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Dhammapada XI


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


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.


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.


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


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


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.


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


Through the round of many births I roamed
    without reward,
    without rest,
seeking the house-builder.
    Painful is birth
    again & 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.


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.

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

Source: ATI - For Free Distribution Only, as a Gift of Dhamma.

Dhamma Essay:
The Problem of Conflict by Bhikkhu Bodhi

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