Index of similes (from ATI)


Acrobats: {watching after oneself/others} SN 47.19

Ancient city: {awakening} SN 12.65

Animals bound together by a rope: {lack of mindfulness} SN 35.206

Archer: {brevity of life; heedfulness} SN 20.6; archer’s apprentice {jhāna} AN 9.36 ; See also Arrow, Fletcher.

Arrow: {dukkha} Snp 3.8; poisoned {speculative views} MN 63, {craving} MN 105, {contagiousness of evil} It 76; person shot with two ~ {physical and mental pain} SN 36.6; in the heart {sensuality} Snp 4.15; piercing a horsehair {subtlety of Dhamma} SN 56.45; Thag 1.26; removed {greed} SN 1.5; shot into the night {bad people} Dhp 304; straightened by a fletcher (see Fletcher). See also Doctor, Fletcher.


Bamboo: destroyed by its own fruit {evil} Dhp 164, It 50; spreading {solitude in the wilderness} Snp 1.3

Bathman or bathman’s apprentice: {rapture of 1st jhāna} DN 2, DN 11, DN 12, MN 39, MN 119, AN 5.28

Bandits: {external sense media} SN 35.197

Barley reaper: {defilements} Mil 3.1.15

Beast of burden: {persistence} Snp 1.4

Beauty queen: {mindfulness} SN 47.20

Bee gathering nectar: {sage} Dhp 49

Bird: escaping from net {rarity of heavenly birth} Dhp 174; leaving no track {arahant} Dhp 92; sighting shore {seeking the Buddha; meaning of Tathagata} DN 11, AN 6.54; spattered with dirt {mindfulness} SN 9.1; with wings as its only burden {contentment} DN 2, DN 11, MN 38

Blindness: {ignorance} MN 75

Blind men: row of {ignorance} MN 95; and the elephant {ignorance} Ud 6.4

Boat being bailed out: {defilements} Dhp 369

Bog: {sensuality} Snp 4.15

Boil, festering: {the body} AN 9.15

Boiling the River Ganges: {speech} MN 21

Bones: chain or heap {sensuality} MN 54, AN 5.76; mountain {length of samsara} It 24

Bottomless chasm: {painful feeling} SN 36.4

Boulder thrown into lake: {kamma} SN 42.6

Bowl of poison: {passion} Thig 14.1

Branch, man grasping a: {self-view} AN 4.178

Bubble on water: {appropriate attention} SN 22.95

Bull: born into a herd of cattle {arahant} AN 5.179; yoked to a load {endurance} Thag 14.2. See also Cow.

Burning ghee or oil: {meditation on the fire property} Ud 8.9, Ud 8.10

Burning grass or leaves: {not-self} SN 35.101

Burning refuge: {dukkha} Snp 3.8

Butcher or butcher’s apprentice: {meditation on the four properties} DN 22, MN 119; {trance of non-breathing} MN 36. See also Bull, Cow.

Butcher of goats: {kamma} AN 3.99

Butter from water: {wrong view} MN 126


Calf not seeing its mother: {change & alteration} SN 22.80. See also Cow.

Carpenter: {wearing down the effluents} SN 22.101; {self-control} Dhp 80, Dhp 145; {applied thought} Mil 3.3.13

Cart wheel: {suffering} Dhp 1

Catching arrows: {brevity of life; heedfulness} SN 20.6

Cave: {the body; sensuality} Snp 4.2

Cesspool difficult to clean: {impurities} Snp 2.6

Chaff: {corrupt person} Snp 1.5, Snp 2.6; {dead body} SN 35.69; {others’ faults} Dhp 252

Charcoals: {passions} AN 8.28

Chariot: {anger} Dhp 222; {the body} Dhp 151; {concentration} AN 5.28; {mindfulness} MN 119; {world} Dhp 171

Chariots, relay: {stages of insight} MN 24

Charioteer: {sense-restraint} Dhp 94

Cheater: {others’ errors} Dhp 252

Children playing with sand castles: {aggregates} SN 23.2

City of bones: {the body} Dhp 150

City superintendent at a crossroads: {consciousness} Mil 3.3.12

Cleansing of the body with scouring balls and bath powder: {cleansing the mind} AN 3.70

