The Dhammapada

by Jason Espada

/
  • Streaming + Download

    Includes high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more. Paying supporters also get unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app.
    Purchasable with gift card

      name your price

     

1.
1. The Ten Twin Verses We are what we think, having become what we thought. Like the wheel that follows the cart-pulling ox, Sorrow follows an evil thought. And joy follows a pure thought, like a shadow faithfully tailing a man. We are what we think, having become what we thought. How will hate leave him if a man forever thinks, "He abused me, he hit me, he defeated me, he robbed me" ? Will hate ever touch him if he does not think, "He abused me, he hit me, he defeated me, he robbed me" ? There is only one eternal law: Hate never destroys hate; only love does. Some never see the point of disciplining themselves. Others do; they are the wise ones; they do not argue. How quickly does a small tree break before a big wind! So Mara the temptress breaks all who are lascivious, restless, gluttonous, and slothful. Impossible for the wind to bend a mountain! So is Mara helpless before all who are moderate, disciplined, full of faith, and active. What good is a yellow robe if your mind is not pure? What will the robe do, if truth is lacking, discipline is denied? Cast aside meanness, stand on virtue, learn discipline and speak the truth. Then will the robe fit you. Foolish to think that truth is in untruth, equally foolish that untruth is in truth­ – such thinking leads nowhere. Truth is always truth, untruth always untruth- this is what matters, this is right desire. Like rain seeping through an ill-thatched hut, passion enters the careless mind. Passion surrenders to the careful mind like rain helpless before a well-thatched hut. Only suffering for the evil man­ - suffering now, suffering later, suffering in this world and the next. His deeds breed suffering, and he suffers. Happiness for the good man­ - happiness now, happiness later, happiness in this world and the next. His deeds breed happiness, and he rejoices. For the evil man, suffering now and later, suffering everywhere. "I have done wrong," he says- and suffers, now. More suffering for him in the next birth. For the good man, happiness now and later, happiness everywhere. "I have done good," he says- and rejoices. He rejoices more in the next birth. Lazy cowherd counting others' cows, having none of his own, what good is parroting of holy texts if a man will not get up and gather holiness? Words do not matter; what matters is Dhamma. What matters is action rightly performed, after lust, hate, and folly are abandoned, with true knowledge and serene mind, and complete detachment from the fruit of action.
2.
2. Clear Thinking Clear thinking leads to Nirvana, a confused mind is a place of death. Clear thinkers do not die, the confused ones have never lived. The wise man appreciates clear thinking, delights in its purity, and selects it as the means to Nirvana. He meditates, he perseveres, he works hard for the incomparable freedom and bliss of Nirvana. He steps forward: this clear thinker and pure worker, this dignified and disciplined disciple of Dhamma. Clear thinking, right action, discipline and restraint make an island for the wise man, an island safe from floods. Sloth is loved by the ignorant and foolish; the wise man's treasure is his clear thinking. "Never sloth, never lust, never the senses" – ­This is clear thinking, which brings great joy. Suppressing sloth steadily, slowly, a man climbs the tower of serene wisdom. Sees, below, the suffering multitudes, as one from a high hill sees the level plain. While others sleep he is awake, they sleep, he works. He is the wise man, the race horse swiftly advancing. Clear thinking made Indra chief god. Let us praise clear thinking, confusion canceler. For it moves like a flame, burning all bondage, big and small. A bhikku with clear thinking sees confusion clearly, and is not afraid. A bhikku with clear thinking is close to Nirvana. He sees confusion clearly, and is not afraid.
3.
Mind 02:19
3. Mind Like an archer an arrow, the wise man steadies his trembling mind, a fickle and restless weapon. Flapping like a fish thrown on dry ground, it trembles all day, struggling to escape from the snares of Mara the temptress. The mind is restless. To control it is good. A disciplined mind is the road to Nirvana. Look to your mind, wise man; look to it well - it is subtle, invisible, treacherous. A disciplined mind is the road to Nirvana. Swift, single, nebulous, it sits in the cave of the heart. Who conquers it, frees himself from the slavery of death. No point calling him wise whose mind is unsteady, who is not serene, who does not know the Dhamma. Call him wise whose mind is calm, whose senses are controlled, who is unaffected by good and evil, who is wakeful. He knows the body for what it is, a frail jar; he makes his mind firm like a fortress. He attacks Mara with the weapon of wisdom, he guards what he conquers jealously. It is not long before the body, bereft of breath and feeling, lies on the ground, poor thing, like a burnt-out faggot. No hate can hurt, no foe can harm, as hurts and harms a mind ill disciplined. Neither father, mother, nor relative can help as helps a mind that is well disciplined.
4.
Flowers 03:14
4. Flowers Who conquers this world, the world of Yama and the world of the gods? Like a connoisseur picking a flower, the good man chooses Dhamma. The good man conquers this world, the world of Yama and the world of the gods. He is the connoisseur picking a flower, the disciple of Dhamma. Knowing flesh is only froth, like a dream in a desert, the disciple transcends the flowery arrows of lust. Death cannot touch him. Like floods that come and collect an unsuspecting village, death claims the restless collector of flowers. His mind is restless after many flowers, before he can have them death is upon him. Let the wise man live in the flower of his village, like the bee, gently taking honey, but harming neither color nor scent. It is not what others do, or do not do, that is my concern: It is what I do, and what I do not do, that is my concern. Lovely flowers without fragrance Are sweet words without sweet action. Lovely flowers full of fragrance Are sweet words with sweet action. Is there a limit to the variety of garlands skilled hands make from a heap of flowers? Is there a limit to the number of good deeds a man may do once he is born? The wind carries the scent of flowers only where it goes, sandalwood, jasmine, and tagara fragrance, but the fragrance of good men spreads everywhere, their fame is endless. Sandalwood and tagara are delicately scented, and give a little fragrance, but the fragrance of virtue rises even to the gods. And Mara stands helpless before the clear thinker and perfect knower, the good man. Like the lotus softly fragrant and soul-delighting, rising clear from scraps of rubbish in a wayside pond, The disciple of the Enlightened Buddha shines in perfect wisdom Clear above the crowds of ordinary men who do not see the truth.
