The Dharmapada

There are many translations of this wonderful text. This is my amalgamation based on these and my own attempt to understand The Dharma.

1: The Choices

1 We are what we think. We come from our thoughts. We become what we think. So, if you think, act or speak negatively, then negativity will follow.

2 All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is made from our thoughts and it becomes thoughts. So, if you speak, think and act positively, then happiness will follow.

3 “He hurt me!”, “She was nasty to me!”, “They robbed me,” – when we keep such thoughts, negativity will grow in and around us.

4  “He hurt me!”, “She was nasty to me!”, “They robbed me,” – when we let go of such thoughts, negativity will not follow.

5 Negativity is never stopped by negativity. Negativity is stopped by positivity – this is an ancient law.

6 Life is so short! Once you know this, how can you be negative?

7 If you live just for things, with senses uncontrolled, greedy, lazy and weak, then negativity will overthrow you; as the wind blows down a weak tree.

8 If you live without looking for pleasure, your senses well controlled, moderate in consumption, confident and endeavouring, then attachment will not overthrow you, just as the wind does not blow down a mountain.

9 If you wish to live the wise and happy life you must clean your thoughts and remove all dishonesty to be worthy of the wise and happy life.

10 When you have mastered your own nature, cleaned your mind of negativity and filled it with honesty, then you are worthy of the wise and happy life.

11 If you mistake the True as False and the False as True, then you will poison your thoughts and never find the Dharma.

12 But if you see the True as True and the False as False then you find and follow the Dharma.

13 As rain breaks through a broken roofed house, wanting will break through a neglected mind.

-14 As rain does not break through a well-thatched house, attachment will not break through a well-controlled mind.

-15 The fool mourns in moment and he mourns in the future; She mourns and suffers when she sees the fruit of her own thoughts and actions.

16 If you are kind and honest you will find delight in the moment and you will find sweetness in the Future. You will harvest the fruit of your good thoughts and actions.

17 The wrong-doer suffers in this world, and she suffers in the Future; she suffers always. She suffers when she thinks of the wrong she has done, and this makes the suffering even greater.

18 If you are kind and honest now then you will be happy in the Future. You will be happy when you recognise the positiviation you have cultivated, and this will make more happiness.

19 If you understand all of these ancient teachings, but do not follow them, then you will not benefit from them; you will be like a shepherd who counts other people’s sheep, instead of their own.

20 Even if you understand just a small part of these ancient teachings, if you try end your ignorance and attachment, then you will benefit from these teachings.

2: Vigilance

21 Vigilance is the way to live, negligence he path of death. Those who are contemplative and mindful do not live as if they are dead, but those who are disengaged and thoughtless are as if dead already.

22 When you understand this clearly you will find delight in being vigilant, you will rejoice in this ancient teaching.

23 When you are thoughtful, mindful and at peace, then you will be on the sweetest possible path.

24 If a man has charged himself, if he is not forgetful, if his deeds are pure, if he acts with consideration, if he restrains himself, and lives according to the ancient law then his happiness will increase.

25 If you are thoughtful and in control of your thoughts you will make yourself and an island which no flood can overwhelm.

26 Fools are careless and thoughtless; they follow vanity and false wisdoms. Be wise and keep thoughtfulness mindfulness as jewels.

27 Do not follow vanity or give in to desire! If you are focused and thoughtful, you will discover true happiness.

28 When you are wise and you drive away craving, then you see the unwise; as one who stands on a mountain looks down upon them that stand upon the plain.

29 Thoughtful among the thoughtless, mindful among the mindless, awake among the sleepers, be wise and charge ahead.

30 People praise thoughtfulness; thoughtlessness is always blamed.

31 When you delight in thoughtfulness and fear thoughtlessness, then you will extinguish negativity.

32 When you delight in mindfulness and fear mindlessness, then you cannot fall from the path of Dharma.

3: Mind and Thought

33 Your mind is unsteady, hard to control and hard to aim. Make straight your unsteady thoughts; as a fletcher makes straight his arrows.

34 Like a fish on dry ground, our thoughts thrash and flap, desperate to escape the land of desire.

35 It is good to train your mind. It is difficult to train and control; as it rushes and falls wherever it wishes. A trained and tamed mind brings happiness.

36 Be wise and know thyself, observe your mind. It is subtle, difficult to observe and restless: a well observed mind brings happiness.

37 If you can restrain your wandering mind you will be free from the chains of wanting.

-38 If your thoughts are unsteady you will never be wise.

39 If your thoughts are not leaky and your mind not perplexed by these teachings, if you do not think in terms of extremes, then while you are mindful, you will not be fearful.

40 Know that your body is like a fragile jar. Make your mind like a fortress from where you can attack attachment with the weapon of wisdom. Defend what you have already discovered.

41 Life is so short! Soon your body will be without thoughts, discarded like a useless log.

42 Nobody can harm you more than the harm you can cause yourself with your unguarded thoughts.

43 Nobody, not even your family, can help you more than you can help yourself; through understanding and controlling your own thoughts.

4: Flowers

44 Who shall overcome this earth and the world of death and gods? Who shall find the clear path of Dharma, as the garland-weaver finds the rare flower?

-45 Will you overcome this earth and the world of death and gods?

46 Understand that your body is but froth on a wave – a shadow of a shadow. Snap the flower-shaped arrows of Attachment and escape the world of death and gods.

47 If you are always distracted by gathering life’s flowers then death will suddenly snatch you away; like a flood wiping out a sleeping village.

-48 If you are always distracted by gathering life’s flowers then Death will overcome you before your desires are satisfied.

49 As the bee collects nectar without harming the flower, be wise on the path, resting and wandering.

50 Accept the faults of others. Confront only your own faults.

51 Empty but well spoken words from one who does not mean what they say, these are like a beautiful flower that is full of colour but without scent.