Cleansing of the head with paste and clay: {cleansing the mind} AN 3.70

Cliff, frightful: {fear of birth, aging, and death} SN 56.42

Cloth, person covered with white: {4th jhāna} DN 2, DN 11, DN 12, MN 39, AN 5.28; soiled {conceit} SN 22.89; to be dyed {defiled and undefiled mind} MN 7, Ud 5.3

Cock’s feather in fire: {unattractiveness} AN 7.46

Conch-trumpet blower: {sublime attitudes} SN 42.8

Constellations: {heedfulness} AN 10.15

Cosmos: walking to the end of the {suffering} AN 9.38

Cotton tuft: {rapture} Thag 1.104

Couple eating their child: {purpose of food} SN 12.63

Cow: butchered {meditation on the four properties} DN 22, MN 119; flayed {contact} SN 12.63; led to slaughter {inevitability of death} AN 7.70, Snp 3.8;
milked dry {lack of moderation} MN 33, AN 11.18; producing milk, curds, butter, ghee, etc. {practice for oneself and others} AN 4.95; roaming in the mountains {mastery of jhāna} AN 9.35; skinned {sensuality} MN 146; that runs away {fool} SN 11.5; udder {brief time} SN 20.4. See also Bull, Butcher.

Cowherd: competent {skillfulness} MN 33, AN 11.18; counting another’s cattle {heedlessness} Dhp 19; driving cattle {aging and death} Dhp 135; incompetent {unskillfulness} MN 33, AN 11.18; mindful of his cows {skillfulness} MN 19; prodding and poking his cows {skillfulness} MN 19; reflecting on the places his cattle have wandered {uposatha} AN 3.70. See also Bull, Cow.

Creeper pod: {future dangers} MN 45

Crooked chariot wheels: {faults} AN 3.15

Cymbals striking together: {contact} Mil 3.3.8


Darkness, intergalactic: {fear of birth, aging, and death} SN 56.46

Debt: {conviction} AN 6.45

Deer that wanders in the wilderness: {solitude} Snp 1.3

Dewdrop on tip of grass blade: {brevity of life} AN 7.70

Digging in earth: {speech} MN 21

Dirt-washer: {purifying the mind} AN 3.100 (i-x)

Doctor: {the Buddha} MN 63, MN 105. See also Arrow.

Dog: chasing swine {gratitude} SN 7.14; gnawing on a chain of bones {sensuality} MN 54; tied to a post {self-view} SN 22.99, SN 22.100.

Donkey that thinks it’s a cow: {insincerity with regard to the Dhamma} AN 3.81

Drawing pictures in space: {speech} MN 21

Dream, waking from: {sensuality} MN 54; {death} Snp 4.6

Drinking water: {subduing hatred} from a clear pool AN 5.162; from a dirty pool AN 5.162; from a puddle in a hoofprint AN 5.162

Drum peg: {listening to Dhamma} SN 20.7

Dry piece of wood: {mindfulness} MN 119

Dung beetle: {pride} SN 17.5

Dust: on a fingertip {dukkha} SN 13.1, {rarity of human birth} SN 20.2; thrown into wind {evil} Dhp 125

Dusty road: {household life} DN 2, DN 11, DN 12, MN 36, MN 125


Earth: {arahant} Dhp 95

Elephant: and the blind men {ignorance} Ud 6.4; footprint {four noble truths} MN 28, {heedfulness} SN 3.17, AN 10.15; in battle {patient endurance} Dhp 320, Thag 3.8; in battle {sensual passion} AN 5.139, {sense-restraint} AN 5.140; in rut {self-control} Dhp 324, Dhp 326; in the wild {mature companion} Snp 1.3; relieves an itch {solitude in the wilderness} AN 9.40; renouncing its herd {solitude in the wilderness} Snp 1.3; snared {attachments} MN 66; stuck in mud {heedfulness} Dhp 327; tamable {factors for exertion} MN 90; tamed {self-training} Dhp 322

Elephant-tamer: {renunciation} MN 125

Embers in a pit: {passion} Thig 14

Empty water pot: {mindfulness} MN 119

Executioner: five {aggregates} SN 35.197; sixth {passion/delight} SN 35.197

Eyes, man opening and closing his: {faculties} MN 152


False path in the forest: {wrong eightfold path} MN 19

Farmer’s urgent duties: {self-training} AN 3.91

Field: neglecting one’s own {teaching Dhamma} DN 12; spoiled by weeds {passion} Dhp 356

