Posted by: Upāsaka | 09/24/2017

Magandiya Sutta

Today the fever is particularly strong. May I enjoy success in the application of Right Effort.

“Magandiya, suppose that there was a leper covered with sores and infections, devoured by worms, picking the scabs off the openings of his wounds with his nails, cauterizing his body over a pit of glowing embers. His friends, companions, & relatives would take him to a doctor. The doctor would concoct medicine for him, and thanks to the medicine he would be cured of his leprosy: well & happy, free, master of himself, going wherever he liked. Then suppose two strong men, having grabbed him with their arms, were to drag him to a pit of glowing embers. What do you think? Wouldn’t he twist his body this way & that?”

“Yes, master Gotama. Why is that? The fire is painful to the touch, very hot & scorching.”

“Now what do you think, Magandiya? Is the fire painful to the touch, very hot & scorching, only now, or was it also that way before?”

“Both now & before is it painful to the touch, very hot & scorching, master Gotama. It’s just that when the man was a leper covered with sores and infections, devoured by worms, picking the scabs off the openings of his wounds with his nails, his faculties were impaired, which was why, even though the fire was actually painful to the touch, he had the skewed perception of ‘pleasant.'”

“In the same way, Magandiya, sensual pleasures in the past were painful to the touch, very hot & scorching; sensual pleasures in the future will be painful to the touch, very hot & scorching; sensual pleasures at present are painful to the touch, very hot & scorching; but when beings are not free from passion for sensual pleasures — devoured by sensual craving, burning with sensual fever — their faculties are impaired, which is why, even though sensual pleasures are actually painful to the touch, they have the skewed perception of ‘pleasant.’

“Now suppose that there was a leper covered with sores & infections, devoured by worms, picking the scabs off the openings of his wounds with his nails, cauterizing his body over a pit of glowing embers. The more he cauterized his body over the pit of glowing embers, the more disgusting, foul-smelling, & putrid the openings of his wounds would become, and yet he would feel a modicum of enjoyment & satisfaction because of the itchiness of his wounds. In the same way, beings not free from passion for sensual pleasures — devoured by sensual craving, burning with sensual fever — indulge in sensual pleasures. The more they indulge in sensual pleasures, the more their sensual craving increases and the more they burn with sensual fever, and yet they feel a modicum of enjoyment & satisfaction dependent on the five strings of sensuality.

“Now what do you think, Magandiya? Have you ever seen or heard of a king or king’s minister — enjoying himself, provided & endowed with the five strings of sensuality, without abandoning sensual craving, without removing sensual fever — who has dwelt or will dwell or is dwelling free from thirst, his mind inwardly at peace?”

“No, master Gotama.”

“Very good, Magandiya. Neither have I ever seen or heard of a king or king’s minister — enjoying himself, provided & endowed with the five strings of sensuality, without abandoning sensual craving, without removing sensual fever — who has dwelt or will dwell or is dwelling free from thirst, his mind inwardly at peace. But whatever brahmans or contemplatives who have dwelt or will dwell or are dwelling free from thirst, their minds inwardly at peace, all have done so having realized — as it actually is present — the origination & disappearance, the allure, the danger, & the escape from sensual pleasures, having abandoned sensual craving and removed sensual fever.”

Then at that moment the Blessed One exclaimed,

Freedom from disease: the foremost good fortune. Unbinding: the foremost ease. The eightfold: the foremost of paths going to the Deathless, Secure.

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