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Dhammapada Selections in F. Max Müller's Translation
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"He who wishes to put on the monk's dress is unworthy of that dress so long as he disregards truth" (see v. 9).

Essential Buddhist wisdom is for self-help all along. It could ease living and improve our lot in life too, as time goes by. I think we may live well by sticking to well selected basic cores of ancient Buddhist teachings, at times adapting them carefully to our lives today, while adhering to the Middle Way too.

Below are some pithy selections and paraphrases in modernised language of the Buddhist classic Dhammapada, based on F. Max Müller's translation from the Pali. The translation first appeared in the Sacred Books of the East, Translated by Various Oriental Scholars, edited by F. Max Müller Volume X, Part I, and published by Clarendon Press, Oxford, in 1881.

Buddhism teaches that good and bad acts have long-range consequences, and it is possible for a human to evolve and get it better, and that one had better adjust to that to one's ability. See if you find some solutions that suits you in your project of living along.

Nirvana stands for the highest happiness (verse 23). "The law" is Dharma in Sanskrit, and has a threefold meaning in Buddhism: (1) Universal; (2) Basic Buddhist Teachings; (3) Man-formed laws. The first and second meanings could amount to much the same, but the third option is seldom or never intended in this ancient teaching poem.

Chapter 1: The Twin-Verses

The wind will not throw down a rocky mountain (8).

He who wishes to put on the yellow dress [monk's robe] and who disregards truth, is unworthy of the yellow dress [etc.] (9).

He who has cleansed himself from sin and hosts regard for truth, he should be worthy of a good life* (10).

They who see untruth in truth, they follow vain desires* (11).

Follow true desires and know truth as truth* (12).

Rain does not break through a well-thatched house (14).

The evil-doer mourns and he mourns in the world to come. He mourns and suffers when he sees the evil of his own work* (15).

The virtuous man delights in this world. He delights and rejoices when he sees the purity of his own work* (16).

The evil-doer suffers in this world and the next; He suffers more when going on the evil path * (17).

The virtuous man is happy in this world and the next. He is happy when he thinks of the good he has done; he is still more happy when going on the good path (18).

The thoughtless man, even if he can recite a large portion (of the Dharma), but is not a doer of it, is like a cowherd counting the cows of others * (19).

Who has forsaken great foolishness owns true knowledge and serenity of mind. He is a good follower * (20].

Chapter 2: On Earnestness

Great earnestness is the path of immortality (Nirvana). Those who are thoughtless are as if dead already.* (21).

Those who are advanced in earnestness, delight in earnestness, and rejoice in the knowledge of the Ariyas (the elect) (22).

Wise people are meditative (contemplative). Steady and with strong powers, some of them win Nirvana, the highest happiness (23).

The earnest one may rouse himself: He gets recollected, his acts pure and considerate. If he has control of himself and lives according to law, his glory will increase (24).

Fools follow after vanity. The wise man keeps earnestness as his best jewel * (26).

He who is earnest and meditative, gets ample joy.* (27).

Let the learned man drive away vanity by earnestness. At last serene he looks upon the toiling crowd as one who stands on a mountain may look down on those on the plain.* (28).

Earnest and awake the wise one advances. Be earnest among the thoughtless, awake among the sleepers - the wise man advances like a racer, leaving behind the hack* (29).

Good people should praise earnestness; thoughtlessness may be blamed.* (30).

One is to get rid of (burn) small and large fetters.* (31).

Who delights in deep reflection, may actually reach Nirvana, the perfect state inside.* (32].

Chapter 3 Thought

Let the wise man guard his thoughts. Thoughts well guarded bring happiness (36 abr).

The one [whose mind] hides in the chamber (of the heart), will be free from the bonds of the tempter, Mara (37, mod).

If a man does not know the true Dharma (Law etc), and his peace of mind is troubled, his knowledge is neither solid nor perfect (38, mod).

Remain watchful (39, mod).

A well-directed mind will do us great service (43, mod].

Chapter 4: Flowers

The disciple will overcome the earth, and the world of Yama [the Lord of the dead], and the world of the gods. The disciple will find out the plainly shown path of virtue, as a clever man finds out the (right) flower (45).

A flood carries off a sleeping village (47 abr).

Let a sage dwell in his village without injuring flowers in life (49).

A sage should take notice of his own misdeeds and negligences (50).

Like a beautiful flower, full of colour and full of scent, are the fine and fruitful words of him who acts accordingly (52).