5.
The Fool 03:17
5. The Fool Very long is the night to him who is awake, very long the road to him who is weary, very long is life to the fool without Dhamma. If you find no better or equal on life's road, go alone! Loneliness is better than friendship of a fool. "These sons are mine. This wealth is mine." The words of a fool. He himself is not his. How can sons be his? How can wealth be his? The fool who knows he is foolish is, let us say, wise, The fool who thinks he is wise is hugely foolish. Does a spoon know the taste of broth? Can a fool learn wisdom from a pandit ? As quickly as a tongue knows the taste of broth, a serious man learns wisdom from a pandit. A fool is his own enemy, does evil deeds, reaps bitter fruit. III done is deed that breeds bitterness, whose reward is lamentation and remorse. Well done is deed that gives sweetness, whose reward is unending delight. III deed is sweet- so the fool thinks. Till it bear fruit- which is bitterness and grief. A fool sits with a blade of holy grass, with which he daily licks a pot of honey, yet his holiness is not one-sixteenth that of the wise knower of Dhamma. Fresh milk does not curdle, neither does a fresh evil deed; like embers under ashes, it smolders, and slowly destroys the fool. The little knowledge a fool picks up goes against him, his share of brightness gets tarnished, his merit is destroyed. What a fool wants is cheap fame, lordship over bhikkus, power in monasteries, and puja from everybody. "Look, householder, look, monk, I do this, I am powerful, I know what's right and I know what's wrong." The pride and passion of a fool's words! One road goes to profit, another to Nirvana. Know this, 0 bhikku, disciple of Buddha, and struggle for wisdom, not the world's fame.
6.
The Wise Man 02:46
6. The Wise Man If a pandit rebukes or advises, follow him- he is a wise man, a revealer of hidden treasures. Only good can come from him. If he instructs, restrains, or commands, follow him, as the right-minded do. The ill-minded do not care. Choose friends virtuous and excellent. Shun the low-minded and ill-doing. To drink Dhamma is to be serene. Wisdom finds delight in the noble Dhamma. Planners make canals, archers shoot arrows, craftsmen fashion woodwork, the wise man molds himself. Wind will not move rock, nor praise and blame a wise man. The words of the Dhamma flow into him: he is clear and peaceful like a lake. Good men do not stop working. Good men do not gossip, good men are undemanding. Joy does not affect them, nor sorrow. Good men are constant. A man who does not want a son, a kingdom, or money for himself or for others, a man who uses prudence in furthering his own welfare­ – such a man is holy, such a man is wise and virtuous. Most wander lost here, very few are they who reach the farther shore. But the disciples of Dhamma find Nirvana, going beyond the difficult kingdom of death. He gives up darkness and chooses light, the wise man. He gives up home, and desires to be homeless, a hard choice. Alone, single, casting away his pleasures, he cleanses his heart-and rejoices. Nirvana is his. He knows the roots of knowledge. His senses are well disciplined. He is free from attachment. He is radiant.
7.
The Saint 02:13
7. The Saint No suffering for him who is free from sorrow free from the fetters of life free in everything he does. He has reached the end of his road. He has no fixed habitation; like a swan flown from its lake, he is serious, he has left his home. Like a bird invisibly flying in the sky, he lives without possessions, knowledge his food, freedom his world, while others wonder. Like a bird flying invisibly in the sky while others wonder, he lives, the saint without passions, indifferent to food, aware of the meaning of freedom. Even the gods envy him, this charioteer saint who tames the horses of his senses, yet is not proud. He is like the earth, hospitable, like a floor mat, submissive, self-cleansing, like an unmuddy lake, he is free from the wheel of birth and death. He has found freedom- peaceful his thinking, peaceful his speech, peaceful his deed, tranquil his mind. No one is higher than him, who will not be deceived, who knows the essence, who has abandoned desire, renounced the world, and lives untouched by the flow of time. Village or forest, water or land, holy is the place where saints dwell. Holy is the forest. Holy is the place where the senses are at peace, where the saint finds refuge and simple delight.
8.
8. The Thousands Better than a thousand vacuous speeches is one sane word leading to peace. Better than a thousand vacuous verses is one sane line leading to peace. Better than a hundred vacuous verses is one sane truth leading to peace. One man on the battlefield conquers an army of a thousand men. Another conquers himself - and he is greater. Conquer yourself, not others. Discipline yourself, learn restraint. Neither a god, nor a gandharva, nor Mara can topple the self-conquered man. Month after month for a hundred years, a man pays homage with a hundred sacrifices. Another for a second honors a self-conquered man. Consider him greater. One man for a hundred years performs the sacrificial fire in a forest. Another for a moment honors the enlightened man. Consider him greater. A year's sacrifice, offering, or gift, performed for the earning of merit, is not worth a quarter of homage to virtue. If a man honor the aged and practice faith, four rewards follow: long life, beauty, joy, and strength. One day of virtue and clear thinking is better than a hundred years of vice and indiscipline. One day of wisdom and clear thinking is better than a hundred years of ignorance and indiscipline. One day of effort and struggle is better than a hundred years of sloth and weakness. One day of insight into beginning and end is better than a hundred years of ignorance about this. One day of the experience of deathlessness is better than a hundred years of ignorance about this. One day of knowledge of Dhamma is better than a hundred years of ignorance about this.
