SuttaCentral

Are there any metaphors related "waking up or awakening" in EBTs?


#1

The term “Buddha” is often translated as “Awakened One.”

Are there any discourses where the Buddha uses the metaphor of “sleeping” and “waking up” - portraying ordinary beings as “sleeping” in contrast with Noble Ones as “awake”?


#2

Dhp47: As a mighty flood sweeps away the sleeping village, so death carries away the person of distracted mind who only plucks the flowers (of pleasure).

MN54: Householder, suppose a man dreamt about lovely parks, lovely groves, lovely meadows, and lovely lakes, and on waking he saw nothing of it. So too, householder, a noble disciple considers thus: ‘Sensual pleasures have been compared to a dream by the Blessed One; they provide much suffering and much despair, while the danger in them is great.’ Having seen this thus as it actually is with proper wisdom…clinging to the material things of the world utterly ceases without remainder.


#3

SN 1.7: “Those who have not penetrated things,
Who may be led into others’ doctrines,
Fast asleep, they have not yet awakened:
It is time for them to awaken.”

but also

SN 1.71/ SN 2.3/ SN 7.1/ SN 11.21: Having slain anger, one sleeps soundly

SN 3.14: “Victory breeds enmity,
The defeated one sleeps badly.
The peaceful one sleeps at ease,
Having abandoned victory and defeat.

SN 4.7: With the destruction of all acquisitions
The Awakened One sleeps:
Why should this concern you, Mara?

SN 4.13: I do not lie awake in dread,
Nor am I afraid to sleep.
The nights and days do not afflict me,
I see for myself no decline in the world.
Therefore I can sleep in peace,
Full of compassion for all beings.

SN 10.8: The peaceful one sleeps well,
Having attained peace of mind.


#4

The preceding quote from SN4.7 is also pretty hilarious, since it upends the conventional notion that the “Awakened one” should be “not asleep”. Mara gets no leverage on the Buddha as Gabriel points out.

SN4.7:1.4: Then Māra the Wicked went up to the Buddha and addressed him in verse: “What, you’re asleep? Really, you’re asleep? You sleep like a loser—what’s up with that?

In the sleeping just the sleeping.