172. The Venerable Sona, meditating in solitude, thought to himself: “The Lord’s disciples live in active energy and I am one of them, yet my mind is not detached and free from the defilements. My family is rich; I can forsake the training, return to the household life, enjoy riches and do good.”
Now, the Lord read his mind, and as easily as a strong man might stretch out his arm, appeared in front of Sona and said: “What do you think, Sona? In the past when you were at home, were you not skilled in the lute’s stringed music?”
“Yes, I was, Lord”.
“And when the strings were too tight, was the lute melodious and playable?”
“But when the strings were too loose, was the lute melodious and playable?”
“But when the strings were neither too tight nor too loose, but tuned to the middle pitch, was the lute then melodious and playable?”
“Even so, Sona, when effort is too tight it ends in flurry, and when too loose ends in idleness. Therefore, stand firm in the balance, develop a balance in the faculties and thereby attain that which is of value”.
Anguttara Nikaya III.373
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