Chinese Proverbs
Vol. XLVIII, No. 4



From the last words of Shakyamuni Buddha

“Make of yourself a light. Rely upon yourself: do not depend upon anyone else. Make my teachings your light. Rely upon them: do not depend upon any other teaching.

Consider your body: Think of its impurity. Knowing that both its pain and its delights are alike causes of suffering, how can you indulge in its desires? Consider your “self”; think of its transiency; how can you fall into delusion about it and cherish pride and selfishness, knowing that they must all end in inevitable suffering? Consider all substances; can you find among them any enduring ‘self’? Are they not all aggregates that sooner or later will break apart and be scattered? Do not be confused by the universality of suffering, but follow my teaching, even after my death, and you will be rid of pain. Do this and you will indeed be my disciples.”

“The point of the teachings is to control your own mind. Keep your mind from greed, and you will keep your behavior right, your mind pure and your words faithful. By always thinking about the transiency of your life, you will be able to resist greed and anger, and will be able to avoid all evils.”

“If you find your mind tempted and so entangled in greed, you must suppress and control the temptation; be the master of your own mind.”

“A man’s mind may make him a Buddha, or it may make him a beast. Misled by error, one becomes a demon; enlightened, one becomes a Buddha. Therefore, control your mind and do not let it deviate from the right path.”

“You should respect each other, follow my teaching and refrain from disputes; you should not, like water and oil, repel each other, but should, like milk and water, mingle together.

Study together, learn together, practice my teachings together. Do not waste your mind and time in idleness and quarreling. Enjoy the blossoms of Enlightenment in their season and harvest the fruit of the right path.”

“My disciples, my last moment has come, but do not forget that death is only the end of the physical body. The body born from parents and was nourished by food; just as inevitable are sickness and death.

But the true Buddha is not a human body: - it is Enlightenment. A human body must die, but the Wisdom of Enlightenment will exist forever in the truth of the Dharma, and in the practice of the Dharma. He who sees merely my body does not truly see me.



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