Catching the Snake when
fishing for Pleasure!
The Ancient Elders
explained reflection thus:
One sees all constructions as impermanent based on the
They are inconstant, momentary, non-continuous, temporary, limited by rise
and fall, disintegrating, unstable, perishable, transient, subject to
coreless, due to vanish, constructed, subject to decay, to ageing, to death!
One sees all phenomena as ultimate suffering based on
the following facts:
They are continuously oppressing, hard to bear, the source of pain, a
a tumour, a dart, a calamity, an affliction, a stress, a disaster, a terror
offers no protection, no shelter, no refuge, a danger, the root of calamity,
murderous, subject to mental fermentation, Mara's bait, subject to birth,
subject to ageing, illness and despair, producing sorrow, cause of grieving!
One knows all constructions as disgusting, foul
and ugly, because they surely
are deplorable, stinking, detestable, repulsive,
and grotesque pain in
One regards all constructions as egoless no-self based
on the these facts:
Because they are alien, empty, vain, void, ownerless, with no full
with none to wield power over them, prone to be tossed about by conditions...
It is then one acquires Knowledge
and Vision of the Way by associating all
constructions with these 3 universal characteristics. But why this grossly
negative way? It is in order to achieve the tools to releasing
Here is a simile: a man thought to catch a fish, so he took a fishing net
throw it in the water. He put his hand into the mouth of the net under the
water and seized a snake by the neck. He was glad, thinking: I have caught
a fish! In the belief that he had caught a big fish, he lifted it up to see
When he saw three marks, he perceived that it was a snake and he was truly
terrified. He saw danger, felt revulsion
and desires to be delivered from it.
Contriving a means to deliverance, he flings it away,
yelling: Go, ugly
Then quickly hasting up on dry land, he stood looking back, while thinking:
Happily, by effort, I have been delivered from the jaws of a huge snake!!
The Path of Purification
Knowledge and Vision of the Way: