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 yoke with a single hole into it. The east wind blows it west; the west wind blows it east; the north wind blows it south; and the south wind blows it north. And there was a one-eyed turtle who popped up once every hundred years. What do you think, mendicants? Would that one-eyed turtle, popping up once every hundred years, still poke its neck through the hole in that yoke?”
“It’s unlikely, sir.”
“That’s how unlikely it is to get reborn as a human being. And that’s how unlikely it is for a Realized One to arise in the world, a perfected one, a fully awakened Buddha. And that’s how unlikely it is for the teaching and training proclaimed by a Realized One to shine in the world. And now, dear monks, you have been reborn as a human being. A Realized One has arisen in the world, a perfected one, a fully awakened Buddha. And the teaching and training proclaimed by a Realized One shines in the world. ”
“That’s why you should practice meditation to understand: ‘This is suffering’ … ‘This is the origin of suffering’ … ‘This is the cessation of suffering’ … ‘This is the practice that leads to the cessation of suffering’”
Based on a translation for SuttaCentral by Bhikkhu Sujato, 2018. Dedicated to the public domain via Creative Commons Zero (CC0).