The Perfect Teacher himself has shown
That in this way all fears
As well as all boundless miseries
Originate from the mind.
In this world, unsubdued and crazed elephants Are incapable of causing such harms As the miseries of the deepest hell Which can be caused by the unleashed elephant of my mind.
Tigers, lions, elephants, bears,
Snakes and all forms of enemies,
The guardians of the hell worlds,
Evil spirits and cannibals.
Will all be bound
By binding my mind alone,
And will all be subdued
By subduing my mind alone.
For sentient beings, poor and destitute,
May I become a treasure ever plentiful,
And lie before them closely in their reach,
A varied source of all that they might need.
Even those who wish to find happiness and overcome misery
Will wander with no aim nor meaning
If they do not comprehend the secret of the mind-
The paramount significance of Dharma.
And other beings’ pain
I do not feel, and yet
Because I take them for my own
Their suffering is likewise hard to bear.
And therefore I’ll dispel the pain of others,
For it is simply pain, just like my own.
And others I will aid and benefit,
For they are living beings, just like me.
My body, thus, and all my goods besides,
And all my merits gained and to be gained,
I give them all away withholding nothing
To bring about the benefit of beings.
Where would I possibly find enough leather
With which to cover the surface of the earth?
But just leather on the soles of my shoes
Is equivalent to covering the earth with it
Likewise it is not possible for me
To restrain the external course of things
But should I restrain this mind of mine
What would be the need to restrain all else?
All the joy the world contains
Has come through wishing happiness for others.
All the misery the world contains
Has come through wanting pleasure for oneself.
All those who suffer in the world do so because of their desire for their own happiness. All those happy in the world are so because of their desire for the happiness of others.
When crows find a dying snake,
They behave as if they were eagles.
When I see myself as a victim,
I am hurt by trifling failures.
And now as long as space endures,
As long as there are beings to be found,
May I continue likewise to remain
To drive away the sorrows of the world.
Since I and other beings both,
In wanting happiness, are equal and alike,
What difference is there to distinguish us,
That I should strive to have my bliss alone?
The hand and other limbs are many and distinct,
But all are one – one body to be kept and guarded.
Likewise, different beings in their joys and sorrows,
Are, like me, all one in wanting happiness.
Anger, lust—these enemies of mine—
Are limbless and devoid of faculties.
They have no bravery, no cleverness;
How then have they reduced me to such slavery?
My pain does not in fact afflict
Or cause discomfort to another’s body.
Through clinging to my “I,” this suffering is mine.
And, being mine, is very hard to bear.
But if the elephant of my mind is firmly bound
On all sides by the rope of mindfulness,
All fears will cease to exist
And all virtues will come into my hand.
- Nagarjuna Indian Buddhist Philosopher
- Robert Thurman American Buddhist Scholar
- Nagasena Buddhist Intellectual
- Alan Watts British Buddhist Philosopher
- D. T. Suzuki Japanese Buddhist Philosopher
- The 14th Dalai Lama Tibetan Buddhist Religious Leader
- Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Indian Hindu Religious Leader
- Masanobu Fukuoka Japanese Buddhist Polymath
- Pema Chodron American Buddhist Nun
- Paramahansa Yogananda Indian Hindu Mystic