Saṃyutta Nikāya 56

Connected Discourses on the Truths

38. The Sun (2)

“Bhikkhus, so long as the sun and moon have not arisen in the world, for just so long there is no manifestation of great light and radiance, but then blinding darkness prevails, a dense mass of darkness; for just so long day and night are not discerned, the month and fortnight are not discerned, the seasons and the year are not discerned.

“But, bhikkhus, when the sun and moon arise in the world, then there is the manifestation of great light and radiance; then there is no blinding darkness, no dense mass of darkness; then day and night are discerned, the month and fortnight are discerned, the seasons and year are discerned.

“So too, bhikkhus, so long as a Tathagata has not arisen in the world, an Arahant, a Perfectly Enlightened One, for just so long there is no manifestation of great light and radiance, but then blinding darkness prevails, a dense mass of darkness; for just so long there is no explaining, teaching, proclaiming, establishing, disclosing, analysing, or elucidating of the Four Noble Truths.

“But, bhikkhus, when a Tathagata arises in the world, an Arahant, a Perfectly Enlightened One, then there is the manifestation of great light and radiance; then no blinding darkness prevails, no dense mass of darkness; then there is the explaining, teaching, proclaiming, establishing, disclosing, analysing, and elucidating of the Four Noble Truths. What four? The noble truth of suffering … the noble truth of the way leading to the cessation of suffering.

“Therefore, bhikkhus, an exertion should be made to understand: ‘This is suffering.’… An exertion should be made to understand: ‘This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering.’”