52 But, like a beautiful flower, full of colour and full of scent, are the fine and fruitful words of one who means what they say.

53 As many kinds of garlands can be made from a heap of flowers, so many good things may be achieved by wholesome actions and thoughts.

54 The scent of flowers does not travel against the wind; but the scent of noble thoughts and actions can travel in all directions, even against the wind.

55 The perfume of truth and kindness is greater than all others.

-56 The perfume of those who possess this virtue rises up to the highest of infinities.

57 Those who possess these virtues, who are thoughtful, kind and freed by truth, for these people temptation will not ruin their path.

58 & 59 As on a heap of rubbish the Lotus will grow, full of sweet perfume and delight to those who pass by, thus the wise follower of the path will shine to those who pass by them.

5: The Unwise

60 Long is the night to she who is awake; long is a mile to he who is tired; long is life to the unwise who do not cultivate the Dharma.

61 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 the unwise.

62 “These things belong to me, and this wealth belongs to me,” with such thoughts the unwise are tormented. For if one does not even value themselves, then how can they value their possessions?

63 The unwise who knows that they are unwise are that much wiser; they may become wise. But a fool who thinks himself wise, he is a fool indeed.

64 Even if a fool is always with a wise man, he will not understand the truth; just as a spoon does not understand the taste of soup.

65 If a thoughtful man is with a wise man, he will soon see the truth, as the tongue perceives the taste of soup.

66 Fools of little understanding are their greatest enemies, for they make bad thoughts and actions which bear bitter fruits.

67 A deed is bad if it brings regret, and it has as its reward tears and sadness.

68 A deed is well done if it does not cause regret, and it has as its reward happiness.

69 Some bad deeds may seem to bring sweet fruit, but when that fruit ripens, the real reward is sourness.

70 A fool may seem to live the wise and noble life, but such actions are worthless compared to one who is practicing the Dharma.

71 As fresh milk takes time to sour, so a fool’s bad deeds take time to sour; they are hidden and smouldering within them.

72 And when the deed is known it brings more sorrow to the fool, destroying any good remaining within.

73 The fool wishes for a false reputation; for honour among the wise and for status above the others.

74 “Let them know my work! Let them all look up to me for guidance!” – This is the mind of the fool; swelling with desire, ego and pride.

75 “One path leads to wealth and fame. One path leads to peace and happiness.” – When you understand this, you will follow the Dharma.

6: The Wise

76 The wise who tell you where true treasures are to be found, who show you what is to be avoided and who guides with common-sense, follow those people; it will be better – not worse – if you do.

77 Let them advise and teach you and guide you away from negativity. They will be beloved of the good, but, by the bad they will be hated.

78 Do not have haters, cheaters and liars for friends. Have kind and honest friends; these are the highest of people.

79 Wise people drink in The Dharma and live happily with a peaceful mind. Be delighted by the wisdom of those who are awakening.

80 Irrigators guide the water. Fletchers bend the arrow. Carpenters turn a log of wood. Wise people guide themselves; Wise people control their minds.

81 As a mountain is not shaken by the wind, the wise are not shaken by blame or praise.

82 The wise, when they have understood the Truth, become serene, like a deep, smooth, and still lake.

83 Wise people do not long for pleasure. Whether touched by happiness or by sorrow, they walk on, untouched and unattached.

84 For themselves or for others, the wise do not wish for things, wealth or status.

85 Few cross the river of want and attachment, most are stranded on the shore.

86 But those wise people who understand and follow the ancient law, they shall cross over to the other shore, outside the worldly.

87 A wise person should leave the dark state of life, and follow the bright state of happiness. They will find enjoyment where before there seemed none.

88 Leaving all worldly pleasures behind, calling nothing their own. The wise shall cleanse themselves from all the distractions of the mind.

89 Those whose mind is well grounded in the seven elements of knowledge (mindfulness, effort, joy, peacefulness, concentration, equanimity and understanding); those who are free from desire and attachment; those who are free from negativity and who are full of their own light; they are free.

7: The Noble

90 There is no suffering to those who have finished their journey; having abandoned attachment.

91 They are not content with possessions and place. Like the swan, satisfied, flies from the lake, so they to leave behind desire.

92 Those that have no riches, who feed on wisdom, who see emptiness and freedom, their path is hard to see, like that of birds in the air.

93 Those whose appetites are stilled, who are not absorbed in pleasures, who understand emptiness, their footsteps are invisible.

94 Those are noble, who have mastered their sense and desires and freed themselves from pride; just as a horse is broken by a masterful trainer.

95 The noble are tolerant, without resentment. They are clear and pure, like a lake without mud, free from the torrents.

96 Calm your thoughts, quiet your words and deeds, obtain freedom by understanding the Dharma and thus become at peace.

97 Be free from views and opinions, understand causation and emergence, remove temptation, renounced all desires, destroy all attachments and become noble to yourself.

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

99 Forests are delightful; though many find no delight. There the noble will find delight, for they do not seek delights.

8: The Thousands

100 A speech of a thousand of senseless words is not worth a few words that are wise; promoting peace and clarity and truth.

101 Even though a poem be a thousand senseless words, a single sentence that speaks sense is better.

102 Though a man recite thousands senseless words, one word of truth is better; for it will lead to peace.

103 If one man conquers in battle a thousand times a thousand men, and if another conquers himself, the latter is the greatest of conquerors.

104 Victory over self is superior than victory over others.

105 None can undo the victory of one who has conquered themselves.

106 No amount of offering and homage compares to one who has conquered themselves; and grounded themselves in the Dharma.

107 If a man, for a hundred years feeds the sacred forest fires, and if he – just for a moment – respects the truth, better is that respect.

