The Three Fields As Spiritual Capacities

Plant the right seed well.
Nurture the right way well.
Bear the right fruit well.

– Nowanden

Once, Anathapindika, a millionaire who is the foremost benefactor of the dispensation [of monastics] asked the Buddha whether the Buddha is not compassionate towards all living beings. When the Buddha replied that he is compassionate towards all living beings, he asks why then the Buddha teaches Dharma thoroughly to some, yet not so thoroughly to others.

Illustrating the answer with a simile, the Buddha asks him, that suppose there were three fields; on excellent, one of average quality and one inferior, rough, salty and having bad soil, which will be the field that the farmer will select first to sow the seeds. As can be expected, the millionaire replies that the farmer will first select the excellent one and then the mediocre one and lastly the inferior one.

The Buddha then tells Anathapindika that the monks and nuns in the dispensation are like the excellent field, both male and female devotees are like the mediocre field and the ascetics, brahmins and wanderers of other persuasions are like the inferior field and the Buddha stresses the fact that he will teach the Dharma to all of them without any distinction. [In this connection the Buddha has drawn another simile of water pots; one without cracks, one without cracks, but which lets water seep through and escape, and a third with cracks.] The discussion exemplifies the Buddha’s unqualified compassion towards all without exception.

The Buddha’s Technique and Practice of Counselling as Depicted in the Pali Canon
Jenny Quek

Please Be Mindful Of Your Speech, Namo Amituofo!

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