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The Fool

Source: Sacred Books Of The East

Long is the night to him who is awake; long is a mile to him who is
tired; long is life to the foolish who do not know the true law.

If a traveller does not meet with one who is his better, or his equal,
let him firmly keep to his solitary journey; 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. He himself does not belong to himself; how
much less sons and wealth?

The fool who knows his foolishness, is wise at least so far. But a fool
who thinks himself wise, he is called a fool indeed.

If a fool be associated with a wise man even all his life, he will
perceive the truth as little as a spoon perceives the taste of soup.

If an intelligent man be associated for one minute only with a wise man,
he will soon perceive the truth, as the tongue perceives the taste of

Fools of poor understanding have themselves for their greatest enemies,
for they do evil deeds which bear bitter fruits.

That deed is not well done of which a man must repent, and the reward of
which he receives crying and with a tearful face.

No, that deed is well done of which a man does not repent, and the
reward of which he receives gladly and cheerfully.

As long as the evil deed done does not bear fruit, the fool thinks it is
like honey; but when it ripens, then the fool suffers grief.

Let a fool month after month eat his food (like an ascetic) with the tip
of a blade of Ku['s]a-grass, yet is he not worth the sixteenth particle
of those who have well weighed the law.

An evil deed, like newly-drawn milk, does not turn suddenly;
smouldering, like fire covered by ashes, it follows the fool.

And when the evil deed, after it has become known, turns to sorrow for
the fool, then it destroys his bright lot, nay, it cleaves his head.

Let the fool wish for a false reputation, for precedence among the
Bhikshus, for lordship in the convents, for worship among other people!

"May both the layman and he who has left the world think that this is
done by me; may they be subject to me in everything which is to be done
or is not to be done," thus is the mind of the fool, and his desire and
pride increase.

"One is the road that leads to wealth, another the road that leads to
Nirvana"--if the Bhikshu, the disciple of Buddha, has learnt this, he
will not yearn for honor, he will strive after separation from the

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