THE PRAISE OF THE THOUGHT OF ENLIGHTENMENT
Reverently bowing before the Blessed Ones, their Sons, the Body of the Law, and aft the worshipful ones. I will briefly set forth in accordance with Holy Writ the way whereby the sons of the Blessed Ones enter the godly life. Nothing new will be told here, nor have I skill in writing of books; therefore I have done this work to hallow my own thoughts, not designing it for the welfare of others. By it the holy impulse within me to frame righteousness is strengthened; but if a fellow-creature should see it, this my book will fulfil another end likewise. This brief estate, which once gotten is a means to all the aims of mankind, is exceeding hard to win; if one use it not for wholesome reflection, how shall it ever come again to his lot? As in the night, amidst the gross darkness of the clouds, the lightning chews for an instant its radiance, so by the grace of the Enlightened it may hap that the mind of man turn for an instant to holy works. Thus righteousness is feeble, and the power of evil is constant, mighty, and dire; by what righteousness could it be overcome, if there were not the Thought of Enlightenment?
Pondering through many aeons, the Supreme Saints have found this blessing, whereby a swelling joy sweeps in sweetness down the boundless waters of mankind. They who would escape the hundreds of life’s sorrows, who would end the anguish of living creatures, and who would taste hundreds of deep delights, must never surrender the Thought of Enlightenment.
The wretch held in thrall by Life’s minions is declared a son of the Blessed Ones straightway when the Thought of Enlightenment arises in him, and he becomes worshipful to the worlds of men and gods. This foul form that who has taken he makes into the priceless jewel of a Conqueror’s form; oh, grasp firmly the Thought of Enlightenment, that exceedingly potent elixir! Ho, ye who are exiles in the marts of bodied being, grasp firmly the precious jewel of the Thought of Enlightenment, which the immeasurably wise sole Guides of the world’s caravan have well assayed I Like the plantain-tree, all other righteousness fades away after its fruit is cast; but the tree of the Thought of Enlightenment bears everlasting fruit and fades not, but Ls ever fecund. Though he have wrought most grievous sins, a man by taking refuge therein escapes them straightway; as ignorant beings under the guardianship of a mighty man escape sore terrors, why seek they not their refuge in this?
Eager to escape sorrow, men rush into sorrow; from desire of happiness they blindly slay their own happiness, enemies to themselves; they hunger for happiness and suffer manifold pains; whence shall come one so kind as he who can satisfy them with all manner of happiness, allay all their pains, and shatter their delusion – whence such a friend, and whence such a holy deed? He who repays good deed with good deed is praised; what shall be said of the Son of Enlightenment, who does kindness unsought? He who sets a banquet before a few is called a “doer of righteousness,” and is honoured by the world, because in his pride he entertains men for half a day with a brief largesse of mere food; but what of him who bestows on a measureless number of creatures a satisfaction of all desires unbounded in time and perishing not when the world of heaven perishes? Such is the Master of the Banquet, the Son of the Conqueror; whosoever sins in his heart against him, saith the Lord, shall abide in hell as many ages as the moments of his sin. But he whose spirit is at peace with them shall thence get abundant fruit; and truly, wrong to the Sons of the Conqueror can he done only by great effort, but kindness towards them is easy. I do homage to the bodies of them in whom has arisen the choice jewel of the Thought, and even the ill-treatment of whom leads to happiness; in these mines of bliss I seek my refuge.