As to that, monks, the well-taught Ariyan disciple thus reflects:
'Let alone searing the organ of sight with an iron pin,
on fire, all ablaze, a glowing mass of flame, what if I thus ponder:
Impermanent is the eye,
impermanent are objects,
impermanent is eye-consciousness, eye-contact,
the pleasant or unpleasant or neutral feeling
which arises owing to eye-contact, - - that also is impermanent...'
So seeing, the well-taught Ariyan disciple is repelled by the eye,
by objects, by eye-consciousness, by eye-contact.
He is repelled by that pleasant or unpleasant or neutral feeling
that arises owing to eye-contact...
Being repelled he is dispassionate. Dispassionate, he is set free.
By freedom comes the knowledge, 'I am freed',
so that he realises: 'Destroyed is rebirth. Lived is the righteous life.
Done is the task. For life in these conditions there is no hereafter.'
I will teach you, monks, a discourse (illustrated) by fire a Dhamma-discourse.
Do you listen to it. And what, monks, is that discourse?
It were a good thing, monks,
if the organ of sight were seared with a red-hot iron pin,
on fire, all ablaze, a glowing mass of flame.
Then would there be no grasping of the marks
or details of objects cognizable by the eye.
The consciousness might stand fast,
being firmly bound by the satisfaction
either of the marks or the details (of the objects).
Should one die at such a time,
there is the possibility of his winning one of two destinies,
either hell or rebirth in the womb of an animal.
Seeing this danger, monks, do I so declare.
It were a good thing, monks if the organ of hearing
were pierced with an iron spike, on fire…
if the organ of smell were pierced with a sharp claw, on fire...
if the organ of taste were seared with a sharp razor, on fire...
if the organ of touch were seared with a sword, on fire...
It were a good thing, monks, to be asleep.
For sleep, I declare, is barren for living things.
It is fruitless for living things, I declare.
It is dull for living things, I declare.
For (if asleep) one would not be applying his mind
to such imaginations as would enslave him,
so that (for instance) he would break up the Order.
Seeing this danger (of being awake), monks, do I so declare.
Such, monks, is the Dhamma-discourse (illustrated) by fire.
This sutta reminds us to be mindful at this moment, when we are seeing,
hearing, smelling, tasting, experiencing objects through the body-sense or
through the mind-door. All these moments are functions, performed by
different cittas which do not last.