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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Buddhist Parables


THE TWIN TRUTHS
For the proper understanding of Buddhism these opening stanzas are all-important. One of the Buddha's key-thoughts was what modern psychologists call the "law of apperception": the value of things depends upon our attitude to them.

Part of Gautama's work of reform was a "transvaluation of values," a shifting of emphasis; and, like the Stoics, he taught the indifference of the things of sense. "Men are disturbed," said Epictetus, "not by things, but by the view they take of things."

1. Mind it is which gives to things their quality, their foundation, and their being: whoso speaks or acts with impure mind, him sorrow dogs, as the wheel follows the steps of the draught-ox.

2. Mind it is which gives to things their quality,

their foundation, and their being: whoso speaks or acts with purified mind, him happiness accompanies as his faithful shadow.

3. "He has abused me, beaten me, worsted me, robbed me"; those who dwell upon such thoughts never lose their hate.

4. "He has abused me, beaten me, worsted me, robbed me "; those who dwell: not upon such thoughts are freed of hate.

5. Never does hatred cease by hating; by not hating does it cease: this is the ancient law.

6. If some there are who know not by such hatred we are perishing, and some there are who know it, then by their knowledge strife is ended.

7. As the wind throws down a shaky tree, so Mara (Death) o’erwhelms him who is a seeker after vanity, uncontrolled, intemperate, slothful, and effeminate.

8. But whoso keeps his eyes from vanity, controlled and temperate, faithful and strenuous, Mara cannot overthrow, as the wind beating against a rocky crag.

9. Though an impure man don the pure yellow robe (of the Bhikkhu), himself unindued with temperance and truth, he is not worthy of the pure yellow robe.

10. He who has doffed his impurities, calm and clothed upon with temperance and truth, he wears the pure robe worthily.

11. Those who mistake the shadow for thesubstance, and the substance for the shadow, never attain the reality, following wandering fires (lit. followers of a false pursuit).

12. But if a man knows the substance and the shadow as they are, he attains the reality, following the true trail.

13. As the rain pours into the ill-thatched house, so lust pours into the undisciplined mind.

14. As rain cannot enter the well-thatched house, so lust finds no entry into the disciplined mind.

15. Here and hereafter the sinner mourns: yea mourns and is in torment, knowing the vileness of his deeds.

16. Here and hereafter the good man is glad: yea is glad and rejoices, knowing that his deeds are pure.

17. Here and hereafter the sinner is in torment: tormented by the thought "I have sinned"; yea rather tormented when he goes to hell.

18. Here and hereafter the good man rejoices; rejoices as he thinks "I have done well": yea rather rejoices when he goes to a heaven.

19. If a man is a great preacher of the sacred text, but slothful and no doer of it, he is a hireling shepherd, who has no part in the flock.

20. If a man preaches but a little of the text and practises the teaching, putting away lust and hatred and infatuation; if he is truly wise and detached and seeks nothing here or hereafter, his lot is with the holy ones.

ZEAL
Zeal or earnestness (appamādo) plays an important part in Buddhist Ethics. The way is steep, therefore let the wayfarer play the man.

Zeal may be displayed either in strenuous mind-culture or in deeds of piety—these are the equivalents of "Faith" and "Works" in the Buddhist system.

21. Zeal is the way to Nirvāna. Sloth is the day of death. The zealous die not: the slothful are as it were dead.

22. The wise who know the power of zeal delight in it, rejoicing in the lot of the noble.

23. These wise ones by meditation and reflection, by constant effort reach Nirvāna, highest freedom.

24. Great grows the glory of him who is zealous in meditation, whose actions are pure and deliberate, whose life is calm and righteous and full of vigour.

25. By strenuous effort, by self-control, by temperance, let the wise man make for himself an island which the flood cannot overwhelm.

26. Fools in their folly give themselves to sloth: the wise man guards his vigour as his greatest possession.

27. Give not yourselves over to sloth, and to dalliance with delights: he who meditates with earnestness attains great joy.

28. When the wise one puts off sloth for zeal, ascending the high tower of wisdom he gazes sorrowless upon the sorrowing crowd below! Wise himself, he looks upon the fools as one upon a mountain-peak gazing upon the dwellers in the valley.

29. Zealous amidst the slothful, vigilant among the sleepers, go the prudent, as a racehorse outstrips a hack.

30. By zeal did Sakra reach supremacy among the gods. Men praise zeal; but sloth is always blamed.

31. A Bhikkhu who delights in zeal, looking askance at sloth, moves onwards like a fire, burning the greater and the lesser bonds.

32. A Bhikkhu who delights in zeal, looking askance at sloth, cannot be brought low, but is near to Nirvāna

THE MIND
33. This trembling, wavering mind, so difficult to guard and to control—this the wise man makes straight as the fletcher straightens his shaft.

34. As quivers the fish when thrown upon the ground, far from his home in the waters, so the mind quivers as it leaves the realm of Death.

35. Good it is to tame the mind, so difficult to control, fickle, and capricious. Blessed is the tamed mind.

36. Let the wise man guard his mind, incomprehensible, subtle, and capricious though it is. Blessed is the guarded mind.

37. They will escape the fetters of Death who control that far-wandering, solitary, incorporeal cave-dweller, the mind.

38. In him who is unstable and ignorant of the law and capricious in his faith, wisdom is not perfected.

39. There is no fear in him, the vigilant one whose mind is not befouled with lust, nor embittered with rage, who cares nought for merit or demerit.

40. Let him who knows that his body is brittle as a potsherd, make his mind strong as a fortress; let him smite Mara with the sword of wisdom, and let him guard his conquest without dalliance.

41. Soon will this body lie upon the ground, deserted, and bereft of sense, like a log cast aside.

42. Badly does an enemy treat his enemy, a foeman his foe: worse is the havoc wrought by a misdirected mind.

43. Not mother and father, not kith and kin can so benefit a man as a mind attentive to the rights.

FLOWERS
44. Who shall conquer this world, and the realm of Death with its attendant gods? Who shall sort the verses of the well-preached Law, as a clever weaver of garlands sorts flowers?

45. My disciple shall conquer this world and Death with its attendant gods: it is he who shall sort the verses of the well-preached Law as a clever garland-maker sorts flowers.

46. Let him escape the eye of Mara, regarding his body as froth, knowing it as a mirage, plucking out the flowery shafts of Mara.

