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Salla Suttaṃ


The Arrow

579. There is no indication of the life-span of mortals.
Life is difficult, short, and bound up with suffering.

580. Once born, one is going to die, and there is no avoiding this.
When old age or another cause arrives there is death. That’s how it is for living beings.

581. Once they are ripe, fruits are always in danger of falling.
It is the same for mortals, who live in constant fear of death.

582. Like clay pots, which once made, are liable to be broken.
All will break up in the end, thus it is with mortals too.

583. The young and the old, the foolish and the wise too.
All are trapped by death, and all face death in the end.

584. When overcome by death, they go to the other world.
Neither a father can save his children, nor relatives their kin.

585. See how, while their relatives are lamenting,
Men are carried off by death. Like cattle led to slaughter.

586. Since the world is thus afflicted with aging and death,
The wise do not sorrow, having understood the nature of the world.

587. You do not know the path from where he came, nor where he has gone.
Both are hidden from you, so there is no benefit in grieving.

588. One who laments gains nothing
A fool only harms himself, a wise man would lament if it was beneficial.

589. From weeping and grieving, no mental peace can come.
It will only lead to greater pain, and bodily harm.

590. He becomes pale and thin, and only harms himself.
He cannot raise the dead, so his lamentation is fruitless.

591. One who cannot abandon grief, is dragged further into sorrow.
Bewailing the dead, one becomes a slave to grief.

592. Look at others who are reaping the results of their kamma.
When under the power of death, beings tremble with fear.

593. Whatever one expects, the result is something different.
From this comes disappointment, see, that’s how the world is.

594. If one lives a hundred years, or even longer than that.
Finally he is separated from relatives, and leaves this life behind.

595. Therefore, having heard the Arahant, the Buddha, give up lamenting.
Having seen one passed away, reflect, “He will not be seen by me again.”

 596. As a house that is on fire is extinguished by water,
Likewise, a resolute, wise, intelligent, and skilful man,
Quickly extinguishes his grief, as the wind blows away a tuft of cotton.

597. Lamentation, longing, and sorrow, that is of one’s own making,
One desiring happiness should extract the arrow he has stuck into himself.

598. Having extracted the arrow, he attains mental peace.
Transcending all grief, he is sorrowless and stilled.