The Pabbatopama Sutta or The Simile of the Mountain is hard hitting. The Buddha pulls no punches for those inured in the day-to-day squabbles of mundane life. Greed for fortune and hatred for others have no place in this Sutta. From the moment you are born you are destined to suffer until your very last breath. And the Buddha is correct. We are born to suffer, we are born into a completely unsatisfactory world system that will never reach anyone’s expectations. You could be Bill Gates, you could be HRH The Queen of England, you could be George Clooney or you could be a beggar on the streets of London, there are three things we are all certain to experience and they all involve suffering.
- We will all suffer from aging and all that it entails.
- We will all suffer illness.
- We will all suffer death.
The Simile of the Mountain is pretty harsh but there is still a message of hope bound within it. The cycle of continual rebirth can be broken and we can all escape the habit of samsara. Samsara is a Pali verb, that means it is something that we actually do, and the Buddha has the means by which we can escape this habit. To follow the Buddha, to learn the Dhamma, and to be part of the Sangha are the only necessary steps required to eventually relinquish the hold that samsara has over us. Once samsara is defeated we are blessed with Nibbana. Bliss, compassion and loving kindness.
It is a long path to follow for most of us and we must get used to the idea that it may well take several life times to achieve, but once we are on the path; The Noble Eight-fold Path, then we are at least on the home run. Practice and patience are the watchwords of being a Buddhist. Instant enlightenment will not occur for most of us, so to be patient, be methodical in your practice, be compassionate and be wise are the requisites.
Your time will come, one day, in the future, and you will be named Arahant, ‘One Who Is Worthy’ and you will no longer return to this particular reality.
May you all live in peace and without fear.