The Corridor of Death

He seemed not to understand the seriousness of his situation.During the trial he remained distant as if it were not with him.He asked who was that lady with the child or how elegant was this man in a checkered suit. The prosecutor’s accusations, raw, were shelling the atrocities he had committed. One by one An endless story that he welcomed with a boring disdain. At each accusation, the room was filled with exclamations of horror. His defense lawyer did not stop sweating and looked at him in astonishment.I did not react. I did not know what he was thinking about in these moments when his life was at stake.

When he took the stand to testify, he told the judge not to waste time with him, who pleaded guilty to all the crimes that the prosecutor with such elegance had related. His sweaty lawyer threw in the towel, muttering, “He’s crazy! He’s crazy!”

The next day, following an old ritual of reading the sentence, he heard faintly that he was condemned to death and that he would be executed with a vile garrotte, a cruel medieval procedure that was introduced out of compassion towards the condemned of an era in which the corpses did not They had just one piece.

However, the moment he offered his wrists for the guard to put the shackles on him, a fleeting flash of joy crossed his eyes. When he was taken to the dungeons, he kept asking when he would eat.

The execution date was set for fifteen days, when he would be taken to the main square of the town where he committed the murders of the children to be executed in the sight of a shocked town.

The priest of the prison visited him every day to try to comfort him, which was useless because he did not seem to understand the extreme gravity of his situation. What I did notice was that every day that passed I found him more and more happy, and he kept asking about the food.

– “Yes, son, yes. Before the execution, they will serve you the food you want, as long as it is possible to get it. “

The inmate licked himself thinking about the delicacies he was going to taste. Delights that in his miserable life he could never taste and in which he always dreamed. Pheasant, quail, turkey …

Tailors came to make him a tailored suit, because it was not presentable to be executed with the rags with which he dressed. A few days later they tried it to make the last adjustments and brought him black shoes that shone in the pale light that filtered through the bars of the window.

I could not be more filled with joy. For the first time in his life he would dress, fit and eat like a gentleman. It was the only thing that worried him. Everyone looked at each other, unable to understand him.

The eve of the execution was transferred with all kinds of security means to the dungeon of the town where he committed his misdeeds. In his cell he waited anxiously for his last dinner listening to indifferent cries of “murderer, murderer” “justice, justice”.

At the time he ate and drank like a marquis, he ate until he was too tired and he drank until he was exhausted. They left him alone, and he slept like a child, waiting for the dawn when he would be taken to the public square to fulfill the sentence to which he was condemned.

The morning rose cold, and the priest in one last attempt approached the accused and this time did find him trembling.And worried. It seemed that he was beginning to realize his situation and every minute that went by he looked more nervous and agitated. When they heard the steps of the procession that would lead to the scaffold the condemned began to scream and stir. They entered, they read the sentence and the guards had to immobilize him to put the shackles on him and dragged him away while screaming in terror.

When he reached the platform where the club stood and saw at his feet the coffin they had prepared to contain his inanimate body, he broke into tears before a crowd that suddenly fell silent.

They dragged him to the seat and put the ring around his neck.

Just before putting the black hood on him, the executioner could see in his eyes the dark sliver of despair.

This is how a deva feels at the end of his life seeing how the glare disappears and understanding that he will be reborn in an unfortunate destiny. That all good things have already happened and will not return. That is over.

Regretting their sad end and the stupid decision that I take to use a life at the service of compassion, generosity and service to others, accumulating merits to live as a deva. And he achieve it.But now it reaches the terrible reality of impermanence and that the merits do not last forever. Nothing enjoyed now serves him as he begins to be aware of the hell that awaits him.

If he had dedicated himself to freeing himself from this death penalty, instead of thinking only of enjoying a splendid meal …

The urgency came too late.

Collection of thematically grouped discourses

Pakatindriya Sutta

9.13. Loose in the sensory faculties

On one occasion, a certain monk was dwelling among the Kosalanians in a certain bush of the forest. At that time, that monk was restless, discouraged, vain with his personality, harsh in his speech, rambling in his talks, disordered in his thoughts, without clear understanding, deconcentrated, reckless and loose in his sensory faculties. Then, a young deva who inhabited that thicket of the forest, having compassion for that monk, wishing her well, wishing to awaken in him the sense of urgency, approached him and addressed him in verses:

The disciples of the Gotama.
Without desires they sought their alms,
Without desires they used their dwellings.

Having known the transience of the world,
But now as the village chief,
They made their own sustenance difficult.
They eat and eat and then they go to bed,
Enchanted by the homes of others.
Having bowed reverently to the Sangha,
I am speaking here only of some:
Of those who are expelled, without protector,
And they become like death.
My predica is made with reference
To those who dwell in negligence.
But to those who dwell diligently,
I humbly pay tribute.

Then, that monk, awakened by that young deva, acquired a sense of urgency.

