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Samyutta Nikaya IX.1

Viveka Sutta

Seclusion


I have heard that on one occasion a certain monk was dwelling among the Kosalans in a forest thicket. Now at that time, as he had gone to spend the day [in the thicket], he was thinking unskillful thoughts, connected with the household life.

Then the devata inhabiting the forest thicket, feeling sympathy for the monk, desiring his benefit, desiring to bring him to his senses, approached him and addressed him with this verse:

"Desiring seclusion
you've entered the forest,
and yet your mind
goes running outside.
You, a person:
subdue your desire for people.
Then you'll be happy,     free
        from passion.
Dispel discontent,
be mindful.
Let me remind you
of that which is good --
for the dust
of the regions below
    is hard to transcend.
Don't let the dust
of the sensual
pull
    you
        down.

    As a bird
spattered with dirt
sheds the adhering dust with a shake,
    so a monk
-- energetic & mindful --
sheds the adhering dust."

The monk, chastened by the devata, came to his senses.


See also: SN IX.9; SN IX.14.
Source: ATI - For Free Distribution Only, as a Gift of Dhamma.

Dhamma Essay:
Skillful Means by Ayya Khema


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