The Essential Scripture...

Dictionary

The Essential Scriptures of the Buddha and Patriarchs

Sūtra in Forty-Two Sections

Section 36

The Buddha said, “Now, it is difficult for a person to leave behind the three baleful destinies and be reborn as a human being. But even if one is reborn as a human being, it is difficult to be reborn as a man rather than a woman. Even if one is reborn as a man, it is difficult to be reborn with all the six sense organs in working order. Even if one is reborn with all the six sense organs in working order, it is difficult to be reborn in the middle kingdom. Even if one is reborn in the middle kingdom, it is difficult to be reborn in an age when one may encounter a Buddha and encounter the way. Even if one should encounter the way, it is difficult to have faith. Even if one should have faith, it is difficult to produce the aspiration for bodhi (bodhicittotpāda). Even one should produce the aspiration for bodhi, it is difficult to be free from cultivation and realization.”