Saturday, November 6, 2010

Strength, beauty and the perfect fruit

"Giving away our food we get more strength, giving away our clothes we get more beauty; founding religious rest-places, we reap the perfect fruit of the highest and the best degree of charity, without self-interest or thought of getting more; and so the heart comes back and rests."
– Buddha, in his preaching of the Dana Paramita, the Ideal of Charity, as translated in Jack Kerouac's book "Wake Up, a life of the Buddha."  Sutra translation is by Dwight Goddard, I think.
[Also, see quote from "Wake Up" at Google Books.]

But this all comes with a caveat [the "without self-interest" part].  To emphasize that, quoting Lao-Tzu (who is Taoist, of course.  Taoist/Buddhist - close enough):

"The truly virtuous are not conscious of their virtue. Those of inferior virtue, however, are ever consciously concerned with their virtue and therefore are without true virtue. True virtue is spontaneous and lays no claim to virtue."

Thus, as in Christianity, Good Works are necessary and must come from a clarified heart.

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