9.
Evil Conduct 02:31
9. Evil Conduct Move towards good. Cease from evil. Evil takes over when good is neglected. One evil is enough-why repeat it? Only grief will follow if the mind thinks evil. One good is a beginning which needs repetition. Only joy will follow if the mind thinks good. Happy is the sinner till evil ripens. When evil ripens, he comes to grief. Sad is the good man till good deeds ripen. When good deeds ripen, joy surrounds him. Some think lightly, "Evil won't touch me." Evils fill a fool as drops fill a waterpot. Some think lightly, "Virtues won't affect me." Little drops fill a waterpot. Little virtues make a wise man. A rich and lonely trader avoids lonely dark roads. A man in love with life avoids poison. A wise man avoids evil deeds. A finger without a wound touches poison, and poison cannot harm it. Evil cannot harm one who is not evil. Like dust flung at the wind which the wind flings back, evil recoils on the fool who harms the innocent. The good go to heaven, the sinners to hell, some are born again, and some find Nirvana. Where in the world can a man escape the evil results of his evil deeds? – ­Not in the sky, not in the ocean, not in the deep valleys of mighty mountains. Where can a man escape death? – ­Not in the sky, not in the ocean, Not in the deep valleys of mighty mountains.
10.
Punishment 03:40
10. Punishment All fear punishment, all fear death. Therefore, do not kill, or cause to kill. Do as you would want done to you. All fear punishment, all love life. Therefore, do not kill, or cause to kill. Do as you would want done. A man seeks his happiness and strikes with a stick others who seek happiness just like himself. He will not find happiness after his death. Another seeks his happiness and does not strike others who seek happiness just like himself. He will find happiness after his death. Speak gently, and they will respond. Angry words hurt, and rebound on the speaker. Nirvana: When the agitated mind is as still as a broken gong. Like a cowherd with his staff pushing cattle into new pasture, old age with death pushes the world's creatures into new lives. How will a fool doing evil deeds know this? He learns the hard way, burning in the fire of his deeds. The man who punishes those who do not deserve punishment, or offends the inoffensive, punishes and offends himself. He suffers one of ten punishments: grief, infirmity, disease, injury, insanity; falling from royal favor, dreadful allegation, loss of precious wealth, death of relatives; or lightning falling on his house; and when he dies, he goes to hell. Sitting naked and still will not help, matted hair, fasting, and dust will not help, ash rubbed on body, lying supine will not help, if the mind is not purified within. What matters if he dresses well? If his mind is serene, chaste, firm, if he practices nonviolence, he is the Brahmin, the ascetic, the bhikku. Who is there in the world so chastened by conscience that he never needs prodding? For a good horse the whip is useless. Be like the good horse, swift, energetic when spurred. Devotion, faith, knowledge, meditation, energy and practice of the Dhamma will set you free. Planners make canals, archers shoot arrows, craftsmen fashion woodwork, the wise man molds himself.
11.
Old Age 02:29
11. Old Age The world is burning: why is there laughter, why the sounds of joy? Seek enlightenment, 0 fool, for the darkness surrounds you. Look at it-this painted shadow, this body, crumbling, diseased, wounded, held together by thoughts that come and go. This body decays: it is frail, diseases nest in it, corrupt, it breaks into pieces, it lives only to die. And its bones are cast away like seeds of watermelon in autumn. Let him who will rejoice in this, rejoice. Around these bones is built the fort, mortared with flesh and plastered with blood. Living in it are old age, death, pride, and deceit. Like glittering royal chariots slowly rusting, the body moves into old age. "Only virtue is stainless," is the only wisdom. A man who learns little grows old like an ox: his body grows but his mind remains stagnant. How many births have I known without knowing the builder of this body! How many births have I looked for him. It is painful to be born again and again. But now I have seen you, 0 builder of this body! All desire is extinct, Nirvana is attained! The rafters have crumbled, the ridgepole is smashed! You will not build them again. They pine away, the young men without discipline or struggle, like old cranes starving in a lake without fish. They lie like rejected bows, dreaming of the past, these young men without discipline or struggle in their youth. Your Self Value your self, look after your self. Be watchful throughout your life. Learn what is right; test it and see; then teach others-is the way of the pandit. You are your own refuge; there is no other refuge. This refuge is hard to achieve. One's self is the lord of oneself; there is no other lord. This lord is difficult to conquer. Diamond breaks diamond, evil crushes the evildoer. As the creeper strangles the sal tree, evil overpowers the evildoer. His enemy could not be more delighted. Easy to do an evil deed easy to harm oneself. Difficult to do a good deed, very difficult indeed. Like the khattaka tree, dead after fruit-bearing, or cut down for the sake of its fruit, the foolish man sows his own destruction by mocking the wise, the noble, and the virtuous. You cannot save another, you can only save yourself. You do the evil deed, you reap the bitter fruit. You leave it undone, your self is purified. Better is your own Dhamma, however weak, than the Dhamma of another, however noble. Look after your self, and be firm in your goal.
12.
Your Self 02:05
12. Your Self Value your self, look after your self. Be watchful throughout your life. Learn what is right; test it and see; then teach others-is the way of the pandit. You are your own refuge; there is no other refuge. This refuge is hard to achieve. One's self is the lord of oneself; there is no other lord. This lord is difficult to conquer. Diamond breaks diamond, evil crushes the evildoer. As the creeper strangles the sal tree, evil overpowers the evildoer. His enemy could not be more delighted. Easy to do an evil deed easy to harm oneself. Difficult to do a good deed, very difficult indeed. Like the khattaka tree, dead after fruit-bearing, or cut down for the sake of its fruit, the foolish man sows his own destruction by mocking the wise, the noble, and the virtuous. You cannot save another, you can only save yourself. You do the evil deed, you reap the bitter fruit. You leave it undone, your self is purified. Better is your own Dhamma, however weak, than the Dhamma of another, however noble. Look after your self, and be firm in your goal.
