Chapter VIII


1. Having developed enthusiasm in this way, I should place my mind in concentration. For the man whose mind is distracted Dwells between the fangs of disturbing conceptions. 2. But through solitude of body and mind No distractions will occur; Therefore I should forsake the worldly life And completely discard distorted conceptions. 3. Worldly life is not forsaken because of attachment (to people) And due to craving for material gain and the like; Therefore I should entirely forsake these things, For this is the way in which the wise behave. 4. Having understood that disturbing coneptions are completely overcome By superior insight endowed with calm abiding, First of all I should search for calm abiding. This is achieved through the genuine joy of those unattached to worldly life. 5. Because of the obsession one transient being Has for other transient beings, He will not see his beloved ones again For many thousands of lives. 6. Not seeing them I am unhappy And my mind cannot be settled in equipoise; Even if I see them there is no satisfaction And, as before, I am tormented by craving. 7. Through being unattached to living beings I am completely obscured from the perfect reality, My disillution (with cyclic existence) perishes And in the end I am tortured by sorrow. 8. By thinking only of them, This life will pass without any meaning. (Furthermore) impermanent friends and relatives Will even destroy the Dharma (which leads to) permanent (liberation). 9. If I behave in the same way as the childish I shall certainly proceed to lower realms, And if I am led there by those unequal (to the Noble Ones), What is the use of entrusting myself to the childish? 10. One moment they are friends And in the next instant they become enemies. Since they become angry even in joyful situations, It is difficult to please ordinary people. 11. They are angry when something of benefit is said And they also turn me away from what is beneficial. If I do not listen to what they say, They become angry and hence proceed to lower realms. 12. They are envious of superiors, competitive with equals, Arrogant towards inferiors, conceited when praised, And if anything unpleasant is said they become angry; Never is any benefit derived from the childish. 13. Through associating with the childish, There will certainly ensure unwholesomeness Such as praising myself and belittling others And discussing the joys of cyclic existence. 14. Devoting myself to others in this way Will bring about nothing but misfortune. Because they will not benefit me And I shall not benefit them. 15. I should flee far away from childish people. When they are encountered, though, I should please them by being happy. I should behave well merely out of courtesy. But not become greatly familiar. 16. In the same way as a bee takes honey from a flower, I should take merely (what is necessary) for the practice of Dharma But remain unfamiliar As though I hd never seen them before. 17. "I have much material wealth as well as honor, And many people like me," Nurturing self-importance in this way I shall be made terrified after death. 18. So, you thoroughly confused mind, By the pilling up of whatever objects You are attached to, Misery a thousandfold will ensue. 19. Hence the wise should not be attached, (Because) fear is born from attachment. With a firm mind understand well That it is the nature of these things to be discarded! 20. Although I may have much material wealth, Be famous and well spoken of, Whatever fame and renown I have amassed Has no power to accompany me (after death). 21. If there is someone who despises me What pleasure can I have in being praised? And if there is another who praises me What displeasure can I have in being despised? 22. If even the Conqueror was unable to please The various inclinations of different beings, Then what need to mention an evil person such as I? Therefore I should give up the intention (to associate with) the worldly. 23. They scorn those who have no material gain And say bad things about those who do; How can they who are by nature so hard to get along with Ever derive any pleasure (from me)? 24. It has been said by the Tathagatas That one should not befriend the childish, Because unless they get their own way These children are never happy. 25. When shall I come to dwell in forests Amongts the deer, the birds and the trees, That say nothing unpleasant And are delightful to associate with? 26. When dwelling in caves, In empty shrines and at the foot of trees, Never look back -- Cultivate detachment. 27. When shall I come to dwell In places not clung to as "mine" Which are by nature wide and open And where I may behave as I wish without attachment? 28. When shall I come to live without fear Having just a begging bowl and a few odd things, Wearing clothes not wanted by anyone And not even having to hide this body? 29. Having departed to the cemeteries, When shall I come to understand That this body of mine and the skeletons of others Are equal in being subject to decay? 30. Then, because of its odor, Not even the foxes Will come close to this body of mine; For this is what will become of it. 31. Although this body arose as one thing, The bones and flesh with which it was created Will break up and separate. How much more so will friends and others? 