Know the Drift of the Dhamma!

Attain serene confidence! Look through the Stainless Dhamma Eye.

In the Sampasādanīya Sutta, the Venerable Sāriputta went to see the Tathagata. He proclaimed: ‘It is clear to me, Lord, that there never has been, never will be and is not now another ascetic or Brahmin who is better or more enlightened than the Lord.’

This is an example of extreme Buddha Recollection (buddhanusmrti).

The idea of the Buddha’s awesomeness seems to be really helpful to Sariputta. He (Sariputta) speaks “boldly with a bull’s voice” and “roars a lion’s roar of certainty”. Sariputta is well known for his serene confidence.

The Buddha questions how Sariputta could feel comfortable making this assertion:

Sāriputta, you do not have knowledge of the minds of the Buddhas of the past, the future or the present. Then, Sāriputta,have you not spoken boldly with a bull’s voice and roared the lion’s roar of certainty with your declaration?’
And, Sariputta answers.
‘Lord, the minds of the Arahant Buddhas of the past, future and present are not open to me. But I know the drift of the Dhamma. Lord, it is as if there were a [101] royal frontier city, with mighty bastions and a mighty encircling wall in which was a single gate, at which was a gatekeeper, wise, skilled and clever, who kept out strangers and let in those he knew. And he, constantly patrolling and following along a path, might not see the joins and clefts in the bastion, even such as a cat might creep through. But whatever larger creatures entered or left the city, must all go through this very gate. And it seems to me, Lord, that the drift of the Dhamma is the same. All those Arahant Buddhas of the past attained to supreme enlightenment by abandoning the five hindrances, defilements of mind which weaken understanding, having firmly established the four foundations of mindfulness in their minds, and realised the seven factors of enlightenment as they really are. All the Arahant Buddhas of the future will do likewise, and you, Lord, who are now the Arahant, fully-enlightened Buddha, have done the same.
‘So I came once to the Blessed Lord to listen to Dhamma. And the Blessed Lord taught me Dhamma most excellently and perfectly, contrasting the dark with the light. And as he did so, I gained insight into that Dhamma, and from among the
various things I established one in particular, which was serene confidence857 in the Teacher, that the Blessed Lord is a fully-enlightened Buddha, that the Dhamma is well taught by the Blessed Lord, and that the order of monks is well-trained.
Knowing the “drift of the Dhamma” might be similar, or related in some way, to attaining the “Dhamma Eye”.

To Upali the householder, as he was sitting right there, there arose the dustless, stainless Dhamma eye: Whatever is subject to origination is all subject to cessation. Then — having seen the Dhamma, having reached the Dhamma, known the Dhamma, gained a footing in the Dhamma, having crossed over & beyond doubt, having had no more questioning — Upali the householder gained fearlessness and was independent of others with regard to the Teacher’s message.

MN 56

Upali the *householder* gained fearlessness, the stainless Dhamma eye, he came to know the “Drift of the Dhamma” and established “serene confidence”…

This sounds like a wonderful pursuit!