You Are Not Here To Change the World by Shantideva


“The childish work for their own benefit,
The Buddhas work for the benefit of others.
Just look at the difference between them.
Whoever wishes to quickly afford protection
To both himself and others
Should practice that holy secret:
The exchanging of self for others.
You are not here to change the world.
The world is here to change you.”

“The hostile multitudes are vast as space.
What chance is there that all should be subdued?
Let but this angry mind be overthrown,
And every foe is then and there destroyed.”

“Where would I possibly find enough leather
With which to cover the surface of the earth?
But (just) leather on the soles of my shoes
Is equivalent to covering the earth with it

Likewise it is not possible for me
To restrain the external course of things
But should I restrain this mind of mine
What would be the need to restrain all else?”

“All those who slight me to my face,
Or do me any other evil,
Even if they blame or slander me,
May they attain the fortune of enlightenment!”

– Shantideva