108 The life of virtue and truth is more worthy than one of seeking merit, status and success.

109 To those who respect the aged, four things will increase to them: life, beauty, happiness, vigour.

110 He who lives a hundred years, vicious and unrestrained, a life of one day is better if a man is virtuous and mindful.  

111 And she who lives a hundred years, ignorant and unrestrained, a life of one day is better if a woman is wise and reflecting.

112 And she who lives a hundred years, idle and weak, a life of one day is better if a woman has fortitude.

113 And he who lives a hundred years, not seeing beginning nor end, a life of one day is better if a man sees beginning and end.

114 And he who lives a hundred years, not understanding emptiness, impermanence and decay, a life of one day is better if a man understands these noble necessities.

115 And he who lives a hundred years, not seeing the ancient truth, a life of one day is better if a man sees the Dharma.

9: Wrongdoing

116 Be active in positivity! If you postpone your actions, you will slide back towards the negative.

117 If you do wrong, do not do that wrong again; but do not be attached to your wrongdoing, for that will accumulate more negativity.

118 If you do what is sweet, keep doing it; delight in it. Happiness is the outcome of good.

119 Even an hater may see happiness until their deeds have ripened; but when hateful deeds have ripened, then the hater will know the sadness.

120 Even the good have sour days, when their good deeds seem unripe,  but when their good deed has ripened, then they see sweetness.

121 Do not think lightly of your bad deeds, such as trying to convince yourself that, “It will not come to me.” By drops a vessel is filled; the fool becomes full of badness, even if they gather it little by little.

122 Do not think lightly of goodness, by drops a vessel is filled; The wise man becomes full of good, even if he gathers it little by little.

123 Let a man avoid evil deeds; as a man who loves life avoids poison.

124 He who has no wound on his hand, may touch poison with his hand; poison does not affect one who has no wound; nor is there evil for one who does not commit evil.

125 If a man sours another, then that wrongdoing will fall back upon the man; like dust thrown up against the wind.

126 Good individuals continue on in happiness, evil individuals continue on in suffering; those who are free from attachment do not continue on.

127 Neither in the highest place, nor in the deepest ocean, nor in the darkest cave, can anyone escape the consequences of their actions.


129 All men tremble at punishment, all men fear death; remember that you are like them, and not cause harm.

130 All men tremble at punishment, all men love life; remember that you are like them, and do no harm.

131 He, who seeking his own happiness harms other beings, will not find happiness.

132 He, who seeking his own happiness does not harm other beings, will find happiness.

133 Do not speak harshly to anybody; angry speech is painful, blows for blows will harm you.

134 If, like a shattered gong, you are silent, then you will reach peace; conflict and arrogance is not in you.

135 As a cowherd with his staff drives his cows into the stable, so do age and death drive the life of us all.

136 A fool does not know when he commits his evil deeds, but the wicked man burns by his own deeds, as if burnt by fire.

137 He who inflicts pain or abuses others will soon come to one of these ten states:

138 He will have cruel suffering, loss, injury of the body, heavy affliction, or loss of mind,

139 Or a misfortune coming from society, or a fearful accusation, or loss of relations, or destruction of possessions.

140 Or lightning-fire will burn his house and when destroyed, the fool will suffer onwards.

141 Not nakedness, not platted hair, not dirt, not fasting, or lying on the earth, not rubbing with dust, not sitting motionless, can purify one who has not overcome desires.

142 He who, though dressed in fine apparel, exercises tranquillity, is quiet, subdued, restrained, chaste and has ceased to find fault with all other beings, he indeed is wise.

143 Is there in this world any man so restrained by humility that he does not mind reproof, as a well-trained horse the whip?

144 Like a well-trained horse when touched by the whip, be active and lively, and by understanding, by virtue, by energy, by meditation, by discernment of the Dharma you will overcome this great pain, perfect in knowledge and in behaviour, and never forgetful.

145 Well-makers lead the water; fletchers bend the arrow; carpenters bend a log of wood; good people fashion themselves.

11: Old Age

146 How is there laughter, how is there joy, as this world is always burning? Why do you not seek a light? We are all surrounded by darkness.

147 Look at this dressed-up lump, covered with wounds, joined together, sickly, full of many thoughts, which has no strength, no hold!

148 This body is wasted, full of sickness, and frail; this heap of decay breaks to pieces, life indeed ends in death.

149 Those white bones; what pleasure is there in looking at them?

150 After a stronghold has been made of the bones, it is covered with flesh and blood, and there dwell in it old age and death, pride and deceit.

151 The brilliant chariots of kings are destroyed, the body also approaches destruction, but the virtue of good people never approaches destruction; thus do the good say to the good.

152 A man who has learnt little grows old like an ox; his flesh grows, but his wisdom stagnates.

153 If you seek your maker then you will only find dissatisfaction; over and over.

154 If you understand that there is nothing made; there is no maker only making. All is one. See this and craving will cease; peace and happiness will arise.

155 There are no fish in the lake; do not squander your time seeking or spending.

156 Those who have not lead the kind life, those who have not acquired the riches of wisdom, will rot; sighing over the past like worn out arrows, discarded on the battlefield.

12: Self

157 If a man hold himself dear, let him watch himself carefully; the wise should be watchful.

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

159 If a man makes himself as he teaches others to be, then, being himself well subdued, he may guide others to subdue; but one’s own self is indeed difficult to subdue.

160 Self is the lord of self! Who else could be the lord? With self well subdued, a man finds a lord such as few can find; there is no self.

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

162 He whose wickedness is very great brings himself down to that state where his enemy wishes him to be, as a creeper does with the tree which it surrounds.

163 Bad deeds, and deeds hurtful to ourselves, are easy to do; what is beneficial and good, that is very difficult to do.

