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Chapter Eleven -- Old Age

  1. When this world is ever ablaze, why
    this laughter, why this jubilation? Shrouded in
    darkness, why don't you seek the light?
  2. Behold this body, a painted image,
    a mass of heaped up sores--infirm, full of
    hankering, with nothing lasting or stable.
  3. Fully worn out is this body, a nest of
    disease, and fragile. This foul mass breaks up,
    for death is the end of life.
  4. These dove-coloured bones are like
    gourds that lie scattered about in autumn; having
    seen them, how can one seek delight?
  5. The body is a city built of bones, plastered
    with flesh and blood, containing within decay and
    death, pride and jealousy.
  6. Even gorgeous royal chariots wear out,
    and indeed this body too wears out. But the
    Dhamma of the good does not age; thus the good
    make it known to the good.
  7. Persons of little learning grow old like
    a bull: they grow only in bulk, but their wisdom
    does not grow.
  8. Through many a birth in samsara have I
    wandered in vain, seeking the builder of this
    house (of life). Repeated birth is indeed suffering!
  9. O house-builder, you are seen! You
    will not build this house again. For your rafters
    are broken and your ridgepole shattered. My
    mind has reached the Unconditioned:
    I have attained the destruction of craving.
  10. Those who in youth have not led the
    holy life, or have failed to acquire wealth, languish
    like old cranes in a pond without fish.
  11. Those who in youth have not led the
    holy life, or have failed to acquire wealth, lie
    like worn-out arrows (shot from) a bow, sighing
    over the past.

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