The Donkey

People sometimes get the wrong idea that the Buddha criticized all desire. Then they read a passage like the one below and get confused. Well, as the poet said, It ain’t necessarily so. The Buddha mostly condemned a certain kind of desire, tanha. Tanha is a burning, reactive desire for the pleasures of the senses. It doesn’t include things like desire for liberation or desire for true happiness for yourself and others. See for yourself…

Once there was a foolish donkey who followed a herd of cattle around saying, “I’m a cow, too!” He doesn’t look like a cow, doesn’t sound like a cow, and doesn’t leave hoofprints like a cow. But still he follows them around saying, “I’m a cow! I’m a cow!”

And once there was a foolish monk who followed around other monks saying, “I’m a monk, too!” But unlike the other monks he did not have a strong desire to perfect his virtue. He didn’t have a strong desire to practice deep meditation. And he didn’t have a strong desire to perfect his wisdom. But still he follows around the other monks saying, “I’m a monk! I’m a monk!”

So practice developing a strong desire to perfect your virtue, your meditation, and your wisdom. This is the way to be a true monk.

-Anguttara Nikaya, Gadrabha Sutta

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s