The Simile of the Ship
“When a ship is wrecked at sea, those who do not hold onto a timber, or plank, or other solid support will drown in the water, never reaching the other shore. Subhuti, those that do hold onto a timber, or plank, or other solid support will not drown in the water. Happily unhindered, they may reach the shore, where they will stand safe and sound on firm ground.
“Similarly, Subhuti, a bodhisattva who is endowed with a full measure of faith and purity, of kindness and intentions, but without taking hold of the perfection of wisdom, can fall along the way. Not reaching all-embracing knowledge, he may remain only a disciple, or a pratyekabuddha.”
The Perfection of Wisdom by R.C. Jamieson (pg 63)
Illustration: The Buddha of the past, Dipamkara at sea with two attendants. He is the protector of others from sea monsters.