47. He who is busy culling pleasures, as one plucks flowers, Death seizes and hurries off, as a great flood bears away a sleeping village.

48. The Destroyer treads him underfoot as he is culling worldly pleasures, still unsated with lusts of the flesh.

49. As a bee taking honey from flowers, without hurt to bloom or scent, so let the sage seek his food from house to house.

60. Be not concerned with other men's evil words or deeds or neglect of good: look rather to thine own sins and negligence (lit. "sins of commission and omission": things done and undone).

51. As some bright flower—fair to look at, but lacking fragrance—so are fair words which bear no fruit in action.

52. As some bright flower, fragrant as it is fair, so are fair words whose fruit is seen in action.

53. As if from a pile of flowers one were to weave many a garland, so let mortals string together much merit.

54. No scent of flower is borne against the wind, though it were sandal, or incense or jasmine: but the fragrance of the holy is borne against the wind: the righteous pervade all space (with their fragrance).

55. More excellent than the scent of sandal and incense, of lily and jasmine, is the fragrance of good deeds.

56. A slight thing is this scent of incense and of sandal-wood, but the scent of the holy pervades the highest heaven.

57. Death finds not the path of the righteous and strenuous, who are set free by their perfect wisdom.

58, 59. As on some roadside dung-heap, a flower blooms fragrant and delightful, so amongst the refuse of blinded mortals shines forth in wisdom the follower of the true Buddha. 

THE FOOL
60. Long is the night to the watcher, long is the league to the weary traveller: long is the chain of existence to fools who ignore the true Law.

61. If on a journey thou canst not find thy peer or one better than thyself, make the journey stoutly alone: there is no company with a fool.

62. "I have sons and wealth," thinks the fool with anxious care; he is not even master of himself, much less of sons and wealth.

63. The fool who knows his folly is so far wise: but the fool who reckons himself wise is called a fool indeed.

64. Though for a lifetime the fool keeps company with the wise, yet does he not learn righteousness, as spoon gets no taste of soup.

65. If but for a moment the thoughtful keep company with the wise, straightway he learns righteousness, as tongue tastes soup.

66. Fools and dolts go their way, their own worst enemies; working evil which bears bitter fruit.

67. That is no good deed which brings remorse, whose reward one receives with tears and lamentation.

68. But that is the good deed which brings no remorse, whose reward the doer takes with joy and gladness.

69. Honey sweet to the fool is his sin—until it ripens: then he comes to grief.

70. If once a month the fool sips his food from a blade of the sacred grass—his is no fraction of the Arahat's worth.

71. Evil does not straightway curdle like milk, but is rather like a smouldering fire which attends the fool and burns him.

72. When the fool's wisdom bears evil fruit it bursts asunder his happiness, and smashes his head.

73, 74. If one desire the praise of knaves, or leadership amongst the Bhikkhus, and lordship in the convents, and the reverence of the laity, thinking "Let layman and religious alike appreciate my deeds; let them do my bidding and obey my prohibitions," if such be his fond imaginings, then will ambition and self-will wax great.

75. One is the road leading to gain, another is that leading to Nirvāna: knowing this, let the Bhikkhu, the follower of Buddha, strive in solitude, not seeking the praise of men.

THE WISE MAN
76. Look upon him who shows you your faults as a revealer of treasure: seek his company who checks and chides you, the sage who is wise in reproof: it fares well and not ill with him who seeks such company.

77. Let a man admonish, and advise, and keep others from strife! So will he be dear to the righteous, and hated by the unrighteous.

78. Avoid bad friends, avoid the company of the evil: seek after noble friends and men of lofty character.

79. He who drinks in the law lives glad, for his mind is serene: in the law preached by the Noble the sage ever finds his joy.

80. Engineers control the water; fletchers straighten the arrow; carpenters fashion their wood. Sages control and fashion themselves.

81. As some massive rock stands unmoved by the storm-wind, so the wise stand unmoved by praise or blame.

82. As a deep lake, clear and undefiled, so are sages calmed by hearing the law.

83. Freely go the righteous; the holy ones do not whine and pine for lusts; unmoved by success or failure, the wise show no change of mood.

84. Desire not a son for thyself nor for another, nor riches nor a kingdom; desire not thy gain by another's loss; so art thou righteous, wise, and good.

85. Few amongst men are they who reach the farther shore: the rest, a great multitude, stand only on the bank.

86. The righteous followers of the well-preached law, these are the mortals who reach the far shore. But hard is their journey through the realm of Death.

87, 88. Leaving the way of darkness, let the sage cleave to the way of light: let him leave home for the homeless life, that solitude so hard to love (Nirvāna). Putting away lust and possessing nothing, let the sage cleanse himself from every evil thought.

89. They are serene in this world, whose mind is perfected in that clear thought which leads to Arahatship, whose delight is in renunciation, free from taints, and lustrous.

THE ARAHAT
90. No remorse is found in him whose journey is accomplished, whose sorrow ended, whose freedom complete, whose chains are all shaken off.

91. The mindful press on, casting no look behind to their home-life; as swans deserting a pool they leave their dear home.

92. Some there are who have no treasure here, temperate ones whose goal is the freedom which comes of realising that life is empty and impermanent: their steps are hard to track as the flight of birds through the sky.

93. He whose taints are purged away, who is indifferent to food, whose goal is the freedom which comes of realising life's emptiness and transciency, is hard to track as the flight of birds in the sky.

94. Even the gods emulate him whose senses are quiet as horses well-tamed by the charioteer, who has renounced self-will, and put away all taints.

95. No more will he be born whose patience is as the earth's, who is firm as a pillar and pious, pure as some unruffled lake.

96. Calm is the thought, calm the words and deeds of such a one, who has by wisdom attained true freedom and self-control.

97. Excellent is the man who is not credulous, who knows Nirvāna, who has cut all bonds, destroyed the germs of rebirth, cast off lust.

98. In the village or the jungle, on sea or land, wherever lives the Arahat, there is the place of delight.

99. Pleasant are the glades where the herd come not to disport themselves: there shall the Holy take their pleasure, who seek not after lust.

THE THOUSANDS
100. Better than a thousand empty words is one pregnant word, which brings the hearer peace.

