290. If by leaving a small pleasure one sees a great pleasure, let
wise man leave the small pleasure, and look to the great.
291. He who, by causing pain to others, wishes to obtain pleasure
himself, he, entangled in the bonds of hatred, will never be free from
292. What ought to be done is neglected, what ought not to be done
done; the desires of unruly, thoughtless people are always increasing.
293. But they whose whole watchfulness is always directed to their
body, who do not follow what ought not to be done, and who steadfastly
do what ought to be done, the desires of such watchful and wise people
will come to an end.
294. A true Brahmana goes scatheless, though he have killed father
mother, and two valiant kings, though he has destroyed a kingdom with
all its subjects.
295. A true Brahmana goes scatheless, though he have killed father
mother, and two holy kings, and an eminent man besides.
296. The disciples of Gotama (Buddha) are always well awake, and
thoughts day and night are always set on Buddha.
297. The disciples of Gotama are always well awake, and their
day and night are always set on the law.
298. The disciples of Gotama are always well awake, and their
day and night are always set on the church.
299. The disciples of Gotama are always well awake, and their
day and night are always set on their body.
300. The disciples of Gotama are always well awake, and their mind
and night always delights in compassion.
301. The disciples of Gotama are always well awake, and their mind
and night always delights in meditation.
302. It is hard to leave the world (to become a friar), it is hard
enjoy the world; hard is the monastery, painful are the houses;
painful it is to dwell with equals (to share everything in common) and
the itinerant mendicant is beset with pain. Therefore let no man be
an itinerant mendicant and he will not be beset with pain.
303. Whatever place a faithful, virtuous, celebrated, and wealthy
chooses, there he is respected.
304. Good people shine from afar, like the snowy mountains; bad
are not seen, like arrows shot by night.
305. He alone who, without ceasing, practises the duty of sitting
alone and sleeping alone, he, subduing himself, will rejoice in the
destruction of all desires alone, as if living in a forest.
The Downward Course
306. He who says what is not, goes to hell; he also who, having
thing, says I have not done it. After death both are equal, they are
men with evil deeds in the next world.
307. Many men whose shoulders are covered with the yellow gown are
ill-conditioned and unrestrained; such evil-doers by their evil deeds
go to hell.
308. Better it would be to swallow a heated iron ball, like flaring
fire, than that a bad unrestrained fellow should live on the charity
of the land.
309. Four things does a wreckless man gain who covets his
wife,--a bad reputation, an uncomfortable bed, thirdly, punishment,
and lastly, hell.
310. There is bad reputation, and the evil way (to hell), there is
short pleasure of the frightened in the arms of the frightened, and
the king imposes heavy punishment; therefore let no man think of his
311. As a grass-blade, if badly grasped, cuts the arm, badly-practised
asceticism leads to hell.
312. An act carelessly performed, a broken vow, and hesitating
obedience to discipline, all this brings no great reward.
313. If anything is to be done, let a man do it, let him attack it
vigorously! A careless pilgrim only scatters the dust of his passions
314. An evil deed is better left undone, for a man repents of it
afterwards; a good deed is better done, for having done it, one does
315. Like a well-guarded frontier fort, with defences within and
without, so let a man guard himself. Not a moment should escape, for
they who allow the right moment to pass, suffer pain when they are in
316. They who are ashamed of what they ought not to be ashamed of,
are not ashamed of what they ought to be ashamed of, such men,
embracing false doctrines enter the evil path.
317. They who fear when they ought not to fear, and fear not when
ought to fear, such men, embracing false doctrines, enter the evil
318. They who forbid when there is nothing to be forbidden, and
not when there is something to be forbidden, such men, embracing false
doctrines, enter the evil path.
319. They who know what is forbidden as forbidden, and what is not
forbidden as not forbidden, such men, embracing the true doctrine,
enter the good path.
320. Silently shall I endure abuse as the elephant in battle
the arrow sent from the bow: for the world is ill-natured.
321. They lead a tamed elephant to battle, the king mounts a tamed
elephant; the tamed is the best among men, he who silently endures
322. Mules are good, if tamed, and noble Sindhu horses, and
with large tusks; but he who tames himself is better still.
