THE INDIAN MASTER Atisha (984–1052 CE) used the metaphor of a pig and its activities to illustrate the chaos which confusion causes.

The pig of ignorance, because of
Roots around and digs up the nice
   clean grass.
It isn’t attracted to places like
   pure lands
But takes delight where there is dirt.
It smacks its lips in the filthy mire.
And even though its owner will surely
    kill it,
The pig of ignorance is deceived
    by him.
Without any effort to escape, it enjoys
The bait of barley beer lees and

Get Daily Dharma in your email

Start your day with a fresh perspective

Thank you for subscribing to Tricycle! As a nonprofit, to keep Buddhist teachings and practices widely available.

Liberate this article!

You’ve read all of your free articles for the month. Subscribe now for immediate access to the magazine plus films, video dharma talks, e-books, and more.

Subscribe Now

Already a subscriber? Log in.