101. Better than a thousand idle songs is a single song, which brings the hearer peace.

102. Better it is to chant one verse of the law, that brings the hearer peace, than to chant a hundred empty songs.

103. If one were to conquer a thousand thousand in the battle—he who conquers self is the greatest warrior.

104, 105. Self-conquest is better than other victories: neither god nor demi-god, neither Mara nor Brahma, can undo the victory of such a one, who is self-controlled and always calm.

106. If month by month throughout a hundred years one were to offer sacrifices costing thousands, and if for a moment another were to reverence the self-controlled—this is the better worship.

107. If one for a hundred years tended the sacred fire in the glade, and another for a moment reverenced the self-controlled, this is the better worship.

108. Whatsoever sacrifice or offering a man makes for a full year in hope of benefits, all is not worth a quarter of that better offering—reverence to the upright.

109. In him who is trained in constant courtesy and reverence to the old, four qualities increase: length of days, beauty, gladness, and strength.

110. Better than a hundred years of impure and intemperate existence is a single day of moral, contemplative life.

111. Better is one day of wise and contemplative life than a thousand years of folly and intemperance.

112. Better one day of earnest energy than a hundred years of sloth and lassitude.

113. Better one day of insight into the fleeting nature of the things of sense, than a hundred years of blindness to this transiency.

114. Better one day of insight into the deathless state (Nirvāna), than a hundred years of blindness to this immortality.

115. Better one day of insight into the Supreme Law, than a hundred years of blindness to that Law.

VICE
116. Cling to what is right: so will you keep the mind from wrong. Whoso is slack in well-doing comes to rejoice in evil.

117. If one offends, let him not repeat his offence; let him not set his heart upon it. Sad is the piling up of sin.

118. If one does well, let him repeat his well-doing: let him set his heart upon it. Glad is the storing up of good.

119. The bad man sees good days, until his wrong-doing ripens; then he beholds evil days.

120. Even a good man may see evil days till his well-doing comes to fruition; then he beholds good days.

121. Think not lightly of evil "It will not come nigh me." Drop by drop the pitcher is filled: slowly yet surely the fool is saturated with evil.

122. Think not lightly of good "It will not come nigh me." Drop by drop the pitcher is filled: slowly yet surely the good are filled with merit.

123. A trader whose pack is great and whose caravan is small shuns a dangerous road; a man who loves his life shuns poison: so do thou shun evil.

124. He who has no wound can handle poison: the unwounded hand cannot absorb it. There is no evil to him that does no evil.

125. Whoso is offended by the inoffensive man, and whoso blames an innocent man, his evil returns upon him as fine dust thrown against the wind.

126. Some go to the womb; some, evil-doers, to hell; the good go to heaven; the sinless to Nirvāna.

127. Not in the sky, nor in mid-ocean, nor in mountain-cave can one find sanctuary from his sins.

128. Not in the sky, not in mid-ocean, not in mountain-cave can one find release from the conquering might of death.

PUNISHMENT
129. All fear the rod, all quake at death. Judge then by thyself, and forbear from slaughter, or from causing to slay.

130. To all is life dear. Judge then by thyself, and forbear to slay or to cause slaughter.

131. Whoso himself desires joy, yet hurts them who love joy, shall not obtain it hereafter.

132. Whoso himself desires joy and hurts not them who love it, shall hereafter attain to joy.

133. Speak not harshly to any one: else will men turn upon you. Sad are the words of strife: retribution will follow them.

134. Be silent as a broken gong: so wilt thou reach peace; for strife is not found in thee.

135. As the herdsman drives out his cows to the pasture, so Old Age and Death drive out the life of men.

136. Verily the fool sins and knows it not: by his own deeds is the fool tormented as by fire.

137. He who strikes those who strike not and are innocent will come speedily to one of these ten states:

138. To cruel torment, loss, accident, severe illness, and madness he will come:

139. To visitation from the King, grievous slander, loss of kith and kin, and perishing of his wealth he will come:

140. Ravaging fire will destroy his houses, and after death the poor wretch will go to hell.

141. Not nakedness, nor matted hair, not dirt, nor fastings, not sleeping in sanctuaries, nor ashes, nor ascetic posture—none of these things purifies a man who is not free from doubt.

142. If even a fop fosters the serene mind, calm and controlled, pious and pure, and does no hurt to any living thing, he is the Brahmin he is the Samana, he is the Bhikkhu.

143. Is there in all the world a man so modest that he provokes no blame, as a noble steed never deserves the whip? As a noble steed stung by the whip, be ye spirited and swift.

144. By faith, by righteousness, by manliness, by meditation, by just judgment, by theory and practice, by mindfulness, leave aside sorrow—no slight burden.

145. Engineers control the water, fletchers fashion their shafts, carpenters shape the wood: it is themselves that the pious fashion and control.

OLD AGE
146. Where is the joy, what the pleasure, whilst all is in flames? Benighted, would ye not seek a torch?

147. Look at this painted image, wounded and swollen, sickly and full of lust, in which there is no permanence;

148. This wasted form is a nest of disease and very frail: it is full of putrid matter and perishes. Death is the end of life.

149. What delight is there for him who sees these grey bones scattered like gourds in autumn?

150. Here is a citadel of bones plastered with flesh and blood, and manned by old age and death, self-will and enmity.

151. As even the king's bright chariot grows old, so the body of man also comes to old age. But the law of the holy never ages: the holy teach it to the holy.

152. The simpleton ages like the ox: his weight increases, but not his wisdom.

153. Many births have I traversed seeking the builder; in vain! Weary is the round of births.

154. Now art thou seen, O Builder. Nevermore shalt thou build the house! All thy beams are broken; cast down is thy cornerstone. My mind is set upon Nirvāna; it has attained the extinction of desire.

155. They who have not lived purely nor stored up riches in their youth, these ruefully ponder, as old herons by a lake without fish.

156. They who have not lived purely nor stored up riches in their youth, are as arrows that are shot in vain: they mourn for the past.

SELF
157. If a man love himself, let him diligently watch himself: the wise will keep vigil for one of the three watches of the night.

158. Keep first thyself aright: then mayest thou advise others. So is the wise man unblameable.

159. If one so shapes his own life as he directs others, himself controlled, he will duly control others: self, they say, is hard to tame.