As many kinds of wreaths can be made from a heap of flowers, so many good things may be achieved by a mortal when once he is born (53).

A good man pervades every place (54 abr).

Among perfumes, the perfume of virtue is unsurpassed (55 abr).

The perfume of those of virtue rises up to the gods as the highest (56 mod).

Of virtuous people who live without thoughtlessness, and who are freed through true knowledge, the tempter, Mara, never finds the way (57).

The lily will grow full of sweet perfume and delight on a heap of rubbish cast upon the highway (58 mod]

The disciple of the truly enlightened Buddha shines forth by his knowledge among those who are like rubbish in darkness (58, 59].

Chapter 5: The Fool

If a traveller does not meet with one who is his better, or his equal, let him firmly keep to his solitary journey; there is no companionship with a fool (61).

The fool who knows his foolishness is wise at least so far. But a fool who thinks himself wise, he is called a fool indeed (63).

A fool perceives no truth, not even in extremely favourable conditions (64 extr).

Fools of little understanding have themselves for their greatest enemies, for they do evil deeds which must bear bitter fruits (66).

That deed is not well done which a man must repent of, and the reward of which he receives crying and with a tearful face (67).

That deed is well done which a man does not repent of, and the reward of which he receives gladly and cheerfully (68).

As long as the evil deed done does not bear fruit, the fool thinks it is like honey; but when it ripens, then the fool suffers grief (69).

His evil deed follows the fool (71 abr).

When the evil deed, after it has become known, brings sorrow to the fool, then it destroys his bright lot (72 abr).

One is the road that leads to wealth, another the road that leads to Nirvana (You can have it both ways; sensible living is for that, as regulated or stipulated in "turning the wheel of dharma" way. TK] (75 abr].

Chapter 6: The Wise Man (Pandita)

If you see an intelligent man who tells you where true treasures are to be found, who shows what is to be avoided, and administers reproofs, follow that wise man; it will be better for those who follow him, not worse (76).

Let [the wise man] admonish, let him teach, let him forbid what is improper!—he will be beloved of the good, by the bad he will be hated (6:77. Cf. Confucian Analects 13:24).

Do not have evil-doers for friends, do not have low people for friends: have virtuous people for friends, have for friends the best of men (78).

He who imbibes the true law lives happily with a serene mind: the sage rejoices in the Dharma, as preached by the elect (Ariyas) (79 abr).

Well-makers lead the water (wherever they like); fletchers bend the arrow; carpenters bend a log of wood; wise people fashion themselves (80).

Wise people falter not amidst blame and praise (81 abr).

Wise people, after they have listened to [eternity] laws, become serene, like a deep, smooth, and still lake (82).

Good people walk on, whatever befall, the good do not prattle, longing for pleasure; whether touched by happiness or sorrow wise people never appear [unduly] elated or depressed (83).

If, whether for his own sake, or for the sake of others, a man wishes neither for a son, nor for wealth, nor for lordship, and if he does not wish for his own success by unfair means, then he is good, wise, and virtuous (84).

Few there are among men who arrive at the other shore [gain Nirvana enlightenment] (85 abr).

Those who follow the Dharma when the Dharma has been well preached to them, will pass across the dominion of death, however difficult to overcome (86 mod).

A wise man should [in due time and when conditions allow it] follow the bright state [of renouncing active fighting for life]. He should in his retirement look for enjoyment where there seemed to be no enjoyment. That wise man should purge himself from all the troubles of the mind (87, 88 abr, mod).

Those whose mind is well grounded in knowledge, who without clinging to anything, rejoice in freedom within, and who are full of bright light, are free (even) in this world (89 mod, abr].

Chapter 7: The Venerable (Arhat)

There is no suffering for him who has finished his journey and freed himself and thrown off all fetters (90 abr).

Venerable ones depart with their thoughts well-collected, like swans who have left their lake, they leave their house and home (91 abr).

Men who have perceived Nirvana ["Gladland"], their path is difficult to understand (92).

A freed one who does his duty is tolerant, and no new births are in store for him (95 abr).

The thought, word and deed of the freed one is quiet. When he has obtained freedom by true knowledge, he tends to be a quiet man (96 mod).

Who is free from credulity and has renounced all desires, he is among the greatest of men (97 mod).

In a hamlet or in a forest, in the deep water or on the dry land, wherever venerable persons dwell, that place is delightful (98).

Forests are delightful; where the world finds no delight, there the passionless will find delight, for they look not for pleasures (99].

