One night is long to the wakeful.
Seven miles is far for the weary.
To the deluded one who do no know Dhamma,
the cycle of birth and death is endless.
If while walking the path
you fail to meet your equal or better,
steadfastly make your way alone.
The deluded are not fit companions.
The deluded one worries, thinking,
“I have sons. I have wealth.”
He has not even himself,
much less sons or wealth.
The deluded one who knows he is deluded
is to that extent clear.
The deluded one who thinks he sees clearly
is truly deluded.
A deluded man may associate
With an Awakened One his whole life,
yet remain unaware of Dhamma.
Much as the spoon cannot taste soup.
A mindful man, however,
may only briefly encounter an Awakened One,
yet instantly know Dhamma.
Much as the tongue immediately tastes soup.
The deluded one, unaware of his delusion,
is an enemy unto himself.
Committing ignorant deeds,
he reaps bitter fruit.
Deeds done in ignorance bring regret.
Suffering and repentance are extracted.
Weeping covers the face with tears.
Deeds done in Awareness bring no regret.
Joy and happiness well up
and are gladly received.
The deluded one thinks evil tastes sweet
until the consequences ripen.
When the consequences ripen,
there is only misery.
A deluded ascetic may month after month
measure his food with the tip of a blade of grass.
Yet he is not worth a sixteenth part
of one who knows Dhamma.
Like fresh milk,
an evil deed does not immediately sour.
It follows the deluded one,
smoldering like coals covered with ashes,
until it is ready to burn.
For the deluded one,
even spiritual knowledge is harmful.
It goes to his head and causes imbalance.
The deluded aspirant desires unwarranted honors,
preeminence among his fellows,
authority in the monastery,
homage from surrounding households.
“Let both householder and monk believe that I,
my personal self, have achieved great wisdom.
Let them come to me for guidance in all things.”
This is the intention of the deluded aspirant –
to feed desire and pride.
One road leads to earthly delights,
another leads to Nirvana.
Let the observer of the Way of Buddha
delight not in honors but in solitude.