13.
The World 02:39
13. The World Think clearly, avoid evil; forsake false doctrine, deny the world. Wake up! There is no time to lose. Follow Dhamma. The follower of Dhamma is happy now and forever. Follow Dhamma, not the path of evil. The follower of Dhamma is happy now and forever. Say: "The world is a bubble, the world is a shadow." The king of death is helpless in the face of this wisdom. Look! The world is a royal chariot, glittering with paint. No better. Fools are deceived, but the wise know better. Like the moon slipping from behind a cloud and shining on the earth is the man who, once foolish, has determined to be wise. Like the moon slipping from behind a cloud and shining on the earth is the man whose good deeds exceed his evil deeds. Blind, blind is the world; only a handful can see. Only a handful escape, like birds from a net. Swans fly to the world of the sun, all creatures that have power fly through the air. The wise conquer Mara the temptress, and escape from the world. There is no evil that he will not do, the mocker of Dhamma, the liar, the scoffer of the other world. Fools are not generous: the world of the gods is not for the stingy. Wise men are generous: they find happiness in the next birth. Better than lordship over the world, better than going to the gods, better than lordship over all the worlds, is one step taken on the stream that leads to Nirvana.
14.
14. The Enlightened One He conquers and is not conquered, none in the world enters what he conquers, he is the Buddha, the enlightened one, infinitely aware, leader of himself, impossible to describe in the languages of men. No desires like nets trap him, no passions like poison affect him. He is the Buddha, the enlightened one, infinitely aware, leader of himself, impossible to describe in the languages of men. Even the gods imitate wise men, the enlightened, the dignified, the meditating, the free. Hard it is to get born human, hard it is to live like a human; hard it is to listen to Dhamma, hard to achieve the state of enlightenment. Avoid evil, do good, cleanse your mind­ – this is the teaching of the enlightened ones. Be patient-long patience is high penance. Nothing is higher than Nirvana. No monk hurts, no ascetic oppresses another. No malice, no injury, disciplined eating and behaving, high thinking and simple living- this is the teaching of the enlightened ones. A rain of gold coins will not quench passion. The wise man knows, "Passions are passing and painful." Divine pleasures will not quench passion. Delight lies only in the destruction of desire. Afraid, man runs to a place of safety, to mountains, forests, sacred trees, and shrines. Nothing is safe, not one of these is safe! when he arrives there, his passions accompany him. The only safety is the Buddha, the Dhamma, the Sangha, the Four Noble Truths - the enlightened one knows this. Suffering, the cause of suffering, the end of suffering, and the noble Eightfold Path that leads to the end of suffering That is your refuge, that only is safe; having reached that safety, all sorrows cease. A noble man is hard to find. The house where he is born prospers. Blessed is the birth of the enlightened one, blessed is the teaching of Dhamma, blessed are they who make the Sangha, blessed are they who live in harmony. The man who respects those worthy of respect (whether the enlightened one or his disciples), those who have conquered and crossed the stream of sorrow, The man who pays respect to those who are free from the world, free from fear – ­such a man's merit is measureless.
15.
Happiness 02:24
15. Happiness Let us live happily, hating none though others hate. Let us live without hate among those who hate. Let us live happily, free from disease, among the diseased. Let us live diseaseless among the diseased. Let us live happily, ungrieving among others who grieve. Let us live without grief among those who grieve. Let us live happily, without possessions. Let us feed on happiness like the shining gods. Victory breeds hate; the defeated will grieve. Who goes beyond victory and defeat is happy. No fire like passion, no sickness like hate, no grief like the ego's, and no joy like peace. No disease like greed, no sorrow like desire. He who knows this is fit for Nirvana. No gift like health, no wealth like calm of mind, no faith like trust, no peace like Nirvana. He who drinks from Dhamma the sweetness of solitude and the sweetness of serenity finds freedom from fear and freedom from sin. Living with fools is endless pain. Better to live with an enemy instead. Living with wise men, like living with kinsmen, brings happiness. Like the moon moving among star clusters, one should move among the wise, the holy, the faithful, the noble- this is the essence of wisdom.
16.
Pleasure 02:22
16. Pleasure Who runs after pleasure and shuns meditation, losing himself in the delights of the world, envies the man who prefers meditation. Give up both pleasant and unpleasant! Missing the pleasant is pain, and finding the unpleasant is also pain. To lose what one loves is pain. For which reason, control the senses. Only he is free who neither likes nor dislikes. Liking brings grief, liking brings fear. The man who curbs liking is free from grief and free from fear. Affection brings grief, affection brings fear. The man who curbs affection is free from grief and free from fear. Desire brings grief, desire brings fear. The man who curbs desire is free from grief and free from fear. Craving brings grief, craving brings fear. The man who curbs craving is free from grief and free from fear. Dear to the world is the man who is truthful, virtuous, and discriminating, who pursues his own business, which is devotion to Dhamma. Only he crosses the stream of life who wishes to know what is known as Unknowable, who is lord of his senses and filled with dedication. When, after a long journey a man returns home, safely - kinsmen, friends, and well-wishers rejoice. So, when a man travels from this birth to the next, his good deeds rejoice, waiting like kinsmen to receive a friend.
17.
