Mar 29, 2009

The Value of Human Life

Monks, it is like a man who might throw a yoke with one hole into the sea. An easternly wind might take it westwards, a westerly wind might take it eastwards, a northerly wind might take it south-words, a southerly wind might take it northwards. There might be a blind turtle there who came to the surface once in a hundred years. What do you think about this, monks? Could that blind turtle push his neck through that one hole in the yoke?”
“If at all, revered sir, then only once in a very long while.”
“Sooner or later, monks could the blind turtle push his neck through the one hole in the yoke; more difficult than that, do I say, monks, is human status once again for the fool who has gone to the Downfall. What is the cause of that? Monks, there is no dharma-faring there, no even-faring, no doing of what is skilled, no doing of what is good. Monks, there is devouring of one another there and feeding on the weak.
(Balapandita-sutta, Discourse on Fools and the Wise, MN. No. 129, I. B. Horner (tr.) The Collection of the Middle Length Sayings, PTS, London, 1999, 214 – 215)

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