Home Previous Up Next

The Buddha

What's New?

Classes

Retreats

Videos

Forums

Blog

Books

Mahāsi Sayādaw

Ledi Sayādaw

Other Authors

Bhikkhu Pesala

Discourses

DPPN

Help

Contact Us

Pāḷi Words

Map of India

Related Links

Photos

OpenType Fonts


Parent Folder Previous Page

© You may print any of these books for your own use. However, all rights are reserved. You may not use any of the site content on your own website, nor for commercial distribution. To publish the books, permission must be sought from the appropriate copyright owners. If you post an extract on a forum, post a link to the appropriate page. Please do not link directly to PDF, MP3, or ZIP files. (Updated on 27 November, 2020)




Home Next Page

Dārukkhandhopama Suttaṃ

(S.iv.179)

The Simile of the Log

241. At one time the Blessed One was dwelling at Kosambī ¹ on the bank of the river Ganges. Then the Blessed One saw a large log floating downstream in the current of the river Ganges. Having seen it he addressed the monks:–

“Monks, do you see that large log floating downstream in the current of the river Ganges?”

“We do, venerable sir.”

“If, monks, that log does not come aground at the near shore, nor go aground at the far shore, nor sink in midstream, nor get beached on high ground, nor get taken by human beings, nor get taken by non-human beings, nor get trapped in a whirlpool, nor rotting from within; then monks, that log will flow into the ocean, will converge on the ocean, will be lead to the ocean. What is the reason for that? The river Ganges, monks, flows to the ocean, converges on the ocean, leads to the ocean.

“In the same way, monks, if you do not come aground at the near shore, nor go aground at the far shore, nor sink in midstream, nor get beached on high ground, nor get taken by human beings, nor get taken by non-human beings, nor get trapped in a whirlpool, nor rotting from within; [180] then monks, you will flow into nibbāna, will converge on nibbāna,  will be lead to nibbāna. What is the reason for that? Right-view, monks, flows to nibbāna, converges on nibbāna, leads to nibbāna.”

When this was said, a certain monk said to the Blessed One: “What, venerable sir, is coming aground at the near shore, going aground at the far shore, sinking in midstream, getting beached on high ground, getting caught by human beings, getting caught by non-human beings, getting trapped in a whirlpool, rotting from within?”

“The near shore, monk, is a metaphor for the six internal sense faculties. The far shore, monk, is a metaphor for the six external sense faculties. Sinking in midstream, monk, is a metaphor for delight and lust. Getting caught up on high ground, monk, is a metaphor for the conceit, ‘I am’.”

“And what, monk, is getting caught by human beings? Here, monk, one lives with householders, rejoicing with them and grieving with them, happy when they are happy, suffering when they are suffering, involving himself in their business and affairs. This, monk, is called getting caught by human beings.

“And what, monk, is getting caught by non-human beings? Here, monk, one lives the holy life wishing for a certain celestial realm: ‘By this morality, or observance, or austerity, or holy life, I will become a certain deity or one among certain deities. This, monk, is called getting caught by non-human beings.

“Getting trapped in a whirlpool, monk is a metaphor for the five strands of sensual desire.

“And what, monk, is rotting from within? Here, monk, a certain monk is immoral, evil by nature, of impure conduct, secretive of his actions, not a recluse though pretending to be one, [181] not living the holy life though pretending to live it, inwardly rotten, lustful, impure by nature. This, monk, is called ‘Rotting from within’.”

Then on that occasion Nanda the cowherd was standing not far from the Blessed One. Then Nanda the cowherd said to the Blessed One: “Venerable sir, I will not come aground on the near shore, nor go aground on the far shore, nor sink in midstream, nor get beached on high ground, nor get taken by human beings, nor get taken by non-human beings, nor get trapped in a whirlpool, nor become rotten from within. May I obtain the going forth in the presence of the Blessed One, may I receive the higher ordination?”

“Then, Nanda, return the cattle to their owner.”

“The cattle will return of their own accord, venerable sir.”

“Do return the cattle to their owner, Nanda.”

Then Nanda the cowherd, having returned the cattle to their owner, approached the Blessed One, and having approached, said to the Blessed One: “Venerable sir, the cattle have been returned to their owner. Venerable sir, may I obtain the going forth in the presence of the Blessed One, may I receive the higher ordination.”

Then Nanda the cowherd obtained the going forth in the presence of the Blessed One, he received the higher ordination. Not long after his ordination the Venerable Nanda, dwelling alone (eko), withdrawn (vūpakaṭṭho), heedful (appamatto), strenuous (ātāpī), and resolute (pahitatto), before long attained that incomparable goal of the holy life for the sake of which sons of good families rightly go forth from the household life into homelessness, having realised it in this very life and abided in it, knowing “Birth is destroyed, the holy life has been lived, what should be done has been done, there will be no more of this again.” Then the Venerable Nanda become another of the Arahants.

Notes:

1. Kosambī is some considerable distance upstream from Benares.