Itivuttaka 24

This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: “Monks, if a single person were to wander & transmigrate on for an eon, he/she would leave behind a chain of bones, a pile of bones, a heap of bones, as large as this Mount Vepulla, if there were someone to collect them and the collection were not destroyed.”

The accumulation

of a single person’s

bones for an eon

would be a heap

on a par with the mountain,

so said the Great Seer.

(He declared this to be

the great Mount Vepulla

to the north of Vulture Peak

in the mountain-ring

of the Magadhans.)1

But when that person sees

with right discernment

the four Noble Truths–


the cause of stress,

the transcending of stress,

& the noble eightfold path,

the way to the stilling of stress–

having wandered on

seven times at most, then,

with the ending of all fetters,

he makes an end

of stress.


1. Magadha was a kingdom in the time of the Buddha, corresponding roughly to the present day state of Bihar. Its capital city, Rājagaha, was surrounded by a ring of five mountains. Vulture Peak, a secluded rock outcrop in the middle of the ring, was a spot frequented by the Buddha.

See also: SN 15:3