1.2.6 The Second Simile of the Turtle*

‘Suppose, O'Bhikkhus, this great earth were only covered with water. And there were a man who would throw a yoke with a single hole into it. A wind from the East would make it drift to the West; a wind from the West would make it drift to the East. A wind from the North would make it drift to the South; a wind from the South would make it drift to the North. And imagine a blind turtle. It would emerge once every one hundred years. Now, what do you think? Would that blind turtle, emerging to the surface once every one hundred years, stick his neck into that yoke with a single hole?

It would be quite unlikely, Bhante, that this blind sea-turtle, coming to the surface once every one hundred years, would place his neck into that yoke with a single hole.

In the same way it is quite unlikely that one obtains human birth. It’s likewise quite unlikely that a Tathagata, an Arahant, a Sammasambuddha, arises in the world. And it is quite unlikely that the Dhamma and the Vinaya as taught by the Tathagata shines forth in this world. Now, this human birth has been obtained. A Tathagata, an Arahant, a Sammasambuddha, has arisen in the world. The Dhamma and the Vinaya as taught by the Tathagata shines forth in this world

Therefore, O'Bhikkhus, make it your obligation to practice: ‘This is suffering’. Make it your obligation to practice: ‘This is the origination of suffering’. Make it your obligation to practice: ‘This is the eradication of suffering’. Make it your obligation to practice: ‘This is the path leading to the eradication of suffering’.
---
* Dutiyachiggaḷayugasuttaṃ: -dutiya + chiggaḷa + yuga: second + hole + yoke
Last modified: Monday, 14 December 2015, 8:31 AM