And the Buddha said: "Suppose a man has been wounded by an arrow thickly
smeared with poison, and his friends and companions, relatives and kinsmen call
a physician - a surgeon. And the physician, the surgeon, widens the wound with
his knife and searches for the arrow point with the probe. Having found the arrow
point, he extracts it and completely removes the poison until he thinks that nothing
of it is left. This simile have I given to make the meaning clear. And its significance
is this: 'The wound' is a name for the six internal sense bases. 'The poison'
is a name for ignorance. 'The arrow' is a name for craving. 'The probe' is a name
for mindfulness. 'The knife' is a name for noble wisdom. 'The physician, the surgeon'
is a name for the Perfect One, the Holy One, the Fully Enlightened One."
"Suppose a large crowd of people has gathered on hearing the news that a
beauty queen has come. And if that beauty queen is also highly gifted in dancing
and singing, a still larger crowd would gather. Now a man comes who wishes to
live and not die, who desires happiness and abhors suffering. And the people say
to him: 'Here, friend, is a vessel filled to the brim with oil. This you must
carry through the large crowd to the beauty queen. A man with a drawn sword will
follow behind your back, and if you spill even a little of the oil, he will cut
off your head!' "Now, what do you think, monks? Will that man carry the oil
vessel carelessly, without paying heed to his environment?" "Certainly
not, Lord." "This simile have I given to make the meaning clear. And
its significance is this: 'The vessel filled to the brim with oil' is a name for
Mindfulness concerning the body. Hence, O monks, you should train yourselves thus:
'We shall cultivate Mindfulness concerning the Body, we shall practice it regularly
so that it may become a vehicle of progress and a firm possession of our minds;
so that it may be consolidated, strengthened and perfected in us!' Thus, O monks,
should you train yourselves!"