Chapter 8: The Yousands

A speech of a thousand senseless words - one word of sense is better, if a man who hears it, becomes quiet (100 mod).

A poem (Gatha) of a thousand senseless words - one word of sense is better, if a man who hears it, becomes quiet (101 mod).

Though a man recite a hundred poems (Gathas) of senseless words, one word of the true law is better, which if a man hears, he becomes quiet (102 - speak words of sense, then).

If a man conquer himself [so as to live under due restraint], he is the greatest of conquerors (103 abr, cf. 104, 105).

If a man but for one moment pay homage to a man whose soul is grounded (in true knowledge), better is that homage than sacrifice and external fire-worship for a hundred years (106, cf. 107).

Reverence shown to the righteous can be better than very many sacrifices (108 abr).

He who uses to greet and revere the aged - life, beauty, happiness, and power will increase for him (109).

A wise, virtuous and reflecting life of one day is better than living a hundred years, vicious and unrestrained (110, 111 - babies don't reflect all that - TK).

A life of one day is better if a man sees the immortal place, than living a hundred years not seeing the immortal place (114).

A life of one day is better if a man sees the highest law, than living a hundred years not seeing the highest law (115].

Chapter 9: Evil

If a man would haveen towards the good, he should keep his thought away from evil; and do good without sloth (116).

If a man commits a sin, let him not do it again or delight in it: Pain is the outcome of evil (117).

If a man does what is good, let him do it again; let him delight in it: For great happiness is the outcome of good (118).

Even an evil-doer sees happiness as long as his evil deed has not ripened; but when his evil deed has ripened, the evil-doer sees evil (119).

Even a good man sees evil days as long as his good deed has not ripened; but when his good deed has ripened, the good man see happy days (120).

Let no man think lightly of evil, saying in his heart, It will not come near me. For by the falling of water-drops a water-pot is filled, and the fool becomes full of evil even if he gather it little by little (121 mod).

Let no man think lightly of good, saying in his heart, It will not come nigh unto me. Even by the falling of water-drops a water-pot is filled; the wise man becomes full of good, even if he gather it little by little (122).

Let a man avoid evil deeds. As a merchant, if he has few companions and carries much wealth, avoids a dangerous road. As a man who loves life avoids poison (123).

If a man offend a harmless, pure, and innocent person, the evil falls back upon that fool (125 abr).

Evil-doers go to hell; righteous people go to heaven; those who are free from all worldly desires attain Nirvana (126].

Chapter 10: Punishment

Nearly all love life. So do not kill, nor cause slaughter (129, 130 abr, mod).

He who punishes or kills beings who also long for happiness, will not find happiness after death [unless justice is meted out. - TK] (131).

He who does not [unnecessarily - TK] punish or kill beings who also long for happiness, will find happiness after death (132].

SIDELIGHT: (1) Self-protection has been found to be necessary among Buddhist monks too. Famous martial arts of the East were developed by monks and they were trained in them. (2) About punishments: According to ancient laws the king in particular had to bring about justice by necessary means, and protect his people. Compare for example the law-book Manu Samhita 7:19 ff passim - or the deeds of Padma-Sambhava (Rinpoche) Lik 158 etc. (3) However, the concept of non-violence is good too, and it is found in yoga as well, as the moral conduct called ahimsa (non-harm). It appears Dhammapada advances the non-violent way of monks primarily. The rules for lay people are not as rigorous, but no one is adviced to be violent, bullying or a life-taker.
A cowherd with his staff drives his cows into the stable (135 abr).

The wicked man burns by his own deeds, as if burnt by fire (136 abr).

He who inflicts pain on innocent and harmless persons, will soon have cruel suffering, loss, injury of the body, heavy affliction, or loss of mind – Or a misfortune coming from the king, or a fearful accusation, or loss of relations, or destruction of treasures – Or lightning-fire will burn his houses; and when his body is destroyed, the fool will go to hell (137-140).

Plaited hair cannot purify (141 abr).

He who exercises tranquillity, is quiet, subdued, restrained, chavee, and has ceased to find fault with all other beings, he indeed is a Brahmana, an ascetic (sramana), a friar (bhikshu) - though dressed in fine apparel (142).

Be active and lively, and by faith, by virtue, by energy, by meditation, by discernment of the Dharma [aim to be] perfect in knowledge and in behaviour (144, mod).

A really good memory is fine to have. [cf. 144]

Good people fashion themselves (145 abr].

Chapter 11: Old Age

Why do you not seek a light, ye who are surrounded by darkness? (146 abr).

