Sexual Craving Is Like a Kitchen Fire
Ajaan Mahā Boowa
Rãgataçhã the defilement of sexual craving is comparable to a kitchen fire – both are necessary to establishing and maintaining a successful family.
Marriage is necessarily a sexual partnership, while a kitchen fire is indispensable for preparing the family’s food. Just as heat and electricity are common requisites of human life, so too is rãgataçhã a fundamental aspect of human relations and the driving force behind most human behaviour.
If both are used carefully, with proper circumspection, they can sufficiently fulfill people’s basic needs in life. But if people carelessly fail to keep these two fires under control, they can certainly cause a conflagration that destroys everything in its path.
For this reason, the wise have always taught human beings who live under the influence of the fires of greed, hatred and delusion to think in terms of Dhamma. Dhamma is like cool water that quenches fires in the heart, preventing their spreading and gaining such strength that they destroy the world we live in.
So to prevent their becoming a danger to ourselves and others, we should watch over the fires of the heart in the same way that we watch over the kitchen fire to safeguard our family and our possessions.
This reflection by Venerable Ajaan Mahã Boowa Ñãõasampanno is from the book, Venerable Ajaan Khao Anãlayo—A True Spiritual Warrior, (pdf) p. 13, translated into English by Ajaan Paññãvaððho.