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Old Age

Books: 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.

br /> 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.