Life ends in death (148).

White bones, what pleasure is there in looking at them? (149).

The body approaches destruction, but the virtue of good people never approaches destruction (151).

Painful is birth again and again. But maker of the tabernacle, you shall not make up this tabernacle [body and mind except Deep Mind] again. The mind, approaching the Eternal (visankhara, nirvana), has no more desires (153, 154 mod).

One is to gain proper discipline and treasure in youth, so as not to perish like old herons in a lake without fish (155].

Chapter 12: Self

If a man hold himself dear, let him watch himself carefully - a wise man should be watchful (157).

Let each man direct himself first to what is proper, then let him teach others; thus a wise man will not suffer (158).

The evil done by oneself, self-bred, crushes the foolish, as a diamond breaks a precious stone (161 abr).

He whose wickedness is very great brings himself down to that state where his enemy wishes him to be (162).

Bad deeds, and deeds hurtful to ourselves, are easy to do; what is beneficial and good, that is [at times] very difficult to do (163).

By oneself evil is left undone, by oneself one may be purified (165 abr).

Let no one forget his own duty for the sake of another's, however great; let a man, after he has discerned his own duty, be always attentive to his duty (166].

Chapter 13: The World

Do not live on in thoughtlessness (167).

Be not [necessarily] a friend of the world (167 mod).

The virtuous one dwells in bliss in this world and in the next (168 mod abr).

Do not follow sin (169).

The king of death does not see him who looks on the world as a bubble or mirage (170 mod).

The foolish are immersed in glitter, but the wise not (171 mod).

He who formerly was reckless and afterwards became sober, brightens up this world (172 abr).

He whose evil deeds are covered by good deeds, brightens up this world (173).

This world is dark, few only can see here; a few only go to heaven, like birds escaped from the net (174).

The wise are led out of this world when they have conquered Mara and his train [temptations etc.] (175).

If a man speaks lies there [may be] no evil he will not do [in time] (176 mod).

Fools do not praise liberality (177 partial]

A wise man rejoices in liberality, and through it becomes blessed in the other world (177 partial).

Better than lordship over all worlds is the reward of the first step in holiness (178 partial].

Chapter 14: Buddha (The Awakened)

He into whose conquest no one in this world enters: by what track can you lead him, the Awakened, the Omniscient, the trackless? (179).

No desire with its snares and poisons (180).

Who are given to meditation are wise, and delight in the repose of retirement (from the world) (181 mod abr).

It is difficult to be born as a human, difficult to live as a human, difficult to hear of True Law, difficult to attain Buddhahood (182 mod).

To do good and not sin, and to purify one's mind, that is the teaching of the Awakened (183).

Showing patience is a penance (184]

Long-suffering can be stout (184 much mod]

He is not an anchorite (pravragita) who strikes others, and not an ascetic (sramana) who insults others (184).

Not to strike, to live well regulated by the Dharma, to be moderate in eating, to sleep and sit alone, and to dwell on the highest thoughts,—this is the teaching of the Awakened (185 abr).

Even a shower of gold pieces does not permanently satisfy (186 partial]

He who knows that lusts cause pain, he is wise (186 partial).

Men driven by fear go to many a refuge (188 abr).

A man is not delivered from all pains after having gone to a refuge (189 mod).

He who with clear understanding sees the four holy truths has a safe refuge [inside] (190-192].

The four truths rendered: (1) There is suffering or pain, (2) pain has its origin(s), (3) sufferings may be abolished, (4) The eightfold path is designed to take us from pain to deep bliss.
A supernatural person (a Buddha) is not easily found, he is not born everywhere. Wherever such a sage is born, that race prospers [unless he is grossly offended - TK] (193).

Happy is the arising of the awakened, happy is the teaching of the True Law, happy is peace in the Sangha, happy is the devotion of those who are at peace (194).

He who pays homage to those who deserve homage, whether the awakened (Buddha) or their disciples, those who have overcome the host (of evils), and crossed the flood of sorrow, he who pays homage to such as have found deliverance and know no fear, his merit can never be measured by anybody (195, 196].

Chapter 15: Happiness

Let us not hate those who hate us. (197).

Let us dwell free from hatred. (197).

Let us live happily then, free from ailments among the ailing! (198).

Let us live free from greed [and even] among men who are greedy. (199).

Let us live happily, feeding on happiness! (200 mod).

The conquered is unhappy (201).

The contented can remain happy (201 mod).

There is no happiness higher than in deep dhyana (meditation) rest (202 mod).

