Bodhisattva Behaviour | Śāntideva | 8


Engaging in Bodhisattva Behaviour

by Śāntideva c. 8th century

Part 8

Perfection of Concentration

(1) Having increased my zestful vigour like that, I shall set my mind in absorbed concentration; since a person having a distracted mind is set between the fangs of disturbing emotions.

(2) Through dissociating (both my) body and mind, there'll be no occurrence of any distraction; therefore, I'll set aside worldly concerns and bring my rambling thought to a halt.

(3) Worldly concerns are not discarded because of sticky attachments and thirst for material gain and the like; therefore, to set these things aside, someone with knowledge would discern like this:

(4) "An exceptionally perceptive state of mind, joined onto a stilled and settled state, completely destroys the disturbing emotions." Having understood this, first I shall seek a stilled and settled mind; and that's achieved through delight in detachment from worldly concerns.

(5) (After all,) any impermanent person having sticky attachment to impermanent beings won't see those loved ones again (after death) for many thousands of lives.

(6) Not seeing them, I'll be unhappy and my mind won't settle in absorbed concentration; even if I've seen them, I'll never be satisfied, and, as before, I'll be tormented by longing.

(7) From being attached to limited beings, I'm blocked from (seeing) things as they are; I lose any sense of disillusionment too; and, in the end, I'm tormented by grief.

(8) Because of thinking only of them, this life will pass without any meaning, and through non-eternal friends and relations, I will come to lose the eternal Dharma.

(9) Having acted equal to the lot of infantile people, I'll surely go to a worse rebirth state; if I'm led to a lot that's not (even) equal, then what have I gained by relying on those infantile folk?

(10) One moment, they're friends; in an instant, they're enemies. At a time for being delighted, they fall into a rage: ordinary beings are so difficult to please.

(11) Told what's of benefit, they get enraged and cause me to turn from what's of benefit too. But, if their words aren't listened to, they fall into a rage and go, then, to a worse rebirth state.

(12) They're envious of superiors, competitive with equals, arrogant toward inferiors, conceited when praised, and hateful when told what they don't want to hear: when is there benefit from infantile beings?

(13) If I associate with infantile people, then destructive behaviour inevitably arises among infantile folk, such as praising myself and belittling others, and prattling on about the pleasures of Saṁsāra.

(14) From entrusting myself to others in this way, nothing but loss comes about in the end, for they'll be, in fact, no-good for me and I'll be, in fact, no-good for them.

(15) So let me flee far away from infantile folk; but if encountered, I'll please them with pleasantries, and without becoming overly familiar, I'll conduct myself nicely, merely as an ordinary person would.

(16) Obtaining only what's helpful for Dharma, like a bumblebee honey from a flower, I'll live without having familiars, like having never seen any of them before.

(17) "But I get a lot of material gain and honour, and many people like me." If I hold on to being conceited like that, terrifying things will arise after death.

(18) Thus, no matter what my bewildered mind becomes attached to; in conjunction with each of them, thousand-fold problems arise and stay around.

(19) Hence, the wise have no attachments, (because,) from attachments, terrifying things arise. As these (objects) will naturally be discarded (at death), be firm and consider this well:

(20) There've been many people with material wealth and there've been many with fame and reputation. But it's never been known that they've passed on to some place where their amassed wealth and fame have come with.

(21) If there are others who belittle me, what pleasure is there when I'm being praised? And if there are others who praise me, what displeasure is there when I'm being belittled?

(22) If limited beings, with varied dispositions, couldn't be pleased by even the Triumphant, what need to mention by the poor likes of me? Therefore, let me give up my preoccupation with worldly people.

(23) They belittle limited beings lacking material gain, and, regarding those with material gain, they say bad things; how can any pleasure arise with those whose company is, by nature, so difficult?

(24) The Thusly Gone (Buddha) has said, "An infantile person isn't anyone's friend," that's because the friendliness of an infantile person doesn't arise except through its serving his own self-aims.

(Friendliness through the gateway of its serving self-aims, is friendliness just for the aims of a "self"; just as distress at the breaking of some material possession is something, in fact, that comes from a loss of self-pleasure.)

