Cutting off the householder’s marks, 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.“KHAGGAVISANA SUTTA: A RHINOCEROS” (SN 1.3), TRANSLATED FROM THE PALI BY THANISSARO BHIKKHU. ACCESS TO INSIGHT (BCBS EDITION), 30 NOVEMBER 2013, HTTP://WWW.ACCESSTOINSIGHT.ORG/TIPITAKA/KN/SNP/SNP.1.03.THAN.HTML .
This article comes amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. Many countries are advising their residents to stay home and not mingle. Do not think that as negative. Perhaps it is a good time for some quiet “Me” moment. A time to self-reflect and understand ourselves better.
Following the previous post on this sutta, we arrive at this verse that advised the practitioner to cut-off all mark of a householder. That means to shave one’s head and be a monk or nun. Before we (layperson) brush this verse away and say “Nah,that is not applicable for me”,let us see if we can try learn something first.
For me, the mark of a householder is more than the hair on our head. It is also our “busy concerns” with layman duties. We love to socialize, don’t we?
To socialize, we want to look our best. Nothing had changed since 2500 years ago. Man and woman are still concerned about their appearance. That is why the monk and nun shaved their head. No more worries about hair. No more bad hair days!
Now that survival is at stake, we can see what is really important in life.
During this challenging time, this verse might save us. Stay home and avoid socializing. No need to go out and buy a new dress and get our hair done. Try enjoy simple things in life and be at peace with ourselves.
“Me time” can be fun too. Spend quality time with family and pets. We had spent so much time working and paying home loan. If your country is under lock down, maybe it is time to stay home and enjoy your home. Something that you had spend so much time working for?
Before you mistaken that Buddhism is anti-social, the next verse explains all. We are just selective. We do not need a huge party to thrive. We just need a few quality friend by our side.
Stay home, stay healthy and stay hygienic. May we tide over this pandemic successfully.
May all be well and happy.