The Elephant – Gautam Buddha

Silently shall I endure abuse as the elephant in battle endures
the arrow sent from the bow: for the world is ill-natured.
They lead a tamed elephant to battle, the king mounts a tamed
elephant; the tamed is the best among men, he who silently endures abuse.

Mules are good, if tamed, and noble Sindhu horses, and elephants
with large tusks; but he who tames himself is better still.

For with these animals does no man reach the untrodden country
(Nirvana), where a tamed man goes on a tamed animal, viz. on his own well-tamed self.

The elephant called Dhanapalaka, his temples running with sap,
and difficult to hold, does not eat a morsel when bound; the elephant
longs for the elephant grove.

If a man becomes fat and a great eater, if he is sleepy and rolls
himself about, that fool, like a hog fed on wash, is born again and again.

This mind of mine went formerly wandering about as it liked, as
it listed, as it pleased; but I shall now hold it in thoroughly, as
the rider who holds the hook holds in the furious elephant.

Be not thoughtless, watch your thoughts! Draw yourself out of
the evil way, like an elephant sunk in mud.

If a man find a prudent companion who walks with him, is wise,
and lives soberly, he may walk with him, overcoming all dangers,
happy, but considerate.

If a man find no prudent companion who walks with him, is wise,
and lives soberly, let him walk alone, like a king who has left his
conquered country behind,-like an elephant in the forest.

It is better to live alone, there is no companionship with a
fool; let a man walk alone, let him commit no sin, with few wishes,
like an elephant in the forest.

If an occasion arises, friends are pleasant; enjoyment is
pleasant, whatever be the cause; a good work is pleasant in the hour
of death; the giving up of all grief is pleasant.

Pleasant in the world is the state of a mother, pleasant the
state of a father, pleasant the state of a Samana, pleasant the state of a Brahmana.

Pleasant is virtue lasting to old age, pleasant is a faith firmly
rooted; pleasant is attainment of intelligence, pleasant is avoiding of sins

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The Saint – Gautam Buddha

There is no suffering for the one
who has completed the journey,
who is freed from sorrow,
who has freed oneself on all sides,
who has thrown off all chains.

The thoughtful exert themselves;
they do not delight in a home;
like swans who have left their lake,
they leave their house and home.

Those who have no accumulations, who eat properly,
who have perceived release and unconditioned freedom,
their path is difficult to understand,
like that of birds in the sky.

Those whose passions are stilled,
who are indifferent to pleasure,
who have perceived release and unconditioned freedom,
their path is difficult to understand,
like that of birds in the sky.

Even the gods admire one whose senses are controlled,
like horses well tamed by the driver,
who is free from pride and free from appetites.
Such a dutiful one who is tolerant like the earth,
who is firm like a pillar,
who is like a lake without mud:
no new births are in store for this one.

One’s thought is calm;
calm is one’s word and one’s action
when one has obtained freedom by true knowledge
and become peaceful.
The one who is free from gullibility,
who knows the uncreated, who has severed all ties,
removed all temptations, renounced all desires,
is the greatest of people.

In a village or in a forest, in a valley or on the hills,
wherever saints live, that is a place of joy.
Forests are delightful; where others find no joy,
there the desireless will find joy,
for they do not seek the pleasures of the senses.

The Awakened – Gautam Buddha

The one whose conquest cannot be conquered again,
into whose conquest no one in this world enters,
by what track can you lead that one,
the awakened, the omniscient, the trackless?

The one whom no desire
with its snares and poisons can lead astray,
by what track can you lead that one,
the awakened, the omniscient, the trackless?

Even the gods emulate those who are awakened and aware,
who are given to meditation, who are wise,
and who find joy in the peace of renunciation.

It is difficult to be born as a human being;
difficult is the life of mortals;
difficult is the hearing of the true path;
difficult is the awakening of enlightenment.

Not to do wrong, to do good, and to purify one’s mind,
that is the teaching of the awakened ones.
The awakened call patience the highest sacrifice;
the awakened declare nirvana the highest good.

The one who strikes others is not a hermit;
one is not an ascetic who insults others.
Not to blame, not to strike,
to live restrained under the law,
to be moderate in eating, to live alone,
and to practice the highest consciousness–
this is the teaching of the awakened ones.

