Kesi Sutta, The Horse Trainer- The Psychology and Fate of the Icchantika

Princess Ponies Cowards


adjective \ˈski-tish\

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

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Home is Where the Star is — The Infinite Path


In very ancient India, the stories said, Varuna and Mitra gave birth to Visishtacaritra the first Sage of the World.   This was not in fact a person, it was a Star. 

The Star Zeta Ursa Major.

Arabic: mizar  a binary star system composed of Mizar and Alcor  Wikipedia: Mizar is known as Vasistha and Alcor is known as Arundhati in traditional Indian astronomy .  Ursa Majoris, the “Big Dipper” the most prominent constellation in the sky.  These stars were called the “Seven Sages,” the Septa-Rishi .  The wives of the Seven Sages were the stars of the Pleiades.  As shown below, The Pleiades, which begins the vedic Zodiac was central to agriculture planting cycles and appears n both  greek and Indian mythology. 

Measuring time in Mesopotamia and India –Harry Falk, Berlin:image

Zeta Ursa Major is the second star from the end of the handle of the big Dipper.


“Behind every man now alive stand thirty ghosts, for that is the ratio by which the dead outnumber the living. Since the dawn of time, roughly a hundred billion human beings have walked the planet Earth.-Now this is an interesting number, for by a curious coincidence there are approximately a hundred billion stars in our local universe, the Milky Way. So for every man who has ever lived, in this universe, there shines a star.” *

from Arthur C. Clarke’s foreword in 2001, A Space Odyssey, 1968

*Clarke did make amendments to this proclamation later,  but the point stands.-Ed

For a good study of Anthropomorphism read “Faces in the Clouds”


“The four Bodhisattvas Mahisattvas who were the chiefest of that great host of Bodhisattvas, viz. the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva called Visishtakâritra (i.e. of eminent conduct), the Bodhisattva Mahasattva called Anantakâritra (i.e. of endless conduct), the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva called Visuddhakâritra (i.e. of correct conduct), and the Bodhisattva Mahasattva called Supratishthitakâritra (i.e. of very steady conduct), these four Bodhisattvas Mahâsattvas standing at the head of the great host, the great multitude of Bodhisattvas stretched out the joined hands towards the Lord and addressed him thus: Is the Lord in good health? Does he enjoy well-being and good ease? Are the creatures decorous, docile, obedient, correctly performing their task, so that they give no trouble to the Lord?

And those four Bodhisattvas Mahâsattvas addressed the Lord with the two following stanzas:

Does the Lord of the world, the illuminator, feel at ease? Dost thou feel free from bodily disease, O Perfect One?

The creatures, we hope, will be decorous, docile, performing the orders of the Lord of the world, so as to give no trouble.

And the Lord answered the four Bodhisattvas Mahâsattvas who were at the head of that great host, that great multitude of Bodhisattvas: So it is, young men of good family, I am in good health, well-being, and at ease. And these creatures of mine are decorous, docile, obedient, well performing what is ordered; they give no trouble when I correct them; and that, young men of good family, because these creatures, owing to their being already prepared under the ancient, perfectly enlightened Buddhas, have but to see and hear me to put trust in me, to understand and fathom the Buddha-knowledge. And those who fulfilled their duties in the stage of disciples have now been introduced by me into Buddha-knowledge and well instructed in the highest truth.”  Saddharma Pundarika –Kern Translation, excerpt from   Chapter on the  “Issuing of the Bodhisattvas from the gaps in the earth.”


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