For centuries the world’s greatest thinkers
have endeavored to find for the keys to
happiness. Siddhartha Gautama was one of
these. While still a youth Siddhartha arrived
at the conclusion that wealth, power, and
political prestige were not the true keys. He
was in a position to know, for he was a prince
of India, born about 563 B.C. At twenty-nine
he renounced the luxuries of his father’s
court and turned to the contemplation of the
age-old questions concerning life and death
and mankind’s suffering.
After six years of penance and meditation,
Gautama believed he had found the answer to
his questions. For the next forty years he
wandered along the banks of the Ganges River
spreading his doctrine among the people. He
taught that self-indulgence, ill-will, and
ignorance were the three great sins, and one
could attain Nirvana, a state of mental peace,
through the annihilation of all desires.
Because of his great religious teachings
Siddhartha came to be known as Buddha, or
“Enlightened One.” Today he is honored
chiefly outside his native land. His many
followers may be found all the way from
Ceylon across eastern Asia to Japan. The
Dhammapada is a collection of his teachings
gathered by unknown recorder.
Let us live happily, then, not hating those who
hate us! let us dwell free form hatred among
men who hate.
Let us live happily, then, free form ailment
among the ailing! Let us dwell free from
ailments among men who are ailing!
Let us live happily, then, free from greed among
the greedy! Let us dwell free from greed
among men who are greedy!
Let us live happily, then, though we call nothing
our own! We shall be like the bright
gods, feeding on happiness!
Victory breeds hatred, for the conquered is
unhappy. He who has given up both victory
and defeat, he contented, is happy.
There is no fire like passion: there is no unlucky
die like hatred; there is no pain like this body;
there is no happiness like rest.
Hunger is the worst of diseases, the body the
greatest of pains; if one knows this truly, that
is Nirvana , the highest happiness.
Health is the greatest of gifts, contentedness the
best riches; trust is the best of relatives ,
Nirvana , the highest happiness.
The sight of the elect (Arya) is good, to live with
them is always happiness; if a man does not
see fools, he will be truly happy.
He who has tasted the sweetness of solitude
and tranquility is free from fear and free from
sin, while he tastes the sweetness of drinking
in the Law.
He who walks in the company of fools suffers a
long way; company with fool as with an enemy,
is always painful; company with the wise is
pleasure, like meeting with kinsfolk.
Therefore, one ought to follow the wise, the
intelligent, the learned, the much enduring, the
dutiful, the elect; one ought to follow a good
and wise man, as the moon follows the path of
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