Catching the Snake »
Drop of Dhamma Delight!


Catching the Snake when fishing for Pleasure!

The Ancient Elders explained reflection thus:
One sees all constructions as impermanent based on the following facts:
They are inconstant, momentary, non-continuous, temporary, limited by rise
and fall, disintegrating, unstable, perishable, transient, subject to change,
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 disease,
a tumour, a dart, a calamity, an affliction, a stress, a disaster, a terror that
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 disguise!
One regards all constructions as egoless no-self based on the these facts:
Because they are alien, empty, vain, void, ownerless, with no full controller,
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 deliverance!
Here is a simile: a man thought to catch a fish, so he took a fishing net and
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 it...
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 snake!
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 Visuddhimagga 652

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