of an animal : easily frightened or excited
: nervous or fearful about doing something
: tending to change often : not dependable or stable
How Buddha Taught – The Horse Trainer
Anguttara Nikaya – Kesi Sutta
“Once, a horse trainer by the name of Kesi came to visit the Buddha.
Seeing Kesi, The Buddha asked him :
“Kesi, you are an expert in the training of horses. What do you do to train an untamed horse?”
“O Venerable Sir, I’ll train the horse softly first.
At times, I train horses harshly, too.
Other times, I may train it both softly and harshly.”
“Kesi, if you cannot train the horse in all 3 ways, what would you do ?”
“Sir, if I cannot train it in any one of those methods above, I will kill it so that my tradition of training will not be tarnished.”
Then, Kesi asked the Buddha:
“Sir, I am described as ‘assadamma sarathi’ – expert in training horses. Whereas you, Sir, is described as ‘Purisa Damma Sarathi’ – the expert in the training of men.
Just now, I described to you how I tame horses. Can you tell me how you train men?”
“Certainly,” replied the Buddha. “Kesi, I too train them in soft, kind manner. But I train them in harsh ways, too.
Sometimes, I’ll mix the 2 methods – both soft and harsh.”
“But Venerable Sir, what if you cannot train someone using all these 3 methods? What would you do?”
“Kesi, I will ‘kill’ him,” said the Buddha.
Startled, Kesi asked, “But Sir ! Isn’t it unseemly for Buddhas to kill? They must not kill, is it not, Sir?”
Smiling kindly, the Buddha said in a reassuring tone, “Yes, that is true, Kesi…What I mean by ‘killing’ is :
“If I cannot train him in all those 3 methods, I will refrain from instructing him – from advising him. I will give him up as a person to be advised or taught.”
Setting aside a person, refraining from advising him both by myself and my disciples, is, in terms of the code of Discipline of the Noble Buddhist Dispensation, like ‘killing’. It is the most severe punishment.”
(Anguttara Nikaya – Catukka Nipata – Kesi Sutta)
More to come, The Psychology of the Iccantika-Ed