Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Why Should It Grieve a Man?

From the Mahabharata, tr. Arthur William Ryder:
All lives begin from nothingness,
  Stir for a time, and then
(No cause for grief) sink into less
  Than nothingness again.

Death has no enemy nor friend;
  Each in his turn must pass,
Must helpless to that bidding bend
  As wind-blown blades of grass.

Our goal is—there. And every day
  The one long caravan
Moves on with death to point the way.
  Why should it grieve a man?

For all the saints and scholars old
  Since first the world began
Are gone, with every fighter bold.
  Why should it grieve a man?
I think this comes from book 11, section 9 of the Mahabharata. Cf. the prose translation of K.M. Ganguli:
Time drags all kinds of creatures. There is none dear or hateful to Time, O best of the Kurus! As the wind tears off the ends of all blades of grass, even so all creatures, O bull of Bharata’s race, are brought by Time under its influence. All creatures are like members of the same caravan bound for the same destination. What cause of sorrow is there if Time meets with one a little earlier than with another? Those again, O king, that have fallen in battle and for whom thou grievest, are not really objects of thy grief, since all those illustrious ones have gone to heaven.

<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?