Homage to the foremost excellent ones who possess great compassion.
Chapter 1: Abandoning Belief in Permanence
1. If those whose lord is Death himself,
Ruler of the three worlds, without a master,
Sleep soundly like true [vanquishers],
What could be more improper?
2. Those who are born only to die
And whose nature is to be driven,
Appear to be in the act of dying
And not in the act of living.
3. You see the path as brief
Yet see the future differently.
To think both equal or unequal
Is clearly like a cry of fear.
4. Since death is common to others to,
You have no fear of it.
Does jealousy cause suffering
When only one is harmed?
5. Sickness can be cured and aging treated,
Therefore you do not fear them.
Yet there is no cure for the last ordeal;
Thus obviously you fear it.
6. Like a cattle intended for slaughter,
Death is common to all.
Moreover when you see others die
Why do you not fear the Lord of Death?
7. If because the time is uncertain
You think you are eternal,
One day the Lord of Death
Will do you injury.
8. If you consider future goals
But not your waning life,
Who would call intelligent
Such selling of yourself?
9. Why do you do ill deeds,
Pledging yourself as security?
Of course, like the wise, you must be
Free of attachment to yourself.
10. No matter whose life, it does not
Differ from the moments of mind.
This people certainly do not perceive.
Thus it is rare to know the self.
11. You would like to live long
But dislike old age.
Amazing! Your behavior
Seems right to people like you.
12. Why do you not grieve death
On account of your son and others?
When the one that laments is a victim,
How is that not reprehensible?
13. If, unrequested, someone has
Become your son, it is not
Unreasonable if he leaves
Without having asked.
14. Only because of your confusion
You did not notice your son's [indications].
His enthusiasm to go
Is shown by his growing old.
15. A son does not love [his father]
As much as his father loves him.
People in the world go down;
Thus, a high rebirth is hard to find.
16. When he is disobedient
No one will call him lovable.
In that case attachment is
Nothing but a transaction.
17. Suffering caused by separation
Is quickly gone from human hearts.
See, too, attachment's instability,
Indicated by suffering's end.
18. Knowing it is of no benefit,
Still you have injured yourself.
You make yourself a hypocrite,
Which also is improper.
19. People in this world wander,
Full, as it were, of suffering.
Why fill with suffering
People who already suffer?
20. If meeting is a joy to you
Why is parting not also a joy?
Do not meeting and parting
Both seem to go together?
21. When the past is beginningless
And the future endless,
Why do you notice being together
But not the separations, though they be long?
22. Time, [consisting of] instants and so forth,
Is certainly like an enemy.
Therefore never be attached
To that which is your enemy.
23. Fool, because you fear separation,
You do not leave home.
Who that is wise does under punishment
What must certainly be done?
24. You may think you must obviously
Go to the forest once this has been done.
Whatever you do must be left behind.
What is the value of having done it?
25. Whoever with certainty has
The thought, "I am going to die,"
Having completely relinquished attachment,
Why would they fear even the Lord of Death?
That which cuts craving for reward and honor,
The best spur to practice with effort in seclusion,
The excellent secret of all the scriptures,
Is initially to remember death.
This is the first chapter from the Four Hundred on the Yogic Deeds, showing the means to abandon
the belief in permanence.
Chapter 2: Abandoning Belief in Pleasure
26. Although the body is seen like a foe,
Nevertheless it should be protected.
By long sustaining a disciplined [body]
Great merit is created.
27. When human suffering is produced
By the body, and pleasure by other [factors],
Why are you devoted to
This hull, a container of suffering?
28. When humans do not have
As much pleasure as pain,
Should so much pain
Be considered negligible?
29. Ordinary people are bent on pleasure;
Those who have pleasure are hard to find.
Thus it is as if transitory
Beings are pursued by suffering.
30. Suffering is found at will,
But what pleasure is there at will?
Why do you value the rare
But do not fear the plentiful?
31. A comfortable body
Is a container of suffering.
Thus valuing the body and
Valuing a foe both seem alike.
32. The body, however long one spends,
Will not in itself become pleasurable.
To say its nature can be overruled
By other factors is improper.
33. The high have mental suffering;
For the common it comes from the body.
Day by day, both kinds of suffering
Overwhelm people in the world.
34. Pleasure is governed by thoughts;
Thoughts are governed by pain.
Thus there is nothing anywhere
More powerful than pain.