164 The foolish man who scorns the fruits of wisdom and follows foolish plans will bear the fruit of his own destruction.

165 By oneself the wrong is done, by oneself one suffers; by oneself evil is left undone, by oneself one is purified. Purity and impurity belong to oneself; no one can purify another.

166 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.

13: The World

167 Do not follow the evil law! Do not live on in thoughtlessness! Do not follow false doctrine! Be not a friend of the world.

168 Rouse thyself! Do not be idle! Follow the law of virtue! The virtuous rests in bliss in this world and in the next.

169 Follow the law of virtue; do not follow that of vice. The virtuous rests in bliss in this world and in the next.

170 Look upon the world as a bubble, look upon it as a mirage: the king of death does not see him who thus looks down upon the world.

171 Come, look at this glittering world, like unto a royal chariot; the foolish are immersed in it, but the wise do not touch it.

172 He who formerly was reckless and afterwards became sober, brightens up this world, like the moon when freed from clouds.

173 He whose evil deeds are covered by good deeds, brightens up this world, like the moon when freed from clouds.

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

175 The swans go on the path of the sun, they go through the ether by means of their miraculous power; the wise are led out of this world, when they have conquered Mara and his train.

176 If a man has transgressed one law, and speaks lies, and scoffs at another world, there is no evil he will not do.

177 The uncharitable do not go to the world of the gods; fools only do not praise liberality; a wise man rejoices in liberality, and through it becomes blessed in the other world.

178 Better than sovereignty over the earth, better than going to heaven, better than lordship over all worlds, is the reward of the first step towards enlightenment.

14: Enlightenment

179 She whose conquest is not conquered again, into whose conquest no one in this world enters, by what track can you lead him, the Enlightened?

180 He whom no desire with its snares and poisons can lead astray, by what track can you lead him, the Enlightened?

181 Even the gods envy those who are awakened and not forgetful, who are given to meditation, who are wise, and who delight in the repose of retirement.

182 Difficult is the conception of men, difficult is the life, difficult is the hearing of the Ancient Law, and difficult is the birth of Enlightenment.

183 Not to commit any wrong, to do good, and to purify one’s mind, that is the enlightened teaching.

184 The enlightened call patience the highest penance, long-suffering the highest peace; for he is not enlightened who strikes others, he is not wise who insults others.

185 Not to blame, not to strike, to live restrained under the law, to be moderate in eating, to sleep and sit alone, and to dwell on the highest thoughts, this is the enlightened teaching.

186 There are no satisfying lusts, even by a shower of gold pieces; he who knows that lusts have a short taste and cause pain, he is wise.

187 Even in heavenly pleasures he finds no satisfaction, the disciple who is fully awakened delights only in the destruction of all desires.

188 Men, driven by fear, go to many a refuge, to mountains and forests, to groves and sacred trees.

189 But that is not a safe refuge, that is not the best refuge; a man is not delivered from all pains after having gone to that refuge.

190 He who takes refuge with the enlightened, the Dharma, and those on the path; he who, with clear understanding, sees the four Noble Truths:

191 (i) The Truth of Negative Experience (ii) The Cause of Negativity being Ignorance and Attachment. (iii) The Truth that if the cause is reduced the effect is reduced (iv) The Truth that The Middle Path reduces and can stop the causes of Negativity

192 This is the safe refuge, this is the best refuge; having gone to that refuge, we are delivered from pain.

193 A Sage is not easily found, he is not born everywhere. Wherever such a sage is born there is prospering.

194 Happy is the arising of the awakened, happy is the teaching of the Dharma, happy is peace in the community and happy is the devotion of those who are at peace.

195, 196 He who pays homage to those who deserve homage; whether fully enlightened on the path, those who have overcome themselves and crossed the flood of sorrow.

15: Happiness

197 Let us live happily then, not hating those who hate us! Among haters let us be free from hatred!

198 Let us live happily then, free from want! Among the wanters let us be free from want.

199 Let us live happily then, free from greed among the greedy! Among the greedy let us be free from greed.

200 Let us live happily then, possessing nothing we own! We shall be radiant, feeding on happiness!

201 Victory breeds negativity, for the conquered is unhappy. Give up both victory and defeat for happiness!

202 There is no fire like lust; there is no crime like hatred; there is no pain like this body; there is no happiness higher than peace.

203 Craving is the worst of diseases, the body the greatest of pains; if one knows this truly, that is peace; the highest happiness.

204 Health is the greatest of gifts, contentedness the best riches; trust is the best of relationships; true peace is the highest happiness.

205 Those who have tasted the sweetness of peace, they are free from fear and free from wrong, they drink in the sweetness of the ancient law.

206 The sight of the wise is good, to live with them is always happiness; avoid fools and live in happiness.

207 He who walks in the company of fools suffers a long way; company with fools, as with an enemy, is always painful; company with the wise is pleasure.

208 Therefore, one ought to follow the wise, the intelligent, the learned, the much enduring, the dutiful, the honest; one ought to follow a good and wise person, as the moon follows the path of the stars.

16: Pleasure

209 He who gives himself to vanity, and does not give himself to meditation and contemplation, forgetting the real aim of life and grasping at pleasure, will in time envy him who has exerted himself in meditation and contemplation.

210 Let no man ever look for what is pleasant, or what is unpleasant. Not to see what is pleasant is pain, and it is pain to see what is unpleasant.

211 Let, therefore, no man attach to anything; loss of the beloved is evil. Those who love nothing and hate nothing, have no fetters.

212 From pleasure comes grief, from pleasure comes fear; he who is free from pleasure knows neither grief nor fear.

213 From affection comes grief, from affection comes fear; he who is free from affection knows neither grief nor fear.

214 From lust comes grief, from lust comes fear; he who is free from lust knows neither grief nor fear.

215 From love comes grief, from love comes fear; he who is free from love knows neither grief nor fear.

216 From greed comes grief, from greed comes fear; he who is free from greed knows neither grief nor fear.

217 He who possesses virtue and intelligence, who is just, speaks the truth, and does what is his own business, him the world will hold dear.

