The Theras of the First Council added this verse at the end of the sutta:
"Deep like the ocean is this Suttanta on Effacement,
Dealing with forty-four items,
showing them in five sections."
The Buddha puts some perspective on the role of the four jhanas and four arupa jhanas on the path to awakening. Those 8 attainments are merely peaceful abidings, whereas the 44 items demonstrate what the Buddha considers genuine effacement in his teachings.
Those following a bodhisattva path should carefully read the ending section of this sutta: "Cunda, it is impossible that one who is himself sunk in the mire
should pull out another who is sunk in the mire..."
mn 8 tags: sallekha, effacement, austere penance, audtip.org