The Dhammapada (Classics of Indian Spirituality)
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You have plumbed the depths of consciousness and known a joy not given even to the gods. But you know well how difficult it has been. You sought nirvana with your eyes clear, and found it almost impossible to achieve; others’ eyes are covered with dust from the beginning, and they seek only their own satisfaction. Even in the midst of sorrow, do you see anyone throw the toys of the world away? If you try to teach them what you have found, who do you think will listen? Who will strive as you have?
nirvana. Relativity and quantum theory, in fact, provide excellent illustrations of this strange world, so contrary to common sense. In the Buddha’s universe a personal, separate self is an illusion, just as substance is an illusion to the atomic physi- ╭ 80 The Dhammapada ╯ cist. Distinctions between an “outside world” and an “inner realm” of the mind are arbitrary. Everything in human experience takes place in one field of forces, which comprises both matter and mind. Thought and physical
disciplined life in harmony with the dharma, you will grow in glory. 25 If you meditate earnestly, through spiritual disciplines you can make an island for yourself that no flood can overwhelm. 26 The immature lose their vigilance, but the wise guard it as their greatest treasure. 27Do not fall into ways of sloth and lust. Those who meditate earnestly attain the highest happiness. 109 ╯ ╭ 28 c h a p t e r s o n e & t wo Overcoming sloth through earnestness, the wise climb beyond
suffering will come in these ten ways. 138 They may suffer grief, infirmity, painful accident, serious illness, 139 loss of mind, legal prosecution, fearful accusation, family bereavement, or financial loss; 140 or their house may burn down, and after death they may be thrown into the fire of suffering. 141 Going about with matted hair, without food or bath, sleeping on the ground smeared with dust or sitting motionless – no amount of penance can help a person whose mind is not purified. 142
speculation. Though probably the most brilliant intellect of his time, the Buddha maintained no intellectual positions whatever. They would be counter to his only purpose, which was to inspire greater effort in spiritual practice. How can intellectual opinions about the unity of life help a person as long as he believes he is a separate ego? What difference does his opinion 155 ╯ ╭ c h a p t e r t w e lv e about eternity make as long as he is still caught up in time? By offering no