Udāna 6.9

Upātisuttaṃ 59

The Discourse about Running Beyond

Thus I heard: At one time the Gracious One was dwelling near Sāvatthī, in Jeta’s Wood, at Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Then at that time the Gracious One, in the darkness and dullness of the night, was sitting in the open air, while the oil-lamps were burning. Then at that time many moths rushing and falling down into those oil lamps, were coming to grief, were coming to ruin. The Gracious One saw those many moths who, rushing and falling down into those oil lamps, were coming to grief, were coming to ruin.

Then the Gracious One, having understood the significance of it, on that occasion uttered this exalted utterance:

“They run beyond, not coming to the essential,
They cause new and fresh bonds to increase,
Like moths that fall into the lamp,
Some have settled thus on what is seen or heard.”