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- Samyutta Nikaya XLVII.20
- Sedaka Sutta
- At Sedaka (2: The Beauty Queen)
- For free distribution only, as a gift of Dhamma
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was living among the Sumbhas.
Now there is a Sumbhan town named Sedaka. There the Blessed One
addressed the monks, "Monks!"
"Yes, lord," the monks responded.
The Blessed One said, "Suppose, monks, that a large
crowd of people comes thronging together, saying, 'The beauty queen! The beauty queen!'
And suppose that the beauty queen is highly accomplished at singing & dancing, so that
an even greater crowd comes thronging, saying, 'The beauty queen is singing! The beauty
queen is dancing!' Then a man comes along, desiring life & shrinking from death,
desiring pleasure & abhorring pain. They say to him, 'Now look here, mister. You must
take this bowl filled to the brim with oil and carry it on your head in between the great
crowd & the beauty queen. A man with a raised sword will follow right behind you, and
wherever you spill even a drop of oil, right there will he cut off your head.' Now what do
you think, monks: Will that man, not paying attention to the bowl of oil, let himself get
"I have given you this parable to convey a meaning. The meaning is this: The bowl
filled to the brim with oil stands for mindfulness immersed in the body. Thus you should
train yourselves: 'We will develop mindfulness immersed in the body. We will pursue it,
give it a means of transport, give it a grounding, steady it, consolidate it, and
undertake it well.' That is how you should train yourselves."