over time. Standard modern interpretations of karma don’t acknowledge this dichotomy and thus do not explain it. When I looked at historical accounts of karma I did not find a good explanation, but I did perceive a pattern.

This reminded me of one of the undeclared points suttas discussed in my thread:

at SN12.17 it says:

“Suppose that the person who does the deed experiences the result. Then for one who has existed since the beginning, suffering is made by oneself. This statement leans toward eternalism.
“‘So karoti so paṭisaṁvedayatī’ti kho, kassapa, ādito sato ‘sayaṅkataṁ dukkhan’ti iti vadaṁ sassataṁ etaṁ pareti. Variant: paṭisaṁvedayatī’ti → paṭisaṁvediyatīti (bj, pts1ed, pts2ed, mr)

Suppose that one person does the deed and another experiences the result. Then for one stricken by feeling, suffering is made by another. This statement leans toward annihilationism.
‘Añño karoti añño paṭisaṁvedayatī’ti kho, kassapa, vedanābhitunnassa sato ‘paraṅkataṁ dukkhan’ti iti vadaṁ ucchedaṁ etaṁ pareti.

Avoiding these two extremes, the Realized One teaches by the middle way:
Ete te, kassapa, ubho ante anupagamma majjhena tathāgato dhammaṁ deseti:

‘Ignorance is a condition for choices.
‘avijjāpaccayā saṅkhārā;

Choices are a condition for consciousness. …
saṅkhārapaccayā viññāṇaṁ …pe…

That is how this entire mass of suffering originates.
evametassa kevalassa dukkhakkhandhassa samudayo hoti.

the parallel at SA302 appears to omit the explanations beginning with “suppose the” but does include the oneself, another, both, neither undeclared formula. This is good evidence that here we have an example of exactly what @Jayarava talks about in their blog post, here we appear to have an example of the Theravadins noticing a problem and trying to solve it.

I would love to hear from people about what they think of @Jayarava 's article, and what they think about the proposed “solution” given in the sutta but absent from the parallel, it certainly seems to me that the tension is real, for a person who is heir to their actions in the distant future seems in some sense to continue, while a person who “arises” moment to moment and has no continuity at all seems not to be able to act for themselves at all.

I wish you had not done this @josephzizys. I really do.


Sorry @Jayarava ! I am shamelessly using your material as cannon fodder to try and provoke some sort of conversation that isnt simply the same old Theravadin talking points which I am getting sick of.

I just want some variety here!

There used to be non-Therevadin opinions here, there really did.

I dont have the answer, but it has occurred to me that if we are created and destroyed every moment, are merely the sum total of all causes and effects of that instant then there is a problem when it comes to Noble Ones. If, in each instant, we grasp because of our craving, that ultimately stems from Ignorance, as the Noble Ones dont have steps 1 and 2 in the chain, how to they still have the subsequent ones (including the body and clinging thereto?). It makes more sense to me, and I have heard Theravadin Bhikkhus explain it this way, that it isnt a temporal causal link but interdependence. Therefore, the reason Noble Ones dont vanish instantly into Parinibbana is the momentum of the karmic forces continues unabated, there just isnt new “fuel” to the “fire” as it were.

My conceptualisation of Karma in the mental domain, is the exact equivalent of gravity in the physical domain. Mass has a gravitational effect as soon as it comes into existence. That doesn’t mean a ball will instantly fall to the Earth, but it will instantly “try” to fall (as it has to as it has mass). Other factors are also at play (e.g., wind / magnetism etc) so it might fall immediately, in a second, in a thousand or in a trillion years (e.g., if it happens to be sitting on a mountain and needs to wait for that mountain to disintegrate to “allow” it to fall). However, the gravitational effect is always there. I see karma exactly like this but operating in the conscious paradigm, not the physical paradigm. The instant a mental object (i.e., volition) comes into being the karma-vipaka dyad comes into being. That doesn’t mean it will be evident immediately (just as the ball doesn’t necessarily visibly fall immediately)…just that the “force” comes into being immediately and “you” carry it with you forever more (there are places in the EBT where I have seen some comment about carrying the load of your previous Karma and Nibbana being like dropping this heavy burden forever).

