I will take another set of mantras from the Dhammapadda today. This is particularly one of my favorites, as it uses an elephant as a metaphor of the self. I hope you enjoy it! Happy Monday!
I will endure abusive words like the elephant in battle endures the arrow shot from the bow; for many people are ill-behaved. The lead a tamed elephant into battle, a king mounts a tamed elephant; the tamed one is the best of human beings, the one who endures abusive words. Excellent are mules that are tamed, horses of good breed, and the mighty bull elephant; even better is one whose self is tamed. For it is not by these vehicles that one may go to the place of inaccessibility, where the tamed one goes, with self mastery, by virtue of being tamed.
The elephant called Guardian of Treasure is hard to control when in rut. It does not eat any food when bound; the elephant longs for the elephant grove. The foll who becomes a sluggard and a glutton, tossing and turning in sleep, like a fat fodder-fed hog, enter the womb again and again. This mind used to roam about where it wished, where it wanted, where it pleased; now I will control it judiciously, as the holder of the hook controls an elephant in rut. Take pleasure in vigilance, guard your own mind; extricate yourself from the way to misery, as you would an elephant sunk in the mud.
If you find a prudent companion, a wise associate who leads a good life, having overcome all troubles, travel with that one, uplifted and aware. If you do not find a prudent companion, a wise associate leading a good life, then travel alone, like a king abandoning a domain he has conquered, like an elephant roaming the forest. It is better to walk along; there is no companionship with a fool. Walk alone, like an elephant in the forest, with few desires, doing no evil. Companionship is pleasant when a need arises; satisfaction is pleasant when it is mutual. Virtue is pleasant at the end of life; pleasant is relinquishment of all misery.
Pleasant is motherliness in the world, and fatherliness is pleasant. Pleasant is religiousness in the world, and priestliness is pleasant. Pleasant is morality that lasts to old age; pleasant is faith well-founded. Pleasant is attainment of insight; pleasant is avoidance of evil.