From the unequal distribution of property, poverty becomes rife,
from the growth of poverty, the taking of what is not given increases,
from the increase of theft, the use of weapons increases,
from the increased use of weapons, the taking of life increases.
—Buddha Shakyamuni, Long Discourses
There are no rivers on whose banks we have not already enjoyed ourselves; there is no place on earth where we have not already dwelt; there is no rank, even in heaven, that we have not already attained.
And yet, despite all this, desire, so difficult to fulfill, continues to grow. —Chandragomin
In the desert of existence, for those afflicted by the heat of sorrow, may you become a sublime and prominent tree whose height is discipline, whose trunk is effort, whose buds are forbearance and self-restraint, whose flowers are calmness, whose branches are wisdom, whose canopy of leaves is generosity, whose top is aspiration, whose shadow is morality, and which offers peace as its fruit!
—Chandragomin, Letter to a Disciple
Where is the place where nothing is unpleasant?
Where will compounded things not decompose?
Where is the place of only happiness?
Where can you go that you will not die?
Please take to heart the words of a friend who wishes your benefit.
Even when not sweet to hear, these words are helpful, kind, and true.
But do not take to heart the sweet words of ill-intended people,
which are harmful, and neither kind nor true.
Those who accomplish difficult tasks,
give up what is difficult to give up,
and tolerate what is difficult to bear;
who accept what is difficult to accept;
who turn you away from what is inappropriate,
and take care to turn you toward what is appropriate;
whose commitment supports your intentions;
who desire your happiness and regard you with affection
—these are friends, relatives, and allies.
Others who follow you only in their own interest
are nothing but very ordinary beings.
While revolving in the cycle of existence
again and again, like a rosary,
what have you not already done in the world
a hundred times, or even thousands?