Re who experiences the karma-vipaka: yes, the ball is a different ball every instant (with molecules flying off and rejoining constantly etc), but that ball continuum is the one that falls. So too, that which generated the volition is that which experiences the karma-vipaka dyad … although it isn’t exactly the same either. That isn’t a problem with the above way of viewing this as the force was generated instantly and will (eventually) be expended.

Adding time to the equation is even more complicated: Also, not sure the karmic force needs to have time as a factor. Physical matter needs space and time, fair enough. The conscious paradigm wouldn’t necessarily need to have a location in space or time as I see it (where are you in your body for example, neurosurgeons can cut out your left hemisphere or your right hemisphere and you are still you so its not clear there is a “place” where you actually are…but this is all above my pay grade and too hard for my brain to fathom.


@yeshe.tenley’s uncharitable opinions on my secret motivations for writing are just turds in our swimming pool. They make me want to get out of the water, have a shower, and flush the pool.

FTR: I have no interest in the theme of “authenticity” that takes up so much time in the modern Theravāda rhetoric. In my (admittedly unpopular) view, all Buddhist texts from the ancient world are mythological in character and the Buddha is a purely mythological figure. None of it is “authentic” in the way that, say, Sujato and Brahmali claim. Authenticity is not an issue that interests me at all because it has no application here. So @yeshe.tenley is tugging on something that only exists in his own mind. It has no connection to me or my essay.

The actual issue I raise in that essay, should anyone wish to make an on-topic contribution is that all Buddhist sects moved away from treating buddhavacana (as they defined it) as sacrosanct. All modern Buddhism is just that, modern.

What interests me, especially given the exaggerated respect that we see for “early Buddhist texts” (in this forum for example), is what drove the evolution of Buddhist doctrine? For example, why do we use the term “early Buddhism” at all? We use it because “early Buddhism” was a short-lived phase of Buddhism that was soon replaced by, what I suppose we must call, “late Buddhism”. Everyone agrees that “late” buddhism is highly pluralistic and at that different late Buddhist sects make mutually contradictory claims.

How do people who accept Sujato and Brahmali’s rhetoric on “authenticity” explain that the (supposed) unity of early Buddhism rapidly gave way to the plurality of late Buddhism? For example, we might ask why did early Buddhists decide to adopt innovative doctrines like sarvāstivāda or pudgalavāda, not to mention Madhyamaka-vāda, or buddhakṣetravāda (aka Pure Land)? If they really thought that they had access to literal buddhavacana, which seems to be the case, why did Buddhists make up new and often contradictory doctrines? Something must have been going on. Right? I’m just asking what that something was.

As far as I know there are no traditional responses to this question because traditional Buddhists didn’t see it in these terms. Certainly we see records of intra-Buddhist conflict over doctrine, such as fill the pages of the Kathavatthu and the Abhidharmakośabhāṣa, but these seem to be arguments about which innovations are best. They tell us little about the forces driving the evolution of doctrine away from early Buddhism towards late Buddhism.

Meanwhile, academic Buddhist Studies seems to be deliberately limited to describing the different views and avoiding giving any opinion about the causes or dynamics of such changes. One exception to this is the socio-political analysis in Ronald Davidson’s history of Tantra. He plausibly identifies the social, political, and economic chaos that ensured following the collapse of the Gupta Dynasty as a causal factor in the rise of Tantra (across all Indian religions at roughly the same time). But this kind of analysis is very much an outlier.

Appropriate responses would involve you saying why, in your view, Buddhism changed at all. You may wish to comment on why early Buddhism has, as an historical fact, been entirely replaced by late Buddhism. Given the conservative rhetoric of modern Theravādins regarding the historical authenticity of EBTs, why would all Buddhists (including the Theravādins), almost simultaneously adopt LBTs instead?

Inappropriate responses include psychoanalysing the author, speculating about their motives and hidden agendas, calling the author names, or dismissing the author on the basis of strawman arguments.

