8. The Thousands

Better than a thousand pointless words is one saying to the point on hearing which one finds peace. 100

Better than a thousand pointless verses is one stanza on hearing which one finds peace. 101

Better than reciting a hundred pointless verses is one verse of the teaching (one dhammapada) on hearing which one finds peace. 102

Though one were to defeat thousands upon thousands of men in battle, if another were to overcome just one - himself, he is the supreme victor. 103

Victory over oneself is better than that over others. When a man has conquered himself and always acts with self-control, neither devas, spirits, Mara or Brahma can reverse the victory of a man like that. 104, 105

Though one were to perform sacrifices by the thousand month after month for a hundred years, if another were to pay homage to a single inwardly perfected man for just a moment, that homage is better than the hundred years of sacrifices. 106

Though one were to tend the sacrificial fire for a hundred years in the forest, if another were to pay homage to a single inwardly perfected man for just a moment, that homage is better than the hundred years of sacrifice. 107

All the sacrifices and offerings a man desiring merit could make in a year in the world are not worth a quarter of the better merit of homage to the righteous. 108

Four principal things increase in the man who is respectful and always honours his elders - length of life, good looks, happiness and health. 109

Though one were to live a hundred years immoral and with a mind unstilled by meditation, the life of a single day is better if one is moral and practises meditation. 110

Though one were to live a hundred years without wisdom and with a mind unstilled by meditation, the life of a single day is better if one is wise and practises meditation. 111

Though one were to live a hundred years without seeing the rise and passing of things, the life of a single day is better if one sees the rise and passing of things. 113

Though one were to live a hundred years without seeing the deathless state, the life of a single day is better if one sees the deathless state. 114

Though one were to live a hundred years without seeing the supreme truth, the life of a single day is better if one sees the supreme truth. 115