“Once the Buddha was traveling in the country of Sāvat, staying in the Sheep Forest in the Garden of Solitude. At that time, the World-Honored One said to the bhikkhus:
Transforming jealousy according to the Buddha’s teachings
I will tell you about seven types of people as an example of water. Listen ye, and think wisely.
What are seven?
1- Or someone lying in the water forever.
2- Or there is a class of people who get out of the water and then sink back again.
3- Or someone comes out of the water and then stands.
4- Or someone comes out of the water and stands, stands and looks around.
5- Or someone comes out of the water and stands, stands and looks around, looks and then wades over.
6- Or someone comes out of the water and then stands; stand and look around; look and wade through; wade across and reach the other shore.
7- Or someone else comes out of the water and then stands; stand and look around; look and wade through; wade across and reach the other shore; to the other shore and then called Pham Chi standing on the shore.
1- What is the kind of person who lies forever? Or there are people who are obscured by unwholesome dharmas, infected by defilements, experience the retribution of evil dharmas, creating the root of birth and death. That’s the kind of person who stays in the water forever. Just like a person who is submerged, is always under water.
2- What kind of person comes out of the water and then sinks again? That is someone who has aroused faith in kusala dhamma, upholding the precepts, giving alms, multiculturalism, wisdom, and practicing kusala. He then again loses faith, is not firm, loses precepts, almsgiving, multicultural, wisdom, unstable. That’s the kind of person who goes out and then sinks back. Like a person who is submerged in water, once he gets out, he sinks again.
(The Middle A-Ham Sutra, Chapter Seven Laws, the Water Edict, No. 4 [trích])
Discussion: In this passage of the Dharma talk, the Blessed One mentioned two classes of people who were submerged in water. The first class is drowning in afflictions and receiving the retribution of evil. These people have heavy karma, are born in suffering and darkness, grow up with bad people and create many negative karmas, and eventually suffer the consequences of imprisonment, loss or suffering. There are unfortunate and ruined lives that are almost “complete”, they gradually go from the dark into the dark night.
“Longevity and short life” according to the Buddha’s teaching
The second category of people is equally tragic and it is quite easy to see them in the life around us. These people are likened to having stepped out of the water and then sunk again. Coming from a good family, they know how to take refuge in the Three Jewels, they have faith in good and good deeds in life, live ethically, like to help, share, and diligently study morality. Buddhist teachings, knowing right from wrong, what to do and not to do. But the good deeds of this person are not durable, shaken over time, change due to the impact of bad circumstances, over time they lose faith, abandon the good dharma and become evil people without knowing it.
Stepping out of the water from the water and then sinking back in, what a waste for these people. Like a delicate lotus that emerges from the water, then cannot stand the wind and sun and falls down with its head in the water. In the same way, many people who are aiming for good, suddenly because of external influences or because of darkness in themselves, have gradually lost faith in the Three Jewels and lost their good deeds. Of course, cause and effect always correspond to each other, if you give up light and go into darkness, you will forever be blind and deep in suffering. These two classes of people are considered to be lacking in long-term happiness and unhappiness.