(25) In forests, however, wild creatures, birds, and trees never say bad things about you and are happy when befriended. When shall I come to live with them?

(26) Oh when shall I become detached, living in caves, an empty shrine, or at the foot of a tree, and never look back?

(27) When shall I come to live in nature, in vast regions, not privately owned, moving under my own incentive or staying put, without attachment.

(28) When shall I come to live without fears, having (just a few) small things, a (clay) begging bowl and the like, wearing clothes that no one would want, and not even sheltering this body?

(29) When, having gone to a charnel ground, shall I come to compare, with the piles of others' bones, my body, having the nature to rot.

(30) This very body of mine will also become (putrid) like that, and because of its stench, not even the jackals will slink near.

(31) Though this body was born as a single object, the flesh and bones that arose with it will fall apart and go their own ways. What need to mention friends that are other (than it)?

(32) A man is born alone, when taking birth, and dies alone too, when undergoing death. As no one else can take a share of this pain, what can be done by encumbering friends?

(33) Just as the way in which travellers on a road take up a place to lodge, similar is the way in which travellers on the road of compulsive existence take up a rebirth as a place to lodge.

(34) So, let me retire to the forest until four pallbearers haul that body out from there, while all my worldly (relations) grieve.

(35) Let this body stay there in isolation, alone, making neither intimate friends nor conflicts. If I'm already counted as if I were dead, there'll be no mourners when I actually die.

(36) As there'll be no attendants (hovering) nearby, mourning and causing distress, there'll be no one to distract this (hermit) from continuing mindfulness of Buddha and more.

(37) So, let me live in solitude in lovely, delightful forests, with little trouble, happiness and well-being, quieting all distractions.

(38) Having cast off all other intentions, and with my intent single-pointed, I shall strive (there) for settling my mind in absorbed concentration and making it tamed;

(39) (For) lustful desires give rise to disasters in this world and in the next ones as well. In this one, they bring about murder, imprisonment, and knifings, and in the next, joyless realms and the like.

(40) Those (bodies) for which sake, you repeatedly begged before male and female go-betweens, and for which sake, you didn't shrink from either negative behaviour or disgrace,

(41) (For which) you threw yourself even in danger and even spent all your wealth, and embracing which, you experienced the utmost pleasure (of sexual release) –

(42) They were nothing but skeletons, independent, and never yours! Why not push on, (instead,) to Nirvāṇa release, which you can fully embrace to your heart's content?

(43) That face, which, (at your wedding,) you lifted up first with effort and drew near, although it was bashfully looking down, and whether previously seen or not seen (by you), was covered with a veil,

(44) That face, which emotionally disturbed you so, is now unveiled by the vultures and can be directly seen. Why do you run away now?

(45) That (face) which you protected (before) from the leers of others' eyes, why aren't you protecting it now, (jealous) miser, while it's being devoured by them?

(46) Seeing this pile of meat being gulped down by vultures and the rest, (tell me), is the food of others something to be offered with garlands of flowers, jewellery, and sandalwood scent?

(47) If you (experience) fright from seeing even a skeleton, though it lacks any movement, why wasn't there horror when it was set into motion by some (intent), like a zombie.

(48) You lusted after it, even when it was covered, why don't you lust for it (now), when uncovered (from its skin)? If you have no use for it (now), why did you sexually embrace it when covered?

(49) Its excrement and saliva arise from one and the same food; so why, out of the two, do you take no delight in the excrement and yet delight in (a taste of) saliva?

(50) Finding no sexual pleasure in pillows, filled with cotton and soft to the touch, (after all) "They don't exude a foul stench," lustful people are bewildered about excrement.

(51) Lustful, gross, bewildered people, (thinking,) "It's impossible to make love to cotton, soft to the touch," become furious with it (instead).

(52) If you have no attachment for what is foul, why do you sexually embrace another (body): a cagework of bones, bound together with sinews, and plastered over with a mud of flesh?

(53) You yourself contain plenty of excrement, so manage by yourself, steadfastly with that. Glutton for excrement, you long for yet another bag of excrement?

(54) (Thinking,) "But it's the flesh I delight in," you long to touch and look at it. But why have you no desire for the flesh (here,) in its natural state, devoid of a mind?

