The Manual of Insight
by Mahathera Ledi Sayadaw | 1915 | 21,831 words
The Vipassana-Dipani The Manual of Insight Or The Exposition Of Insight Honor to the Buddha By Mahathera Ledi Sayadaw, Aggamahapandita, D.Litt. Translated into English by Sayadaw U Nyana, Patamagyaw of Masoeyein Monastery Mandalay. Edited by The English Editorial Board...
"At one time the Buddha, showing them some dust which he had taken upon the tip of his finger-nail, addressed the disciples thus: 'If, O Bhikkhus, these few grains of dust upon my finger-nail and all the dust in the universe were compared in quantity, which would you say was less, and which more?' The disciples replied: 'Lord, the dust on your finger- nail is less, and that of the universe is more. Surely, Lord, the dust on your finger-nail is not worthy of mention in comparison with the dust of the universe.' Then the Buddha continued; 'Even so, Bhikkhus, those who are reborn in the abodes of men and Devas whence they have expired, are very few even as the few grains of dust on my finger-nail; and those who are reborn in the four realms of misery are exceedingly many, even as the dust of the great universe. Again, those who have expired from the four miserable worlds and are reborn in the abodes of men and Devas are few even as the grains of dust on my finger-nail; and those who are repeatedly reborn in the four miserable worlds are innumerable, even as the grains of dust of the great universe."
What has just been said is the substance of the Nakhasikha Sutta. But, to say nothing of the beings of all the four realms of misery, the creatures that inhabit the four great oceans alone will suffice to make evident how great is the evil of Vinipatana-gati, that is, the dispersion, the variety of possible kinds of existence after death.