172. Thus have I heard — At one time the Blessed One was dwelling at Uruvela in the banks of the river Nerañjarā at the root of the goat-herd’s banyan tree, just after attaining Enlightenment. Then while the Blessed One was dwelling alone this thought occurred to him: “This truth that I have realised is profound, difficult to see, hard to understand, peaceful, lofty, not accessible to reasoning or intellect, subtle, to be realised only by the wise. However, this generation of people is attached to pleasure, enjoyment, and delight. For people who are attached to pleasures, enjoyment, and delight, this fact is hard to see, namely conditional relations and dependent origination. This fact is also hard to see, namely the calming of all formations, the relinquishment of all becoming, the destruction of craving, the passionless cessation of nibbāna. If I were to teach this Dhamma and if others were unable to understand it, it would be tiresome to me, this would be a vexation to me.” Thereupon this verse, not heard before, spontaneously occurred to him:–
“That which I gained with so much hardship, what is the use of teaching it?
Those overcome with lust and anger, will not understand the truth properly.
“Going against the stream, subtle, profound, difficult, and intricate.
Those afflicted by passion will not see it, being obstructed by darkness.”
Reflecting thus, the Blessed One inclined to abiding in comfort, not to teaching the Dhamma.
Then to Brahma Sahampati, knowing the thoughts of the Blessed One, it occurred: “Alas, the world is lost! Alas the world will be destroyed because the Tathāgata, the worthy, fully enlightened Buddha inclines to abiding in comfort, not to teaching the Dhamma!”
Then Brahma Sahampati — like a strong man would stretch out his bent arm or bend his stretched out arm — disappeared from the Brahma realm and appeared in front of the Blessed One. Then Brahma Sahampati, having arranged his robe over one shoulder, knelt with his right knee on the ground, raised his joined palms towards the Blessed One in salutation and spoke thus: “Venerable sir, let the Blessed One teach the Dhamma, let the Fortunate One teach the Dhamma. There are beings in the world with little dust in their eyes, who are deteriorating due to not hearing the Dhamma. There will be some who will understand the Dhamma.” Having said this, Brahma Sahampati said further:–
“Formerly there arose among the Magadhans an impure teaching devised by the defiled.
Open the doors to the deathless, let them listen to the teaching of the undefiled Buddha.
“Like one standing on a mountain peak, can see the people below,
The wise sage having ascended the palace of truth, the seer of all,
Not being afflicted by grief, and freed from grief,
Consider the people oppressed by birth and decay.
“Stir yourself, hero, the victor in battle!
The caravan leader, freed from debt, wander in the world.
Teach the Dhamma Blessed One.
There will be some who can understand it.”
Then the Blessed One having understood the Brahma’s request, out of compassion for being, surveyed the world with the eye of a Buddha.The Blessed One, having observed the world with the eye of the Buddha, saw beings with few or many defilements, with keen or dull mental faculties, with good or bad dispositions, easy or difficult to instruct, some dwelling with dread and shame regarding the other realms, some dwelling without dread and shame regarding the other realms. Just as in a pond of blue, red, or white lotuses, some might be born, grow, and thrive in the water, but remain submerged, others might reach the surface, while others might stand clear clear of the water. Similarly, the Blessed One, having observed the world with the eye of the Buddha, saw beings with few or many defilements, with keen or dull mental faculties, with good or bad dispositions, easy or difficult to instruct, some dwelling with shame and fear regarding the other realms, some dwelling without shame and fear regarding the other realms. Having seen this he replied to Brahma Sahampati:–
“The doors to the deathless are open, let those who have ears repose confidence.
Perceiving hardship I did not speak the sublime Dhamma among human beings.”
Then Brahma Sahampati, thinking: “The Blessed One has given his consent to teach the Dhamma,” having paid homage to the Blessed One, disappeared from there at once.