(55) And whatever mind you might desire, cannot be touched or looked at, and whatever can, hasn't a consciousness. So it's no use! Why do you sexually embrace it?

(56) Though it's no great surprise that you don't understand that another's body, by nature, is something (full of) excrement; but that you don't understand that your very own is, by nature, something (full of) excrement – that's really shocking!

(57) Having rejected the tender lotus, (born from the muck and) opened by the rays of the unclouded sun, what delight is there in a cage-work (of bones, full) of faeces, for a mind obsessed with excrement?

(58) If you don't wish to touch soil and places that are smeared with excrement, how is it that you wish to touch the body out of which it was excreted?

(59) If you have no attachment for what is foul, why do you sexually embrace another (body): the seed of which grew from a field (full) of excrement and was nourished by it.

(60) Is it because of its tininess that you don't long for a foul maggot, born from excrement? You desire, in fact, a body, also born from excrement, (since) by nature, it's (full) of a lot of excrement!

(61) Not only do you not disparage the excremental nature of yourself, you glutton for excrement, you long for other bags of excrement too!

(62) Whether it's refreshing (chews) with camphor and the like, or cooked rice with vegetable curries, once put in the mouth and then spat out or vomited, even the ground becomes filthy and foul.

(63) If you still have doubts about its being, like this, in the nature of excrement, though it's so obvious, look at the (ghastly) foul bodies of others, thrown away in the charnel ground.

(64) When the skin is torn open, great horror comes up from it. Knowing just that, how can delight come up any more from that very same thing?

(65) And that smell sloshed on the body is from sandalwood and such things, not from the other (person). So why are you attracted to someone else by the smell of something other?

(66) If, because of its naturally foul smell, there's no attraction to it, isn't that fortunate? Why do people in this world, who relish what's useless, slosh it with sweet smelling things?

(67) Well then, if what has the sweet smell is sandalwood, what comes from the body in this case? So why are you attracted to someone else by the smell of something other?

(68) If the natural state of the body is totally horrific – naked, coated with a tarnish of grime, its hair and nails long, its teeth yellow and stained –

(69) Why spruce it up with (so much) hard work, like a weapon for inflicting self-harm? (Oh dear,) this world is truly bustling with madmen working so hard deluding themselves!

(70) Having seen merely a few skeletons, you were so turned off in the charnel ground; yet you find sexual pleasure in charnel-ground cities crowded with moving skeletons?

(71) Further, that (bag) full of excrement like that isn't obtained without a price: there's exhaustion in earning (money) for its sake and torment (later) in joyless realms and the like.

(72) It's not possible to build up wealth as a child, so as a teenager, what is there to get pleasure with? Spending adulthood accumulating wealth, what can an old person do with sexual desires?

(73) Some people, (though) having gross desires, exhaust themselves with work all day long and, coming home (at night), their bodies spent, drop down asleep like the dead.

(74) Some must go abroad (on army expeditions) and, with disturbing emotions, have the suffering of being far away. Longing for their children and wives, they don't see their children and wives, though the years roll by.

(75) Confused by desires for what would be of self-benefit, they even sell themselves for the sake of that which they never obtain, and so (toil) pointlessly, driven by the winds of others' karmic whims.

(76) And the wives of some of those who have sold their own bodies and must follow others' orders, powerlessly, have to give birth to their children, with them plopping out at the feet of trees or in desolate places.

(77) (Some) foolish people, deceived by desires, wishing to make a livelihood, thinking, "I'll earn a living," enter into war, (thus) risking their lives, or go into servitude for the sake of self-gain.

(78) Some, having greed, are even bodily mutilated and some get impaled on spikes. Some are seen being stabbed with daggers and some even burned alive.

(79) With the torments (involved) in amassing, protecting, and losing it, know that material advantage is a disadvantage without an end: (for) those distracted by obsession with wealth haven't the time to free themselves from the sufferings of compulsive existence.

(80) (Thus,) for those with desire, drawbacks like these and more are abundant and (any) tastes of pleasure are paltry, like the snatches of a few mouthfuls of grass (won) by an ox while pulling a cart.

