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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol. 5
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Chapter 9: See the World as It Is

Do not live in the world
in distraction and false dreams,
outside the law.

Arise and watch.
Follow the way joyfully
through this world and beyond.

Follow the way of virtue.
Follow the way joyfully
through this world and on beyond!

For consider the world -
a bubble, a mirage.
See the world as it is,
and death shall overlook you.

Come, consider the world,
a painted chariot for kings,
a trap for fools.
But he who sees goes free.

As the moon slips from behind a cloud
and shines,
so the master comes out from behind his ignorance
and shines.

This world is in darkness.
How few have eyes to see!
How few the birds
who escape the net and fly to heaven!

Swans rise and fly towards the sun.
What magic!
So do the pure conquer the armies of illusion
and rise and fly.

If you scoff at heaven
and violate the law,
if your words are lies,
where will your mischief end?

The fool laughs at generosity.
The miser cannot enter heaven.
But the master finds joy in giving
and happiness is his reward.

And more -
for greater than all the joys
of heaven and earth,
greater still than dominion
over all the worlds,
is the joy of reaching the stream.

The first sutra:

Do not live in the world
in distraction and false dreams,
outside the law.

It is one of the most misinterpreted sutras of Buddha. For centuries the Buddhists have believed that Buddha is saying, “Renounce the world,” that Buddha is against the world, that he denies life, that he would like everybody to become an escapist. But that is not the meaning of the sutra; the sutra has a totally different meaning.

The sutra says: Do not live in the world in distraction and false dreams, outside the law. It does not say: “Do not live in the world.” It says: “Live in the world, but do not live .in distraction and false dreams.” Live in the world, but do not live outside the eternal law of life and existence. Live in the world, but be not of it. Live in the world, but do not let the world live in you.

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