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10/13/07
THE BLESSED NOBLE AWAKENED ONE - THE TATHAGATA -Dear-The Six Animals
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Posted by: site admin @ 6:10 pm

THE BLESSED NOBLE AWAKENED ONE - THE TATHAGATA

Dear

At Savatthi. As he was sitting to one side, King Pasenadi Kosala said to the Blessed One: “Just now, lord, while I was alone in seclusion, this train of thought arose in my awareness: ‘Who are dear to themselves, and who are not dear to themselves?’ Then it occurred to me: ‘Those who engage in bodily misconduct, verbal misconduct, & mental misconduct are not dear to themselves. Even though they may say, “We are dear to ourselves,” still they aren’t dear to themselves. Why is that? Of their own accord, they act toward themselves as an enemy would act toward an enemy; thus they aren’t dear to themselves. But those who engage in good bodily conduct, good verbal conduct, & good mental conduct are dear to themselves. Even though they may say, “We aren’t dear to ourselves,” still they are dear to themselves. Why is that? Of their own accord, they act toward themselves as a dear one would act toward a dear one; thus they are dear to themselves.’”

“That’s the way it is, great king! That’s the way it is! Those who engage in bodily misconduct, verbal misconduct, & mental misconduct are not dear to themselves. Even though they may say, ‘We are dear to ourselves,’ still they aren’t dear to themselves. Why is that? Of their own accord, they act toward themselves as an enemy would act toward an enemy; thus they aren’t dear to themselves. But those who engage in good bodily conduct, good verbal conduct, & good mental conduct are dear to themselves. Even though they may say, ‘We aren’t dear to ourselves,’ still they are dear to themselves. Why is that? Of their own accord, they act toward themselves as a dear one would act toward a dear one; thus they are dear to themselves.”

That is what the Blessed One said. Having said that, the One Well-Gone, the Teacher, said further:

If you hold yourself dear
then don’t fetter yourself
with evil,
for happiness isn’t easily gained
by one who commits
a wrong-doing.
	
When seized by the End-maker
	as you abandon the human state,
what’s truly your own?
What do you take along when you go?
What follows behind you
like a shadow
that never leaves?
	
Both the merit & evil
that you as a mortal
perform here:
that’s what’s truly your own,
what you take along when you go;
that’s what follows behind you
like a shadow
that never leaves.
	
So do what is admirable,
as an accumulation
for the future life.
Deeds of merit are the support for beings
when they arise
in the other world.

The Six Animals

“Suppose that a man, wounded and festering, were to go into a swampy jungle. Its sharp-bladed grasses would pierce his feet; its thorns would scratch his festering sores. And so, from that cause, he would experience an even greater measure of pain and unhappiness. In the same way, there is the case where a certain follower of the path shown by The Blessed Noble Awakened One-The Tathagata, having gone to a village or to the wilderness, meets up with someone who upbraids him: ‘This venerable one, acting in this way, undertaking practices in this way, is a thorn of impurity in this village.’ Knowing this person to be a thorn, one should understand restraint and lack of restraint.

“And what is lack of restraint? There is the case where a follower of the path shown by The Blessed Noble Awakened One-The Tathagata, seeing a form with the eye, is obsessed with pleasing forms, is repelled by unpleasing forms, and remains with body-mindfulness unestablished, with limited awareness. He does not discern, as it actually is present, the awareness-release, the discernment-release where any evil, unskillful mental qualities that have arisen utterly cease without remainder.

“Hearing a sound with the ear…

“Smelling an aroma with the nose…

“Tasting a flavor with the tongue…

“Touching a tactile sensation with the body…

“Cognizing an idea with the intellect, he is obsessed with pleasing ideas, is repelled by unpleasing ideas, and remains with body-mindfulness unestablished, with limited awareness. He does not discern, as it actually is present, the awareness-release, the discernment-release where any evil, unskillful mental qualities that have arisen utterly cease without remainder.

