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Chapter Twenty -- The Path

  1. Of all paths the Eightfold Path is the
    best; of all truths the Four Noble Truths are the
    best; of all things passionlessness is the best;
    of people the Seeing One (the Buddha) is the best.
  2. This is the only way: there is none other
    for the purification of insight. Tread this path,
    and you will bewilder Mara.
  3. Walking upon this path you will make an
    end of suffering. Having discovered how to pull
    out the thorn of lust, I expound the path.
  4. You yourselves must strive; the Buddhas only point the way. Those meditative ones who
    tread the path are released from the bonds of Mara.
  5. "All conditioned things are impermanent"
    --when one sees this with wisdom one
    turns away from suffering. This is the
    path to purification.
  6. "All conditioned things are unsatisfactory" --when one sees this with wisdom one
    turns away from suffering. This is the
    path to purification.
  7. "All things are not self"--when one sees
    this with wisdom one turns away from suffering.
    This is the path to purification.
  8. The idler who does not exert oneself
    when one should, who though young and strong is
    full of sloth, with a mind full of vain thoughts--
    such an indolent person does not find the
    path to wisdom.
  9. Watchful of speech, well controlled in
    mind, let a person not commit evil with the body.
    Let one purify these three courses of action,
    and win the path made known by the Great Sage.
  10. Wisdom springs from meditation, without
    meditation wisdom wanes. Having known these
    two paths of progress and decline, let a person
    so conduct oneself that one's wisdom may increase.
  11. Cut down the forest (of lust), but not
    the tree. From the forest (of lust) springs fear.
    Having cut down the forest and the underbrush
    (of desire), be passionless, O renunciates!
  12. For so long as the underbrush of desire,
    even the most subtle, of a person towards another
    is not cut down, one's mind is in bondage, like
    the sucking calf to its mother.
  13. Cut off your affection in the manner
    a person plucks with one's hand an autumn lotus.
    Cultivate only the path to peace, to Nibbana,
    as made known by the Exalted One.
  14. "Here shall I live during the rains, here
    in winter and summer"--thus thinks the fool.
    One does not realize the danger
    (that death might intervene).
  15. As a great flood carries away a sleeping
    village, just so death seizes and carries away a
    person with a clinging mind, doting on one's
    children and cattle.
  16. For one who is assailed by death there is
    no protection by kinsmen. None there are to save
    one--no sons, nor father nor relatives.
  17. Realizing this fact, let the wise person, restrained by morality, hasten to clear the path leading to Nibbana.

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