Fire: {clinging} SN 12.52, SN 35.28, SN 44.9; {discernment} Thag 1.3; {heedfulness} Dhp 31; {passion} Dhp 251; {restlessness} SN 46.53; {sluggishness} SN 46.53; fire’s destination {nibbana} Ud 8.10; fire not returning {solitude in the wilderness} Snp 1.3; hidden in ashes {unskillful action} Dhp 71; different types of fire {classes of consciousness} MN 38; different types of fire {virtue and results thereof} MN 93

Fire-stick: {sensuality} MN 36; {feeling} SN 48.39

Firebrand with excrement: {practicing Dhamma for no one’s benefit} AN 4.95; {failing to practice Dhamma} SN 22.80, It 91

Fish: caught in net {solitude in the wilderness} Snp 1.3, {sensuality} Thag 4.8; caught in trap {sensuality} Ud 7.4; caught on a hook {six senses} SN 35.189; in dried-up puddle {self-view} Snp 4.2, SN 5.10; flip-flapping on dry land {unsteady mind} Dhp 34; rising through the water {recognizing a wise person} AN 4.192; rotten and wrapped in grass {associating with fools} It 76; struggling in water {quarreling} Snp 4.15

Fisherman: {Māra} SN 35.189

Flame: overthrown by wind{arahant} Snp 5.6; passed from one lamp to another {rebirth} Mil 3.5.5; unbinding of {nibbana} Thig 5.10;

Fletcher straightening an arrow: {exertion} MN 101; {training the mind} Dhp 33, Thag 1.29; {restraint} Dhp 145, Dhp 80. See also Arrow.

Flies’ eggs: {sensuality} MN 33, AN 11.18

Flood: {craving, sensuality, becoming, ignorance} SN 1.1, SN 45.171; {greed} Snp 4.15; sweeping away a sleeping village {death} Dhp 47, Dhp 286.
See also River, Ocean.

Flower: blossom {speech} Dhp 51; heap {skillfulness} Dhp 53; scent {integrity} Dhp 54. See also Lotus.

Flower-arranger: {Dhamma follower} Dhp 44

Foam: {the body/form} SN 22.95, Dhp 46

Fords: {asking questions} MN 33, AN 11.18

Forest: {desire} Dhp 283; {Dhamma} Snp 2.1

Fort: {mind} Dhp 40

Fragrances: {heedfulness} flower AN 10.15; root AN 10.15; wood AN 10.15

Frontier fortress: {the body} SN 35.204; {seven skillful qualities} AN 7.63; {liberation is not for everyone} AN 10.95; {guarding oneself} Dhp 315, Thag 14.1; foundation post {conviction} AN 7.63; moat {shame} AN 7.63; encircling road {concern} AN 7.63; weapons {learning} AN 7.63; army {persistence} AN 7.63; gate-keeper {mindfulness} AN 7.63; ramparts {discernment} AN 7.63; stores of grass {1st jhāna} AN 7.63; stores of rice {2nd jhāna} AN 7.63; stores of sesame {3rd jhāna} AN 7.63; stores of tonics {4th jhāna} AN 7.63

Fruit, ripe: {death} Snp 3.8

Full moon: {discernment} Thig 1.3. See Moon.

Full water pot: {mindfulness} MN 119

Fumigation: {teaching Dhamma} MN 33, AN 11.18


Gem with colored thread inside: {clear seeing} DN 2, DN 11, DN 12

Gift of food: {good will} SN 20.4

Goat butcher: {kamma} AN 3.99

Gold: coins raining {sensuality} Dhp 186; disappearance of {disappearance of Dhamma} SN 16.13; ingot {discernment and virtue} Dhp 229; mountain {sensuality} SN 4.20; ornament {arahant} AN 4.28

Goldsmith: purifying gold {purifying the mind} AN 3.100 (i-x), AN 3.100 (xi-xv); crafting any kind of article {supranormal powers} DN 2, DN 11

Gong: {applied and sustained thought} Mil 3.3.14

Gourds in autumn: {bones} Dhp 149

Grass: with sharp blades{wrong practice} Dhp 311; wild grass after rain {dukkha} Dhp 335

