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Jara Sutta

Old Age

For free distribution only, as a gift of Dhamma


How short this life!
You die this side of 100 years,
but even if you live past,
you die of old age.

People grieve
for what they see as mine,
for nothing possessed is constant,
nothing is constantly possessed.
Seeing this separation
simply as it is,
one should not live the household life.

At death a person abandons
what he construes as mine.
Realizing this, the wise
should not incline
to be devoted to mine.

Just as a man doesn't see,
on awakening,
what he met in a dream,
even so he doesn't see,
when they are dead
 -- their time done --
those he held dear.

Even when they are seen and heard,
people are called by this or that name,
but only the name remains
to be pointed to
when they are dead.

Grief, lamentation, and avarice
are not let go
by those greedy for mine,
so sages
letting go of possessions,
seeing the Secure,
go wandering forth.

Of a monk, living withdrawn,
enjoying a dwelling secluded:
they say it's congenial
that he not, in any realm,
display self.

the sage
holds nothing dear or un-dear.

In him
lamentation and selfishness,
like water on a white lotus,
do not adhere.

As a water bead on a lotus leaf,
as water on a red lily,
does not adhere, so the sage
does not adhere
to the seen, the heard, or the sensed;

for, cleansed,
he does not construe
by means of the seen, the heard, or the sensed.

In no other way
does he ask for purity,
for neither impassioned
nor dis-passioned
is he.

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