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Dhammapada XI

Aging

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146:
What laughter, why joy,
when constantly aflame?
    Enveloped in darkness,
don't you look for a lamp?


147:

Look at the beautified image,
a heap of festering wounds, shored up:
ill, but the object
    of many resolves,
where there is nothing
    lasting or sure.


148:

Worn out is this body,
a nest of diseases, dissolving.
This putrid conglomeration
is bound to break up,
for life is hemmed in with death.


149:

On seeing these bones
    discarded
like gourds in the fall,
    pigeon-gray:
            what delight?


150:

A city made of bones,
plastered over with flesh & blood,
whose hidden treasures are:
    pride & contempt,
    aging & death.


151:

Even royal chariots
well-embellished
get run down,
and so does the body
succumb to old age.
But the Dhamma of the good
doesn't succumb to old age:
the good let the civilized know.


152*:

This unlistening man
matures like an ox.
His muscles develop,
his discernment     not.


153-154*:

Through the round of many births I roamed
    without reward,
    without rest,
seeking the house-builder.
    Painful is birth
    again & again.

House-builder, you're seen!
You will not build a house again.
All your rafters broken,
the ridge pole destroyed,
gone to the Unformed, the mind
has come to the end of craving.


155-156:

Neither living the chaste life
nor gaining wealth in their youth,
they waste away like old herons
in a dried-up lake
depleted of fish.

Neither living the chaste life
nor gaining wealth in their youth,
they lie around,
misfired from the bow,
sighing over old times.


Revised: Sun 3 October 1999
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/canon/khuddaka/dhp/11.html