The Bhaddekaratta Sutra
Taught by the Buddha in Jeta’s forest.
Buddha said to his monks, ”Let me teach you how to know one single auspicious night….
“Let not a person revive the past
Or on the future build his hopes;
For the past has been left behind
And the future has not been reached.
Instead with insight let him see
Each presently arisen state;
Let him know that and be sure of it,
Today the effort must be made;
Tomorrow Death may come. who knows?
No bargain with Mortality
Can keep him and his hordes away,
But one who dwells thus ardently,
Relentlessly, by day, by night —
It is he, the Peaceful Sage has said,
Who has had a single excellent night.”
(Luminous Beings are we! Not this crude matter.” ~ Yoda )
Let one not trace back the past
Or yearn for the future-yet-to-come.
That which is past is left behind
Unattained is the “yet-to-come.”
But that which is present he discerns —
With insight as and when it comes.
The Immovable — the-non-irritable.
In that state should the wise one grow
Today itself should one bestir
Tomorrow death may come — who knows?
For no bargain can we strike
With Death who has his mighty hosts.
But one who dwells thus ardently
By day, by night, untiringly
Him the Tranquil Sage has called
The Ideal Lover of Solitude.
My note :
Remember for a moment any incident in your life from 20 years ago, some instant memory, a child on your knee, you and a friend chatting, some brief glimpse of anything from that time.
Realise now – in one sharp knowing – how quickly the time has passed between that moment and this. An ephemeral dream.
Realise now – again acutely, clearly – how quickly will pass the next 20 years. Another ephemeral dream.