Twenty-Fifth Chapter: Dhammapada | Madhu Bazaz Wangu
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Twenty-Fifth Chapter: Dhammapada

Twenty-Fifth Chapter: Dhammapada

Twenty-Fifth Chapter: Dhammapada
The Monk

360-61. Train your eyes and ears, train your nose and tongue. Senses are friends when they are trained. Train your body in deeds; train your tongue in words and train your mind in thoughts. When a monk trains himself he leaves sorrows behind.

362. The true monk is the one who has trained his hands, feet and words to train others. He meditates deeply, finds inner joy and lives in perfect peace.

363. The true monk repeats the sacred verses, lives a humble life, and explains dharma in sweet words.

364. The true monk follows the dharma, meditates on the dharma, rejoices in the dharma, and therefore never falls away from the dharma.

365. The true monk is the one who is content with the offerings he receives and is never jealous of others. Those who are not jealous go deep in meditation.

366-68. Even gods praise the monk who lives a pure life of selfless service. Free from the desire to possess people and things, he does not grieve for things that are not. With friendship toward all and faith in the Buddha’s teachings, he will reach the state of nirvana where all is peace.

369. Empty the boat of your life, O monk! It will sail swiftly. Cast out greed and hatred and you are bound to reach nirvana.

370. Overcome the five obstacles, rise above the five attachments, and you will cross to the other shore.

371. Meditate monk! Do not think of sense pleasures. Do swallow a ball of red-hot iron and then cry, “I am in great pain!”

372. There is no meditation for those who are not wise, and no wisdom for those who do not meditate. Grow through the wisdom of meditation and you will surely be close to nirvana.

373-74. When a monk stills his mind, he enters an empty house; he beholds the joyous light of the dharma. He understands the rise and fall of the elements that make up the body and gains the joy of immortal nirvana.

375-76. Monk, learn to be wise! Train your senses; be contented. Follow the teachings of the dharma and keep pure and noble friends. Be a friend of all. Do your work well. Then, with fullness of joy, you see the end of sorrow.

377-78. As the jasmine sheds its withered flowers, O monk, shed all greed and hatred. He is a true monk who is calm in thought, word and deed and has left behind allurements of the world.

379-80. Arise by your own efforts, O monk! Be your own critic. Self reliant and vigilant you will live in supreme joy. Be your own master and refuge. Train your mind as a merchant trains his horse.

381-82. Full of peace and joy is the monk who follows the teachings of the Buddha and reaches the other shore, beyond the transience of mortal life. Full of light is a monk, who follows the path of dharma. He brightens the world as the moon brightens a cloudless sky.

As I Understand It:

A Buddhist monk has no home or possessions except his robe and a begging bowl. He goes about from house to house, village to village subsisting on the alms obtained from generous householders. He waits at the door in silence and accepts whatever he is given. The villagers admire him for cultivating his inner life and for his austere way of living. While the monks turn their backs towards pleasures and pursuits of life human beings hold them dear.

Anyone who is wholeheartedly committed to a life of spiritual practice is a monk in spirit. He who accepts whatever life brings, without basing his response on whether what he receives is pleasant or unpleasant with equable mind is a monk. He abides in good will toward all life no matter what his situation. Persistence spiritual effort to attain nirvana is his goal.

For the Buddha meditation and wisdom went hand in hand. Deep contemplation was the way to pace towards nirvana.

Suggested Reading:
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.

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