2. In Praise of Causes
10 Having brushed aside doubts
about whether or not it could be done,
of your own free will you took
this helpless world under your protection.
11 You were kind without being asked,
you were loving without reason,
you were a friend to the stranger and
a kinsman to those without kin.
12 You gave even your own flesh
not to mention your wealth and possessions.
Even your own life's breath, O Kindly One,
you gave to those who wished for it.
13 A hundred times you ransomed your own body and life
for the bodies and lives of living beings
in the grip of their would-be slayers.
14 It was not fear of hell or desire for heaven
but utter purity of heart
that made you practice the good.
15 By always avoiding the crooked
and adhering to the straight,
you became the highest receptacle for purity.
16 When attacked you used your fiery power
against the defilements, but in your noble
heart felt only sympathy for those who were defiled.
17 The joy beings feel on saving their lives
equals not the joy you experienced
when you gave your life for others.
18 No matter how often murderers cut you to pieces,
regardless of the
pain you felt only compassion for them.
19 That seed of perfect enlightenment,
that jewel-like mind of yours,
only you, Great Hero, know its essence.
Others are far from understanding it.
20 "Nirvána is not won without perseverance":
thinking thus you roused great energy
without a thought for yourself.
21 Your progress towards excellence never faltered
and now you have attained
the state that cannot be bettered.
22 But you did not practice in order to experience
the pleasant and fruitful results of meditation.
Always in your heart the motive was compassion.
23 For the happiness which, though sublime,
cannot be shared with others,
pains rather than pleases those like you, O Righteous One.
24 You imbibed good speech,
bad speech you shunned like poison,
from mixed speech you extracted what was sweet.
25 Purchasing words of wisdom even with your own life,
in birth after birth, O Knower of Gems,
you were zealous for enlightenment.
26 Thus striving through the three incalculable aeons
accompanied only by your resolution,
you gained the highest state.
-- Matrceta's Hymn to the Buddha