…“Suppose a deft butcher or their apprentice was to kill a cow and carve it with a sharp meat cleaver. Without damaging the flesh inside or the hide outside, they’d cut, carve, sever, and slice through the connecting tendons, sinews, and ligaments, and then peel off the outer hide. Then they’d wrap that cow up in that very same hide and say: ‘This cow is joined to its hide just like before.’ Would they be speaking rightly?”
“No, sir. Why is that? Because even if they wrap that cow up in that very same hide and say: ‘This cow is joined to its hide just like before,’ still that cow is not joined to that hide.”
“I’ve made up this simile to make a point. And this is the point. ‘The inner flesh’ is a term for the six interior sense fields. ‘The outer hide’ is a term for the six exterior sense fields. ‘The connecting tendons, sinews, and ligaments’ is a term for greed and relishing. ‘A sharp meat cleaver’ is a term for noble wisdom. And it is that noble wisdom which cuts, carves, severs, and slices the connecting corruption, fetter, and bond.
Sisters, by developing and cultivating these seven awakening factors, a mendicant realizes the undefiled freedom of heart and freedom by wisdom in this very life. And they live having realized it with their own insight due to the ending of defilements. What seven? It’s when a mendicant develops the awakening factors of mindfulness, investigation of principles, energy, rapture, tranquility, immersion, and equanimity, which rely on seclusion, fading away, and cessation, and ripen as letting go. It is by developing and cultivating these seven awakening factors that a mendicant realizes the undefiled freedom of heart and freedom by wisdom in this very life. And they live having realized it with their own insight due to the ending of defilements.”…
Read the entire translation of Majjhima Nikāya 146 Nandakovādasutta: Advice from Nandaka by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net.
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