Poetry


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I Work More Than I Can Bear


I work more than I can bear, but  
     am happy hearted enough to leap and dance. 
This is because my mind thinks and aims 
     only to live in line with the Dhamma, 
Wherever the causes and conditions lead, 
     according to the karma I laid down in former moments. 
To die is like a pause from work, 
     to sleep for a night, to rest for a time; 
With the new dawn, I take up the work 
     vigorously carrying on the work left over from before. 
The new day is a new birth, these two are the same: 
     born with the day and dying at night, 
As the waves of the samsaric cycles create   
     the myriad products that soothe and comfort our hearts. 
Whoever wishes for joy and bliss must know  
     that it depends on the one who can see joy for himself. 
As for me, there is no meaning beyond 
     the fact that I was born only to work 
According to conditions, so that myself and others 
     will know the world, conquer it, and vanquish sorrow. 
Nature created us perfectly, physically and mentally 
     thriving — boundless thanks to Nature! 
Although we are created for birth, decay, and death, 
     yet Nature gives me the chance to vie 
Struggle, and contend in all duties to break ahead 
     in order to reach the end before anyone else. 
While friends encourage each other to lie around, 
     I am working hard as if they were chasing behind. 
The duties of life that besiege constantly 
     are like debts ever piling up on top of me 
Blocking my way almost like a whirlpool, 
     when will I pass beyond and find the place of freedom and peace? 
From here to Nibbana we must pass through  
     the checkpoint which is the work of our lives 
This Law is more certain than any scales; 
     no matter how skilled, no one can escape this rule. 
For this reason, in any activity that 
     aims for the benefit of others or oneself 
We should hurry, struggle, and strive  
     to make it beautiful and work off our debt to Nature. 
Until the heart’s attachments to all things  
     weaken, dissolve, and fade away 
So that wisdom sees directly that greed, anger, 
     and delusion are finished and samsara stopped. 
Hurry friends, don't be late! 
     Whatever work you may meet, tackle it immediately. 
Much work may bring a faster death, 
     but it rolls along towards the final rest, just the same. 

     

Sirivayasa
13 February 1938
(translated by Santikaro Bhikkhu)

Discussing Dhamma


Well, Brother, do you have any Dhamma to discuss?
Babbling all the time, lil' bro', you'll go crazy!

For what reasons do you say such a thing?
Dhamma is here to be practiced!

If we don't study, then how can we practice?
Infatuated with studies you'll only get stuck!

Shouldn't we ask questions according to our doubts?
You think an obsessive questioner can grasp the Dhamma!

You mean discussions and debates are worthless?
Merely the celebrations of those who boast until dawn!

How then can we appreciate Dhamma's profundity?
Catch all the angles and tricks of dukkha every time!

❖      

Insane For Them To Cheer


There's a lot of wanting to look good,
but it's much more difficult to do.
So they get carried away as if crazy;
Aren't we silly, we people, creating ourselves!

Thinking it's right, it's good, following the advice 
of ghosts, so they lose the path of morality ...
sunk in the mud beneath the lotus's roots
... blossoming all over not at all fragrant.

This makes them push ahead as if crazy
getting upset revealing their lunacy even more
showing off their very craziness,
boy it's hard to really do good.

❖      

Thai Identity


The Nation, Religion, and Royalty
together make up the broad
Thai Identity
with mothers, fathers, teachers,
and the monks connecting all the virtues.

Hurry to summon Thai strength without doubts,
not turning away from morals as supporting action
extending long lives as a sign of merit
that upholds
Thainess securely.

Not recklessly intoxicated with our fame
as if addicted to an opium of infatuation,
or will forever crush Thai without even knowing,
whoever aims to protect Thainess should consider well.

     

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Why Leave Home?


What sort of going forth is correct?
The kind that aims straight for liberation!

Can't you stay at home just as well?
Sure, but it isn't nearly as convenient!

How is being a wanderer speedier?
Ones feet are lighter when not carrying a house!

Where is liberation found before time runs out?
In not clinging to anything to tie you up!

What is given up to not get all trussed up?
Give up hugging all the fruits one might find!

How do we give it up so as not to be strangled? 
Simple let go of self and all self's stuff!

❖      

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Work


That work gives humanity its true value 
and is of the highest honor there's no doubt. 
If one enjoys work with a blossoming heart, 
soon knowledge of Dhamma deeply pervades.

Because work is the very essence of Dhammic living, 
superbly bringing together wholesome virtues, 
By analogy, compare the intelligent sharpshooter
who with a single shot bags a sack full of birds.

Naturally, work is to be done mindfully, 
with calm focus, patience, and industry, 
with honesty, self-control, and intelligence, 
with faith and courage, truly love your work.

The more one works, the more these dhammas flourish
promoting the transcendent shore without pause; 
seeing the universal characteristics in everything, 
in a flash plunging into vimutti* and freeing itself.

     

(*) Vimutti = liberation, release

The World Today


Sometimes I have a chat with “God,”
Who looks after this trembling world
With so much tolerance, kindness, and care, 
Yet the world’s beings still tremble and quake.

The world is stinking drunk on materialism,
Heartbroken with pains worse than violent death.
“Living dead” hour to hour as if life is a joke 
Is worse than dying just once into the coffin.

Whatever they attempt, they still miss seeing the path,
Too terrified of giving up and abandoning everything.
It will happen only when Dhamma returns just in time
And the world turns towards the joy of Sri Araya’s Age.*

❖      

(*) Sri Araya Mettaya is popularly believed to be the next Buddha, who will usher in an era of peace and universal kindness.

Noble Arahant


Arahant is perfectly “right,
both freed from every kind of dukkha
and realized in the fullness of humanity,
more worthy of respect than any other.

Having broken the cycles of samsara,
without a self to be reborn in any place,
beyond good and bad, right and wrong — 
just a mind void of “me
and “mine.

Heart freed of everything that ever claimed it,
with no dangers or poisons left to harm,
beyond birth and death. Check it out,
so that you realize Nibbana just like them.

❖      

Hey, It Can Change!


Whatever must be done, do it joyfully,
No need for even a hair's breath of suffering.
Why foolishly gnaw on life like an old bone, 
Making human birth nothing but misery!

Incompetent at adjusting one's mind to the facts,
Making life torture and assassinating the joy
One ought to find every moment everywhere.
Roasting oneself to a crisp — what fun is that?

Come on folks, give this some intelligent thought:
This human birth, in what way is it any good?
It ought to be good at freedom from suffering — 
Suffering itself will never amount to anything of value.

     

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A Real Blessing That Works


May the Virtues of the Buddha
The highest refuge without doubt
Protect all of you dedicated
To practicing the true path devoutly.

May the Virtues of the Dhamma
Which overcomes dukkha 
Protect all of you determined
To practice in line with the Dhamma.

May the Virtues of the Sangha
That walks the path beautifully
Protect all of you aiming
To follow the path securely and true.

     

No More Enemies


Enemies are those who surprise and test us 
So we know how good we actually are, or 
That we're only good at blazing up in anger 
Unable to control our hearts for even a moment.

Enemies are those who choose heaven for us 
In that our minds will notice, ponder, and realize 
That patience and tolerance are sainthood right here —
Without them, we become demons of hellish turbulence.

Enemies are those who teach us the truths 
That ill-will and vengeance are filthy waters. 
Don't hold them in your heart, you'll bruise yourself sore
Tossing and spinning in the seas of Samsara far too long.

So it is that enemies bestow upon us great benefits;
then, why do they become villains in our minds? 
Not knowing how to greet them, we react aggressively; 
Learn how to receive them and enemies disappear!

❖      

Fighting With Pillows


A low pillow makes it easy and pleasant to sleep supine!
But with a thick pillow you're in danger of sudden death, 
Your neck broken in a snap, all ready for the coffin —
It's so much more safe to sleep on one's side!

Dear Father rules over two or three fluffy pillows
Spooking himself just to excuse padding his body!
Don't even bother with them, they wear you out.
Whether on side or back, use an arm for support!

Sleep just enough. Don't linger after the pleasures 
Of sleep, not wanting to get up. It's a brain disease 
With selfish defilements puffing up the heart
Until we need far too many luxuries for our own good.

❖      

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