Daily Reading ~ September 24

Hoa Vo Uu (Buddha Dharma Education Association)
Venerable Shravasti Dhammika


The Buddha’s Words of Wisdom

In the Himalayas, the King of the mountains, there are tracts of land, inaccessible places, inhabited by neither monkey nor man. There are other tracts of land, beautiful spots, where both monkeys and man live. In these places, hunters set pitch traps to catch the monkeys.

Now, the monkeys who are free from foolishness and greed keep away from the traps. But a foolish and greedy monkey comes along, touches it, and gets his hand stuck. Then, thinking to free his hand, he uses the other hand, but that gets stuck, too. To free both hands, he uses one foot which gets stuck, and then the other foot which gets stuck also.

Hoping to free both hands and feet, he uses his nose, and that gets stuck. And so, trapped in five ways, he lies down and cries, having fallen into misfortune and ruin, being prey to the hunter who will do what he wants with him. This is what happens to one who roams in the domain of another. Therefore, do not roam in another’s domain, for by so doing. Mãra gets access, Mãra gets an opportunity.

And what is not your domain but another’s? It is the five sensual elements. What five? Objects cognizable with the eye, sounds with the ear, smells with the nose, tastes with the tongue, and touches cognizable with the body – all of them desirable, pleasant, delightful, wanted, inciting passion and lust. And what is your own domain, your own natural territory? It is the four foundations of mindfulness.