Anger 02:39
17. Anger Throw away anger, give up pride. Give up worldly desires. How can grief touch you if nothing is your own? Anger gallops like a wild chariot. Hold it firm, steady it! Be the true charioteer- don't just finger the reins. Be gentle with anger, do good to evil; be generous to the miser, truthful to the liar. Be truthful, Curb anger. Be liberal. -Three ways to go to the gods. Saints subdue their bodies, saints injure nobody. They find the eternal peace in which is no grieving. Those who are wakeful, who study day and night, who struggle for Nirvana, find the eternal peace. Tell me, Atula, who is spared? "They blame the garrulous one, and they blame the quiet one." -An old truth, Atula, true even now. There was never, there never will be, there is not now a man for whom there is all blame, or all praise. But the man who is known by those who know to be spotless, wise, meditative, and virtuous, He is like a gold coin found in the Jambu River. Who dares blame him? The gods praise him, Brahma praises him. Beware of the restless body. Learn to discipline it. Use the purified body to follow Dhamma. Beware of the restless tongue. Learn to discipline it. Use the purified tongue to speak truth. Beware of the restless mind. Learn to discipline it. Use the purified mind to practice virtue. They are well disciplined indeed whose body, speech, and mind are well disciplined.
18.
Impurity 04:35
18. Impurity Here you are, a withered leaf, 
waiting for the messenger of death. 
You stand at the threshold, 
unprepared for the journey Be a lamp to your self, 
be like an island. 
Struggle hard, be wise. Cleansed of weakness, you will find heaven, 
the land which few find. Life is over, and you stand in Death's presence. 
O unprepared for the journey, there is no rest on this road! Be a lamp to your self, 
be like an island. 
Struggle hard, be wise. Cleansed of weakness, you will find freedom 
from birth and old age. As a smith removes flaws in silver, a wise man removes flaws in himself, 
slowly, one by one, carefully. Iron breeds rust, and rust devours iron, 
so ill deeds devour their doer. As a house unrepaired decays, 
goodness unrepeated declines. 
Neglect of one's appearance decays it, 
neglected, the mind stagnates. Impure is the woman immodest, 
impure the calculating giver; 
impure are all evil deeds now and forever. But nothing is more impure, 0 bhikkus, 
than ignorance. Cast aside ignorance, and all becomes pure. Life is easy for the shameless crow-strutter, the mischief-maker, the minder of other people's business, 
the insolent and the evil-minded. Hard is life for the humble man, hard for the pure, the clear-thinking, 
the disinterested, and the gentle person. Who takes life, tells a lie, covets others' wealth, commits adultery, And surrenders himself to strong liquors, 
even in this world, digs his own grave. Listen, 0 man! 
Indiscipline begets evil. Avarice and ill deed bring long misery. Some give out of faith, others out of good will. 
Forget the giving of others; or, day and night, 
envy will oppress you. Who forgets the giving of others 
has peace of mind day and night, 
because he has rooted out envy. No fire like passion, 
no jailer like hate, no snare like delusion, 
no torrent like craving. How easy to see the faults of others- 
we winnow them like chaff. How hard to see one's own!- We hide them, like cheating at dice. How will he destroy his own passions, who rouses them by watching others' faults, 
who is forever finding something to condemn? There is no path in the sky, 
there is no refuge anywhere! 
All is of the world, worldly- only the Buddhas are free of the world. There is no path in the sky, 
there is no refuge anywhere! Nothing in the changing world is unchanging- 
only the Buddhas are free from change.
19.
19. The Disciple of Dhamma  
  Force is not Dhamma, who uses it, not righteous. Only he is wise  . who sees clearly before acting. Nonviolence is Dhamma,  
who uses it, righteous. He is Dhamma's guardian,  
he is wise and just. Because he talks much  
a man is no pandit,  
but because he is loving,  
fearless, and serene. Because he talks much he does not know Dhamma,  
but because he acts well, though his learning be little. Because he has gray hair  
he is not an elder,  
many put on ripeness and are not therefore wise.   Only he is an elder who is truthful and virtuous,  
disciplined, nonviolent, innocent, and wise. The man who is envious,  
evil, avaricious, by good looks and loud talk  
cannot change overnight. Only he who roots out  
these three great evils  
can be said to be handsome,  
guiltless, and wise. A liar with a shaven head  
does not make a monk. How can a monk be  
restless and deceitful? But the man in whom evil,  
small or big, has died out,  
he is the true monk, subduer of his passions.   He who begs for alms is not the true bhikku,  
only he who follows every word of Dhamma. The man who is chaste,  
beyond good and evil, who takes refuge in knowledge,  
is the true bhikku. A fool will not be wise by holding his tongue. The man who thinks clearly,  
examines good and evil, And ends by choosing good  
is the wise man. He has weighed what is thought of  
as worthy to be weighed. It is not by hurting creatures that a man becomes excellent. Only by nonviolence is excellence achieved.   Not by discipline or vows,  
not by great learning,  
not by sleeping alone, not by serene meditation, Will I find Nirvana. Work hard, 0 bhikku!  
O bhikku, do not rest till all evils die out.
20.
The Path 04:09
20. The Path Of paths, the best is the Eightfold, the Four Truths are the best truths;  
the best virtue is detachment, best among men he who follows Dhamma. This is the path. It leads to insight. It liberates.  
Follow it. Mara the temptress is helpless before it. End your suffering. Follow it.  
This is my path, preached after the arrows fell away from me. Work out your Nirvana with diligence.  
The Buddhas only set examples. Those who follow Dhamma and practice meditation  
are freed from the traps of Mara the temptress. Whatever consists of component parts must perish.  
It is wisdom to know this. This knowledge destroys grief and leads to liberation. Whatever consists of component parts is full of grief.  
It is wisdom to know this. This knowledge destroys grief and leads to liberation.   Whatever consists of component parts is not the real self.  
It is wisdom to know this. This knowledge destroys grief and leads to liberation. Wake up! It is time to wake up! You are young, strong-why do you waver,  
why are you lazy and irresolute? This is not the way to wisdom. Be strict with speech, control your mind,  
let not the body do evil. This is the way y to wisdom, these the three roads leading to it. Meditation brings wisdom,  
lack of meditation is folly.  
