From the Ganakamoggallana Sutta

Translated from the Pali by IB Horner

‘Come Bhikkhu, be guarded as to the doors of the sense-organs; having seen a material shape with the eye, do not be entranced with the general appearance, do not grasp at its signs and features; for if one dwells with the organ of sight uncontrolled, covetousness and dejection, evil, unskillful states of mind, may flow in.

‘So fare along controlling it, guard the organ of sight, achieve control over the organ of sight. Having heard a sound with the ear… Having smelt a smell with the nose… Having savoured a taste with the tongue… Having felt a touch with the body… Having cognized a mental state with the mind… do not grasp at its signs and features.

For if one dwells with the organ of mind uncontrolled, covetousness and dejection, evil, unskillful states of mind, may flow in. So fare along controlling it; guard the organ of mind, achieve control over the organ of mind.’

‘Even so, brahman, nibbana does exist, the way leading to nibbana exists and I exist as adviser. But some of my disciples, on being exhorted and instructed thus by me attain the unchanging goal – nibbana, some do not attain it. What can I, brahman, do in this matter? A shower of the way, brahman, is a Tathagata.’

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Quotes

The Buddha reminds us of the right approach in his famous metaphor of the raft from the Majjhima Nikaya.

In it, he describes a situation, where a man standing on the near shore, which is dangerous, needs to get to the far shore, which is safe.

There are no bridges or ferries so he builds a raft; it is not fancy, but adequate to get him across. Once on that far shore it has served its purpose, and a wise man leaves it where it is, without dragging it with him as an encumbrance.

— Buddha