To Puspa

On the tree of life grow myriad fruits,
Each one more delicious than the last,
But the root of that tree is humility,
With a flavor quite different from the rest,
For the more that one eats of it, the sweeter it gets.

The scriptures say of the proud and mighty:
“Pride cometh before a fall,”
But even should the humble fall,
As all surely will when conditions ripen,
Humility will lift them up and bathe their wounds,
And set them back on course again.

As surely as the seasons change,
What comes will come, but does not stay,
And yet humility stays its course,
For it follows nature’s way:
Like water, it accommodates to changing conditions;
Like wind, it moves unseen;
And like the earth, beneath our feet,
Humility does not complain. 

In truth, humility is many things to many people:
To the arrogant, it is a bitter medicine;
To the hungry, sustenance;
A friend to the friendless;
A home to the homeless;
To the angry, a soothing balm.
Each gains what he needs most,
And so to him or her, humility is a blessing. 

There are four great virtues in this world – faith, hope, love and charity,
But greater than all these is humility,
For love may be blind, but humility sees;
For faith may be one-sided, but humility is even;
For hope may be broken, but humility bends;
For charity gives, but humility also receives.

Be humble –
You may not become famous, but you will be happy.
You may not become wealthy,
But you will learn to appreciate what you have.
You may not reach all your goals or get everything you want in life,
But in their place, you will find contentment.

Be humble,
And the gods will bow down before you,
Heaven will honor you,
And in this world of endless conflict,
Where vanity and egotism rule the day,
You will be like a king among paupers,
With humility as your crown.

Forest Island, Bali Usada
Peneng, Bali
May 2017


To view more poems and musings by Bhikkhu Moneyya, klick here to go to a PDF of my book “The Moneyya Chronicles.” You can also buy my book at