“Be quick to do good. If you are slow,
The mind—delighting in mischief—will catch you.

Turn away from mischief. Again and again, turn away,
Before sorrow befalls you.

Set your heart on doing good. Do it over and over again,
And you will be filled with joy!

(A fool is happy until his mischief turns against him,
And a good man may suffer until his goodness flowers.)

Do not make light of your failings, saying,
“What are they to me?”
A cup fills drop by drop,
So the fool becomes brimful of folly.

Do not belittle your virtues, saying,
“They are nothing.”
A cup fills drop by drop,
So the wise become brimful of virtue.

For even as an unwounded hand may handle poison,
so the innocent come to no harm.
But as dust thrown against the wind,
So mischief is blown back in the face
Of the fool who wrongs the pure and harmless.

Not in the sky,
Nor in the midst of the ocean,
Nor deep in the mountains,
Can you hide from your own mischief.

The farmer channels water to his land.
The fletcher whittles his arrows.
The carpenter turns his wood.
And the wise one masters herself.”

—From the Dhammapada


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