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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol. 2
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Chapter 3: And Travel On

Who shall conquer this world
and the world of death with all its gods?
Who shall discover
the shining way of the law?

You shall, even as the man
who seeks flowers
finds the most beautiful,
the rarest.

Understand that the body
is merely the foam of a wave,
the shadow of a shadow.
Snap the flower arrows of desire
and then, unseen,
escape the king of death.

And travel on.

Death overtakes the man
who gathers flowers
when with distracted mind and thirsty senses
he searches vainly for happiness
in the pleasures of the world.
Death fetches him away
as a flood carries off a sleeping village.
Death overcomes him
when with distracted mind and thirsty senses
he gathers flowers.
He will never have his fill
of the pleasures of the world.

The bee gathers nectar from the flower
without marring its beauty or perfume.
So let the master settle, and wander.

Look to your own faults,
what you have done or left undone.
Overlook the faults of others.

Like a lovely flower,
bright but scentless,
are the fine but empty words
of the man who does not mean what he says.

Like a lovely flower,
bright and fragrant,
are the fine and truthful words
of the man who means what he says.

Like garlands woven from a heap of flowers,
fashion from your life as many good deeds.

God is not really the center of religious inquiry - death is. Without death there would have been no religion at all. It is death that makes man seek and search for the beyond, the deathless.

Death surrounds us like an ocean surrounding a small island. The island can be flooded any moment. The next moment may never come, tomorrow may never arrive. Animals are not religious for the simple reason that they are not aware of death. They cannot conceive of themselves dying, although they see other animals dying. It is a quantum leap from seeing somebody else dying to concluding that “I am also going to die.” Animals are not so alert, aware, to come to such a conclusion.

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