Oghataraṇasutta: Crossing the Flood

(In my understanding) In this Sutta the Path to Nirvana is compared to “crossing a flood”

Crossing the Flood

Devatā asked the Buddha “Good sir, how did you cross the flood?”
Buddha’s reply was “Neither standing nor swimming, sir, I crossed the flood.”
“When I stood still, I went under. And when I swam, I was swept away. That’s how I crossed the flood neither standing nor swimming.”

Anyone can explain this simile please? Or share a link to an explanation of the sutta.
With Metta

Here are Bhante Bodhi’s notes:

Sadhu Sadhu… Much merit for sharing this explanation. Paragraph 3 explains Buddha’s answer to the Devatha…

Sadhu Sadhu… Much merit for sharing this explanation. Paragraph 3 (starting in page 2) explains Buddha’s answer to the Devata…

Happy to help. Just out of curiosity, did you read that sutta recently in the daily sutta emails?


Yes… that’s how I came across this Sutta… Glad I subscribed to this sutta emails. Much Merits to all those who share the Dhamma.

The suttas speak in the language of the dhamma, and by comparison with relevant others the meaning can be pieced together (this is the method recomended by the Buddha in Majhima Nikaya 95). The meaning of the terminology and stages in Samyutta Nikaya 1.1 is explained in Anguttara Nikaya 4.5.

In Samyutta Nikaya 1.1 the Buddha speaks from the arahant’s viewpoint, whereas in Anguttara Nikaya 4.5 the view is of the whole path. The clue to the level is found in the personnel involved, and a conversation where the Buddha is instructing a devata will be high-level, contrasted with suttas delivered to laypeople or junior monks, which are more appropriate to western lay practitioners. For example Majhima Nikaya 44 between a nun and a layperson points out the noble eightfold path is conditioned, referring to the first three stages mentioned in Anguttara Nikaya 4.5

I watched a YouTube video with @sujato doing a Q&A for a retreat. For context, at about the 24:12 point he talks about translating with what he calls The Principle of Least Meaning. At about the 26:57 point he applies it to a sutta that tells of a group of Brahmins inquiring about crossing the flood. This may help in learning more about crossing the flood.

:face_with_monocle: :grinning:

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Sadhu sadhu for your kindness to he
P me understand the Dhamma. Much merit.