SN.2.22. Khemasutta ("With Khema")

Saṁyutta Nikāya ("The Linked Discourses")

Standing to one side, the god Khema recited these verses in the Buddha’s presence:

“Witless fools behave
like their own worst enemies,
doing wicked deeds
that ripen as bitter fruit.

It’s not good to do a deed
that plagues you later on,
for which you weep and wail,
as its effect stays with you.

It is good to do a deed
that doesn’t plague you later on,
that comforts and cheers,
as its effect stays with you.”

“As a precaution, you should do
what you know is for your own welfare.
A thinker, a wise one would not proceed
thinking like the cart driver.

Suppose a cart driver leaves the highway,
so even and well compacted.
They enter upon a rough road,
and fret when their axle breaks.

So too, an idiot departs the good
to follow what’s against the good.
Fallen in the jaws of death,
they fret like their axle’s broken.”

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