A little Inspiration for renunciation

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rolling_boulder
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A little Inspiration for renunciation

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From the Buddhacarita by Asvaghosa

(the Bodhisattvas' servant is trying to convince him to seduce a woman)

85. ‘I do not despise worldly objects, I know that all mankind are bound up therein; but remembering that the world is transitory, my mind cannot find pleasure in them.

86. ‘Old age, disease, and death — if these three things did not exist, I too should find my enjoyment in the objects that please the mind.

87. ‘Yet even though this beauty of women were to remain perpetual, still delight in the pleasures of desire would not be worthy of the wise man.

88. ‘But since their beauty will be drunk up by old age, to delight therein through infatuation cannot be a thing approved even by thyself. 22

89. ‘He who himself subject to death, disease, and old age, can sport undisturbed with those whose very nature implies death, disease, and old age, such a man is on a level with birds and beasts.


90. ‘And as for what thou sayest as to even those great men having become victims to desire, do not be bewildered by them, for destruction was also their lot.

91. ‘Real greatness is not to be found there, where there is universally destruction, or where there is attachment to earthly objects, or a want of self-control.

92. ‘And when thou sayest, "Let one deal with women even by guile," I know nought about guile, even if it be accompanied with courtesy.

93. ‘That compliance too with a woman's wishes pleases me not, if truthfulness be not there; if there be not a union with one's whole soul and nature, then "out upon it" say I.

94. ‘A soul overpowered by passion, believing in falsehood, carried away by attachment and blind to the faults of its objects, — what is there in it worth being deceived?

95. ‘And if the victims of passion do deceive one another, — are not men unfit for women to look at and women for men?

96. Since then these things are so, thou surely wouldest not lead me astray into ignoble pleasures, — me afflicted by sorrow, and subject to old age and death?

97. ‘Ah! thy mind must be very firm and strong, if thou canst find substance in the transitory pleasures of sense; even in the midst of violent alarm thou canst cling to worldly objects, when thou seest all created beings in the road of death.

98. ‘But I am fearful and exceedingly bewildered, as I ponder the terrors of old age, death, and disease; I can find no peace, no self-command, much less can I find pleasure, while I see the world as it were ablaze with fire.

99. ‘If desire arises in the heart of the man, who knows that death is certain, — I think that his soul must be made of iron, who restrains it in this great terror and does not weep.’
The world is swept away. It does not endure...
The world is without shelter, without protector...
The world is without ownership. One has to pass on, leaving everything behind...
The world is insufficient, insatiable, a slave to craving.

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