35. With the passage of time
Pleasure, therefore, seems as if
Alien to this body.
36. There seem to be many causes
of suffering, like sickness and others,
But humans do not seem to have
As many causes of pleasure.
37. With the intensification of pleasure
Its opposite is seen to occur.
With the intensification of pain
There will not likewise be its opposite.
38. With the conditions for pleasure
its opposite is seen.
With the conditions for pain
There is not its opposite.
39. When you have spent, are spending
And will spend time dying,
It is not at all proper to call
The process of dying pleasurable.
40. When beings with bodies are constantly
Afflicted by hunger and so forth,
It is not at all proper to call
Being afflicted pleasurable.
41. Though powerless, the combining of
All the elements produces [the body];
Thus it is not at all proper to call
What is incompatible pleasurable.
42. When there is never that
Which will relieve cold and so forth,
It is not at all proper to call
Being destroyed pleasurable.
43. When on earth no action is
Done without exertion,
It is not at all proper to call
Performing actions pleasurable.
44. In this [life] and in others, always
One should guard against ill deeds.
Calling them pleasurable is not at all
Proper when there are bad rebirths.
45. There is never any pleasure
For human in riding and so forth.
How can that which at the start
Does not begin, in the end increase?
46. Thinking the alleviation
Of pain is pleasure
Is like someone who feels delight
Vomiting into a gold pot.
47. By beginning it stops the produced --
How can pain that begins be pleasure?
It seems the Subduer therefore said
Both birth and cessation are suffering.
48. If common beings do not see suffering
Because pleasure disguises it,
Why is there no pleasure
Which obscures suffering?
49. Common beings must be told, "You are not
Free from attachment to suffering."
Certainly Tathagatas therefore have said
This is the worst confusion at all.
50. The impermanent is definitely harmed.
What is harmed is not pleasurable.
Therefore all that is impermanent
Is said to be suffering.
Abiding in this fathomless ocean of cyclic existence,
Utterly tormented by the crocodiles of disturbing emotions,
What sentient beings would not feel aversion?
With effort endeavor to attain enlightenment.
This is the second chapter from the Four Hundred on the Yogic Deeds, showing the means to
abandon the belief in pleasure.
Chapter 3: Abandoning Belief in Cleanness
51. Regardless of the amount of time,
Concerning objects there is no limit.
Your exertion for the body's sake
Is, like a bad physician's, useless.
52. Just as the craving for earth
Does not stop in those that subsist on it,
Similarly, longing for sensual pleasure
Grows in people as they indulge.
53. Among all women there is not the least
Difference in sexual intercourse.
When others, too, enjoy her appearance,
What use is this perfect woman to you?
54. Whoever sees her as appealing
Thinks himself satisfied with her.
Since even dogs and the like share this,
Why, fool, are you attracted?
55. This woman, every part of whom is
Lovely to you, was common to all before.
Finding her is not as
Astonishing as it is for you.
56. If those with good qualities seem attractive
And their opposite the reverse,
Which is true, former or latter?
For neither alone persists.
57. A fool's desire does not arise
Only for those with good qualities.
How can reason prevent
Those involved in it without reason?
58. As long as she knows no other
She will remain with you.
As with disease, woman should always be
Kept from opportunity.
59. In old age one dislikes
What one did during youth.
Why would the liberated not
Be extremely saddened by it?
60. Those without desire have no pleasure,
Nor do those not foolish have it.
How can there be pleasure for one
Whose mind constantly strays?
61. You cannot have intercourse constantly
With a woman to match your attentiveness to her.
Why keep her possessively with the thought,
"She is mine and no one else's."
62. If desire were pleasurable
There would be no need for women.
Pleasure is not regarded as
Something to get rid of.
63. Even in intercourse with a woman
Pleasure arises from other [factors].
What sensible person would say
It is caused just by his lover?
64. Blinded by desire they do not see
Sensuality's fault, like a leper scratching.
Those free from desire see the infatuated
As suffering like the leper.
65. During a famine the destitute,
Tormented by hunger, [bear] what occurs.
This is how all the infatuated
Behave when they are with women.
66. Through arrogance one may be
Attached even to one's privy.
Anyone infatuated with
A woman will be jealous of others.
67. It is reasonable for confusion
And anger about the unclean to occur;
It is not at all reasonable
For desire to occur.