218 One in whom a desire for the Peace has sprung up, who is satisfied in his mind, and whose thoughts are not bewildered by sense pleasures, they are travelling against the stream.

219 Family and friends salute a one who has been long away, and returns safe from afar.

220 In like manner, their good works receive one who has done good, and has gone from this world.

17: Anger

221 One should extinguish anger, renounce pride and defeat attachment; this is the way from suffering.

222 He who holds back rising anger like a rolling chariot, him I call a real driver; other people are but holding the reins.

223 Overcome the angry by non-anger; Overcome haters by loving kindness; Overcome the stingy by generosity; Overcome the liar by truth.

224 Always speak the truth, never yield to anger; give, even if you have little; by these three steps one will reach the ultimate state.

225 Those who do not harm or offend, who show restraint of body and control of mind, they will go to the ultimate state.

226 Those who are ever vigilant, who study and practice day and night, and who strive towards the ultimate state, their attachments will come to an end.

227 This is an ancient saying and true today: `They blame him who sits silent, they blame him who speaks much, they also blame him who says little; there is no one on earth who is not blamed.’

228 There never was, there never will be, nor is there now, one who is always blamed, or one who is always praised.

229, 230 But one whom the wise praise, rich in understanding and virtue, should be praised by all.

231 Beware of bodily anger, and control your body! Leave the sins of the body, and with thy body practise virtue!

232 Beware of the anger of the tongue, and control your tongue! Leave the sins of the tongue, and practise virtue with your tongue!

233 Beware of the anger of the mind, and control thy mind! Leave the sins of the mind, and practise virtue with thy mind!

234 The wise who control their body, who control their tongue, the wise who control their mind, are indeed well controlled.

18: Impurity

235 Like a withered leaf you are now, death approaches. You stand on the eve of your departure, yet you have made no preparations

236 Become an island, work hard, be wise! Rid yourself of impurities, free yourself from guilt and enter the world of the ultimate.

237 Your life comes to an end, you now approach death and there is no resting-place on the journey.

238 Become an island, work hard, be wise! Rid yourself of impurities, free yourself from guilt, you will not seek again.

239 Let a wise man blow off the impurities of his self, as a smith blows off the impurities of silver one by one.

240 As the impurity which springs from the iron, when it springs from it, destroys it; thus do a transgressor’s own works lead him to the evil path.

241 The taint of prayers is non-repetition; the taint of houses, non-repair; the taint of the body is sloth; the taint of a watchman, thoughtlessness.

242 Lack of dignity is the taint of the used, greediness the taint of a benefactor; tainted are many ways of life.

243 But there is a taint worse than all taints,–ignorance; the blindness of not knowing; Ignorance is the greatest taint.

244 Life is easy to live for a one who is without shame, unlike for a crow-hero, a mischief-maker, an insulting, arrogant, and spoiling person.

245 Life is hard to live for a modest man, who always looks for what is pure, who is disinterested, quiet, discerning, and intelligent.

246 He who destroys life, who speaks untruth, who in this world takes what is not given him, who is dishonest about another man’s wife

247 If you poison your moments and your mind with drink and drugs then you are digging up your own roots.

248 Know this, that the unrestrained are in a bad state; take care that greediness and vice do not bring you to this state, for a long time!

249 Other people give according to their faith or according to their pleasure: if one frets over the gifts of others then they will never train concentration; they will find no rest – either by day or by night.

250 He in whom that feeling is destroyed, and taken out with the very root, finds rest by day and by night.

251 There is no fire like lust, there is no destruction like hatred, there is no snare like delusion, there is no torrent like greed.

252 The fault of others is easy to see, but one’s own faults are hard to see; a man winnows his neighbour’s faults like chaff, but his own faults he hides, as a cheat hides playing-cards.

253 If one is always intent on finding faults in others, then own faults will grow. Such a person one is far from destroying their own faults.

254 There is no path through the air, a man is not enlightened by outward acts. The world delights in vanity, the wise are free from vanity.

255 There is no path through the air, a man is not Enlightened by outward acts. No creatures are eternal; but the awakened are never shaken.

19: The Just

256, 257 A man is not just if he carries a matter by violence; no, he who distinguishes both right and wrong, who is learned and leads others, not by violence, but by law and equity, and who is guarded by the law and intelligent, he is called just.

258 A man is not learned because he talks much; he who is patient, free from hatred and fear, he is called learned.

259 A man is not a supporter of the law because he talks much; even if a man has learnt little, but sees the law bodily, he is a supporter of the law, a man who never neglects the law.

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

261 He in whom there is truth, virtue, love, restraint, moderation, he who is free from impurity and is wise, he is called an elder.

262 An envious greedy, dishonest man does not become respectable by means of much talking only, or by the beauty of his complexion.

263 He in whom all this is destroyed, and taken out with the very root, he, when freed from hatred and wise, is called respectable.

264 Not by tonsure does an undisciplined man who speaks falsehood become enlightened; can a man be enlightened who is still held captive by desire and greediness?

265 He who always quiets the evil, whether small or large, he is called enlightened, because he has quieted all evil.

266 A man is not a Seeker simply because he asks others for alms; he who adopts the whole law is a Seeker, not he who only begs.

267 He who is above good and evil, who is chaste, who with knowledge passes through the world, he indeed is called a Seeker.

