Sutta Nipāta

Jarā Sutta

4.6. Ageing and Decay

Short indeed is this life—
within a hundred years one dies,
and, if any live longer
then they die of decay.

People grieve for what is “mine”:
though possessions are not permanent
and subject to destruction—
see this and homeless dwell.

In death it’s all abandoned,
yet still some think “it’s mine”;
knowing this, the wise to me devoted
should stoop not making it “owned”.

As one who’s waking then sees not
the things that happened in sleep;
so the beloved are not seen—
departed and done their time.

People now are seen and heard
and this are called by name,
but alone will the name remain
in speaking of those gone.

In “mine-making” greedy, they do not let go
of sorrow, lamenting and avarice,
therefore sages leaving possessions
freely wander, seers of security.

For a bhikkhu practicing in solitude,
keeping company with secluded mind,
of such a one are all agreed:
“In being he’ll not be seen again”.

In all matters the sage is unsupported,
nothing that makes dear, nor undear,
sorrow and avarice do not stain that one,
As water does not stay upon a leaf.

As a water-drop on lotus plant,
as water does not stain a lotus flower,
even so the sage is never stained
by seen, heard, or whatever’s cognized.

Certainly the wise do not conceive
upon the seen, the heard, and cognized,
nor wish for purity through another,
for they are not attached nor yet displeased.