68. If, except to some people,
A pot of filth is objectionable,
Why would one not think objectionable
That from which the filth comes?
69. Clean things are looked upon
As the most worthless of all.
What intelligent person
Would say that it is clean?
70. Whoever has lived in a privy
And without it would not have survived,
In such a dung-worm, arrogance
Arises only through stupidity.
71. No means whatsoever will purify
The inside of the body.
The efforts you make toward the outside
Do not match those toward the inside.
72. If, like leprosy, being full of
Urine were not common to all,
Those full of urine, just like lepers,
Would be shunned by everyone.
73. Just as someone lacking a part
Is delighted with a substitute nose,
Desire holds that impurity is
Remedied by flowers and so forth.
74. It is inappropriate to call clean that
Toward which freedom from desire arises.
Nor is there anything which is
A definitive cause of desire.
75. In summary, all four, that is
Impermanence, uncleanness, suffering,
And selflessness are possible
With regard to a single [thing].
Understanding that sentient beings are also bound
Like oneself in this unclean prison,
With energy generate compassion observing transmigrators,
And make effort to accomplish highest enlightenment.
This is the third chapter from the Four Hundred on the Yogic Deeds, showing the means to abandon
the belief in cleanness.
Chapter 4: Abandoning Pride
76. Who that is wise about worldly existence
Would be arrogant, thinking "I" and "mine"?
For all things belong equally
To all embodied beings.
77. Society's servant, paid with a sixth part,
Why are you so arrogant?
Your becoming the agent of actions
Depends on being placed in control
78. When those in his care receive their due,
They think of their master as the giver.
When the master gives what is to be given,
He thinks with conceit, "I am the giver."
79. That which you wrongly regard,
Others [consider] as source of suffering.
Living by working for others,
What causes you pleasure?
80. When a ruler seems to be the protector
Of his people, as well as protected,
Why be proud because of the one?
Why not be free from pride because of the other?
81. Those in each caste prefer their own work;
Thus a living is hard to find.
If you become non-virtuous
Good rebirths will be scarce for you.
82. Those who act at other's insistence
Are called fools on this earth.
There is no one else at all
So dependent on others as you.
83. Claiming that "protection depends on me,"
You take payment from the people,
But if you perform ill deeds,
Who is equally merciless?
84. If people who do ill deeds
Should not be treated with mercy,
All ordinary childish people
Would also not need to be protected.
85. There is nothing that will not serve
As a reason for happiness.
Reasons such as scriptural statements
Will not destroy demerit.
86. If giving proper protection is
A ruler's religious practice,
Why would the toil of artisans too
Not be religious practice?
87. This example shows the ruler on whom
The people rely as reprehensible.
The excellent see attachment to existence
As mother of all those in the world.
88. The sensible do not acquire kingship.
Since fools have no compassion,
These merciless rulers of men,
Although protectors, are irreligious.
89. Sages' activities are not all
[Actions] that the wise perform,
For there are inferior,
Mediocre and superior ones.
90. Virtuous rulers of the past
Protected the people like their children.
Through the practices of this time of strife
It is now like a waste without wildlife.
91. If a king who seizes the occasion
To harm is not doing wrong,
Then others, too, such as thieves
Have not done so in the first place.
92. If giving all one has for liquor
And so on is not an offering,
Why consider it an offering
To give oneself in battle?
93. You, the king, guardian of the people,
Have no guardian yourself.
Since your guardianship does not
Release you, who would be happy?
94. Though a king is famous after his death
It will bring no benefit.
Do you, being worthless, and those who
Cook dogs not have notoriety?
95. When all power and wealth
Are produced by merit,
It cannot be said that this one
Will not be a basis for power and wealth.
96. In the world caste is determined
With regard to the main means of livelihood.
Thus there is no division among
All sentient beings by way of caste.
97. Since it was very long ago
And women's minds are fickle,
There is no one from the caste
Known as the royal caste.
98. If even of common caste
Through his work could become royal caste,
One might wonder why even a commoner
Should not become Brahim through his work.
99. A king's ill deeds cannot be
Distributed like his wealth.
What wise person ever destroys
Their future for another's sake?
100. Pride caused by power and wealth
Does not remain in the hearts of the wise,
Once one has looked at others
With equal or superior power.
Thinking about the impermanence and uncleanness of the body,
Understand the faults of attachment to it.
Make effort to achieve unsurpassable enlightenment