Daily Contemplations

The Dhammapada

During
the course we have been using verses from The Dhammapada each day. You
can download our complete version of The Dhammapada for your personal
use here:

The Dhammapada (PDF file)

https://www.course.org/parmod/dhp.pdf

I
THE PAIRS
1.
All mental states are preceded by mind.
Mind is their ruler, mind fashions them.
If one speaks or acts with an impure mind,
suffering follows like a cartwheel follows the ox’s hoof.
2.
All mental states are preceded by mind.
Mind is their ruler, mind fashions them.
If one speaks or acts with a pure mind,
happiness follows like an inseparable shadow.
3.
He abused me, he hurt me,
he defeated me, he robbed me!
Those who brood on such thoughts
will never be free from anger.
4.
He abused me, he hurt me,
he defeated me, he robbed me!
Those who relinquish such thoughts
will be freed from anger.
5.
Hatred is never settled by hatred.
It is settled only by non-hatred.
This is an eternal law.
6.
Some do not accept that we all must die.
Those who do know it settle their quarrels.
7.
One who looks only for pleasure,
with senses and appetite unrestrained,
- indolent and dissipated -
will surely be overpowered by Mara
- for the wind easily fells a rotten tree.
8.
One who contemplates impurities,
with senses and appetite restrained,
- faithful and energetic -
will never be overpowered by Mara
- for the wind cannot move a rocky mountain.
9.
Wearing the yellow robe
though stained oneself,
devoid of restraint and integrity,
one is unworthy of it.
10.
Wearing the yellow robe
cleansed of stain oneself,
with restraint and integrity,
then one is worth of it.
111.
Viewing the inessential as essential,
and the essential as inessential;
dwelling in Wrong Thought,
one never arrives at the essence.
12.
Viewing the essential as essential,
and the inessential as inessential;
dwelling in Right Thought,
one arrives at the essence.
13.
Rain always penetrates a poorly-thatched house;
Passion always penetrates the undeveloped mind.
14.
Rain never penetrates a well-thatched house;
Passion never penetrates the developed mind.
15.
Grieving here and beyond.
The doer of wrong grieves in both.
He grieves and is afflicted,
seeing the impurity of his actions.
16.
Rejoicing here and beyond.
The doer of good rejoices in both.
He rejoices and is jubilant,
seeing the purity of his actions.
17.
Tormented here and beyond.
The doer of wrong is tormented in both.
He knows “Wrong have I done” and it pains him.
Further torment follows when gone to a woeful state.
18.
Delighted here and beyond.
The doer of good delights in both.
He knows “Good have I done” and it pleases him.
Further delight follows when gone to a blissful state.
19.
Often reciting the sacred texts, but not applying them,
- like a heedless cowherd who counts only others’ cattle -
one does not share the blessings of the holy life.
20.
Rarely reciting the sacred texts, but following the Dhamma,
forsaking greed, hatred and delusion,
with insight and an emancipated mind,
clinging to nothing of this world or the next,
truly one shares the blessings of the holy life.
II
MINDFULNESS
21.
Mindfulness is the path to the Deathless.
Inattention is the path to death.
The mindful do not die.
The inattentive are as if already dead.
22.
Knowing the supremacy of mindfulness,
the wise delight therein,
enjoying the resort of the Noble.
23.
Meditative and determined,
the wise alone experience Nibbana,
the incomparable liberation from bondage.
24.
Resolute, mindful, of pure conduct,
discerning and restrained,
living by Dhamma,
their glory grows.
25.
With resolution and mindfulness,
discipline and self-control,
the wise create an island
no flood can submerge.
26.
Fools and the ignorant
indulge in heedlessness.
The wise keep mindfulness
as their best treasure.
27.
Do not give way to heedlessness.
Do not indulge sense pleasures.
Only the attentive and meditative
attain great happiness.
28.
At the summit of a mountain
one observes those below.
Rejecting inattention for mindfulness
the wise ascend the highest tower of wisdom,
sorrowlessly watching the sorrowful beneath.
29.
Mindful among the heedless,
alert among the sleeping,
the wise advance like a race horse
outpacing a weak hack.
30.
Mindfulness crowned Indra ruler of the gods.
Mindfulness is ever praised,
heedlessness always condemned.
31.
Delighting in mindfulness,
fearing inattention,
that bhikkhu advances like fire
burning all obstacles great and small.
32.
Delighting in mindfulness,
fearing inattention,
that bhikkhu cannot fall back -
he approaches Nibbana
III
THE MIND
33.
A fletcher straightens an arrow shaft.
The discerning man straightens his mind:
fickle and unsteady, so difficult to guard.
34.
Like a fish pulled from water
to be thrown on dry land,
the mind writhes to and fro.
Hence, Mara’s realm should be shunned.
35.
Wonderful it is, to tame the mind:
so difficult to subdue, so swift,
seizing whatever it desires.
A disciplined mind brings happiness.
36.
The discerning man guards the mind:
so difficult to detect, so subtle,
seizing whatever it desires.
A protected mind brings happiness.
37.
Dwelling in the cave of the heart,
the formless mind wanders far and alone.
Those who subdue the mind,
are freed from Mara’s bonds.
38.
Wisdom is never perfected
in one whose mind is unsteady,
who knows not the Dhamma,
whose conviction wavers.
39.
Neither soaked by lust,
nor affected by hatred,
the mind of an Awakened one
transcends both good and evil
and is fearless.
40.
Knowing the body is fragile like a clay jar,
