WHILE the Buddha was preaching his doctrine for the conversion of the world in the neighborhood of Savatthi, a man of great wealth who suffered from many ailments came to him with clasped hands and said: “World-honored Buddha, pardon me for my want of respect in not saluting you as I ought but I suffer greatly from obesity, excessive drowsiness, and other complaints, so that I cannot move without pain.”
The Tathagatha, seeing the luxuries with which the man was surrounded asked him: “Have you a desire to know the cause of your ailments?” And when the wealthy man expressed his willingness to learn, the Blessed One said: “There are five things which produce the condition of which you complain: opulent dinners, love of sleep, hankering after pleasure, thoughtlessness, and lack of occupation. Exercise self-control at your meals, and take on yourself some duties that will exercise your abilities and make you useful to your fellow-men. In following this advice you will prolong your life.”
The rich man remembered the words of the Buddha and after some time having recovered his lightness of body and youthful buoyancy returned to the World-honored One and, coming afoot without horses and attendants, said to him: “Master, you have cured my bodily ailments; I come now to seek enlightenment of my mind.”
And the Blessed One said: “The worldling nourishes his body, but the wise man nourishes his mind. He who indulges in the satisfaction of his appetites works his own destruction; but he who walks in the path will have both the salvation from evil and a prolongation of life.”
The author of this story is unknown and greatly appreciated!