Merit

His life had already touched upon the age when everything that breathes of impulse shrinks in a man, when a powerful bow has a fainter effect on his soul and no longer twines piercing music around his heart, when the touch of beauty no longer transforms virginal powers into fire and flame, but all the burnt-out feelings become more accessible to the sound of gold, listen more attentively to its alluring music, and little by little allow it imperceptibly to lull them completely. Fame cannot give pleasure to one who did not merit it but stole it; it produces a constant tremor only in one who is worthy of it. And therefore all his feelings and longings turn toward gold.”

The Buddha said that when we dedicate merit, it is like adding a drop of water to the ocean. Just as a drop of water added to the ocean will not dry up but will exist as long as the ocean itself exists, so, too, if we dedicate the merit of any virtuous deed, it merges with the vast ocean of merit that endures until enlightenment.

It is more honorable to be raised to a throne than to be born to one. Fortune bestows the one, merit obtains the other.

My husband once worked for a company that had a merit pay system. After six months they told him that he owed the company money.

Communism is the exploitation of the strong by the weak. In property, inequality of conditions is the result of force, under whatever name it be disguised: physical and mental force; force of events, chance, fortune; force of accumulated property… In communism, inequality springs from placing mediocrity on a level with excellence. This damaging equation is repellent to the conscience, and causes merit to complain; for, although it may be the duty of the strong to aid the weak, they prefer to do it out of generosity, — they never will endure a comparison. Give them equal opportunities of labor, and equal wages, but never allow their jealousy to be awakened by mutual suspicion of unfaithfulness in the performance of the common task.

To name a thing is easy: the difficulty is to discern it before its appearance. In giving expression to the last stage of an idea, — an idea which permeates all minds, which to-morrow will be proclaimed by another if I fail to announce it to-day, — I can claim no merit save that of priority of utterance. Do we eulogize the man who first perceives the dawn?

They merit more praise who know how to suffer misery than those who temper themselves in contentment.

Rabban Gamaliel the son of Rabbi Judah the Prince said: “Great is study of the Torah when combined with a worldly occupation, for toil in them both puts sin out of mind. All study of the Torah which is not supplemented by work is destined to prove futile and causes sin. Let all who occupy themselves with communal affairs do so for Heaven's sake, for then the merit of their fathers sustains them and their righteousness endures forever. And as for you, G-d will then say: I count you worthy of great reward as if you had done it all yourselves. Be careful in your relations with the government; for they draw no man close to themselves except for their own interests. They appear as friends when it is to their advantage, but they do not stand by a man in his time of stress… Do His will as if it was your will that He may do your will as if it was His will. Make your will of no effect before His will that He may make the will of others of no effect before your will.”

Any controversy waged in the service of God shall in the end be of lasting worth, but any that is not shall in the end lead to no permanent result. Which controversy was an example of being waged in the service of G-d? Such was the controversy of Hillel and Shammai. And which was not for G-d? Such was the controversy of Korah and all his company. Whoever leads the masses in the right path will not come to any sin, but whoever leads the masses astray will not be able to repent for all the wrong he commits. Thus Moses was virtuous and he led the masses in the right path, and their merit is ascribed to him, as it is written (Deuteronomy 33:21) He executed the justice of the Lord, and His ordinances for Israel. But Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, sinned and caused the multitude to sin, and so the sin of the masses is ascribed to him as it is written (I Kings 15:30) Because of the sins of Jeroboam that he committed and that he caused Israel to commit.

Babies dead without baptism go to Limbo, where they do not enjoy God, but neither do they suffer, because, having original sin alone, they do not deserve paradise, but neither do they merit hell or purgatory.

Take criticism seriously, but not personally. If there is truth or merit in the criticism, try to learn from it. Otherwise, let it roll right off you.

Know! You need to judge every person favorably, even someone who is completely wicked, you need to search and find any little bit of good. By finding in him a little good and judging him favorably you actually bring him over to the side of merit and you can return him in teshuva.

Since the evil forces see that the Jewish people are very, very close to the end (to the messiah), and there are Jews nowadays who have tremendous yearning and passion for spirituality and godliness, such a thing that has never occurred in past generations, so the evil forces enter arguments between the tzaddikim, and they establish in the world many false leaders, and even between true tzaddikim the evil forces cause great arguments, until no one knows where truth can be found. Therefore, a person needs to plead very much from Hashem to merit to recognize and come close to the true Tzaddik.

The main thing is faith! Every person must search within himself and strengthen himself in faith. For there are people who suffer the worst illnesses and afflictions only because of fallen faith, because, "God will send you wondrous plagues, great and faithful plagues and great and faithful sicknesses" (Deuteronomy 28:59). The plagues and sicknesses are "faithful" because they come on account of a lack of faith. Fallen faith causes "wondrous" plagues, for which no medicine, prayer or ancestral merit is of any avail...

For the preacher's merit or demerit, It were to be wished that the flaws were fewer In the earthen vessel, holding treasure, But the main thing is, does it hold good measure Heaven soon sets right all other matters!

