THE TWIN TRUTHS
After reading THE BUDDHA’S WAY OF VIRTUE we will go through “The Twin Truths“. For the proper understanding of Buddhism, these opening stanzas are all-important. One of the Buddha’s key-thoughts was what modern psychologists call the “law of apperception”: the value of things depends upon our attitude to them.
Part of Gautama’s work of reform was a “transvaluation of values,” a shifting of emphasis; and, like the Stoics, he taught the indifference of the things of sense. “Men are disturbed,” said Epictetus, “not by things, but by the view they take of things.”
- Mind it is which gives to things their quality, their foundation, and their being: whoso speaks or acts with the impure mind, him sorrow dogs, as the wheel follows the steps of the draught-ox.
- Mind it is which gives to things their quality, their foundation, and their being: whoso speaks or acts with the purified mind, his happiness accompanies as his faithful shadow.
- “He has abused me, beaten me, worsted me, robbed me”; those who dwell upon such thoughts never lose their hate.
- “He has abused me, beaten me, worsted me, robbed me “; those who dwell: not upon such thoughts are free of hate.
- Never does hatred cease by hating; by not hating does it cease: this is the ancient law.
- If some there are who know not by such hatred we are perishing, and some there are who know it, then by their knowledge strife is ended.
- As the wind throws down a shady tree, so Mara (Death) overwhelms him who is a seeker after vanity, uncontrolled, intemperate, slothful, and effeminate.
- But whoso keeps his eyes from vanity, controlled and temperate, faithful and strenuous, Mara cannot overthrow, as the wind beating against a rocky crag.
- Though an impure man dons the pure yellow robe (of the Bhikkhu), himself uninduced with temperance and truth, he is not worthy of the pure yellow robe.
- He who has doffed his impurities, calm and clothed upon with temperance and truth, he wears the pure robe worthily.
- Those who mistake the shadow for the substance, and the substance for the shadow, never attain the reality, following wandering fires (lit. followers of a false pursuit).
- But if a man knows the substance and the shadow as they are, he attains the reality, following the true trail.
- As the rain pours into the ill-thatched house, so lust pours into the undisciplined mind.
- As rain cannot enter the well-thatched house, so lust finds no entry into the disciplined mind.
- Here and hereafter the sinner mourns: yea mourns and is in torment, knowing the vileness of his deeds.
- Here and hereafter the good man is glad: yea is glad and rejoices, knowing that his deeds are pure.
- Here and hereafter the sinner is in torment: tormented by the thought “I have sinned”; yea rather tormented when he goes to hell.
- Here and hereafter the good man rejoices; rejoices as he thinks “I have done well”: yea rather rejoices when he goes to a heaven.
- If a man is a great preacher of the sacred text, but slothful and no doer of it, he is a hireling shepherd, who has no part in the flock.
- If a man preaches but a little of the text and practices the teaching, putting away lust and hatred and infatuation; if he is truly wise and detached and seeks nothing here or hereafter, his lot is with the holy ones.