13. In Praise of Freedom from Debt
135 I know not how to repay you
for what you have done;
even those who have attained Nirvana
are still in your debt.
136 Established in the Dharma by you,
they accomplished their own welfare only.
But you worked by yourself for the welfare of all,
so how can you be repaid for that?
137 You look upon those who slumber and gently awaken them.
You are a kind and heedful friend to those who are heedless.
138 You have declared the destruction of the defilements,
you have exposed Mara’s delusions,
you have taught the evils of samsara,
you have revealed the place without fear.
139 Those who work for the welfare of the world
and those of compassionate heart, what could they do
wherein you have not already led the way?
140 If your good qualities could be given to others,
surely you would have shared them with all, even with Devadatta.
141 Out of compassion for the world
you promoted the good Dharma for so long on earth.
Many disciples have you raised
capable of working for the welfare of the world.
142 Many personal converts have you trained,
Subhadra being the last.
What still remains of your debt to living beings?
143 Powdering your bones into tiny pieces
with the diamond of concentration,
even in the end you continued to do what was hard to do.
144 “My Dharma body and my physical body both exist
only for the sake of others.” Speaking thus
even in Nirvana you taught this reluctant world.
145 Having given your entire Dharma body to the virtuous,
you broke your physical body into fragments
and attained final Nirvana.
146 What steadfastness! What conduct!
What form! What virtue!
Truly there is nothing about the Buddha’s qualities
that is not wonderful.
147 Yet even to you whose speech and actions are so helpful
are some men hostile. Behold the ferocity of delusion!
148 O ocean of good, treasury of gems,
heap of merit, mine of virtues!
Those who honor you are themselves worthy of honor.
149 Your virtues are limitless
but my capacity to praise them is not.
Therefore I shall finish, not because I am satisfied
but for fear of running out of words.
150 Only you can measure your own qualities
being as they are beyond measure,
beyond number, thought and comparison.
151 I have hardly begun to sing your praise
and yet already my heart is filled with joy.
But need a lake be drained before one’s thirst be quenched?
152 Through the merit arising from my good deed,
born of faith in the Sage,
may the minds of beings now tossed by evil thoughts
be free from distress and come to peace.