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Academic Sutta Name Notes PSA Plae Vagga Nikaya PTS Keywords

XV:4 The fire of lust

On the day of her marriage the parents of a bride invited the Buddha and his bhikkhus for almsfood. Seeing the bride moving about the house and helping with the offering of almsfood, the bridegroom was very much excited, and could hardly attend to the needs of the Buddha and the other bhikkhus. The Buddha knew the feeling of the bridegroom and that the time was ripe for both the bride and the bridegroom to realise the Dhamma.

To remove his emotional attachment for the time being and to divert his attention, the Buddha by using his supernormal power, willed that the bride would not be visible to the bridegroom. Because the young man could no longer see the young woman, he could pay full attention to the Buddha, and his devotion to the Enlightened One grew stronger in him. The Buddha said, 'O young man, there is no fire like lust, there is no evil like anger and hatred, there is no ill like the burden of the five aggregates of existence and there is no bliss like the Perfect Peace of Nibbana.'

Reflecting on the advice, both the bride and bridegroom realised the Dhamma. At that moment, the Buddha permitted them to see each other once more, but there was no longer any passionate excitement between them, for they had realised the true nature of worldly experience.

55/170 Dhammapada & Commentary Khuddhaka J.i.106ff. despair

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Last modified on: Sunday, 13 August 2000.