Nibbāna 19: Starve the Tiger

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To explain the position of lustful beings in the world, the Buddha gives the simile of a man with a skin disease sitting beside a pit of hot embers:

“Suppose, Māgandiya, there was a leper with sores and blisters on his limbs, being devoured by worms, scratching the scabs off the openings of his wounds with his nails, cauterizing his body over a burning charcoal pit. Then his friends and companions, his kinsmen and relatives, brought a physician to treat him. The physician would make medicine for him, and by means of that medicine the man would be cured of his leprosy and would become well and happy, independent, master of himself, able to go where he likes.” — Māgaṇdiya Sutta (MN 75)

That man is simply trying to assuage his pains by the heat of the fire. It is an attempt to warm up, not to cool down. Similarly, the lustful beings in the world are trying to warm up by drawing near the fires of lust. There is no way that can be compared to the extinction and cooling down of the Arahants.


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Dev Jacobsen

Musician, author and yogi, developer of Palingenics.

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