Khaggavisana Sutta

Sn 1.3

Khaggavisana Sutta

A Rhinoceros Horn

Translated from the Pali by

Thanissaro Bhikkhu

 

Renouncing violence

for all living beings,

harming not even a one,

you would not wish for offspring,

so how a companion?

Wander alone

like a rhinoceros.

 

For a sociable person

there are allurements;

on the heels of allurement, this pain.

Seeing allurement’s drawback,

wander alone

like a rhinoceros.

 

One whose mind

is enmeshed in sympathy

for friends & companions,

neglects the true goal.

Seeing this danger in intimacy,

wander alone

like a rhinoceros.

 

Like spreading bamboo,

entwined,

is concern for offspring & spouses.

Like a bamboo sprout,

unentangling,

wander alone

like a rhinoceros.

 

As a deer in the wilds,

unfettered,

goes for forage wherever it wants:

the wise person, valuing freedom,

wanders alone

like a rhinoceros.

 

In the midst of companions

— when staying at home,

when going out wandering —

you are prey to requests.

Valuing the freedom

wander alone

like a rhinoceros.

 

There is sporting & love

in the midst of companions,

& abundant fondness for offspring.

Feeling disgust

at the prospect of parting

from those who’d be dear,

wander alone

like a rhinoceros.

 

Without resistance in all four directions,

content with whatever you get,

enduring troubles with no dismay,

wander alone

like a rhinoceros.

 

They are hard to please,

some of those gone forth,

as well as those living the household life.

Shedding concern

for these offspring of others,

wander alone

like a rhinoceros.

 

Cutting off the householder’s marks,1

like a kovilara tree

that has shed its leaves,

the prudent one, cutting all household ties,

wander alone

like a rhinoceros.

 

If you gain a mature companion,

a fellow traveler, right-living & wise,

overcoming all dangers

go with him, gratified,

mindful.

 

If you don’t gain a mature companion,

a fellow traveler, right-living & wise,

wander alone

like a king renouncing his kingdom,

like the elephant in the Matanga wilds,

his herd.

 

We praise companionship

— yes!

Those on a par, or better,

should be chosen as friends.

If they’re not to be found,

living faultlessly,

wander alone

like a rhinoceros.

 

Seeing radiant bracelets of gold,

well-made by a smith,

clinking, clashing,

two on an arm,

wander alone

like a rhinoceros,

[thinking:]

“In the same way,

if I were to live with another,

there would be careless talk or abusive.”

Seeing this future danger,

wander alone

like a rhinoceros.

 

Because sensual pleasures,

elegant, honeyed, & charming,

bewitch the mind with their manifold forms —

seeing this drawback in sensual strands —

wander alone

like a rhinoceros.

 

“Calamity, tumor, misfortune,

disease, an arrow, a danger for me.”

Seeing this danger in sensual strands,

wander alone

like a rhinoceros.

 

Cold & heat, hunger & thirst,

wind & sun, horseflies & snakes:

enduring all these, without exception,

wander alone

like a rhinoceros.

 

As a great white elephant,

with massive shoulders,

renouncing his herd,

lives in the wilds wherever he wants,

wander alone

like a rhinoceros.

 

“There’s no way

that one delighting in company

can touch even momentary release.”

Heeding the Solar Kinsman’s words,

wander alone

like a rhinoceros.

 

Transcending the contortion of views,

the sure way attained,

the path gained,

[realizing:]

“Unled by others,

I have knowledge arisen,”

wander alone

like a rhinoceros.

 

With no greed, no deceit,

no thirst, no hypocrisy —

delusion & blemishes

blown away —

with no inclinations for all the world,

every world,

wander alone

like a rhinoceros.

 

Avoid the evil companion

disregarding the goal,

intent on the out-of-tune way.

Don’t take as a friend

someone heedless & hankering.

wander alone

like a rhinoceros.

 

Consort with one who is learned,

who maintains the Dhamma,

a great & quick-witted friend.

Knowing the meanings,

subdue your perplexity,

[then] wander alone

like a rhinoceros,

 

Free from longing, finding no pleasure

in the world’s sport, love, or sensual bliss,

abstaining from adornment,

speaking the truth,

wander alone

like a rhinoceros.

 

Abandoning offspring, spouse,

father, mother,

riches, grain, relatives,

& sensual pleasures

altogether,

wander alone

like a rhinoceros.

 

“This is a bondage, a baited hook.

There’s little happiness here,

next to no satisfaction,

all the more suffering & pain.”

Knowing this, circumspect,

wander alone

like a rhinoceros.

 

Shattering fetters,

like a fish in the water tearing a net,

like a fire not coming back to what’s burnt,

wander alone

like a rhinoceros.

 

Eyes downcast, not footloose,

senses guarded, with protected mind,

not oozing — not burning — with lust,

wander alone

like a rhinoceros.

 

Taking off the householder’s marks,2

like a coral tree

that has shed its leaves,

going forth in the ochre robe,

wander alone

like a rhinoceros.

 

Showing no greed for flavors, not careless,

going from house to house for alms,

with mind unenmeshed in this family or that,

wander alone

like a rhinoceros.

 

Abandoning barriers to awareness,

expelling all defilements — all —

non-dependent, cutting aversion,

allurement,

wander alone

like a rhinoceros.

 

Turning your back on pleasure & pain,

as earlier with sorrow & joy,

attaining pure equanimity,

tranquillity,

wander alone

like a rhinoceros.

 

With persistence aroused

for the highest goal’s attainment,

with mind unsmeared, not lazy in action,

firm in effort, with steadfastness & strength arisen,

wander alone

like a rhinoceros.

 

Not neglecting seclusion, absorption,

constantly living the Dhamma

in line with the Dhamma,

comprehending the danger

in states of becoming,

wander alone

like a rhinoceros.

 

Intent on the ending of craving & heedful,

learned, mindful, not muddled,

certain — having reckoned the Dhamma —

& striving,

wander alone

like a rhinoceros.

 

Unstartled, like a lion at sounds.

Unsnared, like the wind in a net.

Unsmeared, like a lotus in water:

wander alone

like a rhinoceros.

 

Like a lion — forceful, strong in fang,

living as a conqueror, the king of beasts —

resort to a solitary dwelling.

Wander alone

like a rhinoceros.

 

At the right time consorting

with the release through good will,

compassion,

appreciation,

equanimity,

unobstructed by all the world,

any world,

wander alone

like a rhinoceros.

 

Having let go of passion,

aversion,

delusion;

having shattered the fetters;

undisturbed at the ending of life,

wander alone

like a rhinoceros.

 

People follow & associate

for a motive.

Friends without a motive these days

are rare.

They’re shrewd for their own ends, & impure.

Wander alone

like a rhinoceros.

Note:

1. Hair and beard.

2. Lay clothing.

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~ by James Myoe on December 15, 2007.

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