Dhp XI
Jaravagga: Aging
translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu
Alternate translation: Buddharakkhita
Alternate format: [PDF icon]
What laughter, why joy, when constantly aflame? Enveloped in darkness, don't you look for a lamp?
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.
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.
On seeing these bones discarded like gourds in the fall, pigeon-gray: what delight?
A city made of bones, plastered over with flesh & blood, whose hidden treasures are: pride & contempt, aging & death.
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.
This unlistening man matures like an ox. His muscles develop, his discernment not.
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 dismantled, immersed in dismantling, the mind has attained to the end of craving.
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.