323. For with these animals does no man reach the untrodden country
(Nirvana), where a tamed man goes on a tamed animal, viz. on his own
324. The elephant called Dhanapalaka, his temples running with sap,
and difficult to hold, 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
himself about, that fool, like a hog fed on wash, is born again and
326. This mind of mine went formerly wandering about as it liked,
it listed, as it pleased; but I shall now hold it in thoroughly, as
the rider who holds the hook holds in 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 prudent companion who walks with him, is wise,
and lives soberly, he may walk with him, overcoming all dangers,
happy, but considerate.
329. If a man find no prudent companion who walks with him, is
and lives soberly, 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, there is no companionship with a
fool; let a man walk alone, let him commit no sin, with few wishes,
like an elephant in the forest.
331. If an occasion arises, friends are pleasant; enjoyment is
pleasant, whatever be 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, pleasant the
state of a father, pleasant the state of a Samana, pleasant the state
of a Brahmana.
333. Pleasant is virtue lasting to old age, pleasant is a faith
rooted; pleasant is attainment of intelligence, pleasant is avoiding
334. The thirst of a thoughtless man grows like a creeper; he runs
from life to life, like a monkey seeking fruit in the forest.
335. Whomsoever this fierce thirst overcomes, full of poison, in
world, his sufferings increase like the abounding Birana grass.
336. He who overcomes this fierce thirst, difficult to be conquered
this world, sufferings fall off from him, like water-drops from a
337. This salutary word I tell you, `Do ye, as many as are here
assembled, dig up the root of thirst, as he who wants the sweet-
scented Usira root must dig up the Birana grass, that Mara (the
tempter) may not crush you again and again, as the stream crushes the
338. As a tree, even though it has been cut down, is firm so long
its root is safe, and grows again, thus, unless the feeders of thirst
are destroyed, the pain (of life) will return again and again.
339. He whose thirst running towards pleasure is exceeding strong
the thirty-six channels, the waves will carry away that misguided man,
viz. his desires which are set on passion.
340. The channels run everywhere, the creeper (of passion) stands
sprouting; if you see the creeper springing up, cut its root by means
341. A creature's pleasures are extravagant and luxurious; sunk in
lust and looking for pleasure, men undergo (again and again) birth and
342. Men, driven on by thirst, run about like a snared hare; held
fetters and bonds, they undergo pain for a long time, again and again.
343. Men, driven on by thirst, run about like a snared hare; let
therefore the mendicant drive out thirst, by striving after
passionlessness for himself.
344. He who having got rid of the forest (of lust) (i.e. after
reached Nirvana) gives himself over to forest-life (i.e. to lust), and
who, when removed from the forest (i.e. from lust), runs to the forest
(i.e. to lust), look at that man! though free, he runs into bondage.
345. Wise people do not call that a strong fetter which is made of
iron, wood, or hemp; far stronger is the care for precious stones and
rings, for sons and a wife.
346. That fetter wise people call strong which drags down, yields,
is difficult to undo; after having cut this at last, people leave the
world, free from cares, and leaving desires and pleasures behind.
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 they have cut this, at last, wise people leave the world free
from cares, leaving all affection behind.
348. Give up what is before, give up what is behind, give up what
in the middle, when thou goest to the other shore of existence; if thy
mind is altogether free, thou wilt not again enter into birth and
349. If a man is tossed about by doubts, full of strong passions,
yearning only for what is delightful, his thirst will grow more and
more, and he will indeed make his fetters strong.
350. If a man delights in quieting doubts, and, always reflecting,
dwells on what is not delightful (the impurity of the body, &c.),
certainly will remove, nay, he will cut the fetter of Mara.
351. He who has reached the consummation, who does not tremble, who
without thirst and without sin, he has broken all the thorns of life:
this will be his last body.
352. He who is without thirst and without affection, who
the words and their interpretation, who knows the order of letters
(those which are before and which are after), he has received his last
body, he is called the great sage, the great man.
353. `I have conquered all, I know all, in all conditions of life I
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 law exceeds all gifts; the sweetness of the
exceeds all sweetness; the delight in the law exceeds all delights;
the extinction of thirst overcomes all pain.