No one denies, I hope, that early Buddhism died out and was replaced, across the board. No one is an “authentic” early Buddhist in 2023, modern anachronisms notwithstanding. How does this fact not interest people who are fascinated by early Buddhism?


I apologize @Jayarava for my stinking up the place with uncharitable and misguided assumptions. I have deleted my comment. Although I cannot unsay what I have said, I hope this apology and action can serve to redress my wrong speech in some way. :pray:

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Well, please don’t. I don’t enjoy being a target, even when it’s me trying to stir things up. In my experience it doesn’t work anyway. Not when I do it. And not when other people try to use my writing as leverage. Mostly it just seems to stir up resentment.

Part of the reason I embraced working on the Heart Sutra, after many years of studying Pāli texts, was to get away from conservative Theravādins online and in academia (and, oddly enough, in Triratna).

In the final analysis, online forums are all the same. Trying to change this one is pointless. It is what it is.

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I hear and accept your confession. May you be purified.


Don’t put articles on the internet if you don’t want people to refer to them and discuss them :roll_eyes:


Well from now on i wont @Jayarava I promise.

In fairness I thinks its not so much the refrencing as the shamelessness thats at issue here, I will continue to cite @Jayarava where i deem it relevent, as as i say, its intersting work with a perspective that differs refreshingly from the mainline taken here, however i shall refrain from provocation.


My thought is that this is a real issue, and as the article points out is an issue that different schools resolved in different ways.

My furthur thought is that the issue relates quite directly to the undeclared points, and that SN12.17 gives an indication of this. I admit to being somewhat dissapointed that the parralel lacked the explination, nevertheless i think it likely to be on the right track.

If the doer is identical to the temporially distant experiencer of the consequences then there is presumably some one that endures temporally. If the doer of the action is not identicle with the experiencer or the consequences then then there is one who does not endure through time and another who suffers consequences not of thier own making.

We are therfore told to hold niether view, which seems logical.

The biew we are permitted to hold is then conditionality, but most of the examples given do appear to be of relations that obtain “locally” not “at a distance”. For example, it does not suffice that there be fuel somewhere or somewhwn else for the fire to be burning in front of me, the fuel that the fire here and now is burning must be here here and now.

Similarly for me to have a desire for a sight there must be a sight and an eye and an eye consciousness all at once, not willy nilly here and there, it is this body here and now that has to have been born to mean i will die, not someone elses…

I dont know, maybe i am wrong, but it does feel like a problem to me, but i havent really pinned down where exactly my unease is, let alone what a solution would be, thats why i hoped to get some discussion going…

Does anyone have a sutta refrence for the “kamma is unfathomable and youll go mad thinking about it” trope?


I don’t know, but if you want to consider difference and repetition, maybe we could look at the controversial Bhārasutta (SN 22.22)

This is how I thought it out for myself:

The burden (bhāro) is the five grasping aggregates (pañcupādānakkhandhā): form (rūpupādānakkhandho), feeling (vedanupādānakkhandho), perception (saññupādānakkhandho), choices (saṅkhārupādānakkhandho) and consciousness (viññāṇupādānakkhandho).

The person (puggalo) is the bearer of the burden (bhārahāro); its fuel. Picking up the burden (bhārādānaṁ) is through repetitive craving (taṇhā ponobhavikā) (for the person) and chasing pleasure (tatratatrābhinandinī) in a mood that relishes greed (nandīrāgasahagatā). That is to say, craving for desire (kāmataṇhā), craving for existence (bhavataṇhā), and craving for non-existence (vibhavataṇhā). Putting down the burden (bhāranikkhepanaṁ) is the complete fading away and cessation (asesavirāganirodho) of craving (taṇhāya), which involves abandonment (cāgo), forsaking (paṭinissaggo) and freedom from clinging (mutti anālayo).

The “person” meant is clearly identified as the social person, or persona. This sutta doesn’t stand alone, but I just thought I would put this up here.

And as far as any discussion of kamma goes, I don’t partake. Mainly because, thanks to the Hippies, there are very entrenched ideas about kamma in NA, and, they are Hippie. So.


