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Dhammapada VIII

Thousands

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100-102*:
    Better
than if there were thousands
of meaningless words is
    one
    meaningful
    word
that on hearing
brings peace.

    Better
than if there were thousands
of meaningless verses is
    one
    meaningful
    verse
that on hearing
brings peace.

And better than chanting hundreds
of meaningless verses is
    one
    Dhamma-saying
that on hearing
brings peace.


103-105:

Greater in battle
than the man who would conquer
a thousand-thousand men,
is he who would conquer
just one --
        himself.

Better to conquer yourself
    than others.
When you've trained yourself,
living in constant self-control,
neither a deva nor gandhabba,
nor a Mara banded with Brahmas,
could turn that triumph
back into defeat.


106-108*:

You could, month by month,
    at a cost of thousands,
conduct sacrifices
    a hundred times,
        or
pay a single moment's homage
    to one person,
    self-cultivated.
Better than a hundred years of sacrifices
would that act of homage be.

You could, for a hundred years,
live in a forest
    tending a fire,
        or
pay a single moment's homage
    to one person,
    self-cultivated.
Better than a hundred years of sacrifices
would that act of homage be.

Everything offered
or sacrificed in the world
for an entire year by one seeking merit
doesn't come to a fourth.
    Better to pay respect
    to those who've gone
    the straight way.


109:

If you're respectful by habit,
constantly honoring the worthy,
four things increase:
    long life, beauty,
    happiness, strength.


110-115:

Better than a hundred years
lived without virtue, uncentered, is
    one day
lived by a virtuous person
absorbed in jhana.

And better than a hundred years
lived undiscerning, uncentered, is
    one day
lived by a discerning person
absorbed in jhana.

And better than a hundred years
lived apathetic & unenergetic, is
    one day
lived energetic & firm.

And better than a hundred years
lived without seeing
arising & passing away, is
    one day
lived seeing
arising & passing away.

And better than a hundred years
lived without seeing
the Deathless state, is
    one day
lived seeing
the Deathless state.

And better than a hundred years
lived without seeing
the ultimate Dhamma, is
    one day
lived seeing
the ultimate Dhamma.


Revised: Sun 3 October 1999
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/canon/khuddaka/dhp/8.html