3.7.2  Beware of the Dangers of Idleness by Keeping up Unyielding Energy1


Dangers of Idleness:

“There are, O’ householder‘s son, these six dangers attached to idleness:

Thinking, ‘It’s too cold,’ one does not work; thinking, ‘It’s too hot,’ one does not work; thinking, ‘It’s too late,’ one does not work; thinking, ‘It’s too early,’ one does not work; thinking, ‘I’m too hungry,’ one does not work; thinking, ‘I’m too full,’ one does not work.

With an abundance of excuses for neglecting one‘s duties, new possessions do not accrue and existing ones go to waste. Householder‘s son! These are the six dangers attached to idleness.”


He who habitually spends his days in sleep, who detests getting up early,

Who is fond of drink and befuddled, truly cannot maintain a decent house.

‘It is too cold’, ‘too hot’ and ‘too late in the evening’,

With this they shirk their work, for them the moments pass by.

He who considers heat and cold as not more as a burden than straw,

Performs his many duties as a man, to him happiness will not depart.


This is called Proper Conduct2

Thus proper conduct should be understood:

Here a Bhikkhu is respectful, deferential, possessing shame and conscience, wearing both his inner and his upper robe properly, he is affable whether walking forwards, or walking backwards, looking in front or aside, whether bending or stretching, he has his eyes downcast, his deportment inspiring, his senses secured, knowing the correct quantity of food, practising vigilance, fully engrossed in mindfulness and proper understanding of sampajañña, he is of few needs, easily contented, putting forth unyielding energy, is carefully acting with proper conduct, paying respect and honouring his teachers. This is called proper conduct.


Well-guarded and anchored deportment.

……What is well-guarded deportment? Here a Bhikkhu having entered a house or stepped onto a street walks with downcast eyes, looking ahead only a few steps and restrained. He does neither look at an elephant, nor a horse, not at a carriage or another pedestrian, he does not look at a woman nor a man, does not glance above, nor down, neither here or there. In this way he walks. This is called: ‘well-guarded deportment’.


……What is well-anchored deportment? Thus the mind is focused on the four-fold satipaṭṭhānā. It is what the Bhagava said: “What is the Bhikkhu’s particular object and individual resort of deportment? These are four-fold satipaṭṭhānā!” This is called: ‘well- anchored deportment’.


1 - This is an excerpt from Dighanikāya, Siṅgālasuttaṃ: Sutta to Siṅgāla

2 - This is an excerpt from Pātimokkhasaṃvarasīlaṃ: pātimokkha+saṃvara+sīlaṃ: Pātimokkha+restaint+sīla

Last modified: Tuesday, 2 May 2017, 9:36 AM