160. A man is his own helper; who else is there to help? By self-control man is a rare help to himself.

161. The ill that is begun and has its growth and its being in self, bruises the foolish one, as the diamond pierces its own matrix.

162. As the creeper overpowers the tree, so he whose sin is great, works for himself the havoc his enemy would wish for him.

163. Ill is easy to do; it is easy to do harm: hard indeed it is to do helpful and good deeds.

164. Whoso fondly repudiates the teaching of the noble and virtuous Arahats, following false doctrine, is like the bamboo which bears fruit to its own destruction.

165. Thou art brought low by the evil thou hast done thyself; by the evil thou hast left undone art thou purified. Purity and impurity are things of man's inmost self; no man can purify another.

166. Even for great benefit to another let no man imperil his own benefit. When he has realised what is for his own good, let him pursue that earnestly.

THE WORLD
167. Let no man foster evil habits; let no man live in sloth: let none follow false doctrines, none prolong his sojourn in this world.

168. Up! Idle not, but follow after good. The good man lives happy in this world and the next.

169. Follow after virtue, not after vice. The virtuous live happy in this world and the next.

170. The king of Death sees not him who regards the world as a bubble, a mirage.

171. Come then, think of the world as a painted chariot of the king—a morass where fools are sinking, where the wise take no pleasure.

172. He who in former days was slothful, and has put off sloth, lights up the world as the moon freed of the clouds.

173. He who covers his idle deeds with goodness lights up the world as the moon freed of clouds.

174. Blinded are the men of this world; few there are who have eyes to see: few are the birds which escape the fowler's net; few are they who go to heaven.

175. Through the sky fly the swans: Rishis too pass through the air. The wise leave the world altogether, deserting Mara and his hosts.

176. There is no wrong he would not do who breaks one precept, speaking lies and mocking at the life to come.

177. Misers go not to the realm of gods: therefore he is a fool who does not delight in liberality. The wise delighting in liberality come thereby with gladness to the other world.

178. Good is kingship of the earth; good is birth in heaven; good is universal empire; better still is the fruit of conversion.

THE BUDDHA
179. Into his victory which is never reversed there enters no element of weakness; through what fault can you lead captive the faultless one, the Buddha whose sphere is Nirvāna?

180. By what fault will you lead captive the faultless Buddha, whose sphere is Nirvāna? In him are no clinging meshes of desire to lead him captive.

181. The gods themselves emulate the truly wise and mindful, who are busy in meditation and prudent, delighting in the peace of Nirvāna.

182. Arduous is human birth; arduous is mortal life: arduous is hearing of the Law: arduous the uprising of Buddhas.

183. "Eschew all evil: cherish good: cleanse your inmost thoughts"—this is the teaching of Buddhas.

184. "Patience and fortitude is the supreme asceticism: Nirvāna is above all," say the Buddhas. He is no recluse who harms others: nor is he who causes grief an ascetic (samana).

185. Hurt none by word or deed, be consistent in well-doing: be moderate in food, dwell in solitude, and give yourselves to meditation—this is the advice of Buddhas.

186. Not by a shower of gold is satisfaction of the senses found: "little pleasure, lasting pain," so thinks the sage.

187. The follower of the true Buddha finds no delight even in divine pleasures: but his joy is in the destruction of desire (tānhā).

188. Often do men in terror seek sanctuary in mountains or jungles, by sacred groves or trees;

189. In them is no safe sanctuary; in them is not the supreme sanctuary; in them is not that sanctuary whither a man may go and cast aside his cares.

190. But he who goes for sanctuary to the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Sangha looks in his wisdom for the four noble truths:

191. "Sorrow, the arising of sorrow, the cessation of sorrow, and the noble eightfold path which leads to their cessation."

192. Here truly is the sure sanctuary: here is the supreme sanctuary: here is the sanctuary where a man may go and cast aside his care.

193. Hard to find is the Exalted One: he is not born in every place: happy dwells the household into which he, the wise one, is born:

194. A blessing is the arising of Buddhas, a blessing is the true preaching. Blessed is the unity of the Sangha, blessed is the devotion of those who dwell in unity.

195, 196. Immeasurable is the merit of him who does reverence to those to whom reverence is due, Buddha and his disciples, men who have left behind them the trammels of evil, and crossed beyond the stream of sorrow and wailing, calmed and free of all fear.

BLISS
197. O Joy! We live in bliss; amongst men of hate, hating none. Let us indeed dwell among them without hatred.

198. O Joy! In bliss we dwell; healthy amidst the ailing. Let us indeed dwell amongst them in perfect health.

199. Yea in very bliss we dwell: free from care amidst the careworn. Let us indeed dwell amongst them without care.

200. In bliss we dwell possessing nothing: let us dwell feeding upon joy like the shining ones in their splendour.

201. The victor breeds enmity; the conquered sleeps in sorrow. Regardless of either victory or defeat the calm man dwells in peace.

202. There is no fire like lust; no luck so bad as hate. There is no sorrow like existence: no bliss greater than Nirvāna (rest).

203. Hunger is the greatest ill: existence is the greatest sorrow. Sure knowledge of this is Nirvāna, highest bliss.

204. Health is the greatest boon; content is the greatest wealth; a loyal friend is the truest kinsman; Nirvāna is the Supreme Bliss.

205. Having tasted the joy of solitude and of serenity, a man is freed from sorrow and from sin, and tastes the nectar of piety.

206. Good is the vision of the Noble; good is their company. He may be always happy who escapes the sight of fools.

207. He who consorts with fools knows lasting grief. Grievous is the company of fools, as that of enemies; glad is the company of the wise, as that of kinsfolk.

208. Therefore do thou consort with the wise, the sage, the learned, the noble ones who shun not the yoke of duty: follow in the wake of such a one, the wise and prudent, as the moon follows the path of the stars.

AFFECTION
209. He who gives himself to vanity and not to the truly profitable, shunning the true pursuit, and grasping at pleasure, will come to envy him who has sought the true profit.

210. Let no man cleave to what is pleasant or unpleasant: parting with the pleasant is pain, and painful is the presence of the unpleasant.

211. Take a liking to nothing; loss of the prize is evil. There are no bonds for him who has neither likes nor dislikes.

212. From attachment comes grief, from attachment comes fear. He who is pure from attachment knows neither grief nor fear.