Health is a very great boon (203 mod).

Trust is good for relationships [Cf. 203).

Nirvana is the highest happiness (203, 204).

There is sweetness in solitude and tranquillity (205 mod]. Taste the sweetness of drinking in the law [Dharma, law, teachings] [cf. 205).

The sight of the elect (Arya) should be good (206 mod).

To live with the elect is a happiness (206 mod).

If a man does not see fools, he can be happy (206 mod).

He who walks in the company of fools suffers a long way (207).

Company with fools, as with an enemy, may turn painful [cf. 207).

Company with the wise is [at times a] pleasure, like meeting with kinsfolk [which is not always a pleasure] (207).

One ought to follow the wise, the intelligent, the learned, the much enduring, the dutiful, the elect; one ought to follow a good and wise man (208 partial].

Chapter 16: Pleasure

He who gives himself to vanity, and does not give himself to meditation, forgetting the real aim (of life), will in time envy him who has exerted himself in meditation (209 abr).

Let no man ever look for what is unpleasant. Not to see what is pleasant can be stressing, and it is stressing to see what is unpleasant (210 mod. Dukha can be variously translated as pain, suffering, and stress).

Those who love nothing and hate nothing, have no such fetters (211 mod. There are other fetters than love, and degrees of love too. Highest love is different.]

He who is virtuous and bright, who is just, speaks the truth, and minds his own business, him the world should hold dear (217 mod).

He in whom there is some ill-defined yearning from deep inside, who is not bedeviled by love, he is called urdhvamsrotas ("streaming upwards", going against the stream) (218 mod).

The effects of his good works receive him who has done good (220 mod].

Chapter 17: Anger

Let a man cleave to overcome all bondage that is in the realm of name and form, and who calls nothing his own (221 mod).

Anger control is good (222 abr).

Let a man overcome the greedy by liberality, the liar by truth! (223 mod).

Speak the truth, do not yield to anger (224 abr).

Go inward toward the unchangeable place (Nirvana), to suffer no more (225).

Keep very watchful, study much, and work to gain Nirvana (Happiness) in the end (226 mod).

This is an old saying, "They blame him who sits silent, they blame him who speaks much, they also blame him who says little; there is none on earth who is not blamed." (227 abr).

Who is always blamed or always praised is seldom to be found (228 with).

He who is wise, rich in knowledge and virtue, and fit, gods praise him well, even Brahman (229, 230 abr).

Leave carnal sins and defilements, to practise virtue! (231 abr).

Heed how you talk, and speak very well. (232 mod).

Leave [some] mental sins behind to focus better (233 abr).

To steer your body, talk, and mind well, remained focused (234 mod].

Chapter 18: Impurity

When you stand at the door of your departure (death), make sure to have the needed provision for your journey (235 mod).

Make yourself an island, work hard, be wise, and you will enter into the heavenly world of the elect (Ariya) (236).

Let a wise man blow off the impurities of his self little by little, and from time to time (239 abr).

A transgressor's own works lead him to the evil path (240).

The taint of prayers is non-repetition; one taint of houses, non-repair; the taint of the body is sloth; two taints of watchmen, heedlessness and thoughtlessness (241).

Tainted are all evil ways in this world (242 abr).

It pays to throw off the taint of ignorance (243 mod).

Life can be hard to live for a modest man who always looks for what is pure, and who is spotless, and intelligent (245, partial).

He who destroys life, who speaks untruth, who in this world takes what is not given him, who goes to another man's wife; and the man who gives himself to drinking intoxicating liquors, he, even in this world, digs up his own root (246, 47).

The unrestrained are in a bad state; take care that greediness and vice do not bring you to grief for a long time! (248).

There is no shark like hatred, there is no snare like folly, there is no torrent like greed (251).

The fault of others is easily perceived, but that of oneself is difficult to perceive; a man winnows his neighbour's faults like chaff, but - (252 abr).

Do not look so much after the faults of others for your own sake (253 mod).

The world delights in vanity, the Tathagatas (the Buddhas) are free from vanity (254 abr).

The awakened (Buddhas) are never shaken (255].

Chapter 19: The Just

He who distinguishes both right and wrong, who is learned and leads others by law and equity, and who is guarded by the Dharma and intelligent, he can be called just (256, 257 mod).

A man is not learned because he talks much (258).

A man is not a supporter of the Dharma because he talks much (259).

A man is not an elder because his head is grey; his age may be ripe, but he is called 'Old-in-vain.' (260).

