SN.56.48. Dutiyachiggaḷayugasutta ("A Yoke With a Hole, 2nd")

Saṁyutta Nikāya ("The Linked Discourses")

“Mendicants, suppose the earth was entirely covered with water. And a person threw a yoke with a single hole into it. The east wind wafts it west; the west wind wafts it east; the north wind wafts it south; and the south wind wafts it north. And there was a one-eyed turtle who popped up once every hundred years.

What do you think, mendicants? Would that one-eyed turtle, popping up once every hundred years, still poke its neck through the hole in that yoke?”

“It’s unlikely, sir.”

“That’s how unlikely it is to get reborn as a human being. And that’s how unlikely it is for a Realized One to arise in the world, a perfected one, a fully awakened Buddha. And that’s how unlikely it is for the teaching and training proclaimed by a Realized One to shine in the world. And now, mendicants, you have been reborn as a human being. A Realized One has arisen in the world, a perfected one, a fully awakened Buddha. And the teaching and training proclaimed by a Realized One shines in the world.

That’s why you should practice meditation …”

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