32. At birth I was born alone And at death too I shall die alone; As this pain cannot be shared by others, What use are obstacle-making friends? 33. In the same way as travellers on a highway (Leave one place) and reach (another), Likewise those travelling on the path of conditioned exitence (Leave) one birth and reach (another). 34. Until the time comes for this body To be supported by four pall-bearers While the worldly (stand around) stricken with grief, Until then I shall retire to the forest. 35. Befriending no one and begrudging no one, My body will dwell alone in solitude. If I am already counted as a dead man, When I die there will be no mourners. 36. And as there will be no one around To disturb me with their mourning, Thus there will be no one to distracted me From my recollection of the Buddha. 37. Therefore I shall dwell alone, Happy and contented with few difficulties, In very joyful and beautiful forests, Pacifying all distractions. 38. Having given up all other intentions, Being motivated by only one thought, I shall strive to settle my mind in equipoise (by means of calm abiding) And to subdue it (with superior insight). 39. Both in this world and the next Desires give rise to great misfortune: In this life killing, bondage and flaying, And in the next the existence of the hells. 40. For the sake of (women) many requests Are first of all made between go-betweens, All forms of evil and even notoriety Are not avoided for their sake. 41. I engaged in fearful deeds for them And will even consume my wealth, But these (very bodies of others) That I greatly enjoy in the sexual embrace 42. Are nothing other than skeletons, They are not autonomous and are identityless. Rather than being so desirous and completely obsessed, Why do I not go to the state beyond sorrow (instead)? 43. In the first place I made efforts to lift (her veil) And when it was raised she bashfully looked down. Previously whether anyone looked or not, Her face was covered with a cloth. 44. But now why do I run away Upon directly beholding This face that disturbs the mind As it is being revealed to me by the vultures? 45. (Previously) I completely protected (her body) When others cast their eyes upon it. Why, miser, do you not protect it now While it is bein devoured by these birds? 46. Since vultures and others are eating This pile of meat that I behold, Why did I offer flower garlands, sandalwood and ornaments To that which is now the food of others? 47. If I am frightened by the skeletons I see, Even though they do not move, Why am I not frightened by walking corpses Which are moved around by a few (impulses)? 48. Although I am attached to it when it is covered (with skin) Why do I not desire it when it is uncovered? Since I have no need for it then, Why copulate with it when it is covered? 49. Since both excrement and saliva Arise solely from food, Why do I dislike excrement And find joy in saliva? 50. Cotton too is soft to the touch, But while I find no (sexual) delight in a pillow I think that (a woman's body) does not emit a putrid odor, Lustful one, you are confused as to what is unclean! 51. Thinking that they cannot sleep with this cotton Although it is soft to the touch, Confused, negative and lustful people Become angry towards it (instead). 52. If I am not attached to the unclean, Then why do I copulate with the lower parts of others' bodies Which are merely cages of bones tied together with muscles, Plastered over with the mud of flesh? 53. I myself contain many unclean things Which I constantly experience; So why, because of an obsession for uncleanliness, Do I desire other bags of filth? 54. - But it is the flesh that I enjoy - I this is what I wish to touch and behold, Why do I not desire it in its natural state devoid of any mind? 55. Furthermore, any mind that I may desire Is unable to be touched or behold, And whatever I am able to touch will not be mental; So why indulge in this meaningless copulation? 56. It is not so strange that I do not undertand The bodies of others to be of an unclean nature, But it is indeed strange that I do not understand My very own body to be by nature unclean. 57. Having forsaken the young lotus flower Unfolded by means of sunlight free from cloud, Why, with a mind craving for what is unclean, Do I revel in a cage of filth? 58. Since I do not wish to touch A place that is smeared with excrement, Then why do I wish to touch the body From which that (excrement) arose? 59. If I am not attached to what is unclean, Why do I copulate with the lower parts of others' bodies Which arise from the unclean field (of a womb) And are produced by the seeds within it? 60. I have no wish for a small dirty maggot Which has come from a pile of filth, So why do I desire this body which by naure is grossly unclean, For it too was produced by filth? 61. Not only do I not disparage The uncleanliness of my own body, But because of an obsession for what is unclean I desire other bags of filth as well. 62. Even attractive things such as savory foods, Cooked rice and vegetables, Make the ground dirty and unclean, Should they be spat out after being in the mouth. 