268, 269 A man is not a sage because he observes silence, if he is foolish and ignorant; but the wise who, taking the balance, chooses the good and avoids evil, he is a Sage, and is a Sage thereby; he who in this world weighs both sides is called a Sage

270 A man is not noble because he injures living creatures but because he has pity on all living creatures.

271, 272 Not by discipline and vows, not by learning, not by entering into a trance, not by sleeping alone, do I earn the happiness of release;  do not be confident confident as long as you have attachments.

20: The Middle Path

273 The best of paths is The Middle Path; the best of truths The Four Noble Truths; the best of virtues nonattachment; the best of views is seeing things as they are; Right View.

274 This is The Middle Path, there is no other that leads to the purifying of mind. Go on this Path! Everything else is the deceit of Desire and Ignorance.

275 If you go on this way, you will make an end of pain! The way was preached by me, when I had understood the removal of the poisons.

276 You yourself must make an effort. The True Wise are only guides. The thoughtful who enter the way are freed from the bondage of Desire.

277 `All things are impermanent,’ he who knows and sees this becomes passive in pain; this is the way to purity.

278 `All things are inevitably Negative,’ he who knows and sees this becomes passive in pain; this is the way that leads to purity.

279 `All things are empty/interconnected,’ he who knows and sees this becomes passive in pain; this is the way that leads to purity.

280 He who does not rouse himself when it is time to rise, who, though young and strong, is full of sloth, whose will and thought are weak, that lazy and idle man will never find the way to knowledge.

281 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.

282 Through zeal knowledge is gotten, through lack of zeal knowledge is lost; let a man who knows this double path of gain and loss thus place himself that knowledge may grow.

283 Cut down the whole forest of attachment, not just one tree! Danger comes out of the forest. When you have cut down both the forest and its undergrowth, then, you will be rid of the forest and free!

284 Do not depend on the love of another; as the calf that drinks milk is to its mother.

285 Cut out the love of self, like an autumn lotus, with thy hand! Cherish the road of peace.

286 `Here I shall dwell in the rain, here in winter and summer,’ thus the fool meditates, and does not think of his death.

287 Death comes and carries off that man, praised for his children and possessions, his mind distracted, as a flood carries off a sleeping village.

288 Sons are no help, nor a father, nor relations; there is no help from anyone for one whom death has seized.

289 Be wise and good and understand the meaning of this; quickly clear the way that leads to Peace.

21: Miscellaneous

290 If, by abandoning a small pleasure one finds a great pleasure, then the wise choice is to abandon the small pleasure and find the great pleasure.

291 One who causes another’s unhappiness by seeking their own happiness will remain entangled in unhappiness.

292 If what ought to be done is neglected and what ought not to be done is done then thoughtlessness and unhappiness will continue to grow.

293 Those who practice watchfulness over their body, who avoid what should not be done and steadfastly do what ought to be done, the desires of such watchful and wise people will come to an end.

294 Extinguish craving, conceit, dogma and sense pleasures; become wise!

295 Extinguish extreme views, anger, sloth, worry and disbelief; become wise.

296 Be always mindful, your thoughts set to the path.

297 Be always thoughtful, your thoughts always set on the ancient law.

298 Be always awake, your thoughts always set on others.

299 Be always aware, your thoughts always set on your empty body.

300 Be always kind, your mind always delighting in compassion.

301 Be always controlled, your thoughts always in meditation and contemplation.

302 It is hard to leave the world, it is hard to enjoy the world; hard is the monastery, painful are the houses; painful it is to dwell with those not in harmony, hard is the life always seeking. Therefore, stop seeking and following these painful attachments.

303 In whatever place a faithful, virtuous, celebrated, and wise person chooses, there he is respected.

304 Good people shine from afar, like the snowy mountains; bad people are not seen, like arrows shot by night.

305 One alone who, without ceasing, practises the duty of sitting alone and sleeping alone and controlling themselves, they will rejoice in the destruction of all desires alone, as if living in a forest.

22: The Dark

306 One who lies suffers over and over. One who denies, suffers over and over. In life and after death, both are equal.

307 Many who seem religious are wrongdoers and unrestrained; such wrongdoers, by their deeds, will suffer over and over.

308 Better it would be to swallow a heated iron ball than to be a wrongdoer living of the charity of others.

309 Four things do a wrongdoer gain when they covet another: a bad reputation, discomfort, punishment and endless suffering.

310 One who covets will gain bad reputation, suffering, short pleasure, punishment; therefore do not covet.

311 As a grass-blade, if badly grasped, cuts the hand, badly-practised religiousness leads to constant suffering.

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

313 Do what needs to be done! Attach it with vigour! Half-hearted practice merely scatters the dust of his passions more widely.

314 A wrong deed is better left undone, for a man repents of it afterwards; a good deed is better done, for having done it, one does not repent.

315 Like a fortress, with defences within and without, so let us guard ourselves. Do not let fortunate moments escape, for their lost will lead to suffering

316 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, follow the wrong path.

317 They who fear when they ought not to fear, and fear not when they ought to fear, such men, embracing false doctrines, follow the wrong path.

318 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, follow the wrong path.

319 They who know what is forbidden as forbidden, and what is not forbidden as not forbidden, such men, embracing the true doctrine, follow the Middle Path.

23: The Elephant

320 Silently endure abuse as the elephant in battle endures the arrows; life is hard, others hurt.

321 Only tamed elephants are lead to battle, only tamed elephants are worthy of kings. The tamed is the best among men as it endures life’s abuse without complaint.

322 Mules are good, if tamed, and noble horses, and elephants with large tusks; but one who tames themselves is better still.

323 For with these tamed animals does no man reach the ultimate peace; only by taming oneself can that be reached.

324 The elephant is difficult to hold, it does not eat a morsel when bound; the elephant longs for the elephant grove.

325 If a man becomes fat and a great eater, if he is sleepy and sluggish, that fool, like a hog fed on wash, suffers over and over.