213. From affection come grief and fear. He who is without affection knows neither grief nor fear.

214. From pleasure come grief and fear. He who is freed from pleasure knows neither grief nor fear.

215. From lust come grief and fear. He who is freed from lust knows neither grief nor fear.

216. From desire come grief and fear. He who is free of desire knows neither grief nor fear.

217. The man of counsel and insight, of righteousness and truth, who minds his own affairs, him the crowd holds dear.

218. If a man's heart be set upon the Ineffable (Nirvāna), his mind brought to perfection, and every thought freed from lust, he is called the strong swimmer who forges his way against the stream.

219. When, after long voyaging afar, one returns in safety home, kinsfolk and friends receive him gladly;

220. Even so his good deeds receive the good man, when he leaves this world for the next, as kinsfolk greet a dear traveller. 

ANGER
221. Put away anger, eschew self-will, conquer every bond; no suffering touches him who does not cling to phenomenal existence, but calls nothing his own.

222. Whoso controls his rising anger as a running chariot, him I call the charioteer: the others only hold the reins.

223. By calmness let a man overcome wrath; let him overcome evil by good; the miser let him subdue by liberality, and the liar by truth.

224. Speak the truth, be not angry, give of thy poverty to the suppliant: by these three virtues a man attains to the company of the gods.

225. The innocent, the sages, those whose action is controlled, these go to the eternal state where they know not sorrow (Nirvāna).

226. All taints pass away from them who are ever vigilant and active day and night, with faces set towards Nirvāna.

227. This is an ancient law, O Atula, not the jaw of a day; men blame the silent and they blame the talker; even the man of few words they blame. No one in the world gets off unblamed.

228. There never was, nor will be, nor is there now to be found, one wholly blamed or wholly praised.

229, 230. But who is worthy to blame him whom the wise praise after daily scrutiny, who is himself wise and without blemish as a medal of purest gold? Even the gods seek to emulate such a one; even Brahma praises him.

231. Guard against evil deeds: control the body. Eschew evil deeds and do good.

232. Guard against evil words; control the tongue. Eschew evil words and speak good ones.

233. Guard against evil thoughts; control the mind. Eschew evil thoughts and think good ones.

234. The wise, controlled in act, in word, in thought, are well controlled indeed.

SIN
235. Thou art withered as a sere leaf: Death's messengers await thee. Thou standest at the gate of death, and hast made no provision for the journey.

236. Make to thyself a refuge; come, strive and be prudent: when thy impurities are purged, thou shalt come into the heavenly abode of the Noble.

237. Thy life is ended; thou art come into the Presence of Death: there is no resting-place by the way, and thou hast no provision for the journey.

238. Make for thyself a refuge; come, strive and play the sage! Burn off thy taints, and thou shalt know birth and old age no more.

239. As a smith purifies silver in the fire, so bit by bit continually the sage burns away his impurities.

240. It is the iron's own rust that destroys it: it is the sinner's own acts that bring him to hell.

241. Disuse is the rust of mantras; laziness the rust of households; sloth is the rust of beauty; neglect is the watcher's ruin.

242. Impurity is the ruin of woman; and avarice the ruin of the giver: ill-deeds are the rust of this world and the next.

243. More corrosive than those is the rust of ignorance, the greatest of taints: put off this rust and be clean, O Bhikkhus.

244. Life is easy for the crafty and shameless, for the wanton, shrewd, and impure:

245. Hard it is for the modest, the lover of purity, the disinterested and simple and clean, the man of insight.

246, 247. The murderer, the liar, the thief, the adulterer, and the drunkard—these even in this world uproot themselves.

248. Know this, O man, evil is the undisciplined mind! See to it that greed and lawlessness bring not upon thee long suffering.

249. Men give according to faith or caprice. If a man fret because food and drink are given to another, he comes not day or night to serene meditation (i.e. Samādhi).

250. He in whom this (envious spirit) is destroyed and wholly uprooted, he truly day and night attains serene meditation.

251. There is no fire like lust, no ravenous beast like hatred, no snare like folly, no flood like desire.

252. To see another's fault is easy: to see one's own is hard. Men winnow the faults of others like chaff: their own they hide as a crafty gambler hides a losing throw.

253. The taints of this man are ever growing. He is far from the purification of taints (Arahatship), the censorious one who is ever blaming others.

254. There is no path through the sky: there is no "religious" apart from us. The world without delights in dalliance: the Blessed Ones are freed from this thrall.

255. There is no path through the sky; there is no "religious" apart from us. Nothing in the phenomenal world is lasting; but Buddhas endure immovable.

THE RIGHTEOUS
256, 257. Hasty judgment shows no man just. He is called just who discriminates between right and wrong, who judges others not hastily, but with righteous and calm judgment, a wise guardian of the law.

258. Neither is a man wise by much speaking: he is called wise who is forgiving, kindly, and fearless.

259. A man is not a pillar of the law for his much speaking: he who has heard only part of the law and keeps it indeed, he is a pillar of the law and does not slight it.

260. No man is made an "elder" by his grey locks; mere old age is called empty old age.

261. He is called "elder" in whom dwell truth and righteousness, harmlessness and self-control and self-mastery, who is without taint and wise.

262. Not by mere eloquence or comeliness is a man a "gentleman," who is lustful, a miser, and a knave.

263. But he in whom these faults are uprooted and done away, the wise and pure is called a gentleman.

264. Not by his shaven crown is one made a "religious" who is intemperate and dishonourable. How can he be a "religious" who is full of lust and greed?

265. He who puts off entirely great sins and small faults—by such true religion is a man called "religious."

266. Not merely by the mendicant life is a man known as a mendicant: he is not a mendicant because he follows the law of the flesh;

267. But because, being above good and evil, he leads a pure life and goes circumspectly.

268, 269. Not by silence (mona) is a man a sage (muni) if he be ignorant and foolish: he who holds as it were the balance, taking the good and rejecting the bad, he is the sage: he who is sage for both worlds, he is the true sage.

270. A man is no warrior who worries living things: by not worrying is a man called warrior.

271, 272. Not only by discipline and vows, not only by much learning, nor by meditation nor by solitude have I won to that peace which no worldling knows. Rest not content with these, O Bhikkhus, until you have reached the destruction of all taints. 

THE PATH
Happiness is for Gautama, as for Aristotle, "the bloom upon virtue." The path which leads to the Supreme Bliss is the path of morality defined as the Noble Eightfold Path. If a man follow this, he is happy here and hereafter.