63. Although such uncleanliness is obvious, If I still have doubts I should go to the cemeteries And look at the unclean bodies (of others) That have been thrown away there. 64. Having realised that when their skin is rent open They give rise to a great deal of fear, How will such things as these Ever again give rise to joy? 65. The scents with which someone's body is anointed Are sandalwood and the like, but not that of the other's body, So why am I attached to others' (bodies) Because of scents that are other (than theirs)? 66. Since the body has a naturally foul odor, Isn't it good to be unattached to it? Why do those who crave for the meaningless things of the world Anoint this body with pleasant scents? 67. And furthermore, if it is the pleasant scent of sandalwood, How can it come from the body? So why am I attached to others' (bodies) Because of scents that are other (than theirs)? 68. Since the nake body (left) in its natural state Is very frightening due to its long hair and nails, Its yellowish foul-smelling teeth And its being coated with the odor of dirt, 69 Why do I make such an effort to polish it Like (cleaning) a weapon that will cause me harm? Hence the entire world is disturbed with insanity Due to the exertions of those who are confused about themselves. 70. When my mind rises (above worldly concerns), Through having behold nothing but skeletons in the cemetery, Will there be any joy in graveyard cities Which are filled with moving skeletons? 71. Furthermore, these unclean (female bodies) Are not found without paying a price: In order to obtain them I exhaust myself And (in future) will be injured in the hells. 72. As a child I am unable to increase my wealth, And as a youth what can I do (being unable to afford a wife)? At the end of life when I have the wealth, Being an old ma, what good will sex be then? 73. Some evil and lustful people Wear themselves out by working all day And when they return home (in the evening) Their exhausted bodies lie prostrate like corpses. 74. Some have the suffering of being disturbed by travel And having to go a long way from home. Although they long for their spouses, They do not see them for years at a time. 75. And some who wish for benefit Due to confusion, even sell themselves for the sake of (women and the like); But not attaining what they wish, They are aimlessly driven by the winds of others' actions. 76. Some sell their own bodies And without any power are employed by others. Even when their wives give birth Their children fall at the feet of trees and in lonely places. 77. Some fools who are deceived by desire, Wishing for a livelihood think, "I shall earn my living (as a soldier);" Then, although afraid of losing their lives, they go to war And become slaves for the sake of profit. 78. Some lustful people even cut their bodies, Others impale themselves on the points of sticks, Some stab themselves with daggers, And others burn themselves - such things as these are quite apparent. 79. Due to the torment involved in collecting it, protecting and finally losing it, I should realise wealth to be fraught with infinite problems, Those who are distracted by their attachment to it Have no opportunity to gain freedom from the misery of conditioned existence. 80. In the same way as animals drawing carriages Are only able to eat a few mouthfuls of grass, Likewise desirous people Have many disadvantages such as these and little (profit). 81. And since even animals can obtain that (little profit), Those who are pained by their (previous) actions Waste these leisures and endowments so difficult to find For the sake of something trivial that is not so scarce. 82. The objects of desire will certainly perish And then I shall fall into hellish states. But Buddhahood itself is attained With just one millionth of the difficulty. 83. Involved in continually exhausting myself For the sake of what is not very great. (Hence) the desirous experience greater misery than (those following) the Awakening way of life - But (for them) there is no Awakening. 84. When having contemplated the miseries of hell, (It will be clear that) there is nothing comparable To the harm caused to desirous beings By weapons, poison, fire, ravines and foes. 85. Having in this way developed disillusion with desire, I should generate joy for solitude. The fortunate ones stroll in peaceful forests, Devoid of disputes and disturbing conceptions. 86. (They live) in joyful houses of vast flat stones, Cooled by the sandal-scented moonlight, Fanned by the peaceful, silent forest breeze, Thinking of what is of benefit for others. 87. They dwell for as long as they wish In empty houses, at the feet of trees and in caves, Having abandoned the pain of clinging to and guarding (possessions), They abide indpendent, free of care. 88. Living as they choose, desireless, Having no ties with anyone - Even the powerful have difficulty finding A life as happy and content as this. 89. Having in such ways as these Thought about the excellences of solitude, I should completely pacify distorted conceptions And meditate on the Awakening Mind.