Green reed cut down: {foolish person} SN 1.10

Ground far from the sky: {foolish person} SN 5.10

Guest house: {feelings in the body} SN 36.14

Guest refusing the host’s food: {insulting behavior} SN 7.2


Handful of leaves: {Dhamma} SN 56.31

Hands clapping: {contact} Mil 3.3.8

Hawk attacking quail: {mindfulness} SN 47.6

Head of snake: {sensuality} Snp 4.1

Head on fire: See Turban on fire

Head sliced open with sword: {pain} MN 36

Heartwood: {goal of the Dhamma} MN 29, MN 30, MN 35; {the Buddha} MN 18, MN 138; {appropriate attention} SN 22.95; {not-self} SN 35.193

Hell, saved from: {Dhamma} DN 12

Hen covering her eggs: {virtue, etc.} MN 53, SN 22.101

Herd of cattle: {arahant} AN 3.57

Herons wasting away: {falling short of celibacy} Dhp 155

Himalayas: {good people} Dhp 304

Hog, fat and lazy: {foolish person} Dhp 325

Honey ball: {flavor of Dhamma} MN 18

Hooks: {six senses} SN 35.189

Horse: awakened by the whip {conscience} SN 1.18; deprived of fodder {father of fools} SN 7.14; fast {wise person} Dhp 29; stallion {self-training} Dhp 94, Dhp 144, Dhp 380; stirred by a goad-stick {trainable person} AN 4.113; tamed {self-tamed person} Dhp 322; thoroughbred {arahant} Thag 2.27, Thig 5.10; thoroughbred {jhāna} AN 11.10; thoroughbred {qualities of a consummate monk} AN 3.94, AN 8.13; unbroken colt {jhāna} AN 11.10

Horsetrainer: {trainable person} AN 4.111

House: built from the bottom up {four noble truths} SN 56.44; fireproof {mindfulness/awareness} SN 35.202; flammable {mindfulness/awareness} SN 35.202; on fire {the body} SN 1.41; with poor roof {unguarded mind} AN 3.105.


Illness, man recovering from: {hindrances} DN 2, DN 11, DN 12, MN 39

Incense wrapped in leaf: {associating with people of integrity} It 76

Indra’s pillar: {arahant} Dhp 95

Inscription in rock or water: {anger} AN 3.130

Insects falling into flame: {ignorance} Ud 6.9

Iron ball aflame, eating or swallowing an: {restraint} Dhp 307, It 48, It 91; {sensuality} Dhp 371

Irrigator: {self-control} Dhp 80, Dhp 145

Island: {refuge in Dhamma} DN 16, DN 26, SN 22.43, SN 47.13, Dhp 25, Dhp 236, Dhp 238, Snp 5.10

Ivory carver or his assistant: {supranormal powers} DN 2, DN 11


Jackal: {the perils of fame} SN 17.8

Jail, person thrown in: {kamma} AN 3.99

Jar: filled with water {right concentration} AN 5.28; filled with ghee or oil {virtue} SN 42.6, SN 55.21; made of clay {the body} Dhp 40


King: hearing a lute {not-self} SN 35.205; renouncing kingdom {solitude in the wilderness} Snp 1.3, Dhp 329; seeing no danger after victory {virtue} DN 2, DN 11


Lake: deep and calm {wise people} Dhp 82; dried-up {virtue} Dhp 155; free of mud {arahant} Dhp 95; person stranded in the middle {clinging} Snp 5.10; spring-fed {jhāna} DN 2, DN 11, DN 12, MN 39, MN 119, AN 5.28; unruffled by wind {arahant} It 92.

Lamp: going out{detachment} SN 54.8; in a dark house {insight} Mil 3.1.15; passing its flame to another {rebirth} Mil 3.5.5; in the dark {stock exclamation of appreciation of the Dhamma} — see Uprighting what had been overturned

Leaf, yellowed: {aging} Dhp 235

Leaky boat: {pain} Snp 4.1

Leaves: blown from a tree {unwholesome states} Thag 17.2; handful of {Dhamma} SN 56.31

Leper covered with sores: {sensuality} MN 75

Lily/lotus crushed in hand: {self-view} Dhp 285

Limb falling from tree: {nibbana} SN 47.13

Linchpin in a moving cart: {generosity and kindness} AN 4.32

Lion: in the wild {solitude in the wilderness} Snp 1.3, Snp 3.1; unstartled by sounds {wise person} Snp 1.3, Snp 1.12

Line drawn on water: {brevity of life} AN 7.70

Loan, man taking out a: {hindrances} DN 2, DN 11, DN 12, MN 39

Log in a stream: {path of practice} SN 35.200. See also Stream.

