IV. Sa.laayatana Vagga
35: Sa.laayatana Sa.myutta
4. Aasiivisa Vagga
The Connected Discourses of the Buddha
IV. The Book of the Six Sense Bases
35: Connected Discourses on the Six Sense Bases
The Fourth Fifty
4. The Vipers
The Simile of the Chariot
Translated by Bhikkhu Bodhi
"OoBhikkhu Bodhi 2000., The Connected Discourses of the Buddha (Wisdom Publications, 2000)
This selection from The Connected Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Sa.myutta Nikaaya by Bhikkhu Bodhi is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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What are the three?
He is one who guards the doors of the sense faculties, who is moderate in eating, and who is devoted to wakefulness.
 "And how, bhikkhus, is a bhikkhu one who guards the doors of the sense faculties?
Here, having seen a form with the eye, a bhikkhu does not grasp its signs and features.
Since, if he left the eye faculty unrestrained, evil unwholesome states of covetousness and displeasure might invade him, he practises the way of its restraint, he guards the eye faculty, he undertakes the restraint of the eye faculty.
Having heard a sound with the ear ...
Having smelt an odour with the nose ...
Having tasted a taste with the tongue ...
Having felt a tactile object with the body ...
Having cognized a mental phenomenon with the mind, a bhikkhu does not grasp its signs and its features.
Since, if he left the mind faculty unrestrained, evil unwholesome states of covetousness and displeasure might invade him, he practises the way of its restraint, he guards the mind faculty, he undertakes the restraint of the mind faculty.
"Suppose, bhikkhus, a chariot harnessed to thoroughbreds was standing ready on even ground at a crossroads, with a goad on hand.
Then a skilful trainer, a charioteer of horses to be tamed, would mount it and, taking the reins in his left hand and the goad in his right, would drive away and return by any route he wants, whenever he wants.
So too, a bhikkhu trains in protecting these six sense faculties, trains in controlling them, trains in taming them, trains in pacifying them.
It is in this way, bhikkhus, that a bhikkhu guards the doors of the sense faculties.
"And how, bhikkhus, is a bhikkhu moderate in eating?
Here, reflecting wisely, a bhikkhu takes food neither for amusement nor for intoxication nor for the sake of physical beauty and attractiveness, but only for the support and maintenance of this body, for ending discomfort, and for assisting the holy life, considering:
'Thus I shall terminate the old feeling and not arouse a new feeling, and I shall be healthy and blameless and live in comfort.'
 Just as a person anoints a wound only for the purpose of enabling it to heal, or just as one greases an axle only for the sake of transporting a load, so a bhikkhu, reflecting wisely, takes food ... for assisting the holy life.
It is in this way, bhikkhus, that a bhikkhu is moderate in eating.
"And how, bhikkhus, is a bhikkhu devoted to wakefulness?
Here, during the day, while walking back and forth and sitting, a bhikkhu purifies his mind of obstructive states.
In the first watch of the night, while walking back and forth and sitting, he purifies his mind of obstructive states.
In the middle watch of the night he lies down on the right side in the lion's posture with one foot overlapping the other, mindful and clearly comprehending, after noting in his mind the idea of rising.
After rising, in the last watch of the night, while walking back and forth and sitting, he purifies his mind of obstructive states.
It is in this way, bhikkhus, that a bhikkhu is devoted to wakefulness.
"Bhikkhus, it is by possessing these three qualities that a bhikkhu lives full of happiness and joy in this very life, and he has laid the foundation for the destruction of the taints."