Friday, September 27, 2013

The Nun and the Libertine - Better than Sex

Dhr. Seven, Amber Larson, Ashley Wells, Wisdom Quarterly, based on Ven. Thanissaro translation Subha Jivakambavanika, Psalms of the Sisters (Therigatha 14.1)
What's a beautiful, enlightened, celibate nun to do? (
The delightful grove by day
As the Buddhist nun (theri) Subha was wandering through Jivaka's delightful mango grove, some libertine (a goldsmith's son) blocked her path. She said to him:
"What wrong have I done you that you stand in my way? It is not proper, friend, that a man should touch a woman who has gone forth [entered upon the spiritual life of renunciation]. I respect the Master's message, the training pointed out by the Well-gone One. I am pure and without blemish:
"Why do you stand in my way? You -- your mind/heart agitated, and I -- unagitated; you -- impassioned, I -- unimpassioned, unblemished, with a mind everywhere released: Why do you stand in my way?" 
Wait says the Libertine (Bighead4144/flickr)
[He answered:] "You are young and good looking, so what need have you of going forth? Throw off your saffron robe. Come, let's delight in the flowering forest! A sweetness they exude from all around, the blossoming trees with their pollen. The beginning of spring is a pleasant season.
"Come, let's delight in the flowering forest! The trees with their blossoming tips moan in the breeze: What delight will you have if you plunge into the forest alone? Frequented by herds of wild beasts, disturbed by elephants rutting and aroused, you want to go unaccompanied into the great, lonely, frightening forest?
The forest grows scary in the dark with its unseen creatures and wild beasts
"Like a doll made of gold, you will go about like a goddess (devi) in the gardens of heaven. With fine and delicate Kasi fabrics, you will shine, O beauty without equal! I would be under your power if we were to dwell in the woods. For there is no creature dearer to me than you, O nymph with languid regard. If you'll do as I ask, happy, come live in my house! Dwelling in the calm of a palace, have women wait on you, wear delicate Kasi fabrics, adorn yourself with garlands and creams. I will make you many and varied ornaments of gold, jewels, and pearls."
This wig looks great on you.
"Climb onto a costly bed, scented with carved sandalwood, with a beautiful, well-washed coverlet, spread with a new woolen quilt. Like a blue lotus rising from the water, where there dwell spirits, you will go to old age with your limbs unseen, if you stay as you are in the renounced life."
[She said:] "What do you assume of any essence, here in this cemetery grower, filled with corpses, this body destined to break up? What do you see when you look at me, you who are out of your mind?"
[He said:] "Your eyes are like those of a fawn, like those of a nymph in the mountains. Seeing your eyes, my sensual delight grows all the more. Like the tips of blue lotuses are they in your golden face -- spotless: Seeing your eyes, my sensual delight grows all the more. Even if you should go far away, I will think only of your sparkling, long-lashed gaze, for there is nothing dearer to me than your eyes, O nymph with languid regard."
Golden white Buddha (sukhothai-tourism)
[She said:] "You want to stray from the road! You want the Moon as a plaything! You want to jump over Mount Sineru -- you who have designs on one born of the Buddha [Enlightened One]. For there is nothing anywhere at all in the world with its devas that would be an object of passion for me. I do not even know what that passion would be, for it has been undone, root and all, by the Path. Like embers from a fire pit -- scattered, like a bowl of poison -- evaporated, I do not so much as see what that passion would be, for it has been undone, root and all, by the Path. Try to seduce one who has not reflected on this, or whom the Master has not instructed. But try it with this one who knows, and you do yourself harm! For whether insulted or worshiped, in pleasure or pain, my mindfulness stands firm. Knowing the unattractiveness of compounded things, my heart adheres nowhere at all. I am a follower of the Well-gone One, riding the vehicle of the Noble Eightfold Way: My arrow removed, canker-free, I delight, having gone to an empty dwelling. For I have seen well-painted puppets, hitched up with sticks and strings, made to dance in various ways. When the sticks and strings are removed, thrown away, scattered, shredded, smashed to pieces, not to be found, in what will the mind there make its home? This body of mine, which is just like that, when devoid of phenomena, does not function. When, devoid of phenomena, it does not function, in what will the mind there make its home?
"Like a mural seen painted on a wall, smeared with yellow pigment, there your vision has been distorted, meaningless your human perception! Like an evaporated mirage, like a tree of gold in a dream, like a magic show in the midst of a crowd -- you run blind after what is unreal. Resembling a ball of sealing wax, set in a hollow, with a bubble in the middle and bathed with tears, eye secretions are born there too: The parts of the eye are rolled all together in various ways." 
Oh, no, Lisa! What have you done? That's gross. I'm sorry I was hitting on you!
Plucking out her lovely eye, with mind unattached she felt no regret. "Here, take this eye. It is yours." Straightaway [dispassionately] she gave it to him. His passion shriveled right then and there, and he begged for her forgiveness. "Be safe, follower of the renounced life. This sort of thing will not happen again! Harming a person like you is like embracing a blazing fire. It is as if I have seized a poisonous snake. So may you be safe! Forgive me."
And freed from there, the nun went to the unexcelled Buddha's presence. And when she saw the mark of his excellent merit, her eye became as it was before.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Hey, your views to combine Buddhism and science are very impressive. Care to friend me? I'm a practicer and I'm sure we can have many nice discussions.