It is. The attempt to rationalize karma and rebirth appear to have been the main driver of the major philosophical schisms among Buddhists. Sarvastivadins were attempting to rationalize how past, present, and future events could be connected in a cause and effect relationship. Pudgalavadins were attempting to make sense of the no self teaching in relation to rebirth and liberation. I think it could be argued that Mahayanists were (among other things) attempting to break out of the paradoxically self-centered ethics of early Buddhist schools to advocate for altruism and other-centered ethics. These were the issues that defined the different Buddhist traditions, that formed their identities, I guess we could say.

Myself, I think karma and rebirth were general beliefs in pre-sectarian Buddhism, similar to animistic beliefs in a spirit world that we also see preserved in their texts. To me, it’s evidence of a belief system that was more like what we see in tribal cultures, at least the remnants of them that have been preserved in various parts of the world. For Buddhists, though, there was the realization that everything is in a constant evolutionary flux of cause and effect. And that realization made them reject the essentialism that most animist belief systems asserted to explain how a person can move from one spiritual world to another. But Buddhists weren’t willing to throw out the beliefs the inspired those ideas of personal spirits or essences. They kept the moral framework because human society needs a moral framework. Without it, humans descend into cycles of destructiveness that leads to wars and tyrannies. Keeping the belief in the moral universe meant keeping the belief in rebirth.

Then the Greeks show up on the scene after the conquests of Alexander, who brought Central Asia and the Indus River valley into Hellenistic world. Now, Buddhist beliefs were being looked at critically in the Greek way. Rebirth and karma now have to make sense in a systematic and discrete way. How does it actually work?

Well, it doesn’t work that way. It’s a cultural belief that exists for sociological reasons. So, the theories that were drawn up to survive Greek-style philosophical debate all had their logical problems. Schisms took place as positions were taken and rejected. I personally call this period “Middle Buddhism.” It was the days when Early Buddhism was transformed by the advent of writing and philosophy, as I’ve said before. It’s just a working theory, but I think so far it works as an explanation. We don’t have to give up on the Buddha being an historical figure to understand how the fracturing happened. It’s a natural social process that religion traditions do this. In Christianity, to give one example, the issues that fractured the church centered around whether Jesus was divine, a mortal, or both. Again, it happens when beliefs are subjected to philosophical analysis and debated. Factions form and philosophies are refined to survive criticism. It was the Greek way of philosophizing.


Here’s a good local tale on the Atthiragasutta SN 12.64 …

Old Woman on Mt Wutai.pdf (619.0 KB)



All this may be true, but if so, it undermines the basis of Buddhist practice, not only in the EBTs but in the Mahayana as well.
Why commit to the Dhamma if saṃsāra, transmigration, a foundational teaching, is a falsity?

If rebirth is just a cultural and pragmatic myth – despite it explicitly being a bedrock teaching in hundreds of suttas, in the 4NTs, in DO, in statements of realization about this being the last life – why adhere to Dhamma practice in particular when there are many ways to cultivate and manifest happiness and ethical living without the Dhamma?
I mean, it even undermines the Mahayana ideal in which Bodhisattvas return over and over to benefit all beings.

Without rebirth, the Dhamma becomes a one-life lottery in which very, very few practitioners will realize full awakening in their one life – and too bad for the rest.
imo, It robs the Dhamma of its soteriological underpinnings.

Again, there are no proofs for or against here and we’re all free to choose what we believe or how to practice – just questioning about the Dhamma’s relevance without rebirth, since the Buddha clearly taught the purpose of the teachings is not merely for the reduction of dukkha but for its extinguishment – via the ending of rebirth.


But a claim about the provenance and social persistence of a particular belief is not (or at least is not necessarily) an assertion about its truth or falsity.


Hello Venerable,

Completely agree.

Perhaps I misinterpreted the post which I understood ( or misunderstood ) to assert that it was a kind of persistent cultural belief without a real foundation in the Buddha’s teachings. That was the basis of my response and questions.



I am not sure about this myself, I think that the Buddhists kept the belief in past lives because people remembered them. I mean, it really is pretty much the only argument given for externalism in DN1, other than “hammered it out by their own reasoning”.

