Nikkō Tōshō-gū, Shinto shrineRecently I have heard a comparison of those people which do not notice problems, with three monkeys who do not want to see and hear. It has been told in negative sense, but these three monkeys mean something another.
Their names are Mizaru (no see), Kikazaru (no hear), and Iwazaru (no speak). How they have appeared on a portico of Shinto temple? Probably they are gate guards of a temple or mystic messengers. The most famous message of the three monkeys - "hear no evil, speak no evil, and see no evil".
The "Heart Sutra" goes:" No eyes, no ears, no taste..." It speaks of how at the root of our being we are beyond sound, sight, taste etc. The three classic "senses" in esoteric Buddhism are body, mind, and speech.
Tibetan Buddhism calls them The Three Vajras. Practitioners work with seed syllables corresponding to the Three Vajras: a white om (enlightened body), a red ah (enlightened speech) and a blue hum (enlightened mind) to experience their own Buddha nature. More specifically, "body" corresponded to mudras, "speech" corresponded to mantras, and "mind" corresponded to mandalas.
In Hinduism, the Bhagavad Gita also calls them The Three Eternal Values; austerity of body, speech and mind is the way to manifest goodness for oneself and the world. To wash away the pāpa (sin) earned by us in the past we have to go through samskāras in which our body, mind and speech are applied. We think evil with our mind, tell lies with our mouth, and sin with our body also. The wrongs committed by mind, speech and body must be wiped away by applying mind, speech and body to virtuous purposes. With the mind, the Highest must be meditated upon; with the faculty of speech, prayers or mantras must be chanted; and with the body, noble deeds must be performed. That is called being of good mind, speech and action.
May be sometimes it's important just to abstain from bad acts by means of these tools? After all, our eyes should not not to serve our evil desires, and the tongue for speaking evil, and ears to listen to evil speech.
Or these three monkeys remind us about something out of this vanity:
I will not speak, not see and not hear of the temptations of this world.