326 This mind of mine was wandering about as it liked, as it listed, as it pleased; but I shall now hold it in thoroughly, as the rider who holds steady the furious elephant.

327 Be not thoughtless, watch your thoughts! Draw yourself out of the evil way, like an elephant sunk in mud.

328 If a man find a wise companion who walks with him he may walk with him, overcoming all dangers, happy, but considerate.

329 If a man finds no wise companion who walks with him then let him walk alone, like a king who has left his conquered country behind; like an elephant in the forest.

330 It is better to live alone than companionship with a fool; walk alone, commit no sin, have few wishes; like an elephant in the forest.

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

332 Pleasant in the world is the state of a mother and a father, pleasant the state of enlightenment.

333 Pleasant is virtue lasting to old age, pleasant is a clarity that cannot be doubted; pleasant is attainment of intelligence, pleasant is avoiding of sins.

24: Attachment

334 The thirst of a thoughtless man grows like a creeper; he runs from moment to moment, like a monkey seeking fruit in the forest.

335 Whoever is overcome by these wretched attachments, their sorrows grow; like grass after the rains.

336 Whoever overcomes these wretched attachments – so hard to conquer – suffering will fall from them; like water-drops from a lotus leaf.

337 Pay utmost attention to this instruction: Dig up the root of craving, so that craving will not crush and swamp you; as the flood crushes and swamps the reeds.

338 Even though a tree has been cut down, it will grow strong again if its roots remain. Unless the roots of attachment are destroyed, the negativity will return again and again.

339 Misguided, the one who is carried towards pleasure by the streams of craving will be washed away.

340 The streams of craving flow everywhere, the vine of passion constantly sprouts; if you see the creeper springing up, cut its root with wisdom.

341 The obvious, natural state is to seek pleasures. Chasing the indulgent, extravagant and luxurious; sunk in attachment and looking for more. This natural state causes suffering, over and over.

342 People, driven on by wanting, run about like snared rabbits; held in fetters and bonds, undergoing suffering, over and over.

343 People, driven on by attachment, run about like a snared rabbits; be a sage and drive out craving, strive to extinguish your wanting!

344 One who having escaped the forest of attachment does not remain removed will end up running back into the forest. Look at that man! Though free, he runs back into self-slavery.

345 Wise people know that bonds of iron, wood, or rope are not as strong as the desire for luxuries, possessions and prestige.

346 The strength of desire is mighty! It drags one down and is hard to undo. But when it is finally cut, the Wise can live free from cares, desires and sense pleasures.

347 Those who are slaves to passions, run down with the stream of desires, as a spider runs down the web which he has made himself; when the wise cut this web they are free from worldly cares.

348 Give up what is before, give up what is behind, give up what is in the middle, when you go to the other shore; if your mind is altogether free, you will not again enter into suffering.

349 If a man is tossed about by unresolved doubts, full of strong passions, and yearning only for what is delightful, his thirst will grow more and more and he will make his attachments stronger.

350 If a man delights in resolving doubts, and, always reflecting, dwells on what is not delightful, he will cut the fetter of Attachment.

351 He who has reached the end, who does not tremble, who is without thirst and without sin, he has broken all the thorns of life: this peace is his last.

352 He who is without attachment and without affection, who understands the words and their interpretation, this peace is his last; he is a great sage

353 `I have conquered all, I know all, in all conditions of life I am free from taint; I have left all, and through the destruction of thirst I am free; having learnt myself, whom shall I teach?

354 The gift of the Dharma exceeds all gifts; the sweetness of the Dharma exceeds all sweetness; the delight in the Dharma exceeds all delights; the extinction of thirst overcomes all pain.

355 Pleasures destroy the foolish, if they look not for the other shore; the fool by his thirst for pleasures destroys himself, as if he were his own enemy.

356 The fields are damaged by weeds, mankind is damaged by desire: therefore a gift bestowed on the passionless brings great reward.

357 The fields are damaged by weeds, mankind is damaged by hatred: therefore a gift bestowed on those who do not hate brings great reward.

358 The fields are damaged by weeds, mankind is damaged by vanity: therefore a gift bestowed on those who are free from vanity brings great reward.

359 The fields are damaged by weeds, mankind is damaged by craving: therefore a gift bestowed on those who are free from craving brings great reward.

25: The Seeker

360 Restraint in the eye is good. Good is restraint in the ear. In the nose restraint is good. Good is restraint in the tongue.

361 In the body restraint is good, good is restraint in speech, in thought restraint is good. Good is restraint in all things – A Seeker, restrained in all things, is freed from all pain.

362 He who controls his hand, his feet, his speech, he who is well controlled, he who delights inwardly, who is collected, solitary and content, him they call a Seeker.

363 The Seeker who controls his mouth, who speaks wisely and calmly, who teaches the meaning of the Dharma, her word is sweet.

364 He who dwells in the  Dharma, delights in the  Dharma, meditates on the Dharma, follows the Dharma; that Seeker will never fall away from the  Dharma,

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

366 A Seeker who, though they receives little, does not despise what they have received, all should praise them.

367 He who never identifies himself with name and form, and does not grieve over what is no more, he indeed is called a Seeker.

368 The Seeker who acts with kindness, who is calm in the doctrine of the ancient law, will reach the Ultimate peace; the cessation of natural desires leading to happiness.

369 O Seeker, empty this boat! If emptied, it will go quickly; having cut off passion and hatred it will go to peace.

370 Cut off the five hinderances of desire, aversion, anxity, lazyness and doubt. Leave the five, rise above the five. Escaped from the five fetters, save yourself from the flood.

371 Meditate and be not heedless! Do not focus on what gives pleasure for that will soon bring pain.

372 Without understanding there is no meditation, without meditation there is no understanding: he who has understanding and meditation is near to ultimate peace.

