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The Thousands








Source: Sacred Books Of The East


Even though a speech be a thousand (of words), but made up of senseless
words, one word of sense is better, which if a man hears, he becomes
quiet.

Even though a Gatha (poem) be a thousand (of words), but made up of
senseless words, one word of a Gatha is better, which if a man hears, he
becomes quiet.

Though a man recite a hundred Gathas made up of senseless words, one
word of the law is better, which if a man hears, he becomes quiet.

If one man conquer in battle a thousand times a thousand men, and if
another conquer himself, he is the greatest of conquerors.

One's own self conquered is better than all other people; not even a
god, a Gandharva, not Mara (with Brahman) could change into defeat the
victory of a man who has vanquished himself, and always lives under
restraint.

If a man for a hundred years sacrifice month by month with a thousand,
and if he but for one moment pay homage to a man whose soul is grounded
in true knowledge, better is that homage than a sacrifice for a hundred
years.

If a man for a hundred years worship Agni (fire) in the forest, and if
he but for one moment pay homage to a man whose soul is grounded in true
knowledge, better is that homage than sacrifice for a hundred years.

Whatever a man sacrifice in this world as an offering or as an oblation
for a whole year in order to gain merit, the whole of it is not worth a
quarter a farthing; reverence shown to the righteous is better.

He who always greets and constantly reveres the aged, four things will
increase to him: life, beauty, happiness, power.

But he who lives a hundred years, vicious and unrestrained, a life of
one day is better if a man is virtuous and reflecting.

And he who lives a hundred years, ignorant and unrestrained, a life of
one day is better if a man is wise and reflecting.

And he who lives a hundred years, idle and weak, a life of one day is
better if a man has attained firm strength.

And he who lives a hundred years, not seeing beginning and end, a life
of one day is better if a man sees beginning and end.

And he who lives a hundred years, not seeing the immortal place, a life
of one day is better if a man sees the immortal place.

And he who lives a hundred years, not seeing the highest law, a life of
one day is better if a man sees the highest law.





EVIL


A man should hasten towards the good, and should keep his thought away
from evil; if a man does what is good slothfully, his mind delights in
evil.

If a man commits a sin, let him not do it again; let him not delight in
sin: the accumulation of evil is painful.

If a man does what is good, let him do it again; let him delight in it:
the accumulation of good is delightful.

Even an evil-doer sees happiness so long as his evil deed does not
ripen; but when his evil deed ripens, then does the evil-doer see evil.

Even a good man sees evil days so long as his good deed does not ripen;
but when his good deed ripens, then does the good man see good things.

Let no man think lightly of evil, saying in his heart, It will not come
nigh unto me. Even by the falling of water-drops a water-pot is filled;
the fool becomes full of evil, even if he gather it little by little.

Let no man think lightly of good, saying in his heart, It will not come
nigh unto me. Even by the falling of water-drops a water-pot is filled;
the wise man becomes full of good, even if he gather it little by
little.

Let a man avoid evil deeds, as a merchant, if he has few companions and
carries much wealth, avoids a dangerous road; as a man who loves life
avoids poison.

He who has no wound on his hand, may touch poison with his hand; poison
does not affect one who has no wound; nor is there evil for one who does
not commit evil.

If a man offend a harmless, pure, and innocent person, the evil falls
back upon that fool, like light dust thrown up against the wind.

Some people are born again; evil-doers go to hell; righteous people go
to heaven; those who are free from all worldly desires attain Nirvana.

Not in the sky, not in the midst of the sea, not if we enter into the
clefts of the mountains, is there known a spot in the whole world where
a man might be freed from an evil deed.

Not in the sky, not in the midst of the sea, not if we enter into the
clefts of the mountains, is there known a spot in the whole world where
death could not overcome the mortal.





Next: Punishment

Previous: The Venerable



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