(81) For the sake of that paltry taste of pleasure, not hard to find for even an ox, this hard-to-find splendour of respites and endowments is destroyed by those who waste their (good) karma.

(82) Whatever hardships there are in exhausting yourself all the time for the sake of the puny desires (of the body) that will definitely perish and (consequently) fall to joyless realms and worse,

(83) With one millionth of the hardship, there would be Buddhahood; whereas those with desires have suffering greater than those engaged in Bodhisattva behaviour, and yet they have no enlightenment.

(84) Neither weapons, poison, fire, precipices, nor foes compare with desires when I think of the tortures of joyless realms and the like.

(85) Recoiling from desires in this way, I shall enhance my delight in solitude. In peaceful forests, devoid of strife and emotional disturbance,

(86) Amongst (beautiful) boulders, huge as palaces, cooled by the sandalwood rays of the moon, joyfully roam the fortunate ones, fanned by the silent, gentle, forest breezes, reflecting on the aims of benefiting others.

(87) Staying anywhere, for as long as desired – in an empty shelter, at the foot of a tree, or in caves – those rid of the strain of safeguarding possessions live relaxed, without any cares,

(88) Acting according to their own intent, without attachments, not bound by anyone, savouring the joy of contentment, difficult to find for even powerful rulers.

(89) Having considered, with aspects such as these and more, the benefits of dissociating (myself), and thus fully quieting my rambling thoughts, I shall meditate on Bodhichitta.

(90) First, I shall meditate strongly on the equality of myself and others (in this way): as everyone's a fellow being, having happiness and pain, (others) are to be cared for (by me) in the same way as I am.

(91) Just as, despite its many parts, with divisions into hands and so on, the body's to be cared for as a whole; similarly, despite the differences among wandering beings, yet in regard to happiness and pain, they're all equal to myself in wishing to be happy, and (thus form) a whole.

(92) Although my own pain doesn't hurt the bodies of others, yet being, like that, the pain of a “me,” it's unbearable, because of clinging to a "me."

(93) Likewise, though the pain of others doesn't befall me, yet being, like that, the pain of a “me,” it's (also) difficult to bear, because of clinging to a "me."

(94) Thus, the pain of others is something to be eliminated by me, because of its (nature as) pain, like the pain of a "me"; and others are beings to be helped by me, because of their (natures as) limited beings, like the body of a "me."

(95) When happiness is something equally liked, both by myself and others, what's so special about me that I strive after happiness for myself alone?

(96) And when suffering is something equally disliked, both by myself and others, what's so special about me that I take care of myself and not others?

(97) If it's because their suffering doesn't harm me that I don't safeguard them, why safeguard myself against future (life) suffering, if it doesn't harm me (now)?

(98) That notion is distorted that thinks, "But I'm the one who'll experience it," for, like this, it's someone else who has died and someone else who takes birth.

(99) If whatever suffering anyone has must be taken care of by that one himself, then since the foot's suffering is not the hand's, why is that to be taken care of by it?

(100) If it's the case that (ignoring) it would be illogical and so here it's undertaken from a sense of a (whole) self; well then, surely what's illogical regarding (the whole formed by) myself and others is something to be dismissed, as much as I can.

(101) What are called "a continuum" and "a group," such as a rosary, an army, and the like, are not truly (a findable whole), and so, since a possessor of suffering doesn't exist, whose responsibility is it (as "mine")?

(102) In their being without an owner, all sufferings lack a distinction: so it's (simply) because they're suffering that they're to be averted. Why are there fixed (limitations) made here?

(103) "But why is the suffering of everyone to be averted?" Well, it's indisputable: if (anyone's) is to be averted, then everyone's is to be averted; if not, (that applies) to me as well, just like to (every other) limited being.

(104) "But with compassion there's much suffering, so why develop it with (such) effort?" Well, having thought about the sufferings of wandering beings, how could the suffering of compassion be much?

(105) If the suffering of many disappears through the suffering of one, that suffering would be something that someone with loving compassion would bring on, for the sake of himself and others.

(106) Thus Supuṣpacandra, though knowing the punishment (he'd receive) from the king, didn't avoid the suffering for himself in order to dispel the sufferings of many.

