Khuddaka Nikaya

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The Path of Dhamma

XI. Jaravagga: Old Age (146-156)

Index The Pāḷi


By Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
For free distribution only.



[146] What laughter, why joy,
when constantly aflame?
Enveloped in darkness,
don't you look for a lamp?

[147] Look at the beautified image,
a heap of festering wounds, shored up:
ill, but the object
of many resolves,
where there is nothing
lasting or sure.

[148] Worn out is this body,
a nest of diseases, dissolving.
This putrid conglomeration
is bound to break up,
for life is hemmed in with death.

[149] On seeing these bones
like gourds in the fall,
what delight?

[150] A city made of bones,
plastered over with flesh and blood,
whose hidden treasures are:
pride and contempt,
aging and death.

[151] Even royal chariots
get run down,
and so does the body
succumb to old age.
But the Dhamma of the good
doesn't succumb to old age:
the good let the civilized know.

[152] This unlistening man
matures like an ox.
His muscles develop,
his discernment not.

[153-154] Through the round of many births I roamed
without reward,
without rest,
seeking the house-builder.
Painful is birth
again and again.

House-builder, you're seen!
You will not build a house again.
All your rafters broken,
the ridge pole destroyed,
gone to the Unformed, the mind
has come to the end of craving.

[155] Neither living the chaste life
nor gaining wealth in their youth,
they waste away like old herons
in a dried-up lake
depleted of fish.

[156] Neither living the chaste life
nor gaining wealth in their youth,
they lie around,
misfired from the bow,
sighing over old times.




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