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 Chapter XVI - PIYA VAGGA - Affection

AVOID THAT WHICH SHOULD BE SHUNNED

 

AVOID THAT WHICH SHOULD BE SHUNNED

Ayoge yunjam attanam yogasmin ca ayojayam
Attham hitva piyaggahi pihet' attanuyoginam.
[209]

GIVE UP BOTH WHAT IS DEAR AND NOT DEAR

Ma piyehi samaganchi appiyehi kudacanam.
Piyanam adassanam dukkham appiyanan ca dassanam.
[210]

HOLD NOTHING DEAR

Tasma piyam na kayiratha piyapayo hi papako
Gantha tesam na vijjanti yesam natthi piyappiyam.
[211]

Applying oneself to that which should be avoided 1, not applying oneself to that which should be pursued,2 and giving up the quest,3 one who goes after pleasure envies those who exert themselves. 4[209]

Consort not with those that are dear, 5 never with those that are not dear; not seeing those that are dear and seeing those that are not dear, are both painful.6 [210]

Hence hold nothing dear, for separation from those that are dear is painful; bonds do not exist for those to whom nothing is dear or not dear. [211]



XVI: 01 Attachment hinders spiritual development

Once in Savatthi, the only son of a family became a bhikkhu without his parents' approval. Because of their strong attachment to their son, the father and mother also became a bhikkhu and a bhikkhuni. They could not live separated from one another, and could not give up their affection. The family stayed in the monastery as if they were in their own house, talking and eating together, thus making themselves a nuisance to others. Other bhikkhus reported their behaviour to the Buddha who admonished them, 'Once you have joined the Order, you should no longer stay together like a family. There is no doubt that not seeing those who are dear and seeing those that are not dear to one, are both painful. Even so, you should not hold any being or anything dear to you, because emotional attachment hinders spiritual development.'

 Notes:

  1. That is, frequenting places undesirable for bhikkhus.
  2. That is, right attention (yoniso manasikara).
  3. The practice of higher Morality, Concentration, and Insight.
  4. The bhikkhu, with no right discrimination, gives up his quest, and being attached to sensual pleasures, returns to lay life. Later, he sees successful bhikkhus and envies them.
  5. Application to both animate and inanimate objects, pleasant persons or things.
  6. Attachment in one case and aversion in the other.

 

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