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Old Age

Source: Sacred Books Of The East

How is there laughter, how is there joy, as this world is always
burning? Do you not seek a light, ye who are surrounded by darkness?

Look at this dressed-up lump, covered with wounds, joined together,
sickly, full of many schemes, but which has no strength, no hold!

This body is wasted, full of sickness, and frail; this heap of
corruption breaks to pieces, life indeed ends in death.

After one has looked at those gray bones, thrown away like gourds in the
autumn, what pleasure is there left in life!

After a stronghold has been made of the bones, it is covered with flesh
and blood, and there dwell in it old age and death, pride and deceit.

The brilliant chariots of kings are destroyed, the body also approaches
destruction, but the virtue of good people never approaches
destruction--thus do the good say to the good.

A man who has learnt little, grows old like an ox; his flesh grows, but
his knowledge does not grow.

Looking for the maker of this tabernacle, I have run through a course of
many births, not finding him; and painful is birth again and again. But
now, maker of the tabernacle, thou hast been seen; thou shalt not make
up this tabernacle again. All thy rafters are broken, thy ridge-pole is
sundered; the mind, approaching the Eternal (Visankhara, Nirvana), has
attained to the extinction of all desires.

Men who have not observed proper discipline, and have not gained wealth
in their youth, perish like old herons in a lake without fish.

Men who have not observed proper discipline, and have not gained wealth
in their youth, lie, like broken bows, sighing after the past.


If a man hold himself dear, let him watch himself carefully; during one
at least out of the three watches a wise man should be watchful.

Let each man direct himself first to what is proper, then let him teach
others; thus a wise man will not suffer.

If a man make himself as he teaches others to be, then, being himself
well subdued, he may subdue others; for one's own self is difficult to

Self is the lord of self, who else could be the lord? With self well
subdued, a man finds a lord such as few can find.

The evil done by one's self, self-forgotten, self-bred, crushes the
foolish, as a diamond breaks even a precious stone.

He whose wickedness is very great brings himself down to that state

where his enemy wishes him to be, as a creeper does with the tree which
it surrounds.

Bad deeds, and deeds hurtful to ourselves, are easy to do; what is
beneficial and good, that is very difficult to do.

The foolish man who scorns the rule of the venerable (Arhat), of the
elect (Ariya), of the virtuous, and follows a false doctrine, he bears
fruit to his own destruction, like the fruits of the Katthaka reed.

By one's self the evil is done, by one's self one suffers; by one's self
evil is left undone, by one's self one is purified. The pure and the
impure stand and fall by themselves, no one can purify another.

Let no one forget his own duty for the sake of another's, however great;
let a man, after he has discerned his own duty, be always attentive to
his duty.

Next: The World

Previous: Punishment

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