Sacred Texts  Buddhism  Index  Previous  Next 


WHILE the Buddha was preaching his doctrine for the conversion of the world in the neighborhood of Savatthi, a man of great wealth who suffered from many ailments came to him with clasped hands and said: "World-honored Buddha, pardon me for my want of respect in not saluting thee as I ought but I suffer greatly from obesity, excessive drowsiness, and other complaints, so that I cannot move without pain."

The Tathagata, seeing the luxuries with which the man was surrounded asked him: "Hast thou a desire to know the cause of thy ailments?" And when the wealthy man expressed his willingness to learn, the Blessed One said: "There are five things which produce the condition of which thou complainest: opulent dinners, love of sleep, hankering after pleasure, thoughtlessness, and lack of occupation. Exercise self-control at thy meals, and take upon thyself some duties that will exercise thy abilities and make thee useful to thy fellow-men. In following this advice thou wilt prolong thy life."

The rich man remembered the words of the Buddha and after some time having recovered his lightness of body and youthful buoyancy returned to the World-honored One and, coming afoot without horses and attendants, said to him: "Master, thou hast cured my bodily ailments; I come now to seek enlightenment of my mind."

And the Blessed One said: "The worldling nourishes his body, but the wise man nourishes his mind. He who indulges in the satisfaction of his appetites works his own destruction; but he who walks in the path will have both the salvation from evil and a prolongation of life."

Next: The Communication Of Bliss