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Saturday, September 26, 2015

25 Inspiring Quotes Of A Samurai

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25 Inspiring Quotes Of A Samurai

This is an article about 25 quotes of a samurai, as Yamamoto Tsunetomo wrote about them.

Tsunetomo (June 11, 1659 – November 30, 1719) was a samurai of the Saga Domain in Hizen Province under his lord Nabeshima Mitsushige. He believed that becoming one with death in one's thoughts, even in life, was the highest attainment of purity and focus. He felt that a resolution to die gives rise to a higher state of life, infused with beauty and grace beyond the reach of those concerned with self-preservation.

Tsunemoto is famous for Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai. It's a practical and spiritual guide for a Samurai, which dictated how samurai were expected to behave, conduct themselves, live, and die. He is also known as Yamamoto Jōchō, the name he took after retiring and becoming a monk.

Here are 25 timeless quotes of Tsunemoto that should become a lesson for everyone of us:

1) “There is surely nothing other than the single purpose of the present moment. A man's whole life is a succession of moment after moment. There will be nothing else to do, and nothing else to pursue. Live being true to the single purpose of the moment.” (Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai)

2) “There is something to be learned from a rainstorm. When meeting with a sudden shower, you try not to get wet and run quickly along the road. But doing such things as passing under the eaves of houses, you still get wet. When you are resolved from the beginning, you will not be perplexed, though you will still get the same soaking. This understanding extends to everything.” (Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai)

3) “Even if it seems certain that you will lose, retaliate. Neither wisdom nor technique has a place in this. A real man does not think of victory or defeat. He plunges recklessly towards an irrational death. By doing this, you will awaken from your dreams.” (Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai)

4) “To give a person an opinion one must first judge well whether that person is of the disposition to receive it or not.” (Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai)

5) “Be true to the thought of the moment and avoid distraction. Other than continuing to exert yourself, enter into nothing else, but go to the extent of living single thought by single thought.” (Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai)

6) “It is said that what is called "the spirit of an age" is something to which one cannot return. That this spirit gradually dissipates is due to the world's coming to an end. For this reason, although one would like to change today's world back to the spirit of one hundred years or more ago, it cannot be done. Thus it is important to make the best out of every generation.” (Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai)

7) “It is a wretched thing that the young men of today are so contriving and so proud of their material posessions. Men with contriving hearts are lacking in duty. Lacking in duty, they will have no self-respect.” (Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai)

8) “There is nothing we should be quite so grateful for as the last line of the poem that goes, 'When your own heart asks.” (Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai)

9) “In the Kamigata area, they have a sort of tiered lunchbox they use for a single day when flower viewing. Upon returning, they throw them away, trampling them underfoot. The end is important in all things.” (Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai)

10) “When one is writing a letter, he should think that the recipient will make it into a hanging scroll.” (Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai)

11) “Bushido is realized in the presence of death. This means choosing death whenever there is a choice between life and death. There is no other reasoning.” (Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai)

12) “If a warrior is not unattached to life and death, he will be of no use whatsoever. The saying that “All abilities come from one mind” sounds as though it has to do with sentient matters, but it is in fact a matter of being unattached to life and death. With such non-attachment one can accomplish any feat.” (Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai)

13) “If one is but secure at the foundation, he will not be pained by departure from minor details or affairs that are contrary to expectation. But in the end, the details of a matter are important. The right and wrong of one's way of doing things are found in trivial matters.” (Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai)

14) “Singlemindedness is all-powerful.” (Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai)

15) “Tether even a roasted chicken.” (Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai)

16) “Respect, Honesty, Courage, Rectitude, Loyalty, Honour, Benevolence” (Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai)

17) “Sincerity does not only complete the self; it is the means by which all things are completed. As the self is completed, there is human-heartedness; as things are completed, there is wisdom. This is the virtue of one’s character, and the Way of joining the internal and external. Thus, when we use this, everything is correct.” (Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai)

18) “If by setting one’s heart right every morning and evening, one is able to live as though his body were already dead, he gains freedom in the Way.” (Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai)

19) “It is spiritless to think that you cannot attain to that which you have seen and heard the masters attain. The masters are men. You are also a man. If you think that you will be inferior in doing something, you will be on that road very soon.” (Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai)

20) “Although this may be a most difficult thing, if one will do it, it can be done. There is nothing that one should suppose cannot be done.” (Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai)

21) “If one does not get it into his head from the very beginning that the world is full of unseemly situations, for the most part his demeanour will be poor and he will not be believed by others.” (Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai)

22) “A man who can reason over trifles will become conceited, and will take pleasure in being described as 'odd'. He will start boasting that he was born with a personality that doesn't fit well with contemporary society, and be convinced that nobody else is above him. He will surely meet with divine retribution. Regardless of what abilities a man may possess, he will be of little use if rejected by others. People don't slight those who are eager to help and serve well, and who readily exhibit humility to their associates.”

23) “Nothing is impossible in this world. Firm determination, it is said, can move heaven and earth. Things appear far beyond one's power, because one cannot set his heart on any arduous project due to want of strong will.”

24) “Whether people be of high or low birth, rich or poor, old or young, enlightened or confused, they are all alike in that they will one day die.”

25) “Continue to spur a running horse.”

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