From the editorial of © Satipatthana Magazine
A Lotus that is immature to bloom does not bloom even if the sun shines upon it, In the same manner, regardless of how much preaching a halfwit listens to, he will never achieve liberation.
In the ‘Mahāvagga Pali’ of the ‘Vinaya Pitaka’, it is mentioned that after his enlightenment the Buddha did not have much faith in the living beings’ ability to understand the Dhamma. Therefore, the Buddha was discouraged to preach such beings on some occasions, given the reason preaching to them will only be an unproductive and tiresome act.
After the great enlightenment, the Buddha saw the people who were intoxicated with lust and blinded by delusion and began to think like this.
“These four noble truths cannot be understood by those who are filled with lustfulness or hatred. Therefore, it is useless to declare the Four Noble Truths which I have understood through suffering.”
“The Four Noble Truths, which should be seen as the skillful, profound sorrow that leads to Nirvana, was not seen by the creatures who were consumed by ignorance, and heated with lust.”
Seeing the hesitation of the Buddha, ‘Sahampati’ Brahma began to think like this.
“The heart of a person who contemplates in this manner is bent to despair but to preach dhamma.”
Being acknowledged the Buddha’s thoughts, the ‘Sahampati’ Brahma thought,
“In a certain world, if the ‘Arahat’, ‘Sammā Sambudhu’, and the ‘Tathāgatas’ tend to focus on despair but do to preach dhamma, that’s when the world ends”
Accordingly, the Brahma, who came down to the earth, gathered his robe and stuck his right knee into the ground, put his hands together and declared,
“You may preach Dhamma, there are beings with afflictions, they may deteriorate by not listening to Dhamma, but still, there are those who attend Dhamma”
The Buddha acknowledged Brahma’s invitation out of kindness towards the living beings, the Buddha asked,
“Some sentient beings are like the lotus which are grown and developed in a pond but still submerged in the water. Some sentient beings are like the lotus which are grown and developed but still rest on the surface of the water. They both cannot bloom. But some sentient beings are like the lotus which are grown and developed in water but have emerged from the water and ready to bloom.”
He analyzed all living beings separately based on their intellect. Some people are like a lotus that grows in water, develops in water, but remains submerged in water.
No matter how much sunshine falls upon it, it will not bloom. In the same manner, they do not have the strength to understand his dhamma.
Similarly, some sentient beings are like lotuses originate in water and grow in water and rest parallel to the surface of water. If it grows further and emerges from the water, it will be able to bloom when the sun appears. Such beings can attain liberation by further developing their willpower.
Certain sentient beings are like the lotuses which grow and develop in water, rises above the water and remains untouched by water. They will definitely bloom as soon as the rays of sunlight touches them. Also, such can attain nirvana by just listening to the preaching of the ‘Tathāgata’.
Therefore, no matter how much dhamma one listens to and how many rituals one practice, attaining liberation is impossible for a person who becomes a Buddhist based on faith and devotion.
For that, one must have the strength to understand the Dhamma. That strength is not equally available to all beings.
© Satipatthana Magazine