saw simile

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
Posts: 1020
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 11:39 am

saw simile

Postby befriend » Sat Dec 07, 2013 5:23 pm

is it advisable to constantly keep the saw simile in mind? or was this teaching directed to a specific group of people?
nothing can destroy a man who has lived a pure life

User avatar
Posts: 6206
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:55 pm
Location: California

Re: saw simile

Postby Mkoll » Sat Dec 07, 2013 6:26 pm

Like you said it was probably directed to a specific group of people as many of the Buddha's teachings were. In the Buddha's time there was a dearth in book knowledge whereas today there is an overabundance of it. Many modern practitioners of Buddhism have learnt many teachings from reading. Without a teacher one must find a way to practice in their own unique way.

Maybe if one finds oneself habitually reacting to the speech of others in unwholesome ways it would be good to keep the saw simile in mind.

"Monks, if you attend constantly to this admonition on the simile of the saw, do you see any aspects of speech, slight or gross, that you could not endure?"

"No, lord."

"Then attend constantly to this admonition on the simile of the saw. That will be for your long-term welfare & happiness."
-MN 21

Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

Posts: 2585
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:55 pm

Re: saw simile

Postby santa100 » Sat Dec 07, 2013 7:36 pm

Looking at the passage in MN 21:
Bhikkhus, even if bandits were to sever you savagely limb by limb with a two-handled saw, he who gave rise to a mind of hate towards them would not be carrying out my teaching. Herein, bhikkhus, you should train thus: ‘Our minds will remain unaffected, and we shall utter no evil words; we shall abide compassionate for their welfare, with a mind of loving-kindness, without inner hate. We shall abide pervading them with a mind imbued with loving-kindness; and starting with them, we shall abide pervading the all-encompassing world with a mind imbued with loving-kindness, abundant, exalted, immeasurable, without hostility and without ill will.’ That is how you should train, bhikkhus

..the Buddha told us not to have a "mind" of hatred. He didn't tell us to sit there doing nothing. So even in a hostile situation when one is under physical threat, the Buddha's teaching can still be very useful. A mind clouded with hatred would be very sluggish and clumsy, and won't be agile enough to react to get out of the situation safely. A mind free of hatred is very sharp and bright. One'd have a much better chance of making the right move to get out of the situation safely..

User avatar
Posts: 8501
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:32 pm
Location: Queensland, Australia

Re: saw simile

Postby cooran » Sat Dec 07, 2013 8:02 pm

The Kakacupama Sutta is often misunderstood as referring to physical actions, e.g. Dying heroically while patiently enduring horrific torture - when it refers to speech and mental awareness of attitudes: ... .than.html

With metta,
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

Return to “General Theravāda discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Santi253, Sobhana, WindDancer and 61 guests

Google Saffron, Theravada Search Engine