The 9th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
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Bhaaradvaajo Sutta: Bhaaradvaaja Instructs a King
translated from the Pali by
Maurice O'Connell Walshe
(King Udena of Kosambi consults the Ven. Pi.n.dola-Bhaaradvaaja:] "How can it come about, Bhaaradvaaja, depending on what is it that these young monks, youthful, black-haired, with the bloom of youth, in the prime of life, never having enjoyed the pleasure of the senses, can practice the holy life fully and perfectly to the end of their days?"
"It has been said, sire, by the Blessed One who knows and sees, the Arahant, the Fully Self-enlightened One: 'Come, monks, whatever woman is a mother, think of her just as a mother; whatever woman is a sister, think of her just as a sister; whatever woman is a daughter, think of her just as a daughter. That is how these young monks... can practice the holy life... to the end of their days.'"
"But, Bhaaradvaaja, the heart is fickle. It may well be that at times thoughts of desire arise towards those they think of just as mothers, just as sisters, just as daughters. Is there any other cause, any other reason whereby these young monks, youthful and black-haired... can practice the holy life to the end of their days?"
"It has been said, sire, by the Blessed One...: 'Come, monks, contemplate this body, upwards from the soles of the feet, downwards from the top of the head, bounded by the skin, full of manifold impurities. There are in this body: hair of the head, hair of the body, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, sinews, bones, marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, pleura, spleen, lungs, intestines, mesentery, bowels, feces, bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, tallow, saliva, synovic fluid, urine. That is how these young monks... can practice the holy life... to the end of their days.'"
"Well, Bhaaradvaaja, for those monks who train the body, morals, mind and insight, that is easy, but for those who do not, it is difficult. Sometimes when a man thinks, 'I will regard this as repulsive,' he comes to think of it as attractive. Is there any other cause, any other reason whereby those young monks... can practice the holy life... to the end of their days?"
"It has been said, sire, by the Exalted One...: 'Come, monks, guard the doors of your sense-faculties. Seeing an object with the eye, do not seize hold of either its general appearance or its details. Because anyone dwelling with the eye-faculty uncontrolled could be overwhelmed by cupidity and dejection, evil and unwholesome states of mind, therefore practice to control the eye-faculty, guard it and gain control over it. [Similarly with ear, nose, tongue, body (touch), mind.] That is how these young monks... can practice the holy life... to the end of their days.'"
"Wonderful, good Bhaaradvaaja, it is marvelous how well spoken are the words of the Blessed One... I myself, good Bhaaradvaaja, whenever I enter the inner parts of my palace with body, speech and mind unguarded, with mindfulness unestablished, with sense-faculties uncontrolled, am at such times overcome with lustful thoughts. But when I do so with body, speech and mind guarded, with mindfulness established, with faculties controlled, then lustful thoughts do not overcome me."
1. Woodward's translation here is barely English: "In the case of those who are just mothers, sisters and daughters, do ye call up the mother-mind, the sister-mind, the daughter-mind."
2. The standard set of "parts of the body" for meditation purposes given in the Satipa.t.thaana Sutta (DN 22, MN 10) and elsewhere in Canon. See also VM (Visuddhimagga) VIII, 83ff. for full details. Traditionally newly-ordained samaneras are give the first five of these to meditate on.
3. Antepura.m: i.e., probably the women's quarters.