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On Earnestness

Books: Sacred Books Of The East

Earnestness is the path of immortality (Nirvana), thoughtlessness the

path of death. Those who are in earnest do not die, those who are

thoughtless are as if dead already.

Having understood this clearly, those who are advanced in earnestness

delight in earnestness, and rejoice in the knowledge of the elect.

These wise people, meditative, steady, always possessed of strong

powers, attain to N
rvana, the highest happiness.

If an earnest person has roused himself, if he is not forgetful, if his

deeds are pure, if he acts with consideration, if he restrains himself,

and lives according to law--then his glory will increase.

By rousing himself, by earnestness, by restraint and control, the wise

man may make for himself an island which no flood can overwhelm.

Fools follow after vanity. The wise man keeps earnestness as his best


Follow not after vanity, nor after the enjoyment of love and lust! He

who is earnest and meditative, obtains ample joy.

When the learned man drives away vanity by earnestness, he, the wise,

climbing the terraced heights of wisdom, looks down upon the fools: free

from sorrow he looks upon the sorrowing crowd, as one that stands on a

mountain looks down upon them that stand upon the plain.

Earnest among the thoughtless, awake among the sleepers, the wise man

advances like a racer, leaving behind the hack.

By earnestness did Maghavan (Indra) rise to the lordship of the gods.

People praise earnestness; thoughtlessness is always blamed.

A Bhikshu (mendicant) who delights in earnestness, who looks with fear

on thoughtlessness, moves about like fire, burning all his fetters,

small or large.

A Bhikshu (mendicant) who delights in reflection, who looks with fear on

thoughtlessness, cannot fall away from his perfect state--he is close

upon Nirvana.