He in whom there is truth, virtue, [sagacious, all-round] love, [careful] restraint, moderation, he who is free from impurity and is wise, he is called an elder (261 mod).

Man does not become respectable by means of much talking only, or by the beauty of his complexion (262, abr).

Not by tonsure does an undisciplined man who speaks falsehood become a Samana (264 abr).

One should quiet all evil, whether small or large (265 mod).

Who adopts the whole law [Dharma] is a Bhikshu, not he who only begs (266).

He who with knowledge passes through the world, can be called a Bhikshu (267 mod).

A man is not a Muni because he observes silence (mona, i.e., mauna) if he is foolish and ignorant; but the wise who, taking the balance, chooses the good and avoids evil, he is a Muni, and is a Muni thereby (268, 269 abr).

Someone is elect (Ariya) by showing pity on living creatures (270 mod).

Not only by sleeping alone do I earn the happiness which no worldling can know (271, 272 abr].

Chapter 20: The Way

The best of men is he who has eyes to see (273 abr).

Go for purifying the intelligence and go on this way (274 abr).

Go on to make an end of pain (275 abr).

You yourself must make an effort. The Tathagatas (Buddhas) are only preachers. The thoughtful who enter the way are freed from the bondage of Mara (276).

To be passive in pain is one way to purity [and to get grave is another] (277, 278 abr).

Things are a way to pain unless well guarded (278 mod).

Get up when it is time to rise. A blunt, lazy and idle fellow seldoms find a way to great knowledge (280 mod, enl).

Watching his speech, well restrained in mind, let a man never commit any wrong with his body! Let a man but keep these three roads of action clear, and he will achieve the way which is taught by the wise (281).

Through zeal knowledge is got. Let a man who knows this, place himself that knowledge may grow (282 abr).

Danger comes out of the forest of desires, Bhikshus (283 abr).

The love of man towards women helps to keep his mind in bondage (284 abr).

Cherish the road of peace (285 abr).

Consider that sometime you are going to die, dissolve your inner ties somewhat, and meditate to clear the way that leads to Nirvana (286-290 abr].

Chapter 21: Miscellaneous

If by leaving a small pleasure one sees a great pleasure, let a wise man leave the small pleasure, and look to the great (290).

Avoid neglecting what ought to be done, and refrain from doing what ought not to be done, and thus fare well (292 mdo).

Be watchful, sensible and wise: do not follow what ought not to be done, and do what ought to be done (293 mod).

A true Brahmana goes scatheless, though he has destroyed a kingdom with all its subjects, have killed father and mother, and two holy kings, and an eminent man beside (294-95 abr).

The disciples of Gotama (Buddha) are always well awake, and set on Buddhahood, the Law (Dharma), and the fellowship (sangha) perceived deep within (296-98 mod).

The disciples of Gotama are always well awake: care well for your body; delight in compassion [and genuineness]; and first and foremost delight in sound meditation (299-301 mod).

Enjoy the world as you can. It is hard to become a friar, hard is the monastery; painful it is to dwell with equals, and the itinerant mendicant is beset with pain. Therefore let no man be an itinerant mendicant and he will not be beset with pain [cf. 302).

Whatever place a virtuous fellow chooses, there he should be respected (303 mod).

Bad people are not all seen, like arrows shot by night (304 abr).

Practice sitting alone and sleeping alone as you are up to it (305 abr].

Chapter 22: The Downward Course

Many whose shoulders are covered with the yellow gown are ill-conditioned and unrestrained (307).

Four things does a wreckless man gain who covets his neighbour's wife,—a bad reputation, an uncomfortable bed, thirdly, punishment, and lastly, hell. So encourage no man tothink with desire of his neighbour's wife (309, 310 mod).

A grass-blade cuts the arm if badly grasped, and badly practised asceticism leads hellwards (311 mod).

An act carelessly performed, a broken vow, and hesitating obedience to discipline, all this normally brings no great rewards (312).

If anything is to be done, let another do it . . . (313 mod and hum).

A man repents of an evil deed afterwards. But having done a good deed, one should not repent (314 mod).

Let a man guard himself like a well-guarded frontier fort with defences within and without. Not a moment should escape, and never allow the right moment to pass (315).

They who are ashamed of what they ought not to be ashamed of, and are not ashamed of what they ought to be ashamed of, such men, embracing false doctrines, enter the evil path (316).

They who fear when they ought not to fear, and fear not when they ought to fear, such men, embracing false doctrines, enter the evil path (317).

