Saturday, June 21, 2014

The First Day of Summer (inspiring verses)

Amber Larson, Dhr. Seven, Crystal Quintero, (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly; Acharya Buddharakkhita (trans.), Maggavagga: Verses on the Path (Dhammapada XX)
Sun (Surya, Sol) in hand on the Ganges in India (Immortal Technique, Point of No Return)
Sol, European gate (Bryan1974/flickr)
273. Of all the paths the Noble Eightfold Path is best; of all the truths the Four Noble Truths are best; of all things passionlessness [freedom from craving] is best: of all humans the One Who Sees (the Buddha) is best.
  • What is Eightfold Path to noble attainments (stages of enlightenment)? It is the cultivation of virtue (precepts, restraints), concentration (mental collectedness, absorption), and wisdom (right view, insight).
  • What are the  Four Ennobling Truths? Meditative contemplation of the causal links of Dependent Origination for the direct realization of disappointment, its cause, its cessation, and the path leading to its cessation, which is the Noble Eightfold Path.
274. This is the straight path without deviation for the purification of liberating-insight. Tread this path and you will bewilder Mara [the Corrupter, Death personified, the Killer, the Obstructer of liberation].
275. Traveling this path you will make an end of all suffering. Having discovered how to pull out the thorn of lust [craving], I make known the path [to deathlessness].
276. You yourselves must strive [to win the stream]; the buddhas only point the way. Those meditative ones who tread the path are released from the bonds of Mara.

Radiant golden Buddha, blue aura (WQ)
277. "All conditioned things are impermanent" -- when one sees this with wisdom, one turns away from suffering. This is the path to purification.
278. "All conditioned things are disappointing [unsatisfactory]" -- when one sees this with wisdom, one turns away from suffering. This is the path to purification.
279. "All things are impersonal [not-self]" -- when one sees this with wisdom, one turns away from suffering. This is the path to purification.
280. The idle person who does not exert when one should, who although young and strong is full of sloth, with a mind full of vain thoughts -- such an indolent person does not find the path to wisdom.
281. Let a person be watchful of speech, well controlled in mind, and not commit harm in bodily action. Let one purify these three courses of action and win the path made known by the Great Sage.
282. Wisdom springs from meditation; without meditation wisdom wanes. Having known these two paths of progress and decline, let a person so conduct oneself that wisdom may increase.
283. Cut down the forest (lust) but not the tree; from the forest springs fear. Having cut down the forest and the underbrush (desire), be passionless, O meditators! ["Cut down the forest of lust, but do not mortify the body."]
284. For so long as the underbrush of desire, even the most subtle, of a man towards a woman [or a woman towards a man] is not cut down, one's mind is in bondage, like the sucking calf to its mother.
Golden Buddha with vast sky behind, track-free birds like arhats (

285. Cut off this affection [attachment] in the manner of a person who plucks with hand an autumn lotus. Cultivate only the path to peace, nirvana, as made known by the Exalted One.
286. "Here shall I live during the rains, here in winter and summer" -- thus thinks the fool. One does not realize the danger (that death might intervene).
287. As a great flood sweeps away a sleeping village, so death seizes and carries away the person with a clinging mind/heart, doting on one's children and cattle [property, synonymous with "riches" in agrarian societies].
288. For one who is assailed by death there is no protection by one's kin. None there are to save one -- no sons[, nor daughters, nor mother], nor father, nor relatives.
289. Realizing this fact, let the wise person, restrained by virtue, hasten to clear the path leading to nirvana.

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