Lost caravan leader: {virtue} Snp 4.13

Lotus: crushed in the hand {self-view} Dhp 285; pond {jhāna} DN 2, DN 11, DN 12, MN 39, MN 119, AN 5.28; pond {the world} MN 26; rising above the water {Tathagata} AN 10.81; scent of {self-view} SN 22.89; unsmeared by water {solitude in the wilderness} Snp 1.3, Snp 1.12; unsmeared by water {sensuality} Snp 4.9. See also Flower, Water on a lotus.

Lute, disassembled: {not-self} SN 35.205


Magic show: {the body} Thig 14.1

Magician: {consciousness} SN 22.95

Man: burning different kinds of wood {persistence and exertion} MN 90; carrying burning grass torch {sensuality} MN 54; pursuing a woman {unworthy teacher} DN 12; repaid by king {feeling} Mil 3.3.9; returning home after long absence {kamma} Dhp 219; seeking heartwood {seeking the goal of the Dhamma} MN 29, MN 30, MN 35; seeking heartwood {seeking the Buddha} MN 18, MN 138; seeking heartwood {appropriate attention} SN 22.95; seeking heartwood {not-self} SN 35.193; with borrowed goods {sensuality} MN 54;

Man & woman in love {desire}: MN 101

Meat thrown into a fire: {brevity of life} AN 7.70

Merchant with caravan: {avoiding evil} Dhp 123

Middle of the sea: {stillness of mind} Snp 4.14

Milk: {evil deed} Dhp 71; from a cow {self-view} DN 9; from a cow’s horn {wrong view} MN 126. See also Cow.

Mirage: {the body} Dhp 46, Thig 14; {perception} SN 22.95

Mire, person stuck in the: {ignorance} MN 8

Mirror of the Dhamma: {stream-entry} DN 16

Money: {uposatha observance} AN 10.46

Monkey: caught in tar trap {mindfulness} SN 47.7; in forest {heedlessness} Dhp 334; swinging from branch to branch {untrained in Dhamma; inconstancy of mind} SN 12.61, Snp 4.4

Moon: {arahant} Dhp 413; {good will} It 27 (a), (b); {heedfulness} AN 10.15; {jhāna} Dhp 387; full {arahant} Thig 1.3; set free from a cloud {heedfulness, skillfulness} Dhp 172, Dhp 382, It 74; waning {unvirtuous person} DN 31, SN 5.10; waxing {virtuous person} DN 31;

Morning star: {good will} It 27

Mother risking life for child: {good will} Snp 1.8

Mountain: of gold {sensuality} SN 4.20; of solid rock {arahant} Ud 3.4, Thag 14.1 of solid rock {imperturbability} AN 6.55; of solid rock {restraint} Dhp 7;

Mountains crushing in from all directions: {brevity of life} SN 3.25

Mules, tamed: {self-tamed person} Dhp 322

Muñja grass: {resolve and determination} Snp 3.2

Mural painted on wall: {the body} Thig 14

Murderer with sword: {disenchantment} AN 6.103; {heedfulness} AN 7.46

Mustard seed: {passion} Dhp 407; {sensuality} Dhp 401. (Note: the famous parable in which the Buddha challenges a grieving Kisa Gotami to fetch a mustard seed from any household that has never known death is found in the Commentaries to Thig 10.1 (ThigA X.1) and Dhp 114.)


Noise from a soft catskin bag: {speech} MN 21


an abode for mighty creatures {Dhamma-vinaya} Ud 5.5; crossing over the {arahant} SN 35.187, It 69; slope of ~ floor {progress of Dhamma practice} Ud 5.5; greatness of {stream-entry} SN 13.8; intolerance to dead bodies {unvirtuous person} Ud 5.5; many treasures of {37 wings to awakening} Ud 5.5; middle of ~ is calm {stillness of mind} Snp 4.14; polluted by a pot of poison {abuse towards the Tathagata} It 89; salty taste of {release} Ud 5.5; stability of {restraint of the Vinaya} Ud 5.5; steady level of {nibbana} Ud 5.5. See also Flood.

