I was asked about this quote this morning, and thought I’d do a quick write-up in case anyone else was in doubt about it:
“Set your heart on doing good. Do it over and over again, And you will be filled with joy.”
This immediately made me think of a Dhammapada verse, which in Buddharakkhita’s translation on Access to Insight is:
Should a person do good,
Let him do it again and again.
Let him find pleasure therein,
For blissful is the accumulation of good.
So you’ll see that our suspect quote has the same essential meaning, even if it’s been shifted from a general statement about what “a person” might do to a more imperative instruction.
The quote in question is from Byrom’s Dhammapada. In general his rendition (I can’t call it a translation) of the Dhammapada is very inaccurate. It’s really quite dreadful, even if the poetry is nice. This verse is one of his better efforts.
I have three categories for quotes on this site: fake, fakeish, and verified. This one is somewhere between the last two categories, but closer to being an accurate translation, so with slight misgivings I’m classifying this as verified. It may have taken liberties with the grammatical form of the verse, but otherwise it sticks close to the original meaning.