“Just as if a person, catching six animals of different ranges, of different habitats, were to bind them with a strong rope. Catching a snake, he would bind it with a strong rope. Catching a crocodile… a bird… a dog… a hyena… a monkey, he would bind it with a strong rope. Binding them all with a strong rope, and tying a knot in the middle, he would set chase to them.

“Then those six animals, of different ranges, of different habitats, would each pull toward its own range & habitat. The snake would pull, thinking, ‘I’ll go into the anthill.’ The crocodile would pull, thinking, ‘I’ll go into the water.’ The bird would pull, thinking, ‘I’ll fly up into the air.’ The dog would pull, thinking, ‘I’ll go into the village.’ The hyena would pull, thinking, ‘I’ll go into the charnel ground.’ The monkey would pull, thinking, ‘I’ll go into the forest.’ And when these six animals became internally exhausted, they would submit, they would surrender, they would come under the sway of whichever among them was the strongest. In the same way, when a   follower of the path shown by The Blessed Noble Awakened One-The Tathagata whose mindfulness immersed in the body is undeveloped & unpursued, the eye pulls toward pleasing forms, while unpleasing forms are repellent. The ear pulls toward pleasing sounds… The nose pulls toward pleasing aromas… The tongue pulls toward pleasing flavors… The body pulls toward pleasing tactile sensations… The intellect pulls toward pleasing ideas, while unpleasing ideas are repellent. This,  followers of the path shown by The Blessed Noble Awakened One-The Tathagata, is lack of restraint.

“And what is restraint? There is the case where a True follower of the path shown by The Blessed Noble Awakened One-The Tathagata, seeing a form with the eye, is not obsessed with pleasing forms, is not repelled by unpleasing forms, and remains with body-mindfulness established, with immeasurable awareness. He discerns, as it actually is present, the awareness-release, the discernment-release where all evil, unskillful mental qualities that have arisen utterly cease without remainder.

“Hearing a sound with the ear…

“Smelling an aroma with the nose…

“Tasting a flavor with the tongue…

“Touching a tactile sensation with the body…

“Cognizing an idea with the intellect, he is not obsessed with pleasing ideas, is not repelled by unpleasing ideas, and remains with body-mindfulness established, with immeasurable awareness. He discerns, as it actually is present, the awareness-release, the discernment-release where all evil, unskillful mental qualities that have arisen utterly cease without remainder.

“Just as if a person, catching six animals of different ranges, of different habitats, were to bind them with a strong rope. Catching a snake, he would bind it with a strong rope. Catching a crocodile… a bird… a dog… a hyena… a monkey, he would bind it with a strong rope. Binding them all with a strong rope, he would tether them to a strong post or stake.

“Then those six animals, of different ranges, of different habitats, would each pull toward its own range & habitat. The snake would pull, thinking, ‘I’ll go into the anthill.’ The crocodile would pull, thinking, ‘I’ll go into the water.’ The bird would pull, thinking, ‘I’ll fly up into the air.’ The dog would pull, thinking, ‘I’ll go into the village.’ The hyena would pull, thinking, ‘I’ll go into the charnel ground.’ The monkey would pull, thinking, ‘I’ll go into the forest.’ And when these six animals became internally exhausted, they would stand, sit, or lie down right there next to the post or stake. In the same way, when a monk whose mindfulness immersed in the body is developed & pursued, the eye does not pull toward pleasing forms, and unpleasing forms are not repellent. The ear does not pull toward pleasing sounds… The nose does not pull toward pleasing aromas… The tongue does not pull toward pleasing flavors… The body does not pull toward pleasing tactile sensations… The intellect does not pull toward pleasing ideas, and unpleasing ideas are not repellent. This, monks, is restraint.

“The ’strong post or stake’ is a term for mindfulness immersed in the body.

“Thus you should train yourselves: ‘We will develop mindfulness immersed in the body. We will pursue it, hand it the reins and take it as a basis, give it a grounding. We will steady it, consolidate it, and set about it properly.’ That’s how you should train yourselves.”

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