Oil from gravel: {wrong view} MN 126

Oil lamp: depends on wick and fuel {feeling} SN 36.7; flickering of {six senses} MN 146

Ornament of gold: {arahant} AN 4.28

Ox: {suffering} Dhp 1; {person who doesn’t listen} Dhp 152; eating corn {sensuality} SN 35.205; joined by a single yoke {sense-bases and their objects} SN 35.191


Painting of a woman or man: {not-self} SN 22.100; {nutriment} SN 12.64

Palm leaf dropping away: {aversion} It 88

Palm tree: with top cut off {awakening} MN 105; uprooted {awakening} MN 49, SN 22.3, SN 41.7, SN 44.1.

Pastures: {mindfulness} MN 33, AN 11.18

Path, man showing the: {Tathagata} SN 22.84

Peacock: {jhāna} Snp 1.12

Peg in drum: {listening to Dhamma} SN 20.7

Person looking down from a rocky crag: {wise person} It 38

Person reflecting on another: {higher knowledges} AN 5.28

Person riding a small wooden plank in the great ocean: {laziness} It 78

Pillar at a bathing ford: {wise person} Snp 1.12

Pit of embers: {intellectual intention} SN 12.63; {sensuality} MN 54, Thig 14

Plow: {discernment} Snp 1.4. See also Yokes.

Poison: {evil deeds} Dhp 123

Poison, man drinking: {restraint} MN 105; {volition} Mil 3.3.11

Polished shell: {life as a bhikkhu} DN 2, DN 11, DN 12, MN 36, MN 125, Ud 5.6

Pond: {integrity} delightful, SN 3.19; haunted, SN 3.19

Pool of water: clear or muddy {mind} AN 1.45-46; in a mountain glen {arahant} DN 2, DN 11, DN 12, MN 39

Poor person: {fetters} MN 66; {speech} AN 10.24

Pot: flattened metal {nibbana} Dhp 134; of pickled greens {passion} Thig 1.1; smashed by stone {delusion} Snp 3.2

Potter or potter’s apprentice: {supranormal powers} DN 2, DN 11, DN 12

Potter’s clay vessels: {inevitability of death} Snp 3.8

Princes of wattle-and-daub towns: {heedfulness} AN 10.15

Prison, man released from: {hindrances} DN 2, DN 11, DN 12, MN 39

Propagation of plants: {aggregates} SN 22.54


Quail snared by a rotten creeper: {attachments} MN 66


Rabbit caught in snare: {fetters} Dhp 342

Raft: {eightfold path} MN 22, SN 35.197, Snp 1.2

Rafters of house: {defilements} Dhp 153; {heedfulness} AN 10.15

Rag, saving the good part of a: {subduing hatred} AN 5.162

Rain: {austerity} Snp 1.4; entering hut {passion} Dhp 13; from a cloud {generosity} It 75; from a cloud {concentration} SN 54.9; from a thunderhead {discernment} AN 4.102; sent by devas {brevity of life} AN 7.70; stilling a cloud of dust {silencing one’s thoughts} It 87, Thag 15.1

Rams butting heads: {contact} Mil 3.3.8

Reeds or rushes: destroyed by their own fruit {defilements} SN 3.23; drawn from their sheaths{supranormal powers} DN 2, DN 11, DN 12; matted {craving} AN 4.199.

Reflection of one’s face in mirror: {mind-reading} DN 2, DN 11, DN 12, AN 10.54; {“I am” with possessiveness} SN 22.83

Reservoir with four inlets and outlets: {virtuous conduct} AN 8.54

Rhinoceros: {solitude in the wilderness} Snp 1.3

Rich person: {speech} AN 10.24

Riddle tree: {purity of vision} SN 35.204

Ridge-pole of house: {ignorance} Dhp 153

River: {craving} Dhp 251, It 109; flow down to the sea {heedfulness} AN 10.15; carrying everything with it {brevity of life} AN 7.70; swift current {hunger} Snp 4.15, {hindrances} AN 5.51; gives up its name upon reaching the sea {going-forth} Ud 5.5; person swept away by a {not-self} SN 22.93. See also Flood.

Road: {eightfold path} MN 33, AN 11.18; dangerous {evil deeds} Dhp 123

Rock: broken in two {sphere of nothingness} MN 105; in wind {wise person} Dhp 81

Roots, medicinal: {craving} Dhp 337

Rubbish pile with lotus: {Buddha} Dhp 58

Rust eating iron: {evil deeds} Dhp 240


Sack full of grains: {the body} DN 22, MN 119

Salt: in water {evil deed} AN 3.99; taste of ocean {Dhamma} Ud 5.5

Sand castles: {aggregates} SN 23.2

Saw used by an attacking bandit: {patient endurance} MN 21, MN 28

Seed: {conviction} Snp 1.4; bitter {wrong view} AN 10.104; capable of sprouting {kamma} AN 3.33; mustard ~ {sensuality} Dhp 401; mustard ~ {passion} Dhp 407; rotting in a field: SN 5.10; sweet: AN 10.104. See also Mustard seed.