They who forbid when there is nothing to be forbidden, and forbid not when there is something to be forbidden, such men, embracing false doctrines, enter the evil path (318).

They who know what is forbidden as forbidden, and what is not forbidden as not forbidden, such men, embracing the true doctrine, enter the good path (319].

Chapter 23: The Elephant

You can silently endure abuse for a while. The world is [generally] not good-natured (320, 321 mod).

He who tames himself is presumably better than he who is tamed by another [You should not tame anyone. TK] [cf. 322).

Elephant longs for elephant grove (324 abr).

If a man becomes fat and a great eater like a hog, he may be reborn (325 mod).

Watch your thoughts as sensibly as you can. You can draw yourself out of the evil way like an elephant sunk in mud (327 mod).

If a man find a prudent companion who walks with him, is wise, and lives soberly, he may walk with him, overcoming all dangers, happy, but considerate (328).

If a man find no prudent companion who walks with him, is wise, and lives soberly, let him walk alone (329).

It is better to live alone, there is no companionship with a fool; let a man walk alone, let him commit no sin and host few wishes. Elephants are good at it (330).

If an occasion arises, friends are pleasant; enjoyment is pleasant, whatever be the cause; a good work is pleasant in the hour of death; the giving up of all grief is pleasant (331).

Pleasant in the world is the state of a mother, pleasant the state of a father, pleasant the state of a Samana, pleasant the state of a Brahmana [Ideally, that is. TK] (332).

Pleasant is virtue lasting to old age, pleasant is a faith firmly rooted; pleasant is attainment of intelligence, pleasant is avoiding of sins (333].

Chapter 24: Thirst

Whoever fierce desire overcomes, his sufferings are likely to increase. So do not be thoughtless (334-35).

Never let Mara (the tempter) crush you (337 mod).

Pleasure can be strong and carry off a misguided man (339).

See if you are able to cut the root of unbecoming passions by means of knowledge (340 mod).

Great luxury, extravagance, and sensual pleasures may bring on decay. One should avoid that [A long-term way out is through meditation] (341).

By unbecoming passions fetters and bonds are forged. The victims may undergo pain for a long time, again and again [A way out is deep meditation] (342 mod).

He who, having reached Nirvana, gives himself over to lust, looks like someone running into bondage (344 mod).

A strong fetter is hardly made of iron, wood, or hemp. Stronger is the concern for precious stones and rings, for sons and a wife (345).

The strong fetter drags you down, difficult to undo (346 mod).

Those who are slaves to passions, run downwards with the stream (of desires) (347 abr mod).

If a man is tossed about by doubts, full of strong passions, and yearning only for what is delightful to look at, his desire-life may come to grow more and more, and he will end up making his fetters strong (349).

You can delight in quieting doubts and reflect well occasionally (350 mod).

A sage tries to understand dear words and their interpretation (352 abr).

The gift of the Dharma exceeds all other gifts; the sweetness of the Dharma exceeds all other sweetness; the delight in the Dharma-body [a realm] exceeds other delights (354).

Unsound pleasures destroy the foolish (355 abr mod).

Do not forget to be oriented toward the other shore (355 mod).

Unsound pleasures destroys the foolish, as if he were his own enemy (355 mod).

Gifts can be given for the sake of great rewards (356-57 mod).

Vanity damages many. Do not give many gifts out of vanity, or to very vain ones, then (358 mod].

Chapter 25: The Bhikshu (Mendicant)

Sound restraint should be good, including restraint in speech, should be good and serve to set us free from pains. (360-61 mod).

Sound dexterity and control of hand, speech, and mind should lead to inward delight in time (362 abr).

Being solitary and content is fine. (362 abr).

Reach up to speaking wisely and calmly, and teach the meaning and the Dharma through such sweet words (363).

He [or she] who dwells in the Dharma (Law), delights in the Dharma, meditates on the Dharma, follows the Dharma, will hardly ever fall away from the true law (364).

Let him not despise what he has received, nor ever envy others: a mendicant who envies others does not obtain peace of mind (365).

A pure-hearted Bhikshu should not be slothful (366 mod).

The meditator who acts with kindness, who is calm in the Dharma of Buddha, may reach the quiet place (Nirvana), cessation of natural desires, and great happiness (368 mod).

You may rise above the five senses in deep meditation to be termed Oghatinna, 'saved from the flood.' (370).

Meditate, bhikshu, and be not heedless so that you amass pain. (371 abr).

