Saṃyutta Nikāya 12

Connected Discourses on Causation

57. The Sapling

At Savatthī. “Bhikkhus, when one dwells contemplating gratification in things that can fetter, craving increases. With craving as condition, clinging comes to be…. Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering.

“Suppose, bhikkhus, there was a sapling, and from time to time a man would clear the area around the roots, from time to time provide it with good soil, from time to time water it. Sustained by that care, nourished by it, that sapling would attain to growth, increase, and expansion. So too, when one dwells contemplating gratification in things that can fetter, craving increases…. Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering.

“When, bhikkhus, one dwells contemplating danger in things that can fetter, craving ceases. With the cessation of craving comes cessation of clinging…. Such is the cessation of this whole mass of suffering.

“Suppose, bhikkhus, there was a sapling. Then a man would come along bringing a shovel and a basket. He would cut down the sapling at its foot … as in §55 … he would winnow the ashes in a strong wind or let them be carried away by the swift current of a river. Thus that sapling would be cut off at the root, made like a palm stump, obliterated so that it is no more subject to future arising.

“So too, bhikkhus, when one dwells contemplating danger in things that can fetter, craving ceases…. Such is the cessation of this whole mass of suffering.”