Chiggala Sutta: The Hole

Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

"Monks, suppose that this great earth were totally covered with water, and a man were to toss a yoke with a single hole there. A wind from the east would push it west; a wind from the west would push it east. A wind from the north would push it south; a wind from the south would push it north. And suppose a blind sea turtle were there. It would come to the surface once every one hundred years. Now what do you think: would that blind sea-turtle, coming to the surface once every one hundred years, stick his neck into the yoke with a single hole?"


"It would be a sheer coincidence, lord, that the blind sea-turtle, coming to the surface once every one hundred years, would stick his neck into the yoke with a single hole."


"It's likewise a sheer coincidence that one obtains the human state. It's likewise a sheer coincidence that a Tathágata, worthy and rightly self-awakened, arises in the world. It's likewise a sheer coincidence that a doctrine and discipline expounded by a Tathágata appears in the world. Now, this human state has been obtained. A Tathágata, worthy and rightly self-awakened, has arisen in the world. A doctrine and discipline expounded by a Tathágata appears in the world.


"Therefore your duty is the contemplation: 'this is stress... This is the origination of stress... This is the cessation of stress... This is the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress.'"

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