Chapter Eight Quotations


[The Buddha counsels King Pasenadi:]

Not by sorrowing,

not by lamenting,

is any aim accomplished here,

not even a bit.

Knowing you’re sorrowing & in pain,

your enemies are gratified.

But when a sage

with a sense for determining what is his aim

doesn’t waver in the face of misfortune,

his enemies are pained,

seeing his face unchanged, as of old.

Where & however an aim is accomplished


eulogies, chants, good sayings,

donations, & family customs,

follow them diligently there & that way.

But if you discern that

your own aim

or that of others

is not gained in this way,

acquiesce (to the nature of things)

unsorrowing, with the thought:

‘What important work

am I doing now?’ — AN 5:49


[Paṭācārā recounts the Buddha’s words:]

“You don’t know

the path

of his coming or going,

that being who has come

from        where?—

the one you lament as ‘my son.’

But when you know

the path

of his coming or going,

you don’t grieve after him,

for that is the nature

of beings.


he came from there.

Without permission,

he went from here

—coming from        where?—

having stayed a few days.

And coming one way from here,

he goes yet another

from there.

Dying in the human form,

he will go wandering on.

As he came, so he has gone—

so what is there

to lament?”

Pulling out

—completely out—

the arrow so hard to see,

embedded in my heart,

he [the Buddha] expelled from me

—overcome with grief—

the grief

over my son.

Today—with arrow removed,

without hunger, entirely


to the Buddha, Dhamma, & Saṅgha I go,

for refuge to

the Sage. — Thig 6:1


Gentle sages…

go to the unwavering state

where, having gone,

there’s no grief. — Dhp 225