Chapter XX - MAGGA VAGGA - The Way or The Path

BE WITHOUT ATTACHMENT

BE WITHOUT ATTACHMENT

Vanam chindatha ma rukham vanato jayati bhayam
Chetva vanan ca vanathan ca nibbana hotha bhikkhavo.
[283]


Cut down the forest (of the passions),but not real trees.From the forest (of the passions) springs fear.
Cutting down both forestand brushwood (of the passions),be forestless,O Bhikkhus. [283]


MIND IS IN BONDAGE AS LONG AS THERE IS ATTACHMENT

Yavam hi vanatho na chijjati anumatto' pi narassa narisu
Patibaddha mano va tava so vaccho khirapako' va matari.
[284]


For as long as the slightest brushwood (of the passions) of man towards women is not cut down,
so long is his mind in bondage, like the milch calf to its mother-cow. [284]



XX:08 The old monks and the old woman

Once in Savatthi, there were five friends who became bhikkhus only in their old age. These five bhikkhus were in the habit of going together to their old homes for almsfood. Of their former wives, one lady in particular was a good cook and she looked after them well. Thus, the five bhikkhus went mostly to her house. But one day she fell ill and died suddenly. The old bhikkhus felt their loss very deeply and together they cried praising her virtues and lamenting their loss.


The Buddha admonished them, 'Bhikkhus! You all are feeling pain and sorrow because you are not free from greed, hatred and ignorance (raga, dosa, moha), which are like a great forest. Cut down this forest and you will be freed from these mental impurities.'

Notes:

  1. Herevanameans forest of such passions as lust, hatred, and delusion.
  2. When the Buddha said, 'Cut down the forest', some newly ordained monks erroneously gave the expression its literal meaning. The Buddha, reading their thoughts, corrected them, stating that what he meant was not actual trees but passions.
  3. Vanameans big trees andvanathameans smaller trees. Herevanameans the powerful passions andvanathameans the lesser passions.
  4. Having eradicated all passions by means of the four Paths, be passionless.