These are the two roads, one leading forward, one backwards.  
Choose the right one, the one that leads to wisdom. Not one tree-cut down the whole forest!  
There is danger in the forest. Cut down the forest of desires, 0 bhikkus,  
and discover the road to liberation.   Destroy the smallest desire for women!  
It sticks one's mind to the world, as a sucking calf sticks to its mother. Take the ego like an autumn lily- and snap it with your fingers! Proceed then on the path to Nirvana  
with one who has reached as your guide. "This I choose for my winter home;  
this for the monsoon, this for summer."  
-The words of a fool. He fails to see his final destination. Like floods that come and sweep away a sleeping. village, death descends on the drowsy mind greedy for children and cattle. Nothing saves! Not father, not sons, not kinsmen.  
They cannot save a man from death. Therefore, think deeply. Like the wise and virtuous man, stay on the path that leads to liberation.
21.
21. Varied Advice   Small pleasures given up for a larger joy-  
this is the way of the wise, the far-seeing man. Happiness for oneself by hurting others-  
the way of the fool to get trapped in hate. To-be-done discarded, not-to-be-done done-  
the way of the wicked to increase his grief. To-be-done observed, not-to-be-done discarded, proper control practiced on the demands of the body-  
the way of the thoughtful to end all impurity. He kills his father and his mother,  
he kills two Kshatriya kings, he slaughters all the subjects of a kingdom-  
and the saint unaffected proceeds as he is. He kills his lust and ignorance,  
he kills ambition and pride, he slaughters all the evils of the body-  
and the saint unaffected proceeds as he is. The disciples of Gautama are always awake, day and night thinking of the Enlightened One.   The disciples of Gautama are always awake,  
day and night thinking of the Dhamma. The disciples of Gautama are always awake,  
day and night thinking of the Sangha. The disciples of Gautama are always awake,  
day and night thinking of disciplining the body. The disciples of Gautama are always awake, day and night delighting in compassion and love. The disciples of Gautama are always awake,  
day and night delighting in pure meditation. It is painful to renounce the world.  
It is painful to enjoy the world. It is painful to be a householder. It is painful to be unloved. It is painful to be forever wandering.  
O wanderer, wander no more , suffer no more. The man of faith is revered wherever he goes:  
he has virtue and fame, he prospers.   Good men shine, even from a distance,  
like the Himalaya mountains, but the wicked, like arrows shot in the night,  
fade away. Sit alone, sleep alone, be active alone, in loneliness continue the conquest of the self,  
even in a forest continue the quest.
22.
22. The Downward Path   The speaker of that which is not real goes down,  
also he who, doing a thing, says, "I did not do it."  
They are men of falseness; after death, they are united, they become partners. Many men dressed in saffron are ill-mannered and indisciplined;  
the evil deeds of such evildoers, after death, drag them down. Better for a boorish monk to swallow a red-hot steel ball  
than in seeming goodness to live on people's almsgiving. Four effects result from a fool's  
hankering for another man's wife-  
much impurity, much restlessness,  
moral blame, the downward path. Do not lust for another's wife. Much demerit follows, much punishment,  
much fleeting and frightened pleasure in the arms of the frightened.   As a soft blade of kusa grass, wrongly handled, cuts the finger,  
wrongly practiced, asceticism leads to the downward path. Acts carefully performed,  
vows carefully kept,  
reluctant practice of continence, do not bring rewards with them. If a thing must be done,  
it must be done well! A careless sadhu will find himself  
no cleaner than before. Better an evil deed not done, than done, for future suffering. Better a good deed done now, done, it brings no suffering. A border post is well guarded, inside and out. Guard your self well. Not a second must be wasted. Each wasted second makes a downward path.   Those who are ashamed of deeds that they should not be ashamed of,  
and not ashamed of deeds they should be ashamed of-  
such men follow false doctrines,  
and walk the downward path. Those who fear when they should not fear,  
and do not fear when they ought to fear-  
such men follow false doctrines, and walk the downward path. Those who see evil where there is none,  
and see no evil where there is evil-  
such men follow false doctrines, and walk the downward path. Those who see evil where there is evil,  
and no evil where there is none-  
such men follow the true doctrine,  
and walk straight.
23.
The Elephant 03:12
23. The Elephant   I shall suffer hard words as the elephant suffers arrows in battle. People are people, most of them ill-natured. Only the tamed elephant goes into battle,  
the king rides only a tamed elephant;  
he who tames himself is best among men,  
he suffers hard words patiently. Tamed mules are excellent, Sindhu horses of good breeding, excellent; excellent are elephants of war. Most excellent, however, is the self-tamer. For no animals take one to Nirvana, only the tamed self sees that untrodden land. Consider the elephant Dhanapalaka,  
temples glistening with rutting juice;  
restless, he does not eat, he pines for the elephant grove. The glutton and the sluggard,  
lapped in foolish sleep, like hogs wallowing in filth,  
find birth again and again. There was a time when my mind wandered  
freely, doing what it pleased; now I must rule it, like the mahout with his hook ruling the rutting elephant. Check your mind.  
Be on your guard.  
Pull yourself out as an elephant from mud. If you have a friend sober, pure, and wise,  
let nothing hold you back- find delight and instruction in his company. If you do not have a friend sober, pure, and wise, walk alone-like a king who has renounced a conquered kingdom,  
or an elephant roaming free in the forest. Better aloneness than the friendship of a fool. Walk alone like an elephant roaming free in the forest.  
Be undemanding. Stay away from sin.   Friends give pleasure when needed.  
Friendship is good when mutual.  
Virtue's a friend when one dies.  
