Friday, November 24, 2006

The Holy Life

Living the holy life can be difficult for some, especially given the dangers which come from various fronts (see last post). This being so, it is most important for us to strive to our utmost to cut off craving at the root. This according to the Buddha's injunction:

Chinda sota.m parakkamma
Kaame panuuda braahma.na
Nappahaaya muni kaame
N'ekattam-upapajjati


Strive, o Brahmin, and cut off the stream; dispel all sensuality!
Without abandoning sensuality
no sage attains to oneness of mind.


It is important to understand that this injunction refers to mental severing, not physical. Some misunderstand, it seems, as evinced by this article. This isn't the first time such a thing has occurred. Here's a story from the Buddha's time:

Now at that time a certain Bhikkhu, tormented by discontent, castrated himself. They told this matter to the Blessed One.

[The Blessed One:] 'When one thing wanted cutting off, O Bhikkhus, that foolish fellow has cut off another! You are not, O Bhikkhus, to castrate yourselves. Whosoever does so, shall be guilty of a grave offence.' (Cv. V.7)

The Buddha sure had a way with words.