One Hundred Spears
Sattisata Sutta (SN 56:35)
“Monks, suppose there was a man whose life span was 100 years, who would live to 100. Someone would say to him, ‘Look here, fellow. They will stab you at dawn with 100 spears, at noon with 100 spears, & again at evening with 100 spears. You, thus stabbed day after day with 300 spears, will have a lifespan of 100 years, will live to be 100, and at the end of 100 years you will realize the four noble truths that you have never realized before.’
“Monks, a person who desired his own true benefit would do well to take up (the offer). Why is that? From an inconceivable beginning comes transmigration. A beginning point is not evident for the (pain of) blows from spears, swords, & axes. Even if this (offer) were to occur, I tell you that the realization of the four noble truths would not be accompanied by pain & distress. Instead, I tell you, the realization of the four noble truths would be accompanied by pleasure & happiness.
“Which four? The noble truth of stress, the noble truth of the origination of stress, the noble truth of the cessation of stress, and the noble truth of the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress.
“Therefore your duty is the contemplation, ‘This is stress … This is the origination of stress … This is the cessation of stress.’ Your duty is the contemplation, ‘This is the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress.’”