Tagged: renunciation

Renunciation of Desires

The Essentials of Buddhist Meditation
By Shramana Zhiyi (Chih-i)
– (538-597 ce)

Chapter 2:  B : [Scriptural Citations]

The dharma of renouncing desire as treated above is drawn from the discussion in the Mahayana Treatise.

It additionally states, “Alas! These beings! They are constantly harassed by the five desires and yet they continue to pursue them incessantly.

“As for these five types of desire, gaining their objects results in their becoming even more intense.

“They are like fire which, when stoked with more firewood, burns ever brighter.

“The five desires yield no happiness. [When one pursues them], one is comparable to a dog gnawing away at a dried-up bone.

“The five desires proliferate contention, just as birds skirmish over carrion.

“The five desires scorch a person, just as one is burned when carrying a torch into the wind.

“The five desires bring harm to a person, just as when one treads upon a poisonous snake.

“Like bounty gained in a dream, the five desires have nothing real about them.

“[The pleasure arising from] the five desires does not endure long. It is borrowed only for a moment and is like a spark struck from a stone.

“The wise also consider them to be like enemies or thieves. The worldly person is foolish and deluded, is covetously attached to the five desires, won’t relinquish them even in the face of death, and later undergoes immeasurable suffering and aggravation as a result.

“This dharma of the five desires is something people have in common with animals.”

All beings typically act under the direction of the five desires and thus become slaves to the desires. On account of this, having become covered over by desires, they are prone to fall into the three lower realms.

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The Precious Garland v.148-165

Nagarjuna (150–250 CE)

Lust for a woman mostly comes
From thinking that her body is clean,
But there is nothing clean
In a woman’s body.

The mouth is a vessel filled with foul
Saliva and filth between the teeth,
The nose with fluids, snot and mucus,
The eyes with their own filth and tears.

The body is a vessel filled
With excrement, urine, lungs and liver;
He whose vision is obscured and does not see
A woman thus, and so lusts for her body.

Just as some fools desire
An ornimental pot of filth,
So the ignorant and obscured
And the worldly desire women.

If the world is greatly attached
To the nauseous stinking body
Which should cause loss of attachment,
How can it be lead free from desire?

Just as pigs yearn greatly for
A source of excrement, urine and vomit,
So some lustful ones desire
A source of excrement, urine and vomit.

This filthy city of a body,
With protruding holes for the elements
Is called by stupid beings
An object of pleasure.

Once you have seen for yourself the filth
Of excrement, urine and so forth,
How could you be attracted
To a body so composed?

Why should you lust desirously for this
While recognising it as a filthy form
Produced by a seed whose essence is filth,
A mixture of blood and semen?

He who lies on a filthy mass
Covered by skin moisened with
Those fluids, merely lies
On top of a woman’s bladder.

If whether beautiful or
Ugly, whether old or young,
All the bodies of women are filthy
From what attributes does your lust arise?

Just as it is not fit to desire filth
Although it have good color
and shape in it’s very freshness,
so is it with a woman’s body.

How could the nature of this putrid corpse,
A rotten mass covered outside by skin,
Not be seen when it looks
So very horrible?

‘The skin is not foul,
It is like a cloak.’
Over a mass of filth
How could it be clean?

A pot although beautiful outside
Is reviled when filled with filth.
Why is the body, when so filled
And foul by nature, not reviled?

If against filth you revile,
Why not against this body
Which befouls clean scents,
Garlands, food and drink?

Just as one’s own or others’
Filthiness is reviled,
Why not revile against one’s own
And others’ filthy bodies?

Since your own body is
As filthy as a woman’s,
Should not you abandon
Desire for self and other?