“In one Sutra, Buddha Shakyamuni asks his disciples,
‘Suppose there existed a vast and deep ocean the size of this world, and on its surface there floated a golden yoke, and at the bottom of the ocean there lived a blind turtle who surfaced only once in every 100 Thousand Years. How often would that turtle raise its head through the middle of the yoke?’
Ananda answers that, ‘indeed, it would be extremely rare.’
“We are just like this blind turtle, for although our physical eyes are not blind, our wisdom eyes are. The vast and deep ocean is the ocean of samsara. The blind turtle remaining at the bottom of the ocean is like our remaining in the lower realms of samsara, to surface into the fortunate realms only once in every 100 Thousand Years.
The golden yoke is like Buddhadharma, which does not stay in one place but moves from one country to another. Just as gold is precious and rare, so Buddhadharma is PRECIOUS and very hard to find. For most of our previous lives we have remained at the bottom of the vast and deep ocean of samsara, the lower realms. Only very occasionally have we been born as a human being, and even with a human life it is extremely RARE to meet Buddhadharma.”
~Venerable Geshe~la in “Joyful Path of Good Fortune.”