The Buddha once asked himself much the same. And in his question, we catch a glimpse of why there are a limited few. Indeed, the Buddha first thought that there were none:
SN6.1:1.4: “This principle I have discovered is deep, hard to see, hard to understand, peaceful, sublime, beyond the scope of reason, subtle, comprehensible to the astute.
But people like ...
Once upon a time, five hundred Buddhas awakened for themselves dwelt
for a long time on this Isigili. They were seen entering the mountain,
but after entering were seen no more. When people noticed this they
said: ‘That mountain swallows these hermits!’ That’s how it came to be
known as Isigili.
desessāmi, bhikkhave, paccekabuddhānaṁ nāmāni.
Only a few centuries ago people had no idea about hygiene. There was simply no idea that dirty hands, filthy surfaces etc. was a good environment for growth of bacteria causing diseases.
Only a century or two ago (depending on country) there were no public schools. There was no common understanding that children require systematic education in language, ...
From a separate perspective, simply looking at humanity and how people function, I'll point out that practicing Buddhism in the way needed to reach nibbana is work. Throughout history, humans show an aversion to work: we are naturally lazy.
Even outside of Buddhism, people stray from the paths of their religions.
We see similar problems in mainstream ...
It's extremely difficult to let go of sensual enjoyment. Experiencing sensual enjoyment leads to clinging, meaning trying to experience even more sensual enjoyment.
Hence, the masses have the natural tendency towards burning with sensual fever, rather than trying to escape it. It's a vicious cycle.
From Magandiya Sutta:
"Now suppose that there was a ...
OP: My question is if Buddhist understanding of human condition and psychology is true why only limited few humans want or strive towards Nirvana. If Buddhist cosmology is true why not humans enmasse on the Buddhist path?
Actually Tathagata saw this and mentioned it in many occasions. We can find plenty of phrases in Pali canon which emphasise that only few ...
From AN 10.16:
“Bhikkhus, these ten persons are worthy of gifts, worthy of
hospitality, worthy of offerings, worthy of reverential salutation, an
unsurpassed field of merit for the world. What ten? The Tathāgata, the
Arahant, the Perfectly Enlightened One; a paccekabuddha; the one
liberated in both respects; the one liberated by wisdom; the body
For something to mature there must a state of not being mature. Most beings are not mature in their faculties and accumulated merit, many beings are humans not enjoying the accumulated merits much, they are not rich, they are not well-off but they have opportunity to do a lot of good deeds and by the merit of those deeds attain a better state; there are also ...
I think one either experiences a lot of stress or is able to appreciate the stress experienced by others very intensely. This makes one life & death kind of serious. Some people experience a lot of hardship and don't get wiser tho.
My question is if Buddhist understanding of human condition and psychology is true why only limited few humans want or strive towards Nirvana. If Buddhist cosmology is true why not humans enmasse on the Buddhist path?
Because of a disease called the Four Perversions every single one of us un-enlightened earthling is afflicted with to a greater or lesser ...
The scientific definition of evolution is as follows:
Evolution is change in the heritable characteristics of biological populations over successive generations.
There is no guarantee that the offspring of a Buddha or Arahat will be an enlightened being, i.e. these characteristics are not guaranteed to be passed on to their successive generations (Not a ...
The Buddha stated that it is possible to be all-knowing, but not all at once.
That means it is possible for the Buddha to know and understand all things if he tried to learn it, but not simultaneously. This means he has the capacity to know all things, but it doesn't mean that he indeed knew all things.
From MN 90:
Then the king said to the Buddha, “I have ...