Gautama Buddha under the sacred fig tree
“All that we are is the result of what we have thought: all that we are is founded on our thoughts and formed of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain pursues him, as the wheel of the wagon follows the hoof of the ox that draws it.” — Gautama Buddha, The Dhammaada, v.1
On Death and Impermanence
The Buddha said:
The life of mortals in this world is troubled and brief and combined with pain.
As all earthern vessels made by the potter end in being broken, so is the life of mortals.
Both young and old, both those who are fools and those who are wise, all fall into the power of death; all are subject to death.
Of those who, overcome by death, depart from this life, a father cannot save his son, nor kinsmen their relations.
Mark! while relatives are looking on and lamenting deeply, one by one mortals are carried off, like an ox that is led to the slaughter.
So the world is afflicted with death and decay; therefore, the wise do not grieve, knowing the terms of the world.
In whatever manner people think a thing will come to pass, it is often different when it happens, and great is the disappointment; such are the terms of the world.
Not from weeping or from grieving will anyone obtain peace of mind; on the contrary, one’s pain will be the greater and the body will suffer. One will make oneself sick and pale, yet the dead are not saved by such lamentation.
People pass away, and their fate after death will be according to their deeds.
If a man live a hundred years or more, he will at last be separated from the company of his relatives and leave the life of this world.
He who seeks peace, should draw out of his flesh the arrow of lamentation and complaint and grief.
He who has drawn out the arrow and has become composed will obtain peace of mind; he who has overcome all sorrow will become free from sorrow and be blessed.
— From The Gospel of Buddha, Compiled from Ancient Records by Paul Carus, originally published in India, 1883