(107) Those with mental continuums accustomed like this, and who (hold equally) dear quelling the sufferings of others, plunge themselves into even (a joyless realm of) unrelenting pain like a swan into a lotus pond.

(108) And then, as limited beings are liberated, they have oceans of joy: these are the ones (who've gained real fulfilment). Wouldn't that be sufficient? What is there with the wish for (insipid) liberation?

(109) Thus, even though working for the benefit of others, there's no conceit; there's no amazement; there's no hoping for a ripened result (for oneself), when it's with an appetite exclusively for what benefits others.

(110) Therefore, just as I safeguard myself against becoming debased, to the tiniest extent, likewise, I shall act like that toward others with a protective mind and a mind of compassion.

(111) Just as, out of familiarity, there's an understanding of a "me" regarding drops of semen and blood belonging to others, despite it's not existing as some "thing,"

(112) Why couldn't I likewise take as "me" a body that belongs to someone else? (After all,) it's not difficult to set it, in the same way, as something other than a body that's "mine."

(113) (So,) having understood the faultiness of (cherishing) myself and the oceans of advantages of (cherishing) others, I shall meditate on discarding my way of taking a “me,” and extend it to others.

(114) Just as the hand and so on are held dear through their being the limbs of the body, why couldn't beings having a body be similarly held dear through their being limbs of wandering life?

(115) Just as, out of familiarity, an attitude of "me" has come about with respect to this body (of mine), despite its lacking a “me,” likewise, out of familiarity, why couldn't an attitude of "me" arise with respect to other limited beings as well?

(116) Even though working, like that, for the benefit of others, amazement or conceit doesn't arise: it's like the hope for a reward doesn't arise from feeding food to myself.

(117) Therefore, just as I safeguard myself against becoming debased, to the tiniest extent, likewise, I'll habituate myself to having a protective mind and a mind of compassion toward (all) wandering beings.

(118) That's why, out of great compassion, the Guardian Avalokiteśvara has elevated even (the power of) his own name to dispel the fears of wandering beings, (such as shyness) in front an audience.

(119) So, I shall not turn away from what's difficult to do, since, through the force of familiarity like this, that very person whose name I was even afraid to hear (can become) someone, without whom, I can have no joy.

(120) Thus, anyone who wishes to give safe direction swiftly to himself and others needs to practice the most sacred secret: the exchange of self with others.

(121) Because of sticky attachment to this body as "me," from even small situations for fear, fear arises. So who wouldn't reject, like a fear-inspiring foe, such a body (as "me")?

(122) (This) body, which, with the wish to remedy afflictions such as hunger, thirst, and the like, kills fowl, fish, and deer and hides by the road in ambush (to steal),

(123) And which, because of profit and shows of respect, would murder even its father and mother, and, by stealing the property of the Triple Gem, would burn in (a joyless realm of) unrelenting pain –

(124) What wise man would desire, protect, and venerate such a body (as "me")? Who wouldn't view it as a foe and not scorn it?

(125) "If I were to give, what would I have to enjoy myself?" Such thinking of my own self-aims is the way of clutching ghosts. "If I were to enjoy it myself, what would I have to give?" Such thinking of the aims of others is a quality of the divine.

(126) Paining others for my own self-aims, I'll be tormented in joyless realms and the like; but paining myself for the aims of others, I'll acquire all glories.

(127) Through the wish for just myself to advance come the worse rebirth states, low status, and stupidity; but transferring that very (wish) to others brings the better rebirth states, honour, (and intelligence).

(128) Ordering others around for my own self-aims, I'll experience being a servant and worse; but ordering myself around for the aims of others, I'll experience being a lord and better.

(129) All whosoever who are happy in the world are (so) through the wish for the happiness of others; while all whosoever who are miserable in the world are (so) through the wish for the happiness of themselves.

(130) But what need is there to elaborate more? Just look at the difference between the two: an infantile person acting for his own self-aims and Sage (Buddha) acting for the aims of others.

(131) For those who haven't exchanged their happiness for the sufferings of others, Buddhahood'll be impossible to attain and there'll be no happiness even in Saṁsāra.

(132) Leave aside the hereafter, not even the aims of this see-able life will be fulfilled for a waged servant not doing his work and a master not paying his wages.

