Nirvana

‘It is even as some rajah’s border-town, strongly built with walls and towers, and having six gates thereto.  This town hath a wise and watchful Warden of the Gates, who keeps out enemies and welcomes friends.  From the East there comes a pair of swift Messengers, and they say unto the Warden of the Gates; “Friend, where is the Lord of this town?”

And he replies: “Yonder he sits in the midst where the Four Ways meet.”

Then those twin Messengers deliver unto the Lord of that town the Message of Truth, and go their ways by the Path by which they came.

Likewise also from the West and from the North there comes a pair of swift Messengers, and they say unto the Warden of the Gates: “Friend, where is the Lord of this town?” And in like manner he replies, and they deliver unto the Lord of that town the Message of Truth and go their ways.

Now, Bhikkhus, have I told ye a parable: and for the interpretation of the parable, it is this:

The Town is this body, of the Four Great Elements compounded, of parents born, fed on food, corruptible and doomed to perish utterly.

The Six Gates thereof are the six avenues of Sense.

The Warden of the Gates, it is the Conscience.

The Pair of Swift Messengers, they are Calm and Insight.

The Lord of the Town, it is the Mind.

The Four Crossways meeting in the midst, are the Elements of Earth and Water, Fire and Air.

The Message of Truth they bring, it is Nirvana, the Unconditioned.

And the Path by which they come and go, it is the Ariyan Eightfold Path, to wit: Right Belief, Right Intention, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Living, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, Right Meditation.”
                                                                                           (S.N. iv. 194)

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“Some Sayings of the Buddha – According to the Pali Canon”, translated from the Pali by F.L.Woodward, Oxford University Press, London/Madras, 1925.

 

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