Giving up sorrow gives virtue. To be a mother is happy,  
to be a father is happy. It is happy to be a recluse,  
it is happy to be a saint. Happy is virtue that lasts,  
happy is well-rooted faith,  
happy it is to be wise,  
happy to avoid sin.
24.
Craving 05:59
24. Craving Craving is like a creeper,  
it strangles the fool. He bounds like a monkey, from one birth to another, looking for fruit. When craving, like poison,  
takes hold of a man, his sorrows increase like wild grass. When this terrible craving,  
fierce to subdue, is subdued, sorrows slip off like  
drops on a lotus leaf. This is my advice: "Root out craving! Root it out,  
like wild grass is rooted out.  
Do not let death destroy you as river waters destroy reeds." Like a tree recovering and growing if its roots are not destroyed,  
suffering recovers and grows  
if craving is not conquered.   Thirty-six streams of sense flow in a man  
looking for pleasure. They seek passion, their waves will sweep him away. The streams are everywhere!  
They flow everywhere!  
Passion is everywhere!  
Everywhere is the creeper! Cut its roots with the help of wisdom. Pleasures and affections are the lot of creatures.  
Craving and fulfilling, the normal way. Birth and old age are the usual fruits. Crazed with craving, men flee like hunted hares.  
They are bound in chains,  
they suffer again and again. Crazed with craving, men flee like hunted hares. O bhikku, freedom comes only  
from the conquest of craving.   Look at him!- Having conquered the forest of desire,  
he runs to the forest of new desires;  
freed from the forest of desire, he runs to the forest of new desires.  
-All in vain; for he runs into bondage. "Iron chains are strong, there are wood fetters and fiber fetters,"  
is wisdom, but wiser to say, "No fetters like those of desire, fetters of wealth, wives, sons, fetters of consuming passion." It is wisdom to say, "Such fetters degrade, are hard to break."  
Break them! Renounce the world, discard desire,  
forsake the pleasures of the senses. Like the spider woven in its own web  
is the man gripped by his craving. Wise men renounce craving and leave the world,  
wise men do not grieve, having discarded sorrow.   Give up what is before, what is behind, Give up what is now, and cross the stream.  
Then will your mind be free, then will you cross birth and old age. Craving grows in a man restless, passionate, pleasure-seeking:  
he strengthens his own fetters. Who meditates quietly, discriminates, and thinks of that which does not please the senses,  
cuts the fetters of death. The fearless, sinless, desireless man escapes the thorns of life-this body is his last. He is the great saint, who quickly catches subtleties of words and meanings  
who is desireless, who knows what comes before what
He is the mahapurush-this body is his last. "I have conquered myself, I know all,  
I am in all things sinless. I have renounced all, I am free from craving,  
I have no teacher, I have taught myself."   No gift is greater than the Dhamma,  
no rasa sweeter than the Dhamma,  
no bliss is greater than the Dhamma, no conquest than being without craving. Wealth hurts the foolish, not the seekers of Nirvana.  
Who craves wealth destroys himself as well as others. Weeds are the poison of fields  
and passion the poison of man.  
Honor the man without passion  
and earn high reward. Weeds are the poison of fields  
and hate is the poison of man.  
Honor the man without hate  
and earn high reward. Weeds are the poison of fields  
and folly the poison of man.  
Honor the man without folly  
and earn high reward.   Weeds are the poison of fields  
and desire the poison of man.  
Honor the man without desire  
and earn high reward.
25.
The Bhikkhu 04:50
25. The Bhikku   Control of the eye is good,  
control of the ear is good,  
control of the nose is good,  
control of the tongue is good. Control of the body is good,  
controlled speech is good,  
control in everything is good. The self-controlled bhikku is the free bhikku. He is the bhikku whose hands and feet are controlled,  
who is alone, serene, happy with himself. How sweet the words of the bhikku who, controlling his tongue, speaks wisely  
of the Dhamma, in speech that is humble. The bhikku who follows Dhamma, delights in Dhamma, meditates on Dhamma,  
does not stray from the true path. What he receives, he takes humbly;  
he does not envy others. The envious bhikku is never serene. Even the gods praise the bhikku who takes humbly what little is given. His life is pure and industrious. He is the bhikku who owns nothing as his, neither name nor form. He does not grieve over that which is not. That bhikku is tranquil who has faith in the Dhamma. Always gentle and equanimous, he finds the holiest peace. Make the boat light, bhikku! Emptied, it will travel swifter. Cast away passion and hate, the road to Nirvana will be easier. Cut off the five: egotism, doubt, false holiness, lust, and hatred. Destroy these five fetters, and you will have crossed the stream of life. Think, discriminate, bhikku! There is no time to waste. Forget the pleasures of the senses lest, swallowing the flaming iron ball,  
you cry out, "I suffer!" How can one without wisdom meditate?  
How can one without meditation be wise? Both together, meditation and wisdom, lead to Nirvana. When a tranquil bhikku enters an empty house, he is delighted, if he has knowledge of the Dhamma. When he realizes the birth and death of the body, he is delighted, he experiences the delight of wisdom. Let the wise bhikku begin thus: controlling the senses, practicing equanimity,  
following discipline as laid down in the Dhamma,  
and choosing pure, noble, and industrious friends. Let his life be a life of friendship.  
Let him perform his duties well. Then will his happiness end his suffering. O bhikku, be like the vassika plant  
that sheds its withered flowers.  
Shed passion and hate.   That bhikku is calm  
whose body is calm, whose mind and speech are calm, who has single-mindedly refused the world's seductions. Rouse yourself by your self,  
perfect yourself by your self.  
