How long does the night seem to last during the darkest hours, how long does the road seem when you grow tired from walking, how long does wandering through lives that end in death seem to the fool who cannot find their path.
दीर्घा जाग्रतो रात्रिः दीर्घं श्रान्तस्य योजनम् ।
दीर्घो बालानां संसारः सद्धर्मं अविजानताम् ॥ १॥
If, during life's great, great journey, a person is unable to find someone who is further along or at least as far along the path as themselves, let them continue on the path alone: a fool cannot help you on the path.
चरन् चेत् नाधिगच्छेत् श्रेयांसं सदृशं आत्मनः ।
एकचर्यां दृढं कुर्यात् नाऽस्ति बाले सहायता ॥ २॥
"I can leave all this to my children on top of all they have already achieved," the fool says. The fool does not even own their own thoughts, how can they really possess people or wealth?
पुत्रा मे सन्ति धनं मेऽस्ति इति बालो विहन्यते ।
आत्मा ह्यात्मनो नाऽस्ति कुतः पुत्राः कुतो धनम् ॥ ३॥
If a fool can see their own foolishness, then that in itself is already wise. But the fool who thinks of themselves as wise is even more foolish than a fool.
यो बालो मन्यते बाल्यं पण्डितश्चापि तेन स ।
बालश्च पण्डितमानी स वै बाल इत्युच्यते ॥ ४॥
Even if a fool spends a whole life with a sage, they still don’t know the path of wisdom, just as a spoon can never know the taste of soup.
यावज्जीवमपि चेद् बालः पण्डितं पर्युपासते ।
न स धर्मं विजानाति दर्वी सूपरसं यथा ॥ ५॥
But if a person who truly sees is with the sage for even a moment, they immediately know more of the path of wisdom, just as the tongue knows the taste of soup.
मुहूर्त्तमपि चेद् विज्ञाः पण्डितं पर्युपासते ।
क्षिप्रं धर्मं विजानाति जिह्वा सूपरसं यथा ॥ ६॥
Going through life with yourself as an enemy, so acts the fool who always does wrong and ends up with the bitter fruit that he or she has grown by it.
चरन्ति बाला दुर्मेधसोऽमित्रेणैवात्मना ।
कुर्वन्तः पापकं कर्मं यद्भवति कटुकफलम् ॥ ७॥
Any act that you have to realize afterwards that it was wrong is not an act that you can call good; certainly not when you have to tearfully harvest its bitter fruit.
न तत् कर्म कृतं साधु यत् कृत्त्वाऽनुतप्यते ।
यस्याश्रुमुखो रुदन् विपाकं प्रतिसेवते ॥ ८॥
But the act that gives no reason for complaints afterwards when all is said and done, and of which you yield sweet fruit can be called a good deed indeed.
तच्च कर्मं कृतं साधु यत् कृत्वा नानुतप्यते ।
यस्य प्रतीतः सुमन विपाकं प्रतिसेवते ॥ ९॥
The wrong act seems sweet to the fool until it is met with pain. In the end, the fool has no choice but to regretfully eat the bitter fruit that has grown from it.
मध्विव मन्यते बालो यावत् पापं न पच्यते ।
यदा च पच्यते पापं अथ बालो दुःखं निगच्छति ॥ १०॥
The fool can fast month after month and live on nothing but grass with the sharpest of edges, and yet he or she is not worth sixteenth of a sage whose thoughts stand in truth.
मासे मासे कुशाग्रेण बालो भुञ्जीत भोजनम् ।
न स संख्यातधर्माणां कलामर्हति षोडशीम् ॥ ११॥
There is not always an immediate reaction to a bad act just as milk does not immediately turn sour. But like burning hot coals hidden under ashes, evil deeds consume the fool from within.
नहि पापं कृतं कर्म सद्यः क्षीरमिव मुञ्चति ।
दहन् बालमन्वेति भस्मच्छन्न इव पावकः ॥ १२॥
And if the fool becomes even more shrewd, the thought of the bad deed only destroys the mind and fate becomes even worse than before.
यावदेव अनर्थाय ज्ञप्तं बालस्य जायते ।
हन्ति बालस्य शुक्लांशं मूर्द्धानमस्य विपातयन् ॥ १३॥
For the fool yearns for reputation, to be the forerunner among the monks, to gain authority in the monasteries and to be worshipped by everyone.
असद् भवनमिच्छेत् पुरस्कारं च भिक्षुषु ।
आवासेषु चैश्वर्यं पूजां परकुलेषु च ॥ १४॥
"I have learned and done everything so that the housewives and housemen, but also all the lonely curious people, will always ask me what they should or should not do", these are the thoughts of the fool, inflated by pride and desire.
ममैव कृतं मन्येतां गृहि-प्रव्रजितावुभौ ।
ममैवातिवशाः स्यातां कृत्याकृत्येषु कषु चित् ।
इति बालस्य सङ्कल्प इच्छा मानश्च वर्द्धते ॥ १५॥
But one is the path of wealth here on earth, the other is the path of NIRVANA. Let those who really listen to the buddha's words think deeply about this, without thinking of reputations, purely striving for personal freedom.
अन्या हि लाभोपनिषद् अन्या निर्वाणगामिनि ।
एवमेतद् अभिज्ञाय भिक्षुर्बुद्धस्य श्रावकः ।
सत्कारं नाभिनन्देत् विवेकमनुबृंहयेत् ॥ १६॥