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I think someone posted elsewhere wondering about a comedic aspect to honkyoku. I seem to recall that there was some resistance to this notion. In keeping with this resistance, I offer this... also from the Dhammapada, in the section called, "Old Age":
"How can there be joy, how laughter, when everything is burning fiercely? When you are shrouded in darkness, will you not seek for a lamp?
"Look at this body, a ramshackle structure, bloated and festering with sores. Full of disease and misconceptions - how can this be a dependable home?
"This body grows old and becomes the abode of disease and anguish, a mass of corruption and decay. And at the end of this life is death.
"What joy is there to look upon these bones the color of faded flowers, scattered like dried gourds in the autumn?
"Here is a citadel made of bones, plastered with flesh and blood - domain of old age and death, home of pride and deceit.
"Just as the chariot of the king grows old, so does the body age. But the teachings of the holy ones never grows old - for they reveal the truth directly.
"The one with little understanding grows old just like an ox. He may put on flesh, but his wisdom never increases.
"Caught in the round of existence, without rest, without break, for many births, I sought for the Builder - and took miserable birth again and again.
"But now I have seen you, the Builder! Henceforth you will build no more - the walls are broken, the roof is destroyed, the mind which traverses the uncompounded has attained the extinction of desire."
Is this not the appropriate foundation for the practice of blowing into bamboo?
Vakkali is from the Samyutta Nikaya, a Theravada Pali Text. Book III, 119. That's p. 938 of the Bikkhu Bodhi translation. Vakkali was foremost in the virtue of Faith. His suicide produced the necessary degree of insight meditaton which led to his enlightenment. When I consider how short wa the average life span in 500 BCE, I see that values were determined by the life situation at the time. Life was short back then.