He who has both essential knowledge and medites too, can be near unto Nirvana (372 mod).

There is delight in seeing the Dharma clearly (373 abr).

As soon as he has considered the origin and destruction of the elements (khandha) of the body, he finds happiness and joy which belong to those who know the immortal (Nirvana) (374).

It is generally wise to get watchful over the senses, contented, carefully, well restrained under the Dharma; keeping noble friends whose lives are pure and who are not slothful (375).

In a fulness of delight one will make an end of suffering (376 abr).

Men should shed passion and hatred, monks! (377).

To remain quieted and collected is all right (378 abr).

Rouse yourself by yourself (379 abr).

Examine yourself by yourself (379 abr).

Self-protected and attentive, live happily, meditator (379 abr).

Self is the refuge of self (380 abr).

The Bhikshu, full of delight, who is calm in the doctrine of Buddha will reach the heart-happy and quiet place (Nirvana) (381 mod).

He who applies himself well to the doctrine of Buddha, brightens up this world (382 mod].

Chapter 26: The Brahmana (Arhat)

Bonds vanish from him who has obtained knowledge by attaining the other shore in this life. But for the fear-free Brahmana there is neither this nor that shore anyhow [Oneness is seen] (384-85).

He who has attained the highest end, is a Brahmana (386).

The sun is bright by day, the Brahmana is bright in his meditation; but Buddha is bright with splendour day and night (387 abr).

Because a man is rid of evil, therefore he is called Brahmana; because he walks quietly, therefore he is called Samana; because he has sent away his own impurities, therefore he is called pilgrim (Pravragita, Pabbagita) (388).

No one should attack a Brahmana, but no Brahmana (if attacked) should let himself fly at his aggressor! Woe to him who strikes a Brahmana (389).

Him I call a Brahmana who does not offend by body, word, or thought, and is controlled on these three points (391).

Try to understand the Dharma as taught by the Well-awakened (Buddha) and keep it well in mind [cf. 392).

A man does not become a Brahmana by his platted hair, by his family, or by birth. But the one there is truth and righteousness in, he is a Brahmana (393 abr).

A fool may have platted hair and wear goat-skins too, not just renouncers. Some have proper outsides, but are ravening inside (394).

The man who lives alone and meditates, even if he wears dirty raiments and is emaciated, I call a Brahmana (395).

Some are snub because of wealth and bloodlines. But do not call a man a Brahmana because of his origin or of his mother. However, the poor, who is also free from attachments, him I call a Brahmana (396).

A Brahmana who has cut all fetters, who never trembles, is independent and unshackled - is awakened (397, 398 abr).

A Brahmana who, though he has committed no offence, endures reproach, has endurance for his force, and strength for his army (399 abr).

A Brahmana hardly clings to pleasures, like water on a lotus leaf, like a mustard seed on the point of a needle (401).

A Brahmana should know the end of his suffering, put down his burden, and remain unshackled (402 mod).

The one whose knowledge is deep, who has wisdom, who knows the right way and the wrong, and has attained the highest end, I call a Brahmana[403).

A Brahmana tends to keep aloof both from laymen and from mendicants. He frequents few or no houses, and has all right desires (404 mod).

A Brahmana is someone from whom anger and hatred, pride and envy have dropped away (407 abr).

A Brahmana speaks truly, instructively and free from harshness (408).

Him I call indeed a Brahmana who takes nothing in the world that is not given him, be it long or short, small or large, good or bad (409).

A Brahmana is rather undisturbed (413 abr).

Him I call indeed a Brahmana who has traversed this miry road, the impassable world and its vanity, who has gone through, and reached the other shore, is thoughtful, guileless, free from doubts, free from attachment, and content (414).

Him I call indeed a Brahmana who in this world, leaving all desires, travels about without a home, and in whom all concupiscence is extinct (415).

Him I call indeed a Brahmana who, leaving all longings, travels about without a home, and in whom all covetousness is extinct (416).

Him I call indeed a Brahmana who, after leaving all bondage to men, has risen above all bondage to the gods, and is free from all and every bondage (417).

A Brahmana is free from bondage, welfaring (Sugata), and awakened (Buddha) (419 abr).

A Brahmana is an Arhat (venerable) (420 abr).

A Brahmana is noble and awakened (422 abr).


Dhammapada selections, F. Max Müller, Muller, Buddhist teachings, Literature  

Müller, F. Max, tr. Dhammapada. In Sacred Books of the East, Volume X, Part I. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1881. On-line.

Emphasises (in italic) above are added.

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