The Dhammapada – Translated by Thomas Byrom
8. The Thousands
Better than a thousand hollow words
Is one word that brings peace.
Better than a thousand hollow verses
Is one verse that brings peace.
Better than a hundred hollow lines
Is one line of the Dharma, bringing peace.
It is better to conquer yourself
Than to win a thousand battles.
Then the victory is yours.
It cannot be taken from you,
Not by angels or by demons,
Heaven or hell.
Better than a hundred years of worship,
Better than a thousand offerings,
Better than giving up a thousand worldly ways
In order to win merit,
Better even than tending in the forest
A sacred flame for a hundred years –
Is one moment’s reverence
For the man who has conquered himself.
To revere such a man,
A master old in virtue and holiness,
Is to have victory over life itself,
And beauty, strength and happiness.
Better than a hundred years of mischief
Is one day spent in contemplation.
Better than a hundred years of ignorance
Is one day spent in reflection.
Better than a hundred years of idleness
Is one day spent in determination.
Better to live one day
How all things arise and pass away.
Better to live one hour
The one life beyond the way.
Better to live one moment
In the moment
Of the way beyond the way.