|Wow, that is one BIG dangerous ocean! A flood! A vast and endless expanse of water!|
|A big boat for everyone to cross over? SSM|
It is the name -- in Buddhism, Vedic Brahminism, Hinduism, and Jainism -- for the disappointing place before crossing over to "the further shore" called nirvana (the deathless).
What are we doing as we store up karma (deeds) and meet with their results? We are expressing the tendency to continue wandering on in this endless cycle, creating worlds on top of worlds, moving into them, then lose them as they hurtle toward destruction.
Even as worlds fall apart, which they do from the moment of their creation, we create others and go there.
At the same time, on account of the playing out of karma, we bump into others who are also co-creating worlds.
|Well, it was worth a try, but this sea is rough.|
We store up bad (unwholesome, unprofitable, akusala) karma to be met with again and again. We endure hard knocks -- mental and physical -- enduring childhood after childhood, ignorance into adulthood, then ignorance again.
|The Wheel of Rebirth is endless and so sad!|
"...This is the greater: the tears shed while wandering on...
|No!! I'm a state-sponsored killer of children!|
"The tears we have shed due to loss because of disease while continuing to wander on through this long, long cycle -- crying and weeping from being brought into contact with what we do not want and being separated from what we want -- are greater than the water in the four great oceans.
"Why is that? It is because the starting point of this wandering on is unfathomable. A beginning is not evident since beings -- hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving -- have been wandering on.
"Long have we experienced suffering, experienced pain, experienced loss, swelled the cemeteries -- long enough to become disenchanted with all formations (things dependent on support-conditions for their existence), long enough to become dispassionate, long enough to let go" (SN 15.3).
|I'm wasting my human life in bondage to craving!|
"Wind from the east would push it west, wind from the west would push it east, wind from the north would push it south, and wind from the south would push it north.
"Now suppose a blind sea turtle were to dive in and only come to the surface once every century.
"What do you think -- how likely is it that that blind sea turtle, coming to the surface only once every century, would stick its head through that ring?"
"Venerable sir, it would be very unlikely if the blind sea turtle, coming to the surface only once a century, were to stick its head through that ring."
"Likewise, meditators, it is rare that one is ever reborn on the human plane. [It is more likely that that blind sea turtle, surfacing only once every century, would stick its head through a ring as it is being sent every which way by wind and wave.]
"Likewise, it is rare that a Tathagata [a Buddha], worthy and fully awakened, ever arises in the world.
"Likewise, it is rare that a Doctrine and Discipline (Dharma-Vinaya) expounded by a Tathagata ever appears in the world.
"Now, this human plane has been reached. A Tathagata, worthy and fully awakened, has arisen in the world. A Doctrine and Discipline expounded by a Tathagata has appeared in the world.
"Therefore, our duty is the [fourfold] contemplation:
- 'This is suffering...
- This is the origin of suffering...
- This is the cessation of suffering...
- This is the path-of-practice leading to the cessation of suffering'" (SN 56.48).
|The 31 Planes of Existence|
2. "It is because of not understanding and not penetrating noble coherence (collectedness, concentration) that we have continued to wander on through such a long, long cycle.
3. "It is because of not understanding and not penetrating noble wisdom that we have continued to wander on through such a long, long cycle.
4. "It is because of not understanding and not penetrating noble freedom that we have wandered on through such a long, long cycle.
O, Daria, it's a Sick Sad World: