The Buddha Gotama asked, what use is a long life? A hundred years will have 36,525 days, but it is better to have lived only one those days virtuous, meditative, wise, strenuous and resolute than to live out all of those days immoral, uncontrolled, foolish, lazy and cowardly. It is far better to live only a single day, and understand the rise and fall of things, and gain even a measure of wisdom.
What use is tending the sacred fires in the forests, or making monthly sacrifices? In a hundred years, there are 1,200 months and it would have been better to have revered what is righteous and honorable for even just one of them.
What victory is there in conquering and subduing a thousand men in battle? A hundred thousand men? The better victory would be for the one man who conquers himself. Self-conquest exceeds victory over others. He who is self-subdued and restrained in his conduct cannot be defeated even by doubt or hope.
A thousand useless words are not better than one useful word, if by the hearing of that one useful word, peace is attained. A thousand useless sutras are not better than one useful sutra, if by the reading of that one useful sutra, peace is attained. A thousand useless truths are not better than one useful truth, if by the understanding of that one useful truth, peace is attained.