Twenty-First Chapter: Dhammapada
Twenty-first Chapter: Dhammapada
290. By forsaking a lesser happiness one may find a greater one. Let the wise give up the lesser to attain the greater.
291. A person who seeks happiness by making others unhappy ends up in the churn of hatred.
292. By not doing what should be done, and by doing what should not be done, the unmindful and arrogant only deepen their thoughtlessness.
293. Those who practice mindfulness will be aware what they are doing. They will not do what should not be done. They will do what needs doing. As a result their sinful desires will come to an end.
294-95. Having killed mother lust and father self-will, kill the kings of carnal passions and you will be freed from sins. The true brahmin has killed lust and self-will; he has killed the carnal passions, and the ego that obstructs him on the path. He is freed from sin.
296. The disciples of Gautama are awake and vigilant, with their thoughts focused on the Buddha day and night.
297. The disciples of Gautama are awake and vigilant, with their thoughts focused on the Dharma day and night.
298. The disciples of Gautama are awake and vigilant, with their thoughts focused on the Sangha day and night.
299. The disciples of Gautama are awake and vigilant, with their thoughts focused on sense-training day and night.
300. The disciples of Gautama are awake and vigilant, rejoicing in compassion day and night.
301. The disciples of Gautama are awake and vigilant, rejoicing in meditation day and night.
302. It is painful to leave the world and painful to live in it, painful to live with the worldly and painful to be wanderer. Reach the goal and you will wander and suffer no more.
303-04. Those who are pure and good in conduct are honored wherever they go. The good shine like the Himalayas, whose peaks glisten above the rest of the world even when seen from a distance. Others pass unseen, like an arrow shot at night.
305. Sitting alone, resting alone, walking alone, and controlling oneself abide in joy when all selfish desires end.
As I Understand It:
A person who is fully awake and whose mind is well trained would forsake the lesser happiness of this life for the greater happiness of a spiritual life-the Noble Eightfold Path that leads to nirvana. He who is committed to a life based on the spiritual practice can be called a monk in spirit.
Each one of us has a choice to live a peaceful and joyous life the way the members of the Buddhist Sangha live. The rest of the chapters of Dhammapada elaborate upon this choice and help us choose with wisdom and determination.
The Dhammapada: The Path of Perfection, Translation and Introduction by Juan Mascaro, Penguin Books. 1973. Penguin Group, England.
The Dhammapada, Translated for the Modern Reader by Eknath Easwaran, Nilgiri Press. 1985. Blue Mountain Center of Meditation, California.