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Petals of Wisdom: Thoughts for May 2000

Collected by Ti.nh Tue^.


Those riches of his, not being rightly utilized, are either confiscated by kings or by robbers, or are burnt by fire, or carried away by flood, or are appropriated by heirs for whom he hath ho affection. That being so, riches that are not rightly utilized run to waste, not to enjoyment. (Sa"myutta-Nikaaya I. 90; Kindred Saying I. 115).



Grain-store and hoarded wealth, silver and gold,
Or whatsoever property there be,
Or all whose living doth on him depend:
His slaves, his craftsmen and hired menials--
All this he hath to leave, naught can he take;
All this is matter for abandonment.
But what he doth, by act or word or thought:
That is the thing he owns; that takes he hence;
That dogs his steps like shadow in pursuit.
Hence let him make good store for life elsewhere.
Sure platform in some other future world,
Rewards of virtue on good beings wait.
(Sa"myutta-Nikaaya I. 93; Kindred Saying I. 117f).



All the vessels wrought by the potter, whether they are unbaked or baked» --all are breakable. They finish broken, they have breakage in prospect. Even so, all beings are mortal; they finish with death; they have death in prospect. (Sa"myutta-Nikaaya I. 97; Kindred Saying I. 122).



All creatures have to die. Life is out death.
And they shall fare according to their deeds,
Finding the fruit of merit and misdeeds:--
Infernal realms because of evil works;
Blissful rebirth for meritorious acts…
(Sa"myutta-Nikaaya I. 97; Kindred Saying I. 122).



Brief is the life of men--a matter of flitting hence, having its sequel elsewhere. To be wrought is the good; to be lived is the holy life. To him that is born there is no not-dying. He, bhikkhus, who lives long, lives but a hundred years or but little longer. (Sa"myutta-Nikaaya I. 108; Kindred Saying I. 135).



Brief time have sons of men on earth to live.
Let the good man herein much trouble take.
Acting as were his turban all a-blaze.
There is no man to whom death cometh not.
(Sa"myutta-Nikaaya I. 108; Kindred Saying I. 136).



In sooth to every man that’s born
A hatchet grows within his mouth,
Wherewith the fool, whene’er he speaks
And speaks amiss, doth cut himself. He who the blameworthy doth praise,
Or who the praiseworthy doth blame,
Builds by his mouth his evil doom.
(Sa"myutta-Nikaaya I. 149; Kindred Saying I. 188).



Alas! Impermanent is everything in life!
Growth is its very nature, and decay.
They spring to being and again they cease.
Happy the mastery of them and the peace.
(Sa"myutta-Nikaaya I. 159; Kindred Saying I. 197).



The fool forsooth doth deem the victory his
In that he plays the bully with rude speech.
To him who knoweth how he may forbear,
This in itself doth make him conqueror.
Worse of the two is he who when reviled
Reviles again. Who doth not, when reviled,
Revile again, a two-fold victory wins.
Both of the other and himself he seeks
The good; for he the other’s angry mood
Doth understand and groweth calm and still.
He who of both is a physician, since
Himself he healeth and the other too,--
Folk deem him fool, they knowing not the Norm.
(Sa"myutta-Nikaaya I. 163; Kindred Saying I. 204)



Whoso doth wrong the man that’s innocent:--
Him that is pure and from all errors free--
His wicked act returns upon that fool
Like fine dust that is thrown against the wind.
(Sa"myutta-Nikaaya I. 164; Kindred Saying I. 204)



The Norm’s a lake, virtue its strand for bathing,
Clear, undefiled, praised by the good to good men,
Wherein in sooth masters of lore come bathing,
So, clean of limb, to the beyond cross over.
(Sa"myutta-Nikaaya I. 183; Kindred Saying I. 232f).



Whoso can speak a word whereby he works
No torment to himself, nor causeth harm
To fellow-men, that word is spoken well.
Whoso can speak a kindly word, a word
That’s grateful to the ear, and lays not hold
Of others’ faults, that word is kindly spoke.
Truth is ambrosial speech; of saints of old
This was the ancient Norm; on Truth and Good
And Norm, ‘t is said, the saints do firmly stand.
The Word which the Awakened speaketh, sure
Safe guide to make Nibbaana ours, to put
An end to Ill:--that is the Word Supreme.
(Sa"myutta-Nikaaya I. 188; Kindred Saying I. 240)



Whoso his mother and his father keeps,
The senior in his family reveres,
Converseth gently and with soft-toned speech,
And all that makes for slander puts aside,
Who sets himself all meanness to suppress,
A man of truth, his temper ‘neath control:--
On such an one the Three and Thirty Gods
Do verily confer the name: Good Man.
(Sa"myutta-Nikaaya I. 228; Kindred Saying I. 294)



Wisdom is purified by uprightness, and uprightness is purified by wisdom. Where there is uprightness, wisdom is there, and where there is wisdom, uprightness is there. To the upright, there is wisdom, to the wise there is uprightness, and wisdom and goodness are declared to be the best thing in the world. (Diigha-Nikaaya I. 124; Dialogues of the Buddha I. 156).


Updated: 1-5-2000

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