Poetic summary

One again we’re privileged to have one of the Buddha’s spontaneous outpourings of verse — a pithy summary of the teaching.

Subject to birth, subject to aging,
subject to death,
run-of-the-mill people
are repelled by those who suffer
from that to which they are subject.
And if I were to be repelled
by beings subject to these things,
it would not be fitting for me,
living as they do.

As I maintained this attitude —
knowing the Dhamma
without paraphernalia —
I overcame all intoxication
with health, youth, and life
as one who sees
renunciation as rest.
For me, energy arose,
Unbinding was clearly seen.
There’s now no way
I could partake of sensual pleasures.
Having followed the holy life,
I will not return.

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