Sunday, December 14, 2008

One Taste

Just as the great ocean has one taste, the taste of salt, so too my Dhamma has one taste, the taste of freedom (Ud.56)

3 comments:

Brakus said...

This well known quotation is very nice, but I must admit one thing confuses me. Looking at the map of India and map od Buddha's life, it seems the closest place to the ocean he visited was Gaya and it is some 500 km away from the shore. How Buddha did know that the whole ocean has just one taste, taste of salt? He just heard from somebody? Maybe. But is there any trace of that in Tipitaka?

Shravasti Dhammika said...

Dear Brakus,
The furtherest east the Buddha went and thus the nearest to the sea would not be Gaya but Kankjol, south of Bhagalpur, which is about 450 k from the sea. But merchants from northern India had long sailed down the Ganges to the sea and even gone from there on ocean voyages. At D.I,222 the Buddha mentions seafarers releasing land-sighting birds (just as Noah did). So although the Buddha had never seen the sea he knew of it from second-hand reports.

Brakus said...

Dear Bhante, thank you for your answer. Precise as always :)