Ja 14 The Story about the Wind-Deer

In the present an ascetic, and highly regarded, monk is enticed back to his familial home by the power of taste. When this is told to the Buddha he relates a story in which the most timid of creatures is enticed by the gardener Sañjaya into the palace by taste (full story).

1. Na kiratthi rasehi pāpiyo,
Āvāsehi va, santhavehi vā.
Vātamigaṁ gehanissitaṁ,
Vasam-ānesi rasehi Sañjayo ti.

It seems that there is nothing worse than tastes, amongst those in homes, or acquaintances. The wind-deer, who depended on his home, was brought under Sañjaya’s control by taste.

In this connection, seems this is a particle with the meaning of what has been heard.

Tastes means tasting with tongue-consciousness, sweet, sour and so on. Six tastes are normally recognised, see Mil.56: sour (ambila), salt (lavaṇa), bitter (tittika), pungent (kaṭuka), astringent (kasāya), sweet (madhura).

Amongst those in homes or acquaintances, amongst those who are constantly dwelling in one place is amongst homes, amongst friends, acquaintances, there is desire, lust, wickedness, through enjoying these with wilful lust, amongst those in homes or acquaintances, a hundred fold, a thousand fold, a hundred-thousand fold, through firmly making use of food, without guarding the life faculty through not taking, there is an enjoyment through wilful lust for tastes, which is worse.

The Bodhisatta, like one who had heard the tradition, making this meaning, said: It seems that there is nothing worse than tastes, amongst those in homes or acquaintances.

Now, showing what has the state of being worse, the wind-deer and so on is said.

In this connection, who depended on his home means who depended on his jungle home.

This is what is said: Look at tastes, which have the state of being worse, this wind-deer, who normally depended on his home in the wilderness, the park-keeper Sañjaya brought under control in every way with sweet tastes, with what is known as the taste of enjoying with wilful lust, he said there is not anything worse, more base, than the danger of craving for tastes. But after saying that, he sent the deer back to the wilderness.