(133) Dropping the production of happiness (for one another) – a festival of glorious happiness in (this) see-able (life) and unsee-able (beyond) – bewildered people grab hold, instead, of unbearable suffering, because of causing suffering to one another.

(134) Whatever violence there is in the world, and as much fear and suffering as there is, all of it arises from grasping at a self: so what use is that terrible demon to me?

(135) If I don't fully drop (such) a self, I won't be able to drop my suffering; just as if I don't fully drop a fire, I won't be able to drop being burned.

(136) Therefore, for the sake of quelling my own suffering and for quelling the sufferings of others as well, I shall give myself over to others, and take (others) on as myself.

(137) O mind, decide for sure, "I'm under the governance of others." Except for the welfare of all limited beings, you're not going to have other intentions now.

(138) It's inappropriate (to look) to accomplish my own self-aims with eyes and so on governed by others; it's also inappropriate to dally improperly (for my own self-aims) with (hands), eyes and so on (given over) to them.

(139) Taking limited beings as the boss through that (view), whatever you see on this body of mine, rob each and every one of them and use it for the benefit of others.

(140) Creating in lesser beings and so forth (the sense of) a "me" and creating in yourself (the sense of) others, meditate on envy, rivalry, and arrogance (like this), with a mind free from prejudiced thoughts:

(141) "This one's shown respect, but I'm not; I don't have wealth like this one has. This one's praised, but I'm belittled; this one has happiness, but I have suffering;

(142) "I do all the work, while this one lives (a life of) ease. This one's renowned in the world as superior, while I as inferior, without any good qualities.

(143) "But how could (any work) be done by someone having no good qualities? Thus, all of us possess good qualities! (And, after all,) there are those among whom this one is inferior and there are those among whom I'm in fact superior.

(144) "Such things as the decline of my ethical discipline and outlook are due to disturbing emotions, and not from their being under my control. I need to be healed to the best of his ability: I even readily accept the pain (involved).

(145) "But (not only) does this one not treat me as someone to be healed, why does he look down on me? What use are his good qualities to me, when this one is the 'me' having good qualities?

(146) "With no compassion in this one for wandering beings caught in the jaws of the carnivorous beast of the worse rebirth states, and with arrogance (instead) toward everybody else about his own good qualities, he wants to outdo the skilled masters!"

(147) "Perceiving me on (his) same level, he would (struggle to) secure the material gain and show of respect that I have, even through contentious means, for the sake of increasing his own lead, in any way.

(148) "But if my own good qualities were to be evident throughout the whole world, then, by contrast, any good qualities this one might have wouldn't be heard of by anyone.

(149) "And if my own shortcomings were to be concealed, then offerings would be made to me, not to him. Material gain, today, would be well accruing to me and honours would be coming to me, not to this one.

(150) "And we would (all) look on, with delight, as this one, finally, is put down as incompetent, made the laughing stock of all wandering beings, and reviled all around."

(151) "(Further,) it's come out that this deluded (miserable) being is even (enviously) in competition with me. But how could the learning, intelligence, physique, class, or wealth of this one be the equal of mine?

(152) "That being so and hearing my own good qualities proclaimed everywhere, I shall feast on a banquet of joy, so delighted that the hairs on my body will stand up on end.

(153) "Even if this one might somehow come to have material gain, if he's doing work for us, he's to be given merely enough to live on and the rest is to be taken forcefully by us.

(154) "This one is to be brought down from his (idle) state of ease and invariably linked to the harms we've experienced. For hundreds of times, all around, we've been harmed in recurring Saṁsāra by this one."

(155) O mind, countless eons have passed in your obsessive quest for your own self-aims; yet, with such enormous exhaustion as that, all you've procured is just suffering.

(156) Please, definitely engage yourself like that (right now) for the aims of others; then you'll see the benefits of that in the future, since the words of the Sage are never wrong.

(157) If, in the past, it would have occurred that you had taken this action, then a situation like this would never have occurred, in which you've been freed (instead) of the bliss of success as a Buddha!

(158) Therefore, just as you've placed the sense of a "me" onto drops of the semen and blood of others, likewise, make it a habit (of placing it) onto those of others as well.

