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."
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