Jaravagga - Old Age (verses 146-156)
What is laughter, what is joy, when the world is ever burning? Shrouded by darkness, would you not seek the light? Behold this beautiful body, a mass of sores, a heaped-up (lump), diseased, much thought of, in which nothing lasts, nothing persists. Thoroughly worn out is this body, a nest of diseases, perishable. This putrid mass breaks up. Truly, life ends in death. Life gourds cast away in autumn are these dove-hued bones. What pleasure is there in looking at them? Of bones is (this) city made, plastered with flesh and blood. Herein are stored decay, death, conceit, and detraction. Even ornamented royal chariots wear out. So too the body reaches old age. But the Dhamma of the Good grows not old. Thus do the Good reveal it among the Good. The man of little learning grows old like the ox. His muscles grow; his wisdom grows not. Through many a birth in samsara, wandered I, seeking, but not finding, the builder of this house. Sorrowful is it to be born again and again. O house-builder! Thou art seen. Thou shalt build no house again. All thy rafters are broken. Thy ridge-pole is shattered. My mind has attained the unconditioned. Achieved is the end of craving. They who have not led the Holy Life, who in youth had not acquired wealth, pine away like old herons at a pond without fish. They who have not led the Holy Life, who in youth had not acquired wealth, he like worn out bows, sighing after the past.