355. Pleasures destroy the foolish, if they look not for the other
shore; the foolish 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
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
358. The fields are damaged by weeds, mankind is damaged by vanity:
therefore a gift bestowed on those who are free from vanity brings
359. The fields are damaged by weeds, mankind is damaged by lust:
therefore a gift bestowed on those who are free from lust brings great
The Bhikshu (Mendicant)
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
Bhikshu, restrained in all things, is freed from all pain.
362. He who controls his hand, he who controls his feet, he who
controls his speech, he who is well controlled, he who delights
inwardly, who is collected, who is solitary and content, him they call
363. The Bhikshu who controls his mouth, who speaks wisely and
who teaches the meaning and the law, his word is sweet.
364. He who dwells in the law, delights in the law, meditates on
law, follows the law, that Bhikshu will never fall away from the true
365. Let him not despise what he has received, nor ever envy
mendicant who envies others does not obtain peace of mind.
366. A Bhikshu who, though he receives little, does not despise
he has received, even the gods will praise him, if his life is pure,
and if he is not slothful.
367. He who never identifies himself with name and form, and does
grieve over what is no more, he indeed is called a Bhikshu.
368. The Bhikshu who acts with kindness, who is calm in the
of Buddha, will reach the quiet place (Nirvana), cessation of natural
desires, and happiness.
369. O Bhikshu, empty this boat! if emptied, it will go quickly;
having cut off passion and hatred thou wilt go to Nirvana.
370. Cut off the five (senses), leave the five, rise above the
A Bhikshu, who has escaped from the five fetters, he is called
Oghatinna, `saved from the flood.'
371. Meditate, O Bhikshu, and be not heedless! Do not direct thy
thought to what gives pleasure that thou mayest not for thy
heedlessness have to swallow the iron ball (in hell), and that thou
mayest not cry out when burning, `This is pain.'
372. Without knowledge there is no meditation, without meditation
there is no knowledge: he who has knowledge and meditation is near
373. A Bhikshu who has entered his empty house, and whose mind is
tranquil, feels a more than human delight when he sees the law
374. As soon as he has considered the origin and destruction of the
elements (khandha) of the body, he finds happiness and joy which
belong to those who know the immortal (Nirvana).
375. And this is the beginning here for a wise Bhikshu:
over the senses, contentedness, 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;
in the fulness of delight he will make an end of suffering.
377. As the Vassika plant sheds its withered flowers, men should
passion and hatred, O ye Bhikshus!
378. The Bhikshu whose body and tongue and mind are quieted, who is
collected, and has rejected the baits of the world, he is called
379. Rouse thyself by thyself, examine thyself by thyself, thus
protected and attentive wilt thou live happily, O Bhikshu!
380. For self is the lord of self, self is the refuge of self;
therefore curb thyself as the merchant curbs a good horse.
381. The Bhikshu, full of delight, who is calm in the doctrine of
Buddha will reach the quiet place (Nirvana), cessation of natural
desires, and happiness.
382. He who, even as a young Bhikshu, applies himself to the
of Buddha, brightens up this world, like the moon when free from
The Brahmana (Arhat)
383. Stop the stream valiantly, drive away the desires, O Brahmana!
When you have understood the destruction of all that was made, you
will understand that which was not made.
384. If the Brahmana has reached the other shore in both laws (in
restraint and contemplation), all bonds vanish from him who has
385. He for whom there is neither this nor that shore, nor both,
the fearless and unshackled, I call indeed a Brahmana.
386. He who is thoughtful, blameless, settled, dutiful, without
passions, and who has attained the highest end, him I call indeed a
387. The sun is bright by day, the moon shines by night, the
is bright in his armour, the Brahmana is bright in his meditation; but
Buddha, the Awakened, is bright with splendour day and night.
388. Because a man is rid of evil, therefore he is called Brahmana;
because he walks quietly, therefore he is called Samana; because he
has sent away his own impurities, therefore he is called Pravragita
(Pabbagita, a pilgrim).
389. No one should attack a Brahmana, but no Brahmana (if attacked)
should let himself fly at his aggressor! Woe to him who strikes a
Brahmana, more woe to him who flies at his aggressor!
390. It advantages a Brahmana not a little if he holds his mind
from the pleasures of life; when all wish to injure has vanished, pain
391. Him I call indeed a Brahmana who does not offend by body,
or thought, and is controlled on these three points.
392. