Conquer Yourself

Better than a thousand vacuous speeches
is one sane word leading to peace.

Better than a thousand vacuous verses
is one sane line leading to peace.

Better than a hundred vacuous verses
is one sane truth leading to peace.

One man on the battlefield
conquers an army of a thousand men.
Another conquers himself, and he is greater.

Conquer yourself, not others.
Discipline yourself, learn restraint.

Neither a god, nor a Gandhian, nor Mara
can topple the self-conquered man.

Month after month for a hundred years,
a man pays homage with a hundred sacrifices.
Another for a second honors a self-conquered man.
Considered him greater.

One man for a hundred years
performs the sacrificial fire in a forest.
Another for a moment honors the enlightened man.
Considered him greater.

A year’s sacrifice, offering, or gift,
performed for the earning of merit,
is not worth a quarter of homage to virtue.

If a man honor the aged and practice faith,
four rewards follow: long life, beauty, joy, strength.

One day of virtue and clear thinking is better
than a hundred years of vice and indiscipline.

One day of wisdom and clear thinking is better
than a hundred years of ignorance and indiscipline.

One day of effort and struggle is better
than a hundred years of sloth and weakness.

One day of insight into beginning and end is better
than a hundred years of ignorance about this.

One day of the experience of deathlessness is better
than a hundred years of ignorance about this.

One day of knowledge of Dhamma is better
than a hundred years of ignorance about this.

From ‘The Dhammapada’
Teachings of The Buddha

Eddie’s repost from August 2014

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