Seedling not watered: {change & alteration} SN 22.80

Seizure: {anger} Dhp 251

Servant murdering his master: {not-self} SN 22.85

Shack, flammable: {mindfulness/awareness} SN 35.202. See also House.

Shadow that never leaves: {kamma} SN 3.4, SN 3.20, Dhp 1

Sheaf of barley thrashed repeatedly: {foolish person} SN 35.207

Sheaves of reeds: {dependent co-arising} SN 12.67

Ship left ashore over winter: {fetters} SN 22.101

Shore: far {nibbana} SN 35.197; far {external sense media} SN 35.200; near {self-view} SN 35.197; near {internal sense media} SN 35.200. See also Stream.

Shot with arrow: {craving} Snp 2.10, Snp 4.1; {present kamma} MN 101

Shuttle: {wise person} Snp 1.12

Silversmith: {purifying the mind} Dhp 239, Snp 4.16

Sick man, taking pity on a: {hatred} AN 5.162

Slavery, man freed from: {hindrances} DN 2, DN 11 DN 12, MN 39

Snake: giving one’s hand to a poisonous ~ {sense-restraint} MN 105; pulled from its slough {mind-made body} DN 2, DN 11; shedding its skin {defilements} Snp 1.1; water-snake bites man {wrong grasp of Dhamma} MN 22

Snapping one’s fingers: {equanimity} MN 152

Snare: {delusion} Dhp 251

Sound of drums: {clairaudience} DN 2, DN 11, DN 12

Soup tasted by ladle: {wise person and fool} Dhp 64

Space gathered under the term “house”: {form} MN 28

Spear: {good-will} SN 20.5

Spider snared in its own web: {passion} Dhp 347

Spitting: {equanimity} MN 152

Spring-fed lake: See Lake.

Staircase build at a crossroads: {wrong view} DN 9;

Stallion.: See Horse.

Stick thrown up into the air: {rebirth} SN 15.9

Stone ball thrown into wet clay: {mindfulness} MN 119

Storekeeper: {perception} Mil 3.3.10

Storm cloud: {evil} Thag 14.1

Stream: sinking in the middle of {passion} SN 35.200; snared by a whirlpool {sensuality} SN 35.200; washed up on high ground of {conceit} SN 35.200; See also Shore.

String, ball of: {craving} AN 4.199; thrown against a door {mindfulness} MN 119; unwinding to its end {end of suffering} DN 2

Strong man: nourished on royal food {foolish person} Snp 4.8; extending his arm {appearance/disappearance of devas} DN 20, SN 6.1, SN 6.2; extending his arm {equanimity} MN 152;

Suckling calf going to its mother: {desire} Dhp 284, Ud 7.4. See also Cow.

Sun: dispelling the dark {absence of delusion} It 88; filling the sky {heedfulness} AN 10.15; filling the sky {awakening} Ud 1.3; speed of {death} SN 20.6

Sunlight: {merit} It 27; {virtue/concentration/discernment} It 59; not landing on ground {consciousness} SN 12.64

Surgeon: see Doctor

Swans: flying {enlightened ones} Dhp 175; taking off from a lake {mindful ones} Dhp 91.

Swift pair of messengers: {samatha-vipassana} SN 35.204

Sword drawn from its scabbard: {mind-made body} DN 2, DN 11, DN 12


Tall building in central square: {passing away and re-appearance of beings} DN 2, DN 11, DN 12, MN 39

Tangle: SN 7.6

Tangled skein: {craving} AN 4.199

Tank filled with water: {supranormal powers} AN 5.28

Tendon in fire: {perception of the unattractive} AN 7.46

Thief shot with spears: {consciousness} SN 12.63

Thoroughbred: See Horse.

Thundercloud: {conviction} SN 3.24; {discernment} AN 4.102

Tortoise evading a jackal: {sense-restraint} SN 35.199

Track of ox: {kamma} Dhp 1

Trades.: See Crafts and Trades.

