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.
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.“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
The Rhinoceros sutta is direct and earnest in its encouragement and advice for people seeking Enlightenment.
The disciplines that is required for gaining enlightenment is being perceived as harsh and self absorbed or anti social by many people.
However, if we look at this sutta with an open mind, we will realise that it actually prescribed the recipe for success!
For a lay Buddhist, the thought of complete commitment in lifestyle towards enlightenment is unimaginable. The idea of enlightenment seems foreign.
But if we examine the lifestyle of successful scientists, researchers, businessmen, entrepreneur, students, writers, and etc. We will realise that they also practice the lifestyle that is being advocatef in this sutta in many ways.
They are disciplined in their pursuit and commit most of their time in pursuing their goal.
They abstain from useless partying and time wasting activities. They refrain from indulgences that distract them from their goal.
They learn to focus and renounce all non essential distractions in life. Be it pleasant or unpleasant situations in life, they learn to bear with those inconveniences and walk their own path with determination.
When I was a poor student who had to earn my own tuition fee, I had a similar lifestyle.
At that point in life, my only goal is to get an education and earn a degree in accountancy.
All my waking hours were devoted to study and work. I stopped all useless entertainments and party. No hanging out with friends on weekend. No movies. No cafe, nothing except work and study.
Any human contacts were limited to study groups or with worthy people who can help advance my study goals. Invitations to party or movies were religiously rejected.
Reflecting back, I realised that is exactly the lifestyle advocated in this sutta. Likewise, many successful people lived in this manner to achieve their desired goals in life.
When we seriously desire something in life, we need to invest all our energy in it. While many people applaud the effort of Bill Gate working long hours in a garage, or a scientist locked in his laboratory, they fail to appreciate a yogi meditating in a cave.
To the unknowing people, meditation seems like a non activity but in reality, we are spending every second of our life removing the defilement that is infecting our Buddha nature.
Therefore, the rhinoceros sutta is a very relevant sutta for lay people too. It actually details the recipe for success.
Although all goals pale in comparison with the goal of enlightenment, there is no restriction that prevents you from applying the principles in this sutta to your mundane activities.
Now that you know this secret, do you want to re-read all the past posting again?
May all be well and happy.