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destroy another’s good for their own profit. What shall we call those who aimlessly destroy that which is another’s?
75. The milk that has been joined to the water has long since given over to it its own innate qualities. The water has seen the milk growing hot, and has immediately made an offering of itself in the fire. The milk was eager to rush into the fire, but having seen its friend’s distress, remains still, being joined to the water. Even so is the friendship of the good.
76. The ocean endures the sleep of Késava, and is a refuge for the mountains in their flight from the demons; moreover, it is filled with devouring flames within. Surely the ocean can endure anything!
77. Restrain desire, cultivate patience, conquer illusion, do not lust after evil, speak the truth, follow that which is good, seek the company of the virtuous, honour the wise, be reconciled even with enemies, conceal your own virtues, guard your good name, show pity for the unfortunate—these are the acts of the good.
78. How many noble men are there whose thoughts, words, and deeds are, as it were, filled with nectar-—by whom the three worlds are loaded with b1essings—who exalt even the very smallest virtues of another to the size of a mountain—whose hearts are constantly expanding?
79. What profit is there in Meru, the mountain of gold, or of the hill of silver, where the trees that grow remain the same trees without any change? We honour the hills of Malaya, for by contact with them common trees like the Trophis Aspera, the bitter Nimba, and the Karaya become themselves even as sandal trees.
The Praise of Constancy.
80. The gods rested not until they had gained possession of the nectar: they were not turned aside from the search by pearls of great price, nor by fear of terrible poison. Even so men of constant mind do not rest until they have completely accomplished their object.
81. At one time a man may lie on the ground, at another he may sleep on a couch ; at one time he may live on herbs, at another on boiled rice; at one time he may wear rags, at another a magnificent robe. The man of constant mind, bent on his purpose, counts neither state as pleasure nor pain.
82. Courtesy is the ornament of a noble man, gentleness of speech that of a hero; calmness the ornament of knowledge, reverence that of sacred learning; liberality towards worthy objects is the ornament of wealth, freedom from wrath that of the ascetic; clemency is the ornament of princes, freedom from corruption that of justice. The natural disposition, which is the parent of the virtues in each, is their highest ornament.
83. The constant man may be blamed or praised by those skilled in discerning character; fortune may come to him or may leave him; he may die to-day or in ten thousand years’ time; but for all that he does not turn aside from the path of righteousness.
The Power of Fate.
84. A rat fell by night into the jaws of a serpent whose body had been squeezed into a basket, and whowas halfdead with hunger. The serpent, revived by his meal, went forth, and immediately meeting with the same fate as the rat, perished. Be content, 0 my friends, with your lot! The success or failure of men is in the hands of fate.
85. A ball, though it fall to the ground, flies up again by the strokes of the hand. Even so the misfortunes of good men are not often lasting.
86. Idleness is a great enemy to mankind: there is no friend like energy; for if you cultivate that it will never fail.
87. The tree that is cut down grows again; the moon
that wanes waxes again after a time. Thus do wise men reflect, and, though distressed, are not overwhelmed.
88. Indra, though guided by Vrihaspati, and armed with the thunderbolt; though the deities were his soldiers, and Vishnu his ally; though Svarga was his citadel, and the elephant Airasvata his steed, was defeated. How resistless is the power of fate! How vain are human efforts!
89. Discernment is the fruit of men’s actions, and is the result produced by deeds performed in another state: this must be carefully considered by the wise man who gives heed to all things.
90. A bald-headed man was scorched by the rays of the sun on his head, and seeking a shady place, went, under the guidance of fate, to the foot of a palm tree. While resting there, the fruit of the tree fell with a loud noise on his head and broke it. Even so, wherever the unfortunate man goes, he generally meets with disaster.
91. When I see the sun and moon exposed in the eclipse to the assaults of the demon; when I behold the bonds which hold a serpent or an elephant; when I behold the wise man in poverty, then the thought strikes me, “ How mighty is the power of fate I ”
92. Fate brings forth an excellent man—a very mine of virtue—and in a moment works his ruin. Alas! how unreasoning is the action of fate!
93. It is not the fault of the spring that the leafless tree does not produce leaves; it is not the fault of the sun that the owl cannot see by day; it is not the fault of the raincloud that the drops do not fall into the cuckoo’s mouth. Who shall reverse that which fate has written on the fore
head of each?
The Praise of Action.
94. We worship the gods, but are they not in the power of fate? Destiny must be worshipped, for that is the sole giver of rewards to man proportioned to the acts of their former state. But the fruit of those acts depends upon the
acts themselves; why, then, should we worship either the god or destiny? Let us pay adoration to those works over which fate has no power.
95. By means of destiny Brahma was constrained to work like an artificer in the interior of his egg; by means of destiny Vishnu was compelled to pass through ten incarnations of great difficulty; by means of destiny Siva was forced to live as a mendicant, bearing the skull in his hands for a pot; by means of destiny the sun is compelled to travel his daily course in the heaven. Adoration, therefore, be to works.
96. Neither beauty, nor greatness of family, nor force of character, nor learning, nor service, though performed with care, but merit alone, gained from penances in a former state, will bring forth fruit to a man as a tree in its season.
97. A man may be in a forest, or in war, or in the midst of fire, or among a host of enemies, or in the ocean, or upon a high mountain; he may be asleep or mad; or he may be surrounded by difficulties ; yet the good actions performed in a former state will profit him.
98. O wise man! cultivate constantly divine virtue; for that makes evil men good, the foolish wise, enemies well disposed, invisible things visible; in a moment that turns poison into nectar; that will give you the desired fruit of your acts. 0 virtuous man ! do not vainly spend labour on acquiring mighty gifts with great pain !
99. The wise man, at the beginning of his actions, looks carefully to the end of them, that by their means he may be freed from births in another state. Actions performed with excessive haste are even as an arrow piercing the heart.
100. The man who, placed in the world of action, does not walk piously, regarding his state hereafter, is as one who cooks the lees of sesame over a sandal-wood fire in a caldron of lapis-lazuli, or as one who ploughs with a golden share to cultivate swallow-wort, or as one who
cuts down a grove of camphor to fence in a field of
101. A man may dive into the sea, he may ascend to
102. A terrible wood becomes a splendid city, and the whole world is filled with jewels, to that man who has
performed righteous acts in his former existence; all men
103. What is most profitable ? Fellowship with the good. What is the worst thing in the world? The society of evil men. What is the greatest loss? Failure in one’s duty. Where the greatest peace? In truth and righteousness. Who is the hero ? The man who subdues his senses. Who is best beloved? The faithful wife. What is wealth ? Knowledge. What is the most perfect happiness? Staying at home. What is royalty? Command.
104. The man who possesses intelligence, like the jasmin flower, has two courses open to him: he may flourish in the sight of the world, or he may wither away in the desert.
105. The earth is variously adorned in various places; by poor men whose words are of no account—by rich men whose words are admired—by those contented with their own wives—by men who refrain from passing censure upon others.
106. The constant man loses not his virtue in misfor
tune. A torch may point towards the ground, but its