1.3.4 The Few and the Many*

Just as, O'Bhikkhus, in this Jambudīpa there are only few pleasing parks, lovely groves, enjoyable landscapes and delightful lotusponds while there are plenty of steep and low slopes, impassable rivers and rough places covered with trunks and thorns amidst uneven mountains, in the same way those beings are few, that are born on land, compared to those many beings that are born in water.

Just as, O'Bhikkhus, in the same way too those beings are few who are reborn amongst human beings, while those who are reborn in other than the human realms are many.

Just as, O'Bhikkhus, in the same way too those beings are few who are reborn in the Middle Land human beings, while those who are reborn in other than the Middle Land are many.

……Just as, O'Bhikkhus, in the same way too those beings are few who are born wise, free from stupidity or foolishness, neither deaf nor dumb and able to discern well spoken words from poorly spoken words and comprehend their meaning while those who are born unintelligent, stupid or foolish, deaf or dumb and unable to discern well spoken words from poorly spoken words and comprehend their meaning are many.

Further those, O'Bhikkhus, endowed with the noble eye of wisdom are few, while those who are full of ignorance and bewilderement are many.

Just as, O'Bhikkhus, in the same way too those beings that get to see the Tathagata are few, while those who do not get to see the Tathagata are many.

Also those, O'Bhikkhus, who acquire the chance of hearing the Dhamma and the Vinaya as taught by the Tathagata are few, while those who fail to acquire this chance of hearing the Dhamma and the Vinaya as taught by the Tathagata are many.

Further those, O'Bhikkhus, who take up the Dhamma they have heard, are few, while those who don’t take up the Dhamma although having heard it are many.

Still further, O'Bhikkhus, those taking up the Dhamma and investigating its meaning are few, while those who are taking up the Dhamma but not reflecting on its meaning are many.

Further are those, O'Bhikkhus, who grasp the meaning and the Dhamma and who practise in accordance with the Dhamma few, while those who fail to do so are many.

Those, O'Bhikkhus, who are stirred by things that are truly stirring are few, while those who are not so stirred by things that are truly stirring are many.

……

Therefore, O'Bhikkhus, you should train yourselves thus: “We will obtain the taste of the meaning, the taste of the Dhamma, the taste of liberation. Thus should you, O'Bhikkhus, train yourselves!”


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*Catutthavaggo: catuttha + vaggo: fourth +section
Last modified: Monday, 14 December 2015, 8:31 AM