Better than a thousand hollow words
is one word that brings peace.
Better than a thousand hollow verses
is one verse that brings peace.
Better than a hundred hollow lines
is the one line of the law, bringing peace.
It is better to conquer yourself
than to win a thousand battles.
Then the victory is yours.
It cannot be taken from you,
not by angels or by demons,
heaven or hell.
Better than a hundred years of worship,
better than a thousand offerings,
better than giving up a thousand worldly ways
in order to win merit,
better even than tending in the forest
a sacred flame for a hundred years –
is one moment’s reverence
for the man who has conquered himself.
To revere such a man,
a master old in virtue and holiness,
is to have victory over life itself,
and beauty, strength and happiness.
A famous story:
One night the great German philosopher, Professor Von Kochenbach, saw two doors in a dream, one of which led directly to love and paradise, and the other to an auditorium where a lecture was being given on love and paradise. There was no hesitation on Von Kochenbach’s part – he darted in to hear the lecture.
The story is significant. It is fictitious, but not so fictitious really. It represents the human mind: it is more interested in knowledge than in wisdom, it is more interested in information than transformation. It is more interested to know about God, beauty, truth, love, than experience God, beauty, truth, love.
The human mind is obsessed with words, theories, systems of thought, but is completely oblivious of the existential that surrounds you. And it is the existential which can liberate, not knowledge about it.