Saṃyutta Nikāya 1

Discourses Connected with Devatas

4. Time flies

On one occasion, a certain monk was dwelling among the Kosalans in a certain thicket of the forest. At that time, that monk was restless, discouraged, vain with his personality, harsh in his speech, rambling in his talks, disordered in his thoughts, without clear understanding, deconcentrated, reckless and loose in his sensory faculties. Then, a young deva who inhabited that thicket of the forest, having compassion for that monk, wishing her well, wishing to awaken in him the sense of urgency, approached him and addressed him in verses:

The disciples of the Gotama.
Without desires they sought their alms,
Without desires they used their dwellings.
Having known the transience of the world,
But now as the village chief,
They made their own sustenance difficult.
They eat and eat and then they go to bed,
Enchanted by the homes of others.
Having bowed reverently to the Sangha,
I am speaking here only of some:
Of those who are expelled, without protector,
And they become like death.
My predica is made with reference
To those who dwell in negligence.
But to those who dwell diligently,
I humbly pay tribute.

Then, that monk, awakened by that young deva, acquired a sense of urgency.

Aṅguttara Nikāya

The book of the Five

48. Situations

“Bhikkhus, there are these five situations that are unattainable by an ascetic or a brahmin, by a deva, Māra or Brahmā, or by anyone in the world. What five?

(1) ‘Let what is subject to old age not grow old!’: This is a situation that can not be attained by an ascetic or a brahmana, by a deva, Māra or Brahmā, or by anyone in the world.

(2) ‘That what is subject to the disease does not get sick!’: This is a situation that can not be reached by an ascetic … or by anyone in the world.

(3) ‘Let what is subject to death not die!’: This is a situation that can not be attained by an ascetic … or by anyone in the world.

(4) ‘Do not destroy what is subject to destruction!’: This is a situation that can not be attained by an ascetic … or by anyone in the world.

(5) ‘Do not lose what is subject to loss!’: This is a situation that can not be attained by an ascetic or a Brahmin,

(1) “Bhikkhus, for the uneducated mundane, what is subject to old age becomes old. When this happens, he does not think like this: ‘I am not the only one for whom what is subject to old age becomes old. For all the beings that come and go, that pass and renew themselves, what is subject to old age becomes old. If I had to lament, languish, lament, cry and beat my chest, and confuse me when what is subject to old age becomes old, I would lose my appetite and my features would become ugly. I could not do my job, my enemies would be euphoric and my friends would be saddened. “ Therefore, when that which is subject to old age becomes old, it grieves, languishes, laments, cries by striking its breast, and becomes confused. This is called mundane uneducated traversed by the poisonous dart of pain that only torments itself.

(2) “Again, for the uninstructed, what is subject to the disease falls ill …

(3) … what is subject to death dies …

(4) … what is subject to destruction is destroyed …

(5) … what is subject to loss is lost. When this happens, it does not reflect like this: ‘I am not the only one for whom what is subject to loss is lost. For all beings who come and go, who die and experience a rebirth, what is subject to loss is lost. If I had to regret, languish, lament, cry, beat my chest and confuse myself when what is subject to loss is lost, I would lose my appetite and my features would become ugly. I could not do my job, my enemies would be euphoric and my friends would be saddened. “Therefore, when what is subject to loss is lost, he grieves, languishes, mourns, cries by beating his chest and becomes confused.

(1) “Bhikkhus, for the educated noble disciple, what is subject to old age becomes old. When this happens, he reflects: ‘I am not the only one for whom what is subject to old age becomes old. For all the beings that come and go, that pass and renew themselves, what is subject to old age becomes old. If I had to lament, languish, lament, cry and beat my chest, and confuse me when what is subject to old age becomes old, I would lose my appetite and my features would become ugly. I could not do my job, my enemies would be euphoric and my friends would be saddened. “Therefore, when what is subject to old age becomes old, it does not become sad, it languishes, it laments, it cries, it strikes the chest and it gets confused. This is called an educated noble disciple who has extracted the poisonous dart of pierced pain by which the untutored mundane only torments himself. Without sadness, without darts, the noble disciple realizes the nibbāna.

(2) “Again, for the educated noble disciple, what is subject to the disease falls ill …

(3) … what is subject to death dies …

(4) … what is subject to destruction is destroyed …

(5) … what is subject to loss is lost. When this happens, he reflects: ‘I am not the only one for whom what is subject to loss is lost. For all beings that come and go, that pass and be, what is subject to loss is lost. If I had to regret, languish, regret, cry, beat my chest and confuse myself when what is subject to loss is lost, I would lose my appetite and my features would become ugly. I could not do my job, my enemies would be euphoric and my friends would be saddened. “ Therefore, when what is subject to loss is lost, he does not become sad, he languishes, he laments, he cries, beating his chest and he gets confused. This is called an educated noble disciple who has extracted the poisonous dart of pierced pain by which the untutored mundane only torments himself. Without sadness, without darts, the noble disciple realizes the nibbāna.
“These, bhikkhus, are the five situations that can not be attained by an ascetic or a brahmana, by a deva, Māra or Brahmā, or by any person in the world.
“It’s not because of sadness and regret
that even the least good here can be obtained.
Knowing that one is sad and sad,
the enemies of one are euphoric.

“When the wise person does not shake himself in adversity,
knows how to determine what is good,
his enemies are sad to see
that his previous facial expression does not change.

“Wherever one can obtain the good of one,
in any way, by singing, mantras,
maxims, gifts or tradition,
one must be exercised in that way.

“But if one should understand: ‘This good
it can not be obtained by me or by anyone else ‘,
one must accept the situation without regret,
thinking: ‘The kamma is strong; What can I do now? ‘”

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