Chapter VI - PANDITA VAGGA - The Wise
FEW GO BEYOND
Appaka te manussesu ye jana paragamino
Athayam itara paja tiramevanudhavati.
Few among men are they who cross to the other shore (Nibbana). All the others only run up and down the bank 1 on this side. Those Who Follow the Dhamma go Beyond
Ye ca kho samma dakkhate dhamme dhammanuvattino. Te jana paramessanti maccu dheyyam suduttaram.
But those who practise according to the well-expounded Dhamma will reach the other shore (Nibbana), having passed the realm of passions,2 very difficult as it is to cross.
VI: 10 Very few in this world can attain the final goal
On one occasion, a group of people from Savatthi made special offerings to the bhikkhus collectively and they arranged for some bhikkhus to deliver discourses throughout the night in their locality. Many in the audience could not sit up the whole night and they returned to their homes early. Some sat through the night, but most of the time they were drowsy and half-asleep. There were only a few who listened attentively to the discourses.
At dawn, when the bhikkhus told the Buddha about what had happened the previous night, he replied, 'Most people are attached to this world; only a few can reach the other shore (Nibbana)'.
The Buddha then reminded the bhikkhus to be vigilant and mindful for those who practise diligently and conscientiously according to the well-expounded Dhamma will certainly be able to remove their mental impurities and realise Nibbana - the bliss supreme.
- Namely, self-illusion (sakkayaditthi). The majority are born again in this world.
- Maccu dheyya i.e. worldly existence where passions dominate.
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