You and other Bhikṣus, those already able to abide by the precepts, should restrain your five roots [of the (1) eye, (2) ear, (3) nose, (4) tongue and (5) body (眼耳鼻舌身)], not leading to laxity, with entering of the five desires [for (1) wealth, (2) sex, (3) fame, (4) food and (5) sleep (财色名食睡)].
For example, like those persons herding cows, holding staves looking after them, do not lead them to be released and escape, to invade other persons’ seedlings and crops. If releasing the five roots, not only will the five desires, have boundless banks, they cannot be restrained too. Also like fierce horses, not with reins restrained, they will be those leading people to fall into pits and traps.
If by thieves robbed, the suffering is only for one life, while the five roots’ thieves’ misfortunes, bring disasters to accumulated lives, doing harms that are extremely heavy. There cannot be no caution. Therefore, those wise will restrain and not comply with them, resisting them like thieves, not leading them to be released and escape. If there are those releasing them, all will also not long see their obliteration.
These five roots, are with the mind as their master. Therefore, you and others, should well restrain your minds. That fearfulness of the mind, is even more so than poisonous snakes, fierce beasts, hateful thieves, and great fires, surpassing these, with them yet to be sufficient as analogies.
For example, there are people, with hands holding honey vessels, moving and turning hastily and impulsively, only looking at that honey, not seeing deep pits. For example, like mad elephants without hooks, apes and monkeys getting to trees, leaping and dithering, they are difficult to be restrained.
There should urgently be inhibiting of it, without leading to laxity. Those releasing (i.e. or indulging) this mind, will lose humans’ good matters, while those restraining it in one place, are with no matters not done. Therefore, Bhikṣus, you should be constantly diligent, in subduing your minds.
The Sūtra Of The Buddha’s Bequeathed Teachings