site logo

Luxurious Living

While the Buddha was preaching his doctrine for the conversion of

the world in the neighborhood of Savatthi, a man of great wealth

who suffered from many ailmemts came to him with clasped hands

and said: "World-honored Buddha, pardon me for my want of respect

in not saluting thee as I ought, but I suffer greatly from

obesity, excessive drowsiness, and other complaints, so that I

cannot move without pain."

The Tathagata, seeing the luxuries with which the man was

surrounded asked him: "Hast thou a desire to know the cause of

thy ailments?" And when the wealthy man expressed his willingness

to learn, the Blessed One said: "There are five things which

produce the condition of which thou complainest: opulent dinners,

love of sleep, hankering after pleasure, thoughtlessness, and

lack of occupation. Exercise self-control at thy meals, and take

upon thyself some duties that will exercise thy abilities and

make thee useful to thy fellow-men. In following this advice thou

wilt prolong thy life."

The rich man remembered the words of the Buddha and after some

time having recovered his lightness of body and youthful buoyancy

returned to the Worldhonored One and, coming afoot without horses

and attendants, said to him: "Master, thou hast cured my bodily

ailments; I come now to seek enlightenment of my mind."

And the Blessed One said: "The worldling nourishes his body, but

the wise man nourishes his mind. He who indulges in the

satisfaction of his appetites works his own destruction; but he

who walks in the path will have both the salvation from evil and

a prolongation of life."