It consists of:

Right Views,

Right Aspirations,

Right Speech,

Right Action,

Right Livelihood,

Right Effort,

Right Mindfulness,

Right Contemplation.

[paragraph continues] This is described by Gautama as a Middle Path between the extreme of sensuality on the one hand and asceticism on the other; or between superstitious credulity and sceptical materialism. It is a truly noble ideal: yet one must never forget that "Righteousness" throughout is Buddhistically defined: e.g. "Right Views"

means a correct grasp of the Buddhist teaching that all is transient, all is sorrowful, all is unreal. Again, "Right Contemplation" is the practice of Samādhi, concentration of the mind upon Buddhist ideas, such as the above. The highest "Livelihood," again, is to live upon the alms of the faithful.

273. Best of paths is the Eightfold; the four truths are the best of truths: purity is the best state; best of men is the seer.

274. This is the way; there is none other that leads to the seeing of Purity (Nirvāna.) Do you follow this path: that is to befool Mara.

275. Travelling by this way you'll end your grief: it is the way I preached when I learnt to throw off my bonds.

276. ’Tis you who must strive: the Blessed Ones are only preachers. They who strive and meditate are freed from Mara's bonds.

277. "All is passing": when one sees and realises this, he sits loose to this world of sorrow: this is the way of purity.

278. "All is sorrow": when one sees and realises this, he sits loose to this world of sorrow; this is the way of purity.

279. "All is unreal": when one sees and realises this, he sits loose to this world of sorrow this is the way of purity.

280. He who fails to strive when ’tis time to strive, young and strong though he be, slothful and enmeshed in lust, the sluggard, never finds the path to wisdom.

281. Whoso guards his tongue and controls his mind and does nothing wrong: keeping clear these three paths, he will achieve the way shown by the wise.

282. From meditation springs wisdom; from neglect of it the loss of wisdom. Knowing this path of progress and decline, choose the way that leads to growth of wisdom.

283. Cut down the jungle (I do not mean with an axe!). For from the jungle of lust springs fear, and if you cut it down, you will be disentangled, O Bhikkhus!

284. Whilst the entanglement of a man with a woman is not utterly cut away, he is in bondage, running to her as a sucking calf to the cow.

285. Pluck out the bond of self as one pulls up an autumn lotus. Forge thy way along the path of safety, Nirvāna, shown by the Blessed.

286. "Here will I pass the wet season; here the winter and summer," thinks the fool, unmindful of what may befall.

287. Then comes Death and sweeps him away infatuated with children and cattle, and entangled with this world's goods, as a flood carries off a sleeping village.

288. There is no safety in sons, or in father, or in kinsfolk when Death overshadows thee: amongst thine own kith and kin is no refuge:

289. Knowing this clearly, the wise and righteous man straightway clears the road that leads to Nirvāna.

MISCELLANY
290. If at the cost of a little joy one sees great joy, he who is wise will look to the greater and leave the less.

291. Whoso seeks his own pleasure by another's pain, is entangled in hate and cannot get free.

292. Duty neglected; evil done: the taints of the proud and slothful wax ever more and more.

293. But those who are ever pondering the nature of the body, who run not after evil, who are constant in duty—in these, the vigilant and wise, taints come utterly to an end.

294. Having destroyed Mother and Father and two noble Kings, with the whole Kingdom and its Vizier, innocent goes the Brahmin!

295. Innocent goes the Brahmin having destroyed Mother and Father and two Brahmin Kings, and the five Roads and their fierce guardians.

296. The followers of Gautama are evervigilant; their thought day and night is set upon Buddha.

297-301. The followers of Gautama are ever vigilant; day and night is their thought set upon the Dhamma, the Sangha, the body, compassion (not harming), mind-culture.

302. Hard it is to leave home as a recluse! hard also to live at home as a householder; hard is the community life; the lot of the wanderer in the world is also hard.

303. The faithful, upright man is endowed with (the true) fame and wealth, and is honoured wherever he goes.

304. Far off are seen the Holy Ones, like the Himālayas: the unholy pass unseen as arrows shot in the darkness.

305. Alone when eating, alone when sleeping, alone when walking, let a man strongly control himself and take his pleasure in the forest glade.

HELL
306. The liar goes to hell, and the villain who denies his crime; these mean ones are alike in the world beyond.

307. Though clad in yellow robe, the man of many sins who is uncontrolled is born in hell: the sinner is punished by his sin.

308. Better to swallow a ball of red-hot iron than to live uncontrolled upon the bounty of the faithful.

309. Four evil consequences follow the sluggard and the adulterer: retribution, broken slumber, an evil name, and in the end hell.

310. That way lie retribution and an evil character, the short-lived joy of trembling sinners, and a heavy penalty from the ruler. Therefore run not after thy neighbour's wife.

311. As pampas-grass clumsily handled cuts the hand, so is the community life: abused, it brings a man to hell.

312. All duties carelessly performed; all vows slightingly observed; the recluse life that is open to suspicion—these bear no great fruit.

313. If a duty is to be done, do it with thy might: a careless recluse scatters contagion broadcast.

314. Better leave undone a bad deed; one day the doer will lament: good it is to do the good deed which brings no remorse.

315. As a fortress guarded within and without, so guard thyself. Leave no loophole for attack! They who fail at their post mourn here, and hereafter go to hell.

316. Some are ashamed at what is not shameful, and blush not at deeds of shame: these perverse ones go to hell.

317. They who see fear where there is no fear, and tremble not at fearful things: these perverse ones go to hell.

318. They who think evil where there is no evil, and make light of grievous sin: these perverse ones go to hell.

319. But whoso calls sin sin, and innocence innocence: these right-minded ones go to happiness. 

THE ELEPHANT
The elephant is the symbol in Buddhism of endurance and solitary strength.

320. I will endure abuse as the elephant endures the arrow in the battle: evil is the crowd.

321. Men lead the tamed elephant into battle; upon his back the king rides: he who is tamed and endures abuse patiently is praised of men.

322. Noble are the tamed mules; noble the blood-horses of Sindh, and the great elephants of war: better is he who has tamed himself.

323. Not by bridling them will one journey to the unknown shore (Nirvāna), but by bridling himself.

324. Dhānapālako, the great elephant, is hard to control in the time of rut: he will not taste his food in captivity, but longs after the elephant-grove.

