Monday, 4 October 2010

Buddha on The Fool

Sayings of Buddha on "The Fool".
Rendered in haiku form.

This is fifth in the series.

The image is "The Fool" from the "Elf of Heaven" tarot.

Long are sleepless nights,
Long are weary roads, long till
The Fool finds the Way.

Make friends with the wise,
But travel rather alone
Than be with a fool.

“My children, my wealth!”
So frets the fool, not grasping
Even his own self.

Know your foolishness!
The fool who thinks he is wise
Is a fool indeed.

Next to a master,
A fool may live all his life,
Not finding the Way.

A spoon can’t taste soup,
But alert to the master,
The tongue tastes the soup.

The fool’s biggest foe
Is himself, blind to his wrongs
That bear bitter fruit.

A deed not well done
Is one repented after.
Why bring yourself tears?

Only deeds well done,
That later you won’t regret,
Fill you up with joy.

When the fool does wrong,
How sweet before wrong bears fruit,
How bitter after!

As fresh milk turns sour
In time, the fool’s wrongs light up
Like embers and burn.

An ascetic fool
May eat with a grass blade’s tip,
But still be a fool.

What a fool may learn
Will only make his wits blunt,
Severing his head.

The fool thirsts for praise,
To be put before others
And over others.

"Let them know my work,"
The fool longs in swelling pride,
"Let them look to me."

Follow not the fool’s
Way to pleasure, riches, fame.
Your way is different.

Seek not worldly gain,
But in detached solitude
Resolve to be free.


  1. Free from our inflated concensus of ourselves, free at last.

  2. At this point, I must admit to being a right fool, working to eliminate my foolishness.

  3. I'm a fool too. Ah how lucky we both are to 'recognise it.' Most 'are' fools, thinking they are not, recognising that you are,' is a desirable state as opposed to 'not getting it.'

  4. As the Buddha said. (((((((Rose)))))))

  5. I'm in the fools' club too :)

  6. What wonderful company we make. Let us go down the road, together, arm in arm.

  7. Something just occurred to me today though... I really don't like to be seen as a fool. Can I keep my foolishness secret?

  8. Hides you under my poncho. Your secret is safe with me.

  9. :^)

    One thing that struck me...

    "Only deeds well done,
    That later you won’t regret,
    Fill you up with joy." doing things which will bring you satisfaction (in the future), so being mindful of those things which bring future satisfaction in the present, so bringing the future joy of satisfaction into the present act itself. There's no postponing. Right now, are you doing what will bring you satisfaction in the future? That's why I've tagged all these posts so far "barbecue and grilling". They don't mess about. I'd love to hide, but there's no hiding from the Buddha's grilling, lol.

  10. There is no 'hiding' from the which the Buddha contemplated, if we will contemplate upon our own, then we will realise what the Buddha spake, 'we are all Buddhas.'

  11. Yes! And there's an interesting paradox... does reading the "sayings of the Buddha" for example help us on that path, or is it just filling us up with the knowledge which to quote another of the above...

    What a fool may learn
    Will only make his wits blunt,
    Severing his head.

    I think Krishnamurti had something to say about this once, because his mind was filled more than anyone in history from a very young age with all the spiritual knowledge to be found, and at some level he rejected it all... as just knowledge, conditioning, etc. ... as you say...

  12. Again, I think the "severing the head" metaphor is fascinating, as if too much knowledge stops left and right hemispheres working in union.

  13. I adore Krishnamurti. He was a tool of theosophy and broke the chains, becoming his own mind.

    It is more pronounced with christians, seeing their double-speak, than it is for a Buddhist, but if one only repeats the phrases the phrases of their masters, they never master, themselves.

  14. I just posted this a couple of days ago on Buddhist Travellers.

    It's a 90-minute video, and I summarized it in the blog. As I was saying in the comments, Krishnamurti doesn't make things easy for the listeners, he wants them to discover things for themselves, and crucially he uses unfamiliar terminology because he doesn't want them to fall back on used formulas and expressions. This makes for frustrating listening, lol, which why I thought summarizing it would be useful, but in retrospect, I realize it's the process of Krishnamurti's discourse that is in some sense the whole point, the way he "warms the listener up" to discovering the truth for himself. We don't get it though, the mind always wants to categorize and compartmentalize into things that it can grasp and understand. We just can't help it... how can the mind learn about the process being more important than the endpoint? Phew! Edit: about there being no endpoint even...

  15. I am opening it up in a new tab to view later. I've probably seen it...I eat him up with a spoon. I love the way he talks. I have heard some people complain of how he speaks, but I find him warm, engaging, perhaps a little frustrated sometimes, but so well thought out and balanced. He made plans that after his death, he not be 'turned into some religion.' What a guy.