The Fool |
Long is the night to the sleepless; long is
the league to the weary; long is worldly existence
to fools who know not the Sublime Truth.
Should a seeker not find a companion who
is one's better or equal, let one resolutely pursue a
solitary course; there is no fellowship with a fool.
The fool worries, thinking, "I have sons,
I have wealth." Indeed, when he himself is not
his own, whence are sons, whence is wealth?
A fool knows his foolishness is wise
at least to that extent, but a fool who thinks
himself wise is called a fool indeed.
Though all his life a fool associate with a
wise person, he no more comprehends the Truth
than a spoon tastes the flavour of the soup.
Though only for a moment a discerning
person associate with a wise person, quickly
he comprehends the Truth, just as the tongue
tastes the flavour of the soup.
Fools of little wit are enemies unto themselves
as they move about doing evil deeds, the
fruits of which are bitter.
Ill done is that action doing which one
repents later, and the fruits of which one reaps,
weeping with tearful face.
Well done is that action doing which one
repents not later, and the fruits of which one reaps
with delight and happiness.
So long as an evil deed has not ripened,
the fool thinks it as sweet as honey. But when the
evil deed ripens, the fool comes to grief.
Month after month a fool may eat his
food with the tip of a blade of grass, but he still
is not worth a sixteenth part of those who have
comprehended the Truth.
Truly, an evil deed committed does not
immediately bear fruit, like milk that does not
turn sour all at once. But smouldering, it follows
the fool like fire covered by ashes.
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for
it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness.
The fool seeks undeserved reputation,
precedence among renunciates, authority over monasteries,
and honour among householders.
"Let both laypersons and renunciates think that
it was done by me. In every work, great and
small, let them follow me"--such is the ambition
of the fool; thus his desire and pride increases.
One is the quest for worldly gain, and quite
another is the path to Nibbana. Clearly
understanding this, let not the renunciate, the disciple
of the Buddha, be carried away by worldly acclaim,
but develop detachment instead.