Chetokhila Sutta, Infertility and Lack of Freedom, Madjhima Nikaya 16

A Warning

In a conversation with students, Buddha warns the students of the dangers of spiritual infertility and oppression of mind. The Buddha explains the reason for those states: spiritual infertility arises from lack of trust towards the Teacher, Dhamma, and Sangha; from lack of diligence in self-restraint; from anger and rudeness. Oppression of the mind emerges from craving for sensual pleasures; from attachment to the body; from attachment to the subtle form; from laziness, overeating, and craving for possession of pleasant things; from a desire to be reborn amongst mighty and joyful gods.

Casting Off The Causes for infertility and lack of freedom.

A mind, casting off the causes for infertility and lack of freedom in practice, develops in itself four powers: 1) a will concentrated on the overcoming of vices; 2) experience with overcoming vices; 3) knowledge of the state in which vices have been fully overcome 4) piercing of thought into the causes of the appearance and disappearance of vices.

All of those powers lead to the development of zeal, diligence, and perseverance in Dharma practice.

Confidence in Liberation

Similar to how a chicken, incubating its eggs, sheltering and warming the eggs with its body, doesn’t need to think: “If only my chicks would hatch!”, a practitioner of Dharma who practices Dharma without vices, does not need to think: “if only enlightenment would come already!”. The warmth and protection that a chicken gives to its eggs, are sufficient for the chicks to hatch out of the eggs. Likewise, the development of good powers of mind, together with the casting off of causes for infertility and lack of freedom, are sufficient for liberation.

Vova Pyatsky and Smadar Pyatsky

Translated by Roni Sherman