325. If one becomes a sluggard or a glutton, rolling over in gross sleep like a stall-fed hog, again and again does he come to the womb, the foolish one!

326. This mind of mine would wander in days of old whither desire and lust and caprice led it: now will I control it as a mahout controls the elephant in rut.

327. Be ye zealous: guard your thoughts. As an elephant sunk in the mud extricate yourselves from the clutches of evil.

328. If you can find a dutiful friend to go with you, a righteous and prudent man not caring for hardships, go with him deliberately.

329. If you cannot find such a one, travel alone as a king leaving a conquered realm, or as the elephant in the jungle.

330. It is better to be alone; there is no companionship with a fool: travel alone and sin not, forgetting care as the elephant in the jungle.

331. Good are companions in time of need; contentment with thy lot is good; at the hour of death, merit is a good friend, and good is the leaving of all sorrow.

332. Good is reverence for mother and father: good, too, reverence for recluses and sages.

333. Good is lifelong righteousness; and rooted faith is good: good is the getting of wisdom, and good the avoiding of sin.

DESIRE
Tanhā (desire) is defined as the hankering after pleasure, or existence, or success (or all three). (Mahavagga xvi. 20.) It is the germ from which springs all human misery: birth, old age, and suffering. To be rid of Tanhā is to be free of pain, to pass into the Beyond, the painless dream-world of Nirvāna.

334. As the "maluwa" creeper, so spreads the desire of the sluggard. From birth to birth he leaps like a monkey seeking fruit.

335. Whoso is subdued by this sordid clinging desire, his sorrows wax more and more, like "birana" grass after rain.

336. But his sorrows drop off like water from the lotus leaf, who subdues this sordid, powerful desire.

337. I give you this good counsel, all ye who are gathered here: cut out desire as one digs up the grass to find the fragrant root. Let not Mara break you again and again as the river breaks the rushes.

338. A tree, though it be cut down, yet springs up again, if its roots are safe and firm: thus sorrow, if it be not uprooted, springs repeatedly to birth.

339. If man's desires flow unchecked, the waves of his lust and craving bear him off—misguided one!

340. Everywhere flow the streams; everywhere the creeper sprouts and takes hold. If thou seest this creeper growing, be wise! pluck it out by the roots.

341. Men hug delights; they foster some pet sin, hankering after which they suffer birth and old age.

342. Dogged by lust, men double like a hunted hare. Fast bound in its fetters, they go through long ages to misery.

343. Dogged by lust, they double like a hunted hare. Throw off thy lust, O Bhikkhu, if thou wouldst be free.

344. Whoso has left the tangle of home-life for the solitude of the jungle, and goes back to it, regard him thus: "Lo, one who was freed, and ran back to his chains."

345. Iron and wood and hemp—these sages call not heavy bonds, but rather love of bejewelled women, and the care for children and wives.

346. This is a heavy bond indeed: light though it seem, it drags men down, and is not easily cut off. Yet some there are who cut even this asunder, and leave behind them pleasure and lust, with no backward glance.

347. Some again there are who fall into the meshes of their own lust as the spider falling into her own net: even this the wise cut through, leaving sorrow behind, with no backward glance.

348. Lay aside past, future, and present, escaping the world: wholly freed in mind, thou shalt not again return to birth and old age.

349. Desire waxes great in him who is oppressed by wandering thoughts, fired with lust and seeking after pleasure. So doth he make his fetters strong.

350. Whoso delights in calming his thoughts and looks askance at the things of sense, will thus come to an end, and cut the bonds of Mara.

351. This will be his last body, who has reached the goal, who is fearless, detached, and un-blameable: who has pulled out the rivets of existence.

352. He who is detached and not grasping, a clever student of the law and its meaning, knowing the words and their order, he is called the enlightened; this is his last birth.

353. "All conquering and all knowing am I, detached, untainted, untrammelled, wholly freed by destruction of desire. Whom shall I call Teacher? Myself found the way."

354. The gift of the Law surpasses every gift; the savour of the Law surpasses every savour; the pleasure of the Law surpasses every pleasure. The destruction of desire conquers all sorrow.

355. Wealth kills the fool if he look not to the Beyond: for greed of wealth fools kill each other.

356. Weeds are the bane of fields, and lust the bane of the crowd. Therefore a gift given where there is no lust bears much fruit.

357-9. Weeds are the bane of fields; wrath, infatuation, and avarice are the bane of the crowd. A gift given where there is neither wrath, nor infatuation, nor avarice bears much fruit.

THE BHIKKHII
360. Good is restraint of eye and ear: of smell and taste.

361. Good is restraint of action and of speech; restraint of mind and of every sense is good. The Bhikkhu restrained in all things casts aside every care.

362. Best amongst the temperate is he who is temperate in hand and foot and tongue: the man of inward joy and calm, him I call Bhikkhu.

363. The Bhikkhu who is temperate and moderate in speech, not puffed up, but a wise preacher and interpreter—sweet are his words!

364. He who abides in the law and takes his pleasure therein, revolving it in his mind and pondering it, he is a Bhikkhu who falls not away from the Law.

365. Let him neither make much of his own gain, nor envy that of others: the Bhikkhu who envies others attains not the true meditation.

366. Even the gods praise that Bhikkhu whose own gain is slight, yet who covets not the gain of other men, but lives pure and strenuous.

367. He who clings not to self-hood and to existence, but mourns at the vanity of this fleeting world, he is called Bhikkhu.

368. The Bhikkhu who lives kindly and trusts in Buddha's Teaching he approaches Nirvāna, the calm and blissful end of rebirth.

369. Bale out the ship, O Bhikkhu, then will it go lightly; cut the thongs of lust and hate; so wilt thou come to Nirvāna.

370. Cut the five bonds, leave other five, and take in their place five more: he who has got beyond the five evil states is said to have crossed the flood.

371. Keep vigil, O Bhikkhu, be not slothful, let not your mind dally with delights: suffer not the pangs of hell, and wail not as the flames devour you, "O day of woe"!

372. There is no meditation apart from wisdom; there is no wisdom apart from meditation. Those in whom wisdom and meditation meet are not far from Nirvāna.