There is no satisfying lusts,
even by a shower of gold pieces.
Whoever knows that lusts have a short taste
and cause pain is wise.
Even in heavenly pleasures one finds no satisfaction;
the disciple who is fully awakened
finds joy only in the destruction of all desires.

People driven by fear go for refuge
to mountains and forests, to sacred groves and shrines.
That is not a safe refuge; that is not the best refuge.
After having got to that refuge,
a person is not delivered from all pains.

Whoever takes refuge with the awakened one,
the truth, and the community,
who with clear understanding perceives the four noble truths:
namely suffering, the origin of suffering,
the cessation of suffering, and the eightfold holy way
that leads to the cessation of suffering,
that is the safe refuge; that is the best refuge;
having gone to that refuge,
a person is delivered from all pains.

A person of true vision is not easy to find;
they are not born everywhere.
Wherever such a sage is born, the people there prosper.
Blessed is the arising of the awakened;
blessed is the teaching of the truth;
blessed is the harmony of the community;
blessed is the devotion of those who live in peace.

Whoever gives reverence to those worthy of reverence,
whether the awakened or their disciples,
those who have overcome the army
and crossed the river of sorrow,
whoever gives reverence to such as have found deliverance
and are free of fear,
their merit cannot be measured by anyone.

The World – Gautam Buddha

Do not follow a bad law.
Do not live in thoughtlessness.
Do not follow wrong ideas.
Do not be attached to the world.

Arise; do not be thoughtless.
Follow the path of virtue.
The virtuous rest in bliss in this world and in the next.
Follow the path of virtue; do not follow the wrong path.
The virtuous rest in bliss in this world and in the next.

Look upon the world as a bubble;
look on it as a mirage.
Whoever looks thus upon the world
is not seen by the sovereign of death.
Come, look at this world resembling a painted royal chariot.
The foolish are immersed in it,
but the wise are not attached to it.

The one who formerly was thoughtless
and afterwards became conscientious
lights up this world like the moon when freed from a cloud.
The one whose wrong actions are eradicated by good conduct
lights up this world like the moon when freed from a cloud.

This world is blinded; only a few can see here.
Like birds escaped from the net, a few go to heaven.
The swans go on the path of the sun;
miraculously they fly through the sky.
The wise are led out of this world,
when they have conquered Mara and the tempter’s armies.

Whoever violates the one law, who speaks lies,
and scoffs at another world,
there is no wrong that one will not do.

Misers do not go to the world of the gods;
only fools do not praise liberality;
the wise find joy in generosity,
and because of it become blessed in the other world.

Better than sovereignty over the earth,
better than going to heaven,
better than dominion over all the worlds
is the reward of reaching the stream.

The Fool – Gautam Buddha

Lord Gautam Buddha

Lord Gautam Buddha 563 BCE – 480 BCE

 

Long is the night to one who is awake.
Long is ten miles to one who is tired.
Long is the cycle of birth and death
to the fool who does not know the true path.

If a traveller does not meet with one who is better or equal,
let one firmly travel alone;
there is no companionship with a fool.

‘These sons belong to me, and this wealth belongs to me;’
with such thoughts a fool is tormented.
One does not belong to oneself;
how much less sons and wealth?

The fool who knows one’s own folly,
is wise at least to that extent;
but the fool who thinks oneself wise is really a fool.

If a fool is associated with a wise person all one’s life,
the fool will not perceive the truth,
any more than a spoon will taste the soup.

If an intelligent person is associated with a wise person
for only one minute, one will soon perceive the truth,
just as the tongue does the taste of soup.

Fools of little understanding are their own worst enemies,
for they do wrong deeds which bear bitter fruits.
That action is not well done, which having been done,
brings remorse, whose result one receives crying with tears.
But that action is well done, which having been done,
does not bring remorse,
whose result one receives gladly and cheerfully.

As long as the wrong action does not bear fruit,
the fool thinks it is like honey;
but when it bears fruit, then the fool suffers grief.

Let a fool month after month
eat food with the tip of kusha grass;
nevertheless one is not worth one-sixteenth
of those who have understood the truth.

A wrong action, like newly drawn milk, does not turn soon;
smouldering, like fire covered by ashes, it follows the fool.
When the wrong action, after it has become known,
turns to sorrow for the fool,
then it destroys one’s brightness and splits the head.

Let the fool wish for reputation,
for precedence among the mendicants,
for authority in the convents,
for veneration among the people.

