The Essential Scripture...


The Essential Scriptures of the Buddha and Patriarchs

Sūtra in Forty-Two Sections

Section 31

There was a man who was plagued by uncontrollable sexual desire, so he squatted down on an axe blade to castrate himself. The Buddha said to him, “Cutting off your member is not as good as cutting off your thoughts. Mind is chief; so, if you control the chief, all its followers will fall into line. But without controlling your perverted thoughts, what benefit would come from cutting off your member?” The Buddha then recited a gāthā for him:
Desire arises from intention,
But intention arises from a chain of thought.
If each of these states of mind is quiescent and still,
There will be neither sexual desire nor anything left to practice.