Guhatthaka Sutta
The Cave of the Body


Staying attached to the cave,
covered heavily over,
a person plunged into confusion
is far from seclusion —
for sensual pleasures
are not lightly let go.

Those chained by desire,
bound by becoming’s allure,
aren’t freed by others,
and find no easy release on their own.
Intent, in front or behind,
on hunger for sensual pleasures
here or before —
for sensual pleasures,
busy, deluded, ungenerous,
having entered the out-of-tune way,
they — impelled into pain — lament:
“What will we be
when we pass on from here?”

So a person should train
right here and now.
Whatever you know
as out-of-tune in the world,
don’t, for its sake, act out-of-tune,
for that life, say the prudent,
is short.

I see them,
in the world, floundering around,
people immersed in craving
for states of becoming.
Base people moan in the mouth of death,
their craving, for states of becoming and not-,

See them,
floundering in their sense of mine,
like fish in the puddles
of a dried-up stream —
and, seeing this,
live with no mine,
not forming attachment
for states of becoming.
Subdue desire for both sides,
comprehending sensory contact,
with no greed.

Doing nothing for which
he himself
would reprove himself,
the prudent person doesn’t adhere
to what’s seen,
to what’s heard.
Comprehending perception,
not stuck on possessions,
a sage would cross over the flood.
Then, with arrow removed,
living heedfully, he longs for neither
this world
nor the next.