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Like fish in a shrinking pond

Posted: Thu Apr 30, 2015 5:55 pm
by jacx
Hi,
Does anyone know the source of Samantabadhra's Verse of Exhortation/Admonition (普賢菩薩警世偈) that is chanted in Chan temples at evening service?

"The day is already done. Our lives are that much less
We are like fish in a shrinking pond. What joy is there in this?
Great assembly!
We should be diligent and vigorous, as if our own heads were at stake.
Only be mindful of impermanence and be careful not to be lax."

I can't read Chinese characters, so just pointing me to CBETA won't help!

Thank you very much.

Re: Like fish in a shrinking pond

Posted: Thu Apr 30, 2015 9:14 pm
by Astus
是日已過 命亦隨減 如少水魚 斯有何樂
"The day is already done. Our lives are that much less
We are like fish in a shrinking pond. What joy is there in this?"


The above is found in the Chinese translations of Dharmapada and the Udanavarga (T210 & T212), matches Udanavarga 1.34 but it has no corresponding stanza in the Pali Dhammapada.

當勤精進 如救頭然 但念無常 慎勿放逸
"We should be diligent and vigorous, as if our own heads were at stake.
Only be mindful of impermanence and be careful not to be lax."


Found in for instance the Ming era compilation "Admonishment for Monastics" (T2023).

Re: Like fish in a shrinking pond

Posted: Thu Apr 30, 2015 11:14 pm
by jacx
Thank you Astus!

Anyone know when it started to be chanted as a verse? Or how it came to be associated with Puxian Pusa?

Re: Like fish in a shrinking pond

Posted: Wed May 06, 2015 5:59 am
by zengen
I don't know where these verses come from. I chant these verses in my local monastery as well. These verses really motivate me to practice the dharma :smile: