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

Twenty-Third Chapter: Dhammapada

Twenty-Third Chapter: Dhammapada

320. I will endure harsh words as the elephant endures arrows on the battlefield. People often lack self-control.

321. Only trained elephants go to the battlefield, only a trained elephant carries the king. The best among men are those who have trained their mind to endure harsh words patiently.

322-23. Mules are good animals when trained; even better are well-trained Sind horses and great elephants. Best among men is the one with well-trained mind. No animal can take you to Nirvana; only a well-trained mind can lead you to this untrodden path.

324. The elephant Dhanapalaka will not eat when he is captive, for he remembers the elephant grove.

325. Eating too much, sleeping too much, like an overfed hog those who are too lazy to exert, are born again and again.

326. Long ago my mind used to stray as it liked and do what it wanted. Now I am in control of my mind as the mahout controls the wild elephant with his hooked staff.

327. Be vigilant. Guard your mind against negative thoughts. Uplift yourself from your lower self as an elephant raises itself out of the muddy swamp.

328. If you find a friend who is good, wise and loving, walk with him all the way and overcome all dangers.

329. If you cannot find a friend who is good, wise and loving, walk alone, like a king who has renounced his kingdom or an elephant roaming alone at will in the forest.

330. It is better to be alone than to live with an immature. Be contented and walk alone like an elephant roaming in the forest. Turn away from evil.

331. It is good to have friends when friendship is mutual. Good deeds are friends at the time of death. But best of all is going beyond goodness and sorrow.

332 It is good to be a mother, good to be a father, good to be one who follows the dharma. But best of all is to be an illumined sage.

333. It is good to live in virtue, good to have faith, good to attain the highest wisdom and good to be pure in heart and mind. This will bring you lasting joy.

As I Understand It:
One of the many names of the Buddha is “the Great Elephant.”

A trained elephant is highly intelligent. It has strength, endurance, and gentleness, and is remarkably restraint by nature. In mythology the animal is a symbol of human potential locked up within each individual. It is possible for each one of us to access this immense potential that is the source of health, energy and power. The access to this potential is through the Buddha’s Eightfold Path.

Training an elephant is difficult yet the benefits of having a trained elephant are great. Similarly training our mind, through the Eightfold Path, is difficult but the rewards of a disciplined mind are immense.

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.

1 Comment
  • I like the worlds of encouragement

    January 14, 2010 at 12:40 pm

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