"'The ocean, the ocean!,' monks, says the ignorant worldling. But that is not the ocean in the Ariyan discipline, that is just a great heap of water, a great flood of water.
"The human eye, monks, is the ocean; its impulsion is produced by visible forms. Whoever withstands its buffeting produced by visible forms, is said to have 'crossed over': 'the Brahman has traversed and passed over the ocean of the eye with its waves and whirlpools, its crocodiles and monsters and stands on dry land.'"
[Similarly with ear, nose, tongue, body (touch), mind.]
The teacher declared:
He who's crossed this monster-teeming sea,
Hardly to be crossed for mighty waves.
the holy life he's lived,
The world's end he's reached, and gone beyond.
- The term Braahma.na is used in two different ways in the Pali Canon: (1) to denote a member of the Brahman caste, often depicted rather like the Pharisees in the New Testament; and (2) in the positive sense of one leading a pure life, even an Arahant. Cf. inter alia the Braahma.navagga of the Dhammapada.
- Sagaaha.m: "(with) sharks": Woodward. Gaaha lit. "grabber" is given in the PED [Pali-English Dictionary, by T.W. Rhys Davids & William Stede, PTS 1921-25] as "crocodile": in fact the estuarine crocodile swims far out to sea and so could well be meant here. Another word for "crocodile," su.msumaara, is used in SN 35.206.
- So vedaguu: lit. "he is well-versed in the Vedas," but this word too, like braahma.na (n. 1), is often given a different, Buddhist, sense.