(159) Having become a scout for others, whatever you see on this body of mine, rob each and every one of them and use it for the benefit of others.

(160) "This 'me' is happy, the others are unhappy;
this 'me' is lofty, the others are lowly;
this 'me' does what's of (self) benefit, others do not,"

- thinking (like that), why wouldn't you engender envy toward yourself?

(161) So, deprive yourself of your happiness and take onto yourself the sufferings of others. Investigate what's the fault of this “me,” by asking, "When does this one do anything (for others)?"

(162) Any mistake that others might make, transform it (by seeing it) as the fault of this "me"; but any, even minor mistake that this "me" might make, openly admit it to many people.

(163) With declarations that the renown of others is superior, let it outshine the renown of this "me"; and like the lowest of servants, set this "me" to (doing) what's of benefit for all.

(164) Don't praise this naturally fault-ridden one for some (tiny) share of temporary good qualities; (rather) act such that none will ever know, somehow, of any good qualities that this one might have.

(165) In short, any harmful act you've done to others for the sake of your own self-aims, let that (very same) harm descend on yourself, for the sake of the aims of limited beings.

(166) Never give any strengthening to this one so that he would become boisterous; make him, (instead,) behave like a newlywed bride, bashful, timid, and restrained.

(167) "Do that! Remain like that! Don't you ever act like that!" This one's to be brought under control like that and knocked down, if he ever transgresses beyond that.

(168) But even when being instructed like that, if you don't act in that way, O mind, then since all wrongs depend on you, it's exactly you whom I shall knock down.

(169) That time before was different, when I was being ruined by you. But (now) I see you; so where can you go? I'm going to knock all the arrogance out of you.

(170) Throw away, now, any hope, "I still have my own self-interest." I've sold you to others, so don't think of your weariness; I've offered your energies (to them).

(171) If, because of not caring, I don't hand you over to limited beings, then, for sure, you'll hand me over to the guards of the joyless realms.

(172) I've been handed over, like that, many times by you and long tormented; but now, recalling those grudges, I shall smash you, you creature of self-interest.

(173) If you want self-happiness, don't work for happiness in yourself; if you want self-protection, protect always others.

(174) To whatever degree this body is pampered, to that degree it degenerates to a state of becoming ever more dainty.

(175) And when it's degenerated like that, not even this entire (wealth-bearing) earth has the ability to fulfil its longings; so, who will be able to grant its desires?

(176) For someone desiring the impossible, disturbing emotion and the dashing of hopes come about; but for someone having no hopes for anything, his fulfilment never knows an end.

(177) Therefore, don't leave the chance open for an increase in desire concerning the body. That object is best, which isn't taken because of its being desirable.

(178) It winds up as ashes in the end and, (even when alive,) being inert, it's set into motion by something else - this filthy form is (truly) ghastly. Why grasp to it as "mine?"

(179) Whether it's alive or dead, what use is this device to me? What difference does it have from a lump of clay and such things? But, oh no, you're not removing your pride (of identifying with it)!

(180) Suffering accumulates pointlessly through being partial toward the body; so what use is being fawning or angry over this thing that resembles a block of wood?

(181) Whether nurtured by me in this way or devoured by vultures and such, it doesn't have sticky attachment or anger, so why do I have sticky attachment to it?

(182) Something getting furious at being belittled or something getting pleased at being praised – if it doesn't know to be either of these, for whom am I exhausting myself?

(183) "But those who desire this body – they and I are friends." Well, since everyone desires the body of oneself, why aren't they as dear to me too?

(184) Therefore, without partiality, this body's been given over by me for the benefit of wandering beings. Nevertheless, though it has many faults, it needs to be held like a tool for the job.

(185) So enough of behaving like an infant, I'm following in the footsteps of the wise! (Thus,) recalling the teaching on taking care, I shall turn back sleepiness and being muddleheaded.

(186) Like the compassionate offspring of the Triumphant, I shall bear the rigors of what's appropriate (to do); for if I don't make a constant effort, day and night, when will my suffering ever come to an end?

(187) Therefore, withdrawing my mind from distorted pathways, I shall continuously set it in absorbed concentration on the perfect object, in order for its obscuration to be gone.