Merely for their own sake, even those who long for liberation,
Make efforts like one whose hair is on fire.
Seeing this, for the sake of all beings, constant effort,
The source of excellent qualities, is the practice of a Bodhisattva.
— Gyalse Ngulchu Tokme Zangpo, 37 Practices of a Bodhisattva
‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ … ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ — Matthew, 25:40, 45.
All tremble at violence; all fear death. Putting oneself in the place of another, one should not kill nor cause another to kill. All tremble at violence; life is dear to all. Putting oneself in the place of another, one should not kill nor cause another to kill. — Dhammapada, 10:129-130.
* Mahayana amendment. We understand “the least of these brothers and sisters” to include all sentient beings — seen and unseen, known, unknown, and unknowable.
Hōkyōintō, Yasakaji Temple, Matsuyama, Japan. July 1, 2012. The Hōkyōin Darani Sutra gathers relics of “all the Buddhas of the past, present, and future.”
Pilgrim, Kochi Prefecture, Japan. February 2012.
If a man find a prudent companion who walks with him, is wise,
and lives soberly, he may walk with him, overcoming all dangers,
happy, but considerate.
If a man find no prudent companion who walks with him, is wise,
and lives soberly, let him walk alone, like a king who has left his
conquered country behind,–like an elephant in the forest.
It is better to live alone, there is no companionship with a
fool; let a man walk alone, let him commit no sin, with few wishes,
like an elephant in the forest.
— The Dhammapada, 23:328-330