SN 56:48 Dutiyachiggaḷayuga Sutta: A Yoke With a Hole

We see people all around us. But how likely is it really to be born as a human? We may have known about the Buddha since we were a small child. But how often does a Supreme Buddha appear in the world? Read this sutta to find out. And most importantly, find out what we should do knowing the answer…

“Monks, suppose the Earth was entirely covered with water. And a person threw a piece of wood with a single hole in it, into this great ocean. The wind from the east would carry it west. The wind from the west would carry it east. The wind from the north would carry it south. And the wind from the south would carry it north. And there was a blind turtle who popped up once every hundred years. What do you think, monks? Would that blind turtle, popping up once every hundred years, still poke its neck through the hole in that piece of wood?”

“It’s very rare, bhante. If it happens, then it may happen after a very long time.”

“Monks, that’s how rare it is to get reborn as a human being. That’s how rare it is for a fully enlightened Buddha to be born into the world. That’s how rare it is for the Dhamma and training taught by a Buddha to shine in the world. Now, monks, you have been reborn as a human being. A fully enlightened Buddha has been born into the world. The Dhamma and training taught by a Buddha shine in the world.

“Therefore, monks, you should make an effort to understand: ‘This is suffering.’ You should make an effort to understand: ‘This is the origin of suffering.’ You should make an effort to understand: ‘This is the end of suffering.’ You should make an effort to understand: ‘This is the path that leads to the end of suffering.’”

Read this sutta and more like it on SuttaFriends.org. Do you like similes like this? There are hundreds of the Buddha’s similes to be explored there. You may also be interested in all the sermons we have on the qualities of the Supreme Buddha.

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Index

9 Buddha Qualities, abandon suffering, alms round, anger, animal world, anuttaropurisadammasarati quality, araham quality, Aṅgulimāla Arahant, bad association, bhagava quality, body meditation, buddhanussati meditation, Buddhist etiquette, chanting, compassion, confidence~saddhā, contentment, courage, craving, Culla Kammavibhanga Sutta, cutupapatanana, death, Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta, evil deeds, first noble truth, five precepts, Four Noble Truths, friendship, ghost world, giving~dāna, good actions, gratitude, greed, guided meditation, hatred, heaven, hell, iddhi, ignorance, impermanence~anicca, intoxicants, jataka, jealousy, karma, kavi, life of Buddha, lokavidu quality, losing loved ones, loss, loving-kindness~mettā, lying, Maha Satipatthana Sutta, Mangala Sutta, marks of a great man, meditation, merit~puññā, mindfulness~sati, mora paritta, nibbāna, Noble Eightfold Path, noble truth of suffering, non-attachment, ordination, origin of suffering, parents, paritta, patience, pilgrimage, practice, precepts, psychic powers, pujas, punishment, Pāli, rains retreat, rare human birth, Ratana Sutta, Ratthapala Sutta, relics, retreat, right speech, right view, Sakka God, sammasambuddho quality, samsara, Sangha, Second Noble Truth, sickness, similes, Sri Lanka, stress, Sāriputta Arahant, Taking advice, Therigatha, Third Noble Truth, uposatha, Venerable Maha Moggalana, Vesak, vijja, vijjacaranasampanno quality, virtue~sīla, wisdom, Work, worldly conditions, wrong view