Arañña Sutta
The Wilderness

Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu


Standing to one side, a devata addressed the Blessed One with a verse:

Living in the wilderness,
staying peaceful, remaining chaste,
eating just one meal a day:
why are their faces
so bright and serene?

[The Buddha:]

They don’t sorrow over the past,
don’t long for the future.
They survive on the present.
That’s why their faces
are bright and serene.

From longing for the future,
from sorrowing over the past, fools wither away
like a green reed cut down.