Buddha Dhammapada Teachings - Old Age





The world is on fire!
And you are laughing?
You are deep in the dark.
Will you not ask for a light?


For behold your body -
A painted puppet, a toy,
Jointed and sick and full of false imaginings,
A shadow that shifts and fades.


How frail it is!
Frail and pestilent,
It sickens, festers and dies.
Like every living thing
In the end it sickens and dies.


Behold these whitened bones,
The hollow shells and husks of a dying summer.
And you are laughing?


You are a house of bones,
Flesh and blood for plaster.
Pride lives in you,
And hypocrisy, decay, and death.


The glorious chariots of kings shatter.
So also the body turns to dust.
But the spirit of purity is changeless
And so the pure instruct the pure.


The ignorant man is an ox.
He grows in size, not in wisdom.
"Vainly I sought the builder of my house
Through countless lives.
I could not find him...


How hard it is to tread life after life!
"But now I see you, O builder!
And never again shall you build my house.
I have snapped the rafters,
Split the ridge-pole
And beaten out desire.
And now my mind is free."


There are no fish in the lake.
The long-legged cranes stand in the water.
Sad is the man who in his youth
Loved loosely and squandered his fortune -
Sad as a broken bow,
And sadly is he sighing
After all that has arisen and has passed away.