373 A wise man who has entered his empty house, and whose mind is tranquil, feels a more than human delight when he sees the ancient teaching clearly.

374 As soon as he has considered the origin and destruction of the elements of the body, he finds happiness and joy which belong to those who know the ultimate peace.

375 This is the beginning for a wise Seeker: watchfulness over the senses, contentedness and restraint under the law; keep noble friends whose life is pure and who are not slothful.

376 Let him live in charity, let him be perfect in his duties; then in the fullness of delight he will make an end of suffering.

377 As a lotus sheds its withered flowers, we should shed passion and hatred.

378 The Seeker whose body and tongue and mind are quieted, who is collected, and has rejected the baits of the world, he is called quiet.

379 Rouse thyself by thyself, examine thyself by thyself, be self-protected and attentive; so you may live happily.

380 For self is the lord of self, self is the refuge of self; therefore train yourself, conquer yourself.

381 The Seeker, full of delight, who is calm on the Middle Path, he will reach the quiet place the, cessation of natural desires, and happiness.

382 She who, even as a young Seeker, applies herself to the doctrine of the ancient law, brightens up this world, like the moon when free from clouds.

26: The Enlightened

383 Stop the stream valiantly, drive away the desires. When you have understood the destruction of all that was made, you will understand that which was not made.

384 If the Enlightened has reached the other shore via restraint and contemplation, all bonds vanish from him who understands.

385 He for whom there is neither this nor that shore, nor both, him, the fearless and unshackled, I call indeed Enlightened.

386 One who is thoughtful, blameless, settled, dutiful, without passions, and who has attained the highest end, him I call indeed Enlightened.

387 The sun is bright by day, the moon shines by night, the warrior is bright in his armour, the Enlightened is bright in his meditation; the Enlightened is bright with splendour day and night.

388 Because a man is rid of evil, therefore he is called Enlightened; because he walks quietly, therefore he is called Enlightened; because he has sent away his own impurities, therefore he is called Enlightened.

389 No one should attack a sage, and no sage should let himself fly at his aggressor! Woe to him who strikes a sage but more woe to him who flies at his aggressor!

390 It greatly advantages a sage if he holds his mind back from the pleasures of life; when all wish to injure has vanished, pain will cease.

391 One is Enlightened does not offend by body, word, or thought, and is controlled on these three points.

392 After a man has once understood the law as taught by the Enlightened, let him worship it carefully.

393 A man does not become a Enlightened by his platted hair, by his family, or by birth; in whom there is truth and righteousness, he is blessed, he is a Wise One.

394 What is the use of platted hair, O fool! What use are mystical attachments? Within you there is entanglement even though on the outside you seem clear.

395 The man who wears dirty clothes, who is emaciated and covered with veins, who lives alone in the forest, and meditates, him I call a sage.

396 I do not call a man a sage because of his origin or of his mother. He is indeed arrogant, and he is wealthy: but the poor, who is free from all attachments, him I call indeed a sage.

397 One is Enlightened who has cut all fetters, who never trembles, who is independent and unshackled.

398 One is Enlightened who has cut the strap and the thong, the chain with all that pertains to it, who has burst the bar, and is awakened.

399 Him I call indeed a sage who, though he has committed no offence, endures reproach, bonds, and stripes, who has endurance for his force, and strength for his army.

400 One is Enlightened who is free from anger, dutiful, virtuous, without appetite, who is subdued, and has received his last body.

401 One is Awake who does not cling to pleasures, like water on a lotus leaf, like a mustard seed on the point of a needle.

402 Him I call indeed Enlightened who, even here, knows the end of his suffering, has put down his burden, and is unshackled.

403 Him I call indeed Enlightened whose knowledge is deep, who possesses wisdom, who knows the right way and the wrong, and has attained the highest end.

404 One is Enlightened who keeps aloof both from laymen and from Seekers, who frequents no houses, and has but few desires.

405 One is Enlightened who finds no fault with other beings, whether feeble or strong, and does not kill nor cause slaughter.

406 One is Enlightened who is tolerant with the intolerant, mild with fault-finders, and free from passion among the passionate.

407 Him I call indeed a Wise One from who anger and hatred, pride and envy have dropped, like a mustard seed from the point of a needle.

408 One is Wise who utters true speech, instructive and free from harshness, so that he offends no one.

409 One is Wise who takes nothing in the world that is not given him, be it long or short, small or large, good or bad.

410 One is Enlightened who fosters no desires for this world or for the next, has no inclinations, and is unshackled.

411 One is Enlightened who has no interests, and when he has understood the ancient law truth, does not say “How, how?” and who has reached the depth of the eternal.

412 One is Enlightened who in this world is above good and evil, above the bondage of both, free from grief from sin, and from impurity.

413 One is Enlightened who is bright like the moon, pure, serene, undisturbed, and in whom all gaiety is extinct.

414 One is Enlightened 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.

415 One is Enlightened who in this world, leaving all desires, travels about without a home, and in whom all concupiscence is extinct.

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

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

418 One is Wise who has left what gives pleasure and what gives pain, who is cold, and free from all attachments, the hero who has conquered all the worlds.

419 One is Enlightened who knows the destruction and the return of beings everywhere, who is free from bondage.

420 Him I call indeed a Enlightened whose path the gods do not know, nor spirits, nor men, whose passions are extinct, and who is venerable.

421 One is Enlightened who calls nothing his own, whether it be before, behind, or between, who is poor, and free from the love of the world.

422 Him I call indeed wise: the noble, the hero, the great sage, the conqueror of themselves, the impassable, the accomplished, the awakened.

423 One is ultimately wise who knows his former states, who sees all worlds, who has reached the end of births, is perfect in knowledge, a sage, and whose perfections are all perfect.