Self

If a person holds oneself dear, 
let one watch oneself carefully. 
The wise should be watchful
during at least one of the three watches.

Let each person first direct oneself to what is right; 
then let one teach others; thus the wise will not suffer. 
If a person makes oneself as one teaches others to be, 
then being well-controlled, that one might guide others, 
since self-control is difficult.

Self is the master of self; 
who else could be the master? 
With self well-controlled
a person finds a master such as few can find.

The wrong done by oneself, born of oneself, 
produced by oneself, crushes the fool, 
just as a diamond breaks even a precious stone. 
The one whose vice is great brings oneself down
to that condition where one’s enemy wishes one to be, 
just as a creeper overpowers the entangled sala tree. 
Bad actions and actions harmful to ourselves are easy to do; 
what is beneficial and good, that is very difficult to do.

The fool who scorns the teaching of the saintly, 
the noble, and the virtuous, and follows wrong ideas, 
bears fruit to one’s own destruction, 
like the fruits of the katthaka reed.

By oneself is wrong done; by oneself one suffers; 
by oneself is wrong left undone; by oneself is one purified. 
Purity and impurity come from oneself; 
no one can purify another.

Let no one neglect one’s own duty
for the sake of another’s, however great; 
let a person after one has discerned one’s own duty, 
be always attentive to this duty.

Buddha


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