While Europe's eye is fix'd on mighty things,
The fate of empires and the fall of kings;
While quacks of State must each produce his plan,
And even children lisp the Rights of Man;
Amid this mighty fuss just let me mention,
The Rights of Woman merit some attention.

Lord, what is man but flesh and blood? O weep!
His days unconscious stray, like shadows sweep,
His stroke comes sudden and he falls on sleep.

Lord, what is man? A carcase fouled and trodden,
A noxious creature brimming with deceit,
A fading flow’r that shrivels in the heat.
Wert Thou as stern as he with sin is sodden,
How could he face Thy wrath? Ah, see him creep:
His stroke comes sudden and he falls on sleep.

Lord, what is man? He rolls in mud and lies,
Insanely fouls the clean and spoils the fine.
Did but Thy justice follow his design,
Mown like the grass were he, or herb that dies.
In doom’s dark hour be then Thy pity deep,
His stroke comes sudden and he falls on sleep.

Lord, what is man? Proud, born in sin, defiant,
His drink is violence and on wrong he feeds.
Sea-tossed and furnace-fierce, if judged by deeds
He would be crushed like weakling fighting giant.
Thy mercy therefore let his prayer reap,
His stroke comes sudden and he falls on sleep.

Lord, what is man? A trickster vile, abhorred.
If Thou shouldst deal with him in equity,
A mouldered robe, a scattered cloud were he.
Therefore forgiveness is his best award.
His base is dust, his form a clayey heap,
His stroke comes sudden and he falls on sleep.

Lord, what is man? A tree despoiled, mere stubble
Its only fruit. Didst Thou his sin repay,
He like a snail or wax would melt away.
Therefore forgive, nor press him in his trouble.
Moth-like he rots, old joys he can but weep,
His stroke comes sudden and he falls on sleep.

Lord, what is man? A lonely creature driven
Like fallen leaf, bemocked by empty words,
As full of guile as basket is of birds.
His rottenness would swift as smoke be riven,
Didst Thou his measure, not Thy measure keep.
His stroke comes sudden and he falls on sleep.

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
All the suffering in the world comes from seeking pleasure for oneself.
All the happiness in the world comes from seeking pleasure for others.
As long as space abides and as long as the world abides, so long may I abide, destroying the sufferings of the world.
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?
My body, thus, and all my good besides,
And all my merits gained and to be gained,
I give them all away withholding nothing
To bring about the benefit of beings.

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!
Take advantage of this human boat;
Free yourself from sorrow’s mighty stream!
This vessel will be later hard to find.
The time that you have now, you fool, is not for sleep!
Examine thus yourself from every side.
Note harmful thoughts and every futile striving.
Thus it is that heroes in the bodhisattva path
Apply the remedies to keep a steady mind.
Examine thus yourself from every side.
Note harmful thoughts and every futile striving.
Thus it is that heroes in the bodhisattva path
Apply the remedies to keep a steady mind.
Those who have no mental vigilance,
Though they may hear the teachings, ponder them or meditate,
With minds like water seeping from a leaking jug,
Their learning will not settle in their memories.
Suffering also has its worth.
Through sorrow, pride is driven out
And pity felt for those who wander in samsara;
Evil is avoided, goodness seems delightful.
May I be like a guard for those who are protectorless,
A guide for those who journey on the road.
For those who wish to go across the water,
May I be a boat, a raft, a bridge.
And so let beings do to me
Whatever does not bring them injury.
Whenever they catch sight of me,
Let this not fail to bring them benefit.
For sentient beings, poor and destitute,
May I become a treasure ever plentiful,
And lie before them closely in their reach,
A varied source of all that they might need.
As a blind man feels when he finds a pearl in a dustbin, so am I amazed by the miracles of awakening rising in my consciousness. It is the nectar of immortality that delivers us from death, the treasure that lifts us from death, the treasure that lifts us above poverty into the wealth of giving to life, the tree that gives shade to us when we roam about scorched by life, the bridge that takes us across the stormy river of life, the cool moon of compassion that calms our mind when it is agitated, the fun that dispels darkness, the butter made from the milk of kindness by churning it with the dharma. It is a feast of joy to which all are invited.
All that I possess and use
Is like the fleeting vision of a dream.
It fades into the realms of memory;
And fading, will be seen no more.
Nothing that has passed can be regained.
How much suffering and fear, and
How many harmful things are in existence?
If all arises from clinging to the “I”,
What should I do with this great demon?
Exchanging Self and Other.

General education is the best preventive of the evils now most dreaded. In the civilized countries of the world, the question is how to distribute most generally and equally the property of the world. As a rule, where education is most general the distribution of property is most general.... As knowledge spreads, wealth spreads. To diffuse knowledge is to diffuse wealth. To give all an equal chance to acquire knowledge is the best and surest way to give all an equal chance to acquire property.

The true servants of God are not solicitous that He should order them to do what they desire to do, but that they may desire to do what He orders them to do.