I work more than I can bear, but
am happy hearted enough to leap and dance.
This is because my mind thinks and aims
only to live in line with the Dhamma,
Wherever the causes and conditions lead,
according to the karma I laid down in former moments.
To die is like a pause from work,
to sleep for a night, to rest for a time;
With the new dawn, I take up the work
vigorously carrying on the work left over from before.
The new day is a new birth, these two are the same:
born with the day and dying at night,
As the waves of the samsaric cycles create
the myriad products that soothe and comfort our hearts.
Whoever wishes for joy and bliss must know
that it depends on the one who can see joy for himself.
As for me, there is no meaning beyond
the fact that I was born only to work
According to conditions, so that myself and others
will know the world, conquer it, and vanquish sorrow.
Nature created us perfectly, physically and mentally
thriving — boundless thanks to Nature!
Although we are created for birth, decay, and death,
yet Nature gives me the chance to vie
Struggle, and contend in all duties to break ahead
in order to reach the end before anyone else.
While friends encourage each other to lie around,
I am working hard as if they were chasing behind.
The duties of life that besiege constantly
are like debts ever piling up on top of me
Blocking my way almost like a whirlpool,
when will I pass beyond and find the place of freedom and peace?
From here to Nibbana we must pass through
the checkpoint which is the work of our lives
This Law is more certain than any scales;
no matter how skilled, no one can escape this rule.
For this reason, in any activity that
aims for the benefit of others or oneself
We should hurry, struggle, and strive
to make it beautiful and work off our debt to Nature.
Until the heart’s attachments to all things
weaken, dissolve, and fade away
So that wisdom sees directly that greed, anger,
and delusion are finished and samsara stopped.
Hurry friends, don't be late!
Whatever work you may meet, tackle it immediately.
Much work may bring a faster death,
but it rolls along towards the final rest, just the same.
* * *
13 February 1938
[translated by Santikaro Bhikkhu]