A True Story of Lust and Seduction - with a Twist!

Twenty-six hundred years ago, Subbha the Buddhist nun was walking through a mango grove when a lustful young man blocked her path.

Subbha the Nun: “What wrong have I done you that you stand in my way? It’s not proper my friend that a man should touch a woman gone forth (Buddhist nun who has dedicated her life to finding enlightenment). I respect the (Buddha’s) message, the training pointed out by the one well gone, I am pure, without blemish; why do you stand in my way? You - your mind agitated, impassioned; and I, with a mind entirely freed. Why do you stand in my way?”

Young man: “You are young and not bad looking, what need do you have for going forth? (becoming a nun). Throw off your (yellow) robes, come, let’s delight in the flowering grove. A sweetness they exude everywhere, the towering trees with their pollen. The beginning of spring is a pleasant season. Come, let’s delight in the flowering grove. The trees with their blossoming tips moan, as it were, in the breeze: what delight will you have if you plunge into the grove alone? Frequented by herds of wild beasts, disturbed by elephants rutting and aroused: you want to go unaccompanied into the great, lonely, frightening grove? Like a doll made of gold, you will go about, like a goddess in the gardens of heaven, with delicate smooth kasi (hand woven) fabrics, you will shine, O beauty without compare. I would gladly do your every bidding if we were to dwell in the glade. For there is no creature dearer to me than you, O nymph with the languid regard. If you do as I ask, happy, come live in my house. Dwelling in the calm of a palace, have women wait on you, wear delicate kasi fabrics, adorn yourself with garlands and creams. I will make you many and varied ornaments of gold, jewels and pearls. Climb onto a costly bed, scented with sandalwood carvings, with a well washed coverlet, beautiful, spread with a woolen quilt, brand new. (If you do not come with me), like a blue lotus rising from the water, where there dwell non human beings, you will go to old age with your limbs unseen (covered with a nun’s robe) if you remain in the holy life.”

Subbha the Nun: “What do you assume of any essence, here in this cemetery grower (my body), filled with corpses (dead plants and animals that I have eaten), this body destined to break up? What do you see when you look at me, you who are out of your mind?”

Young man: Your eyes are like those of a fawn, like those of a sprite in the mountains. Seeing your eyes, my sensual delight grows all the more. Like tips they are, of blue lotuses, in your golden face - spotless: Seeing your eyes, my sensual delight grows all the more. Even if you should go far away, I will think only of your pure, long lashed gaze, for there is nothing dearer to me than your eyes, O nymph with the languid regard.”

Subbha the Nun: “You want to stray from the road, you want the moon as a plaything, you want to jump over Mount Sineru, you who have designs on one born of the Buddha (Ordained as a nun under the Buddha). For there is nothing anywhere at all in the cosmos with its gods, that would be an object of passion for me. I don’t even know what that passion would be, for its been killed, root and all, by the path. Like embers from a pit - scattered, like a bowl of poison - evaporated, I don’t even see what that passion would be, for it’s been killed by the path (Understanding how her mind works). Try to seduce one who hasn’t reflected on this, or who has not followed the Buddha’s teachings. But try it with this one who knows and you suffer. For in the midst of praise and blame, pleasure and pain, my mind stands firm. Knowing the unattractiveness of things compounded, my mind cleaves to nothing at all. I am a follower of the one well gone, riding the vehicle of the Eightfold Way: My arrow removed, effluent free, I delight, having gone to an empty dwelling (has seen through the illusion of self). For I have seen well-painted puppets, hitched up with sticks and strings, made to dance in various ways. When the sticks and strings are removed, thrown away, scattered, shredded, smashed into pieces not to be found, in what will the mind there make its home? This body of mind which is just like that, when devoid of dhammas (truths) doesn’t function. When, devoid of dhammas, it doesn’t function, in what will the mind there make its home? Like a mural that you have seen, painted on a wall, smeared with yellow paint, there your vision has been distorted, meaningless your human perception. Like an evaporated mirage, like a tree of gold in a dream, like a magic show in the midst of a crowd - you run blind after what is unreal. (My eye) resembles a ball of sealing wax, set in a hollow, with a bubble in the middle and bathed with tears, eye secretions are born there too: the parts of the eye are all rolled together in various ways.”

(Then, the nun Subbha plucked out one of her lovely eyes from its socket, and with mind unattached, she felt no regret.)

Subbha the Nun: “Here, take this eye. It is yours.

(And straightaway she gave her eye to the young man. And straightaway the young man’s passion faded right there. And he begged her forgiveness.)

Young man: “Be well, follower of the holy life. This sort of thing will never happen again. Harming a person like you is like embracing a blazing fire, it’s as if I have seized a poisonous snake. So may you be well. Forgive me.”

(And released from there, the nun Subbha went to the Buddha’s presence, and when she saw him., her eye became as it was before)

Author's Bio: 

Anagarika eddie is a meditation teacher at the Dhammabucha Rocksprings Meditation Retreat Sanctuary www.dhammarocksprings.org and author of “A Year to Enlightenment.” His 30 years of meditation experience has taken him across four continents including two stopovers in Thailand where he practiced in the remote northeast forests as an ordained Thervada Buddhist monk.

He lived at Wat Pah Nanachat under Ajahn Chah, at Wat Pah Baan Taad under Ajahn Maha Boowa, and at Wat Pah Daan Wi Weg under Ajahn Tui. He had been a postulant at Shasta Abbey, a Zen Buddhist monastery in northern California under Roshi Kennett; and a Theravada Buddhist anagarika at both Amaravati Monastery in the UK and Bodhinyanarama Monastery in New Zealand, both under Ajahn Sumedho. The author has meditated with the Korean Master Sueng Sahn Sunim; with Bhante Gunaratana at the Bhavana Society in West Virginia; and with the Tibetan Master Trungpa Rinpoche in Boulder, Colorado. He has also practiced at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, and the Zen Center in San Francisco.