This used to bother me a fair bit, because I figured the age of powerful wizards in the woods was over, but then I discovered the work of Dr Ian Stevenson and others and found out that people can still remember previous lives, and so we have pretty good empirical evidence to believe in it.

see here; Ian Stevenson’s Case for the Afterlife: Are We ‘Skeptics’ Really Just Cynics? - Scientific American Blog Network

I always felt that the materialist argument for the permanent end of consciousness with the end of the body was based not so much on evidence as on an appeal to a particular philosophical argument that very obviously begged the question, and it is one of the great comforts of my encounter with buddhism that it so eloquently explains why and how this is so.

However the argument is sort of Humean, in that it critiques the positive formulations of materialism and idealism, and is somewhat more obscure about what it positively says, giving us examples, like the fire and the fuel, or the 12 link DO, but not showing in detail how it is that this all comes together in action at a distance…

anyway, I am rambling now, so I will get back to my parallels


But while I am here, AN4.77 (thanks @Jayarava ) is extremally brief;

“Mendicants, these four things are unthinkable. They should not be thought about, and anyone who tries to think about them will go mad or get frustrated.
“Cattārimāni, bhikkhave, acinteyyāni, na cintetabbāni; yāni cintento ummādassa vighātassa bhāgī assa.

What four?
Katamāni cattāri?

The scope of the Buddhas …
Buddhānaṁ, bhikkhave, buddhavisayo acinteyyo, na cintetabbo;
yaṁ cintento ummādassa vighātassa bhāgī assa.

The scope of one in absorption …
Jhāyissa, bhikkhave, jhānavisayo acinteyyo, na cintetabbo;
yaṁ cintento ummādassa vighātassa bhāgī assa.

The results of deeds …
Kammavipāko, bhikkhave, acinteyyo, na cintetabbo;
yaṁ cintento ummādassa vighātassa bhāgī assa.

Speculation about the world …
Lokacintā, bhikkhave, acinteyyā, na cintetabbā;
yaṁ cintento ummādassa vighātassa bhāgī assa.

These are the four unthinkable things. They should not be thought about, and anyone who tries to think about them will go mad or get frustrated.”
Imāni kho, bhikkhave, cattāri acinteyyāni, na cintetabbāni; yāni cintento ummādassa vighātassa bhāgī assā”ti.

however the Mahasanghika? parallel at EA29.6 is significantly more verbose, here is a ChatGPT3.5 attempt at translation, which I asked to be done in Shakespearian English because i like that better:

Harken thusly:

In one moment, the Buddha was 'pon the Jetavana Grove nigh the city of Shravasti.

At that hour, the World-Honored One spake unto the gathering of monks: "There are four matters 'tis forbidden to contemplate. What be these four? The nature of beings is beyond thought; the nature of the world is beyond thought; the realm of dragons is beyond thought; the bounds of the Buddha’s realm are beyond thought. The reason being, one can’t attain nirvana by pondering these things.

"Why are beings beyond thought? From whence come they? Where go they? From what arise they, and to what end they arise? Thusly, the nature of beings is beyond thought.

“Why is the world beyond thought? For those with errant views: Doth the world cease to be, or cease it not to be? Hath the world bounds, or boundless it be? Hath it destiny, hath it a maker, or hath it neither? Hath it been wrought by Brahma or other great gods?”

At that moment, the World-Honored One spake in verses:

"Brahma may forge the people,
Ghosts in the world may forge as well,
Or perhaps all the ghosts together forge—
Who can say forsooth?
When anger entwines with vengeful desire,
These three are equally entwined,
The mind finds no peace,
And worldly calamities arise.

"In this way, monks, the world is beyond thought.

