If there were a truly existent I,
It would make sense to be afraid of certain things; But, since there is no truly existent I,
Who is there to be afraid?
From Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life, by Shantideva, translated by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche with Neil Elliot © 2002. Reprinted with permission of Tharpa Publications (tharpa.com). Shantideva was a renowned 8th-century Indian Buddhist monk who taught at Nalanda monastery.
Evil spirits have power over fearful men but cannot disturb the fearless. Likewise, those intimidated by fear of the world are in the power of forms, sounds, smells, tastes, and textures, which do not disturb those who are free from fear of the passions inherent in the constructive world.
From The Holy Teaching of Vimalakirti: A Mahayana Scripture, translated by Robert A. F. Thurman © 1976. Reprinted with permission of Pennsylvania State University Press (psupress.org). Vimalakirti, the semi-legendary speaker featured in this famous sutra, is a lay disciple of the Buddha.
Selfish attachment brings suffering; selfish attachment brings fear. Be detached, and you will be free from suffering and fear.
From The Dhammapada, translated by Eknath Easwaran. Nilgiri Press, 2007.
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