Posted by: Upāsaka | 01/21/2015

The Precepts in the Present

21. If a fool was sitting in an assembly hall, in the main street or at the crossroads and people were to talk about him, and if he were one who broke the five precepts, he would think: “These people are talking about me because I have done these things.” This is the first kind of anguish and dejection that the fool experiences here and now.
Again, a fool might see the king arrest a thief or wrongdoer and punish him. And upon seeing this, the fool would think: “The king is punishing this wrongdoer. Now, I have done these things also, so if the king were to know about me, he might punish me also.” This is the second kind of anguish and dejection that the fool experiences here and now.
And again, while the fool is sitting in a chair, or lying on a bed or on the ground, those evil deeds that he has formerly done with body, speech or mind come to rest on him, lie on him, settle on him, just as when at evening, the shadows of the great mountain peaks come to rest, lie and settle on the ground. At such times, the fool thinks: ” Oh indeed, what is lovely has not been done by me, what is skillful has not been done, I have made no refuge against the fearful. There is a place for those who have done no good, only evil, and to there I will go.” And so he grieves, mourns, laments, beats his breast, cries and falls into disillusionment. This is the third kind of anguish and dejection that the fool experiences here and now.

Majjhima Nikaya III.163


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