"Why is the realm of dragons beyond thought? How doth rain emerge from the dragon’s maw? 'Tis not that rain indeed cometh forth from the dragon’s maw. Cometh it from the eyes, ears, or nose? This too is beyond thought. The reason is that rain doth not emerge from the eyes, ears, or nose but is based on the dragon’s intent. Whether the intent be malevolent or benevolent, rain falleth accordingly. 'Tis produced by their inherent qualities. Presently, within Mount Sumeru, there is a deity yclept Great Power who knoweth the thoughts of beings and can likewise produce rain. However, the rain doth not emerge from the deity’s maw but from its eyes, ears, and nose. 'Tis due to the divine power of that deity that rain can be produced. Thusly, monks, the realm of dragons is beyond thought.

"Why is the boundary of the Buddha’s realm beyond thought? Is the body of the Tathagata wrought by parents? This too is beyond thought. The body of the Tathagata is pure, untainted by elements. Is it wrought by common folk? This too is beyond thought. 'Tis beyond the conduct of common folk. Is the body of the Tathagata of great size? This too is beyond thought. The body of the Tathagata is not formed and is beyond the reach of heavenly realms. Is the lifespan of the Tathagata short? This too is beyond thought. The Tathagata possesseth the four boundless qualities. Is the lifespan of the Tathagata long? This too is beyond thought. Furthermore, the Tathagata engageth in artful means to benefit the world. The body of the Tathagata cannot be grasped or measured, and it cannot be described as long or short. The sound of the Tathagata cannot be defined by conventional standards. The divine sound, wisdom, and eloquence of the Tathagata are beyond thought and beyond the reach of ordinary beings. In this way, the boundary of the Buddha’s realm is beyond thought.

"In this manner, monks, there are these four things that are beyond thought, beyond the comprehension of ordinary folk. However, these four things do not serve as the foundation of virtue, and contemplating them will not lead to the practice of the Brahmic path or the attainment of nirvana. Instead, they will only lead to confusion, delusion, and the proliferation of doubts.

"For this reason, monks, thou shouldst know that in the distant past, in the city of Shravasti, there was an ordinary person who thought, ‘I will contemplate the world now.’ At that time, that person left the city of Shravasti, went to a lotus pond, sat down cross-legged, and contemplated the world, pondering, ‘How did this world come into existence? How will it perish? Who created this world? From where do the various types of beings come? How are they born, and by whom are they created? Where will they be reborn after their lives end?’ At that moment, the person saw four types of armies moving in and out of the pond. The person then thought, ‘Now I am confused and deluded. What I see now in the world does not truly exist.’ Subsequently, the person returned to the city of Shravasti and spoke to the people in the streets and alleys, saying, ‘You should know, wise ones, that what we see in the world does not truly exist.’

"At that time, many people said to that person, ‘How can you claim that there is nothing in the world? What did you see in the pond?’ The person replied to the crowd, ‘When I was contemplating, thinking, “From where does the world come? Who created this world? From where do the various types of beings come? By whom were they created? Where will those whose lives have ended be reborn?” at that moment, I saw four types of armies moving in and out of the pond. Therefore, what we see in the world does not truly exist.’ At that time, many people told that person, ‘Thou art truly foolish and mad. How can there be four types of armies in the pond? Among those who are confused and deluded in the world, thou art the most confused!’

"Therefore, monks, I have observed this meaning, and I am now telling you. The reason is that these four things are not the foundation of virtue, and by contemplating them, one cannot practice the Brahmic path or attain nirvana. Instead, contemplating these things leads to confusion, delusion, and the proliferation of doubts. Monks, thou shouldst know that the person truly saw four types of armies. The reason is that in the distant past, the heavenly beings and asuras engaged in battle. When they fought, the heavenly beings were victorious, and the asuras were defeated. At that time, the asuras felt fear and, in their reduced form, passed through the openings of lotus roots. What the Buddha saw with his eyes, others could not see.

“Therefore, monks, contemplate the Four Noble Truths. The reason is that these Four Noble Truths have meaning and significance. By practicing them, one can follow the path of the Brahmin, engage in the practice of the monastic way, and attain nirvana. Therefore, monks, abandon thoughts about this world and seek artful means. Contemplate the Four Noble Truths. Monks, know this and learn accordingly.”

At that time, the assembly of monks heard what the Buddha said and joyfully followed his teachings.

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This passage does have a Pali parallel tho, I remember it, does anyone know it?