373. Divine pleasure is his who enters into solitude, the Bhikkhu who is calmed and sees the law with the seeing eye:

374. Whenever he ponders the beginning and the end of the elements of being, he finds joy and bliss; nectar it is to those who know.

375. This is the beginning in my teaching for a wise Bhikkhu; self-mastery, contentment, and control by the precepts: to cultivate those who are noble, righteous, and zealous friends;

376. To be hospitable and courteous, this is to be glad and to make an end of sorrow.

377. As jasmine sheds its withered blossoms so, O Bhikkhus, do you put away lust and hatred.

378. He who is controlled in act, in speech, in thought, and altogether calmed, having purged away worldliness, that Bhikkhu is called calm.

379. Come, rouse thyself! Examine thine own heart. The Bhikkhu who is thus self-guarded and mindful will live in happiness.

380. Each man is his own helper, each his own host; therefore curb thyself as the merchant curbs a spirited horse.

381. The glad Bhikkhu who puts his trust in Buddha's Preaching goes to Nirvāna, calm and blissful end of rebirth.

382. Let the young Bhikkhu apply himself to Buddha's Preaching: so will he light up the world as the moon escaped from the clouds.

THE BRAHMIN
383. Play the man and stem the flood of passion! Cast off your lusts, O Brahmin; having known the ending of the perishable, thou knowest the imperishable, O Brahmin.

384. When the Brahmin has travelled the twofold path of meditation, then indeed his chains fall off him, for he knows the truth.

385. Him I call the Brahmin whom desire assails not from within nor from without, in whom is no fear, he is indeed free.

386. Him I call Brahmin who is meditative, clean of heart, solitary, who has done his duty and got rid of taints, who has reached the goal of effort.

387. The sun shines by day, the moon lights up the night; radiant is the soldier in his panoply, radiant the Brahmin in his meditation; but the Buddha in his brightness is radiant day and night.

388. By Brahmin mean one who has put away evil; for his serenity is a man called Samano; for excluding his own sin is a man called recluse.

389. Do no evil to a Brahmin; let not the Brahmin return evil for evil. Woe to him who kills a Brahmin; yea, rather, woe to that Brahmin who loses his temper!

390. It is no slight benefit to a Brahmin when he learns to hold his impulses in check; from whatever motive evil temper is controlled, by that control grief is truly soothed.

391. By whomsoever no evil is done in deed, or word, or thought, him I call a Brahmin who is guarded in these three.

392. As the Brahmin honours the burnt-sacrifice, so do thou honour him, from whomsoever is learnt the law of the true Buddha.

393. Not by matted locks, nor by lineage, nor by caste is one a Brahmin; he is the Brahmin in whom are truth and righteousness and purity.

394. What boots your tangled hair, O fool, what avails your garment of skins? You have adorned the outer parts, within you are full of uncleanness.

395. A man clothed in cast-off rags, lean, with knotted veins, meditating alone in the forest, him I call a Brahmin.

396. Not him do I call Brahmin who is merely born of a Brahmin mother; men may give him salutation as a Brahmin, though he be not detached from the world: but him I call a Brahmin who has attachment to nothing.

397. Him I call a Brahmin who has cut the bonds, who does not thirst for pleasures, who has left behind the hindrances.

398. Whoso has cut the cable, and the rope and the chain with all its links, and has pushed aside the bolt, this wise one I call a Brahmin.

399. Whoever bears patiently abuse and injury and imprisonment, whose bodyguard is fortitude, he is the Brahmin.

400. He is the Brahmin who does not give way to anger, who is careful of religious duties, who is upright, pure, and controlled, who has reached his last birth.

401. He who clings not to pleasures as water clings not to the lotus leaf, nor mustard-seed to the needle-point, him I call Brahmin.

402. He is the Brahmin who in this very world knows the end of sorrow, who has laid the burden aside and is free.

403. Whoso is wise with deep wisdom, seeing the right way and the wrong, and has reached the goal, him I call Brahmin.

404. He is the Brahmin who is not entangled either with householders or with recluses, who has no home and few wants.

405. He who lays down the rod, who neither kills, nor causes the death of creatures, moving or fixed, he is the Brahmin.

406. Not opposing those who oppose, calm amidst the fighters, not grasping amidst men who grasp, he is the Brahmin.

407. He is the Brahmin from whom anger, and hatred, and pride, and slander have dropped away, as the mustard-seed from the needlepoint.

408. If one were to preach gentle, and instructive, and truthful words by which no man is offended, he is the Brahmin.

409. Whoso takes nothing small or great, good or bad, unless it be given him, he is the Brahmin.

410. In whom are found no longings, who is free and detached from this world and the next, he is the Brahmin.

411. Him I call a Brahmin in whom lust is not found, who has cast off doubt, who knows the path that leads to Nirvāna (the deathless state) and reaches it.

412. Who in this life has passed from the grip of either merit or demerit, free of sorrow, cleansed and purified, him I call Brahmin.

413. Who is clear as the moon, pure, and limpid, and serene, who has quenched his thirst for life;

414. Who has passed through this impassable quagmire of rebirth, and infatuation, has waded through it and got beyond it, who is meditative and supplies no fuel to the fires of lust and doubt, him I call a Brahmin.

415. Who in this life, deserting his lusts, goes from home into solitude, and has quenched lust, and with it the desire to be reborn;

416. Who in this life deserts craving, and goes from home into solitude, who has quenched craving, and with it the desire to be reborn, him I call Brahmin.

417. Who has left behind him human pleasures and passed beyond heavenly ones, and is freed from all entanglement of delight;

418. Who has left aside both gusto and disgust, who is cooled and has in him no spark of rebirth, victor in all worlds, and hero, him I call Brahmin.

419. He is the Brahmin who fully knows the perishing of living things and their uprising, who is detached and happy and wise.

420. He is the Brahmin whose way is not known to gods, nor heavenly minstrels, nor immortals; the Arahat pure of all taint, him I call the Brahmin.

421. Whoso has nothing left, of past or future or present states, who is poor and grasps at nothing, him I call Brahmin.

422. The Leader Supreme, the heroic, the great Rishi, the Victor without lust and purified, the Buddha, he is the Brahmin.

423. He is the Brahmin indeed who knows his former lives, and who knows heaven and hell, who has reached the end of births, the sage whose knowledge is perfect, and who is perfect with all perfection.

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