Only such vigilance, O bhikku,  
will bring you happiness. You are your own refuge;  
there is no other refuge. Like the merchant taming a fine horse,  
tame yourself, O bhikku. Happy and peaceful is the bhikku  
who has faith in the Dhamma. He alone finds the state of serenity  
where the world's flow ceases. The young bhikku who ceaselessly  
follows the words of the Buddha,  
he shines on this world like a moon escaped from cloud.  
26.
The Brahmin 06:40
26. The Brahmin   Cross the stream, Brahmin, strive hard,  
cast aside desire. All that consists of component parts will perish. Strive to know the imperishable. When the Brahmin achieves full discipline and insight,  
all fetters fall away. Who is a Brahmin? I call him Brahmin for whom is neither this nor the other shore,  
who is free from the fetters of fear. Who is a Brahmin? He is a Brahmin whose passions are stilled, whose work is over,  
who is taintless, meditative, and saintly. The sun shines in the day, the moon delights the night, the soldier shines in his armor,  
the Brahmin in meditation, but the radiance of the Buddha  
shines ceaselessly day and night. He is a Brahmin who has cast aside evil,  
he is an ascetic whose mind is equable,  
he is a saint who has no impurity.   If attacked, the Brahmin does not return in kind.  
Cursed is he who kills a Brahmin, more cursed a Brahmin angry with a sinner. Highly regarded is the Brahmin who refrains from the pleasures of the senses. Where nonviolence is practiced,  
suffering will cease. Who is a Brahmin? He is a Brahmin who is nonviolent in body, speech, and mind,  
who has firmly controlled these three. As a Brahmin worships before the ritual fire,  
so should a man worship before one who has understood fully the Dhamma of the Buddha. Who is a Brahmin? I call him Brahmin  
who practices truth and Dhamma. Not matted hair, not noble birth, not caste, make a Brahmin. A Brahmin makes his own holiness.   Fool, what will matted hair do? What will garment of goatskin do? What use polishing the outside if the inside is foul? Who is a Brahmin? He is a Brahmin who is lean and veined, solitary and serious,  
who wears cast-off garments. Who is a Brahmin? Not always he  
whose mother is a Brahmin, not he who is known to possessions,  
but he who is detached. Who is a Brahmin? I call him Brahmin  
who is unshakable, fetter-free, beyond attachment, separated from the world. Who is a Brahmin? He is a Brahmin  
who has cut the link, the thong, the rope,  
who has broken free, who is fully awake. Who is a Brahmin? He is a Brahmin who, though innocent, endures mockery, insult, prison,  
whose strength is patience, whose army is fortitude.   Who is a Brahmin? I call him Brahmin who is never angry, who is pure and restrained, who notes religious duties and follows moral rules,  
for whom there is no rebirth. Who is a Brahmin? He is a Brahmin  
who does not cling to pleasures, like a drop of water on a lotus leaf, like a seed of mustard on the tip of an awl. Who is a Brahmin? I call him Brahmin  
who even in this world is free, whose burden is ended, whose sufferings are over. Who is a Brahmin? I call him Brahmin whose knowledge is deep and wisdom profound who knows right from wrong, and has realized truth. Who is a Brahmin ? He is a Brahmin who stays away from the well-housed and the houseless  
who does not live in houses, and has few wants. Who is a Brahmin? He is a Brahmin who does not use the rod to punish creatures moving or unmoving; who neither kills nor conspires to kill. Who is a Brahmin? I call him Brahmin  
who is gentle among the aggressive,  
peaceful among those with uplifted sticks,  
detached among the attached. Who is the Brahmin? He is the Brahmin  
whose passion, hate, pride, and hypocrisy fall away like a mustard seed from the tip of an awl. Who is a Brahmin? I call him Brahmin whose speech is truthful, soft, clear, inoffensive. Who is a Brahmin? He is a Brahmin  
who does not take what is not given,  
long or short, big or small, good or bad. Who is a Brahmin? I call him Brahmin  
who covets neither this world nor the next, who has no desires, who is separated from the world. Who is a Brahmin? He is a Brahmin who has no desires, whose doubts have been dissipated,  
who has reached the final goal.   Who is a Brahmin? He is a Brahmin  
who has gone beyond good and evil,  
who has no sorrow, no passion, no taint. Who is a Brahmin? I call him Brahmin  
who is pure, serene, joylessly tranquil,  
like the moon. Who is a Brahmin? He is a Brahmin who has crossed the mire of birth and delusion  
(so difficult to cross) and reached the other shore, who is calm, meditative, without greed, without doubt. Who is a Brahmin? I call him Brahmin who gives up sensual pleasures, wanders homeless,  
and has renounced all desire for existence. Who is a Brahmin? He is a Brahmin whose passions are all conquered, who wanders homeless,  
who has renounced all craving for existence. Who is a Brahmin? I call him Brahmin who has cast off attachment to things of the world  
and to things divine, and has risen above both.   Who is a Brahmin? He is a Brahmin who has renounced the pleasurable as well as the unpleasurable,  
who is calm and unruffled, free from rebirth, the conquering hero of the three worlds. Who is a Brahmin? I call him Brahmin who, knowing that things perish and are reborn,  
lives nobly, feels purely, thinks clearly. Who is a Brahmin? He is a Brahmin whose ways are known neither to gods, spirits, or men,  
who has exhausted his sins and become a saint. Who is a Brahmin? I call him Brahmin  
who has nothing, for he is unattached, for whom is neither before, behind, nor between. Who is a Brahmin? He is a Brahmin  
who is brave as a bull, noble, wise, pure,  
conqueror of death, the awakened one. Who is a Brahmin? I call him Brahmin who knows his previous births, knows heaven and hell,  
is a saint with perfect wisdom, and has done all that needed to be done.

about

credits

released October 15, 2017

license

all rights reserved

tags

If you like Jason Espada, you may also like: