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."





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