Which suttas speak of endless rebirth?

The common understanding of sutta-based Buddhism is that the cycle of rebirth is endless - unless one becomes at least a stream-enterer.

There is little reason to doubt this view since it is consistent with the teaching, and it is explicit in the whole SN 15, in SN 22.99, SN 22.100, and SN 56.35.

But compared to this shocking message that was certainly not easy to digest for the Buddha’s contemporaries - and maybe even an essential reason to practice at all - these few suttas would be very rare.

What other suttas are there which explicitly state this message. Maybe there are suttas with devas

Also suttas like AN 7.62, AN 7.66, DN 1 and DN 24 carry this message (Brahma is not eternal and will be reborn etc) but these suttas come with a later flair.

So I wonder, what other explicit formular, pericopes, or suttas are there which expilicitly say that any kind of rebirth in any loka is essentially futile and that practice for liberation is the inevitable conclusion?


One approach would be to look at the parallels of the suttas you mentioned. A cursory glance at SN 15 yields parallels from SA (all of them), SA2 (all of them), EA, Iti, and even Cnd, Kv, and Pe for SN 15.1.


Thanks, to use the parallels function is a good idea.
It’s a shame that the BDK English Tripiṭaka Series hasn’t come to translate extensive SA and EA collections yet. But gladly they have the DA and part 1 of MA.

I used for the suttas I found certain criteria and words and would be particularly interested in very different kinds of suttas with a similar message.

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Oh wow, didn’t know about BDK, thanks! The Āgama Research Group also has a wealth of comparative & Chinese EBT resources, many of them freely available. Their translation of DA is forthcoming.

PS: another approach would simply be to search on Google for site:suttacentral.net -inurl:discourse [relevant keywords]


Here are the suttas for no beginning to ignorance.

The search term “transmigration has no known beginning” catches more suttas but is a bit of a mouthful.

One could search for Anamataggoyaṃ, but that is a bit esoteric.

Let me know if you find a better search term to add to Voice.


How about “no first point”?

(Which I’ve just added.)


It’s quite interesting that “no first point” and “first point” both return the same suttas!

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I wasn’t aware that “first point” was already there (probably added by me, by the way… :blush:). Then I can remove one.


I like keeping “no first point”. It just sounds sooooo coooool.

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:laughing: :rofl:

Granted! :anjal:

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