Chapter IV - PUPPHA VAGGA - Flowers

Concentrate on your body

LIKE A MIRAGE IS THIS BODY

Phenupamam kayamimam viditva marici dhammam abhisambudhano
Chetvana marassa papupphakani adassanam maccu rajassa gacche


Knowing that this body is likefoam,and comprehending itsmirage-nature,one should destroy the flower-shafts of sensual passions (Mara), andpass beyond the sight of the king of death.



IV:02 The bhikkhu who contemplated on the body as a mirage

On one occasion, when the Buddha was residing in Jetavana monastery at Savatthi, a certain bhikkhu after obtaining a subject of meditation from the Buddha went to the forest for the purpose of practicing meditation.


On the way he saw a mirage. Reflecting mindfully within himself, he realised that a mirage was after all only an illusion of a sheet of water; so also was his body an illusion and insubstantial by reason of birth and decay. Fixing his mind on the mirage, he continued with his meditation practice.


Later, he went for a bath near the bank of the river Aciravati. While resting under a tree close to the river, and seeing the froth breaking up, he realised further the impermanent nature of the body.


From the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha saw the bhikkhu, sent forth his radiance and exhorted him, 'Bhikkhu, you are on the right track. Keep it up. It is good that you have realised that the body is impermanent like froth and insubstantial like a mirage.' At the conclusion of the exhortation, the bhikkhu attained Arahanthood.

Notes:

  1. Owingto its fleeting nature.
  2. Becausethere is nothing substantial in this body.
  3. Namely, life's sorrow, born of passions. An Arahant destroys all passions by his wisdom and attains Nibbana where there is no death.