197. [Discourse on Being on Fire]
Thus have I heard. At one time the Buddha was staying at the cetiya at Gayāsīsa together with a thousand monks, who were all former matted-hair brahmins.
At that time the Blessed One taught the thousand monks by way of performing the three type of miracles. What are the three? They are the miracle of psychic power, the miracle of telepathy, and the miracle of instruction.
For the miracle of psychic power, the Blessed One entered into an attainment of concentration appropriate for the manifestation of his ascent into the air towards the east to perform [the miracle of psychic power] in the four postures of walking, standing, sitting, and reclining. He entered into concentration on fire and various type of flames emerged in blue, yellow, red, white, crimson, and crystal colours. He manifested fire and water concurrently. The lower part of his body emitted fire and the upper part of his body emitted water, or else the upper part of his body emitted fire and the lower part of his body emitted water. In the same way he kept going around the four directions. Then, having performed various miracles, the Blessed One sat among the assembly. This is called the miracle of psychic power.
For the miracle of telepathy, [the Blessed One knew] such is the other one’s mind, such is the other one’s intention, such is the other one’s consciousness; the other one should think like this and should not think like that, the other one should give up like this, the other one should be established in direct realization like this. This is called the miracle of telepathy.
For the miracle of instruction, the Blessed spoke thus: “Monks, all is on fire. What is all on fire? That is, the eye is on fire, forms, eye-consciousness, eye-contact, and feeling arisen in dependence on eye-contact, be it painful, pleasant, or neutral, that is also on fire.
“In the same way the ear … the nose … the tongue … the body … the mind is on fire, mental objects, mind-consciousness, mind-contact, and feeling arisen in dependence on mind-contact, be it painful, pleasant, or neutral, that is also on fire.
“With what is it on fire? It is on fire with the flames of lust, it is on fire with the flames of anger, it is on fire with the flames of delusion, and it is on fire with the flames of birth, old age, disease, death, worry, sorrow, vexation, and pain.”
At that time, hearing what the Buddha had said, by not clinging the minds of the thousand monks were liberated from the influxes. When the Buddha had spoken this discourse, hearing what the Buddha had said the monks were delighted and received it respectfully.