‘Let both the householders and the mendicants
think that this is done by me.
Let them always ask me
what should be done and what should not be done.’

Such is the wish of the fool
of increasing desire and pride.
One road leads to wealth; another road leads to nirvana.
Let the mendicant, the disciple of Buddha, learn this,
and not strive for honour but seek wisdom.

The Downward Course – Gautam Buddha

Gautam Buddha

Gautam Buddha 563 BCE – 480 BC

 

He who says what is not, goes to hell; he also who, having done a thing, says I have not done it. After death both are equal, they are
men with evil deeds in the next world.

Many men whose shoulders are covered with the yellow gown are ill-conditioned and unrestrained; such evil-doers by their evil deeds go to hell.

Better it would be to swallow a heated iron ball, like flaring fire, than that a bad unrestrained fellow should live on the charity of the land.

Four things does a wreckless man gain who covets his neighbour’s wife,-a bad reputation, an uncomfortable bed, thirdly, punishment, and lastly, hell.

There is bad reputation, and the evil way (to hell), there is the short pleasure of the frightened in the arms of the frightened, and the king imposes heavy punishment; therefore let no man think of his neighbour’s wife.

As a grass-blade, if badly grasped, cuts the arm, badly-practised asceticism leads to hell.

An act carelessly performed, a broken vow, and hesitating obedience to discipline, all this brings no great reward.

If anything is to be done, let a man do it, let him attack it vigorously! A careless pilgrim only scatters the dust of his passions
more widely.

An evil deed is better left undone, for a man repents of it afterwards; a good deed is better done, for having done it, one does not repent.

Like a well-guarded frontier fort, with defences within and without, so let a man guard himself. Not a moment should escape, for they who allow the right moment to pass, suffer pain when they are in hell.

They who are ashamed of what they ought not to be ashamed of, and are not ashamed of what they ought to be ashamed of, such men,
embracing false doctrines enter the evil path.

They who fear when they ought not to fear, and fear not when they ought to fear, such men, embracing false doctrines, enter the evil
path.

They who forbid when there is nothing to be forbidden, and forbid not when there is something to be forbidden, such men, embracing false doctrines, enter the evil path.

They who know what is forbidden as forbidden, and what is not forbidden as not forbidden, such men, embracing the true doctrine,
enter the good path.

The Just – Gautam Buddha

Lord-Gautama-Buddha

Lord Gautam Buddha 563 BC – 480 BC

 

Whoever settles a matter by violence is not just.
The wise calmly considers what is right and what is wrong.
Whoever guides others by a procedure
that is nonviolent and fair
is said to be a guardian of truth, wise and just.

A person is not wise simply because one talks much.
Whoever is patient, free from hate and fear,
is said to be wise.

A person is not a supporter of justice
simply because one talks much.
Even if a person has learned little,
whoever discerns justice with the body
and does not neglect justice is a supporter of justice.

A person is not an elder
simply because one’s head is gray.
Age can be ripe, but one may be called ‘old in vain.’
The one in whom there is truth,
virtue, nonviolence, restraint, moderation,
whoever is free from impurity and is wise,
may be called an elder.

Mere talk or beauty of complexion does not make
an envious, greedy, dishonest person become respectable.
The one in whom all these are destroyed,
torn out by the very root,
who is free from hate and is wise, is called respectable.

Not by a shaven head does one who is undisciplined
and speaks falsely become an ascetic.
Can a person be an ascetic
who is still enslaved by desire and greed?
Whoever always quiets wrong tendencies, small or large,
is called an ascetic, because of having quieted all wrong.

A person is not a mendicant
simply because one begs from others.
Whoever adopts the whole truth is a mendicant,
not the one who adopts only a part.
Whoever is above good and bad and is chaste,
who carefully passes through the world in meditation,
is truly called a mendicant.

A person does not become a sage by silence,
if one is foolish and ignorant;
but the wise one, who, holding a scale,
takes what is good and avoids what is bad,
is a sage for that reason.
Whoever in this world weighs both sides
is called a sage because of that.

A person is not a noble,
because one injures living beings.
One is called noble,
because one does not injure living beings.

Not only by discipline and vows,
not only by much learning,
nor by deep concentration nor by sleeping alone
do I reach the joy of release which the worldly cannot know.
Mendicant, do not be confident
until you have reached the extinction of impurities.