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The Giddy Fish

There was a bhikkhu who had great difficulty in keeping his
senses and passions under control; so, resolving to leave the
Order, he came to the Blessed One to ask him for a release from
the vows. And the Blessed One said to the bhikkhu:

"Take heed, my son, lest thou fall a prey to the passions of thy
misguided heart. For I see that in former existences, thou hast
suffered much from the evil consequences of lust, and unless thou
learnest to conquer thy sensual desire, thou wilt in this life be
ruined through thy folly.

"Listen to a story of another existence of thine, as a fish.

"The fish could be seen swimming lustily in the river, playing
with his mate. She, moving in front, suddenly perceived the
meshes of a net, and slipping around escaped the danger; but he,
blinded by love, shot eagerly after her and fell straight into
the mouth of the net. The fisherman pulled the net up, and the
fish, who complained bitterly of his sad fate, saying, 'this
indeed is the bitter fruit of my folly,' would surely have died
if the Bodhisatta had not chanced to come by, and, understanding
the language of the fish, took pity on him. He bought the poor
creature and said to him: 'My good fish, had I not caught sight
of thee this day, thou wouldst have lost thy life. I shall save
thee, but henceforth avoid the evil of lust.' With these words he
threw the fish into the water.

"Make the best of the time of grace that is offered to thee in
thy present existence, and fear the dart of passion which, if
thou guard not thy senses, will lead thee to destruction."

Next: The Cruel Crane Outwitted

Previous: The Lost Son

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