Even if there is no life after death, those who are morally unwholesome in this life will be censored by the wise for their immoral behavior. If, on the other hand, there is life after death, they will suffer in the life after as well. Thus, they are bound to lose both worlds.
If they lead a morally wholesome life, even if there is no life after death, they will be praised by the wise in this very life for their moral behavior. And if there is life after death, they will be happy in the next life as well. Thus, they are bound to gain both worlds.
There’s certainly no reason that anything in this defiled world should gladden the heart. Simply endure the minor hardships with equanimity.
Trying to improve conditions is like being in a boat in rough weather and wanting to shift back to the stern, then up to the bow.
One who takes care of oneself takes care of others. One who takes care of others takes care of oneself.
How is it that one who takes care of oneself takes care of others? It is by ethical training, ethical culture, and ethical development.
And how is it that one who takes care of others takes care of oneself? It is by forbearance, by harmlessness, by goodwill, and compassion.
It is not possible for one who is stuck in the mud to pull out another who is also stuck in the mud. But it is possible for one who is not stuck in the mud to pull out another who is stuck in the mud.
Similarly, it is not possible for one who is not tamed, not disciplined, having defilements not extinguished, to tame and discipline others and help extinguish their defilements.
Herein a certain person abstains from taking life, from stealing, and so forth. This one is noble.
Herein a certain other not only abstains from taking life and so forth, but also encourages another to abstain from so doing. This one is still nobler.
The noble life does not depend on the dogma of the eternality of the world, nor does it depend on the dogma of the infinity of the world. Whether the world is eternal or not, and whether the world is finite or not, there is birth and there is death, there are grief, sorrow, pain, lamentation, and despair, and it is for their extinction in this very life that I preach the Dharma.
Illusion is this single thought-moment; enlightenment also is this single thought-moment.
Just as turning away from reality to wander in samsara is this single thought-moment of false discrimination, so overturning illusion is again this thought-moment.
If you do not attain enlightenment in this thought-moment, neither will you attain it in countless thought-moments.