A Pair of Swift Messengers – V –

ALL SORTS AND CONDITIONS OF MEN

What the Buddha said, after seeing the appeal of the Deva Brahma Sahampati:

“Then I, Bhikkhus, out of compassion for all beings, looked down upon the world with the eye of a Buddha.  And as I looked down upon the world with a Buddha’s eye, I beheld beings whose eyes were but little clouded with dust, also beings whose eyes were much clouded with dust; beings of sharp wits and beings of dull wits, beings of good and beings of evil natures; beings docile and beings of stubborn sort, and some of these abode in understanding of the danger of lives to come and fear of evil deeds.

As in a pond of lotuses blue and red and white, some plants which spring and grow in the water come not to the surface, but flourish underneath; and some spring and grow in the water and reach up to the surface; and yet others in like manner push up above the surface and are not wetted by the water, even so, Bhikkhus, did I, looking over the world with a Buddha’s eye, behold beings whose eyes were but little clouded with dust…

Then, Bhikkhus, did I make answer to the Deva Brahma Sahampati in verse:

Open for such is the Door to the Deathless State.

Ye that have ears, renounce the creed ye hold.

Conscious of danger, in its depth, Deva Brahma Sahampati,

I would not preach the Dhamma of Dhammas to men.”  (*)

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(*) – In other passages the Buddha has pointed out that if a Buddha give out Ariya Dhamma-Vinaya to an unbelieving generation, harm befalls the man who rejects it.  E.g. Samyutta Nikaya, ii. 261: 

“I also, Bhikkhus, have seen these things before, yet I did not reveal them.  I might have revealed it, and others would not have believed it.  Now, had they not believed me, it would have been to their loss and sorrow.”

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(Some Sayings of the Buddha – According to the Pali Canon, translated from the Pali by F. L. Woodward, Oxford University Press, Madras, 1925).

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