Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Buddha on Choices

Sayings of the Buddha (5th century BC) on "Choices".
The Buddha needs no introduction, lol.
Rendered in haiku form.

The image is "Choosing" by George Frederic Watts.

We are what we think,
Arising out of our thoughts,
Our thoughts make the world.

Speak with impure mind
And trouble will follow you
As the wheel the ox.

We are what we think,
Arising out of our thoughts,
Our thoughts make the world.

Acting with pure mind,
Happiness will follow you,
Your faithful shadow.

“Look how he abused,
Cast me down, beat and robbed me.”
Thinking this, we hate.

“Look how he abused,…”
Stop and abandon such thoughts.
Stopping them, you love.

Hate is never good
For hate begets more hatred
And so it goes on.

Hate is healed by love,
Not hate; this is an ancient
And eternal law.

You too shall perish.
Knowing we shall both perish,
How can you quarrel?

Lost in the senses,
Like a frail tree in the wind,
You’ll be uprooted.

Master of yourself,
In the winds of temptation,
You’ll be a mountain.

He whose thoughts are stained,
Unmindful and deceitful,
May not wear the robes.

He whose thoughts are clear,
Mindful in his truthfulness,
He may wear the robes.

Ignorant of truth,
He who follows his desire
Overlooks the heart.

Seeing true and false,
He who looks into his heart
Follows his nature.

As rain penetrates
An ill-thatched roof, so does lust
Penetrate the mind.

He with impure mind
Suffers here and hereafter,
More so seeing his wrongs.

Sheltered by pure mind,
He rejoices in both worlds,
More so seeing his good.

Whatever you read,
Or speak of scripture, what good
If you do not act?

Are you a shepherd
Who counts another man’s sheep
But does not lead them?

Read little, speak less,
But act in truth, forsaking
Lust, hate and folly.

Knowing truth, mind freed,
In peace here and hereafter,
Share by example.


  1. Indeed! Knowing the perfume of the Rose.

    Actually these sayings of Buddha on choice remind me of something I posted earlier:

    "That which is sweet, first is bitter.
    That which is bitter, first is sweet.
    To each a choice, then it all depends.
    On effort and unflagging will
    To reach the city of your choice."
    (Lalla, 14th century)