Trader watching over a fine steed: {self-training} Dhp 380

Trail in space: {arahant} Dhp 254

Travel: from village to village {recollection of past lives} DN 2, DN 11, DN 12, MN 39; in desolate country {hindrances} DN 2, DN 11, DN 12, MN 39

Treasure, doorways leading to: {doors to the Deathless} MN 52, AN 11.17

Tree: changing {inconstancy} MN 146; gold {the body} Thig 14; growing back after having been cut {craving} Dhp 338; growing on mountain {craving} AN 3.48; haven for birds {conviction} AN 5.38; killed by vine {vice} Dhp 162, {three unskillful roots} AN 3.69; leaning to the east {virtue} SN 55.22; overcome by wind {restraint} Dhp 7; pliant {the mind} AN 1.47; shedding its leaves {solitude in the wilderness} Snp 1.3 (a, b); with delicious fruit {sensuality} MN 54; with roots cut {aggregates} Thig 5.8

Tuning a stringed instrument: {right effort} AN 6.55

Turban or head on fire, person with: {aroused persistence} AN 6.20 (a, b), AN 10.51, AN 10.54, Thag 1.39

Turban tightening around one’s head: {pain} MN 36

Turner or turner’s apprentice: {mindfulness} DN 22

Turtle: lanced by harpoon {the perils of fame} SN 17.3; blind sea turtle poking its head up through a yoke {rarity of human birth} MN 129, SN 56.48

Tusker: see Elephant.


Uprighting what had been overturned: {stock exclamation of appreciation of the Dhamma} DN 2, DN 12, DN 16, DN 31, MN 4, MN 41, MN 57, MN 58, MN 72, MN 75, MN 107, MN 135, SN 3.1, SN 7.2, SN 7.6, SN 7.14, SN 7.17, SN 12.48, SN 35.127, SN 42.2, SN 42.3, SN 42.6, SN 42.8, SN 42.9, SN 51.15, AN 3.65, AN 3.72, AN 4.111, AN 4.184, AN 10.176, AN 10.177, Ud 5.3


Village: empty {internal sense media} SN 35.197; leaving one’s {jhāna} MN 105

Vine: creeping {craving} Dhp 334; killing a tree {vice} Dhp 162

Vipers: {elements} SN 35.197

Vomit, person eating his or her own: {fetters} MN 105

Vulture forced to drop his prey: {sensuality} MN 54


Warrior: {celibacy} AN 5.75, AN 5.76; {Buddha} Dhp 387; untrained {hindrances} SN 3.24, {worthy monk} AN 4.181

Waste-water pool: {ignorance} AN 4.178

Water: container filled to brim {mindfulness} MN 119 (a, b); drawn from a pond {stream-entry} SN 13.2; drops in a hot pan {mindfulness} MN 66, SN 35.203, {equanimity} MN 152; filling a jar {evil} Dhp 121; person sinking in {factors of awakening} AN 7.15; ripples {preoccupations} Snp 4.15; rolling off a lotus leaf {equanimity} MN 152, {dukkha} Snp 4.6, Dhp 336, {sensuality} Dhp 401, {greed} It 88;

Weigher holding a scale: {virtuous conduct} AN 8.54

Well in desert: {nibbana} SN 12.68

Wet piece of wood: {mindfulness} MN 119

Wheels: four {prosperity} AN 4.31; of cart {kamma} Dhp 1

Wild deer: {arahant} Ud 2.10, {sensuality} MN 26

Wind: blowing across the sky {feeling} SN 36.12; blowing cotton fluff {dukkha} Snp 3.8; blowing leaves from a tree {awakening} Thag 17.2; coming out of bellows {exertion} MN 36; overcoming a tree {restraint} Dhp 7; unsnared by a net {solitude in the wilderness} Snp 1.3, {wise person} Snp 1.12

Winnowing: {faults of others} Dhp 252

Woman: {meeting her father-in-law - urgency} MN 28; {in love with the most beautiful W. in the country, who was never seen - wrong view} DN 9;

Wood scrap: {the body} Dhp 41

Wounded man wandering in jungle: {restraint} SN 35.206

Wounds, dressing: {restraint} MN 33, AN 11.18


Yellow leaf: {aging} Dhp 235; turning green {imperturbable} MN 105

Yokes: {sense-bases and their objects} SN 35.191, {rarity of human birth} SN 56.48, {sensuality, becoming, etc.} AN 4.10, {discernment} Snp 1.4