secure the mind as a strong fortress, and
defeat Mara with the sword of wisdom.
Guarding what you have won,
remain free from attachment.
41.
This body soon will lie on the earth,
discarded and unconscious:
like a useless rotten log.
42.
An enemy may harm an enemy,
a hater may harm the hated,
but the ill-directed mind inflicts
on oneself far greater harm.
43.
Mother, father or kinsman
may come to your aid,
but the well-directed mind provides
for oneself far greater good.
IV
FLOWERS
44.
Who will overcome this world
of humans, gods and Death?
Who shall master the well-taught path of Dhamma
as a flower arranger perfects a garland?
45.
A striver on the path overcomes this world
of humans, gods and Death.
A striver masters the well-taught path of Dhamma
as a flower arranger perfects a garland.
46.
Seeing this froth-like body,
- no more than a mirage -
plucking out Mara’s florid enticements,
one goes beyond the sight of Death.
47.
Plucking flowers, distracted,
- as a great flood sweeps
a sleeping village -
Death carries one away.
48.
Plucking flowers, distracted,
insatiable in sense desires,
over such a one’s mind
the Destroyer holds sway.
49.
Without harming its colour or scent,
a bee takes nectar from a flower
and flies away.
So should the sage visit the village.
50.
Consider not the faults of others,
though committed or undone.
Focus on one’s own actions:
those done and left undone.
51.
Without fragrance, a beautiful
and colourful flower is fruitless:
like fine words spoken
but not applied.
52.
With fragrance, a beautiful
and colourful flower is fruitful:
like fine words spoken
and applied.
53.
A heap of flowers produces
many fine garlands.
So may one born mortal produce
many good deeds.
54.
The scent of flowers travels not against the wind
- nor sandalwood, tagara or jasmine -
But the fragrance of virtue travels against the wind:
the scent of the virtuous pervades all directions.
55.
Of all the fragrances:
sandalwood, tagara,
blue lotus and jasmine,
the fragrance of virtue
is unsurpassed.
56.
Weak is the perfume of
tagara and sandalwood:
The scent of the virtuous wafts
even unto the highest gods.
57.
Mara cannot find the path
to the virtuous and mindful ones,
liberated by Insight.
58.
Upon a rubbish heap,
in a roadside ditch,
blooms a lotus.
59.
Upon the rubbish heap
of blinded mortals,
the disciple of the Enlightened One
shines resplendent in wisdom
V
THE FOOL
60.
Long is the night for the sleepless.
Long is a league to the weary.
Long is samsara for the foolish:
knowing not the true Dhamma.
61.
When not finding your equal
or your better on this route,
resolutely press on alone:
there is no fellowship with fools.
62.
“I have sons, I have wealth”,
frets the fool.
Not owning even his own self -
what of sons? what of wealth?
63.
A fool who knows his foolishness
at least is wise to that extent,
but a fool who thinks himself wise,
is a fool indeed.
64.
Accompanying the wise all his life,
a fool no more knows the Dhamma,
than a spoon knows the flavour of soup.
65.
Accompanying the wise for a mere moment,
the discerning know the Dhamma,
as a tongue knows the flavour of soup.
66.
Fools, weak in wisdom,
go through life
as their own enemies:
committing evil deeds
that bring bitter fruit.
67.
Badly done is the deed
that causes regret;
whose fruit one reaps
with tears streaming.
68.
Well done is the deed
without cause for regret;
whose fruit one reaps
with delight and joy.
69.
Until the evil deed ripens
the fool thinks it sweet as honey.
When it ripens,
then he comes to grief.
70.
Even if eating from the tip
of a blade of grass,
for month after month,
the fool would not be worth a sixteenth
of those who comprehend the Dhamma.
71.
An evil deed does not bear immediate fruit;
as milk takes time to sour.
Smouldering, it follows the fool
like fire hidden beneath ashes.
72.
A fool gains knowledge
to his disadvantage:
it cleaves his head,
destroying any goodness.
73.
The fool seeks reputation,
precedence among monks,
authority over monasteries,
and honour from householders.
74.
“Let both laity and monks
think all this was done by me;
accepting my authority
in matters great and small.”
Such is the ambition of the fool,
his desire and pride increasing.
75.
The worldly path goes one way,
the Path to Nibbana, another.
Comprehending this,
a bhikkhu who follows the Buddha,
takes no pleasure in acclaim,
but cultivates detachment.
VI
THE WISE
76.
Finding a wise man who points
out one’s faults and reproves,
associate with him -
as one who guides to treasure.
It is always better, never worse,
to cultivate such association.
77.
Let him admonish, let him teach,
let him guard one from wrong.
He is dear to the good,
and disliked by the bad.
78.
Do not associate with wrongdoers;
associate not with the base.
Associate with virtuous friends;
seek fellowship with the noble.
79.
Drinking deep the Dhamma,
one lives happily, with tranquil mind.
The wise ever delight in the Dhamma,
revealed by the noble ones.
80.
Irrigators channel water,
fletchers straighten arrows,
carpenters shape wood.
The wise control themselves.
81.
A solid rock is not
shaken by wind.
The wise are not
moved by praise or blame.
82.
On hearing the Dhamma,
the wise become tranquil;
like a lake -
deep, clear, still.
83.
The good renounce everything.
The virtuous prattle not of sense desires.
When touched by pleasure or by pain,
neither elated nor dejected are the wise.
84.
Virtuous, wise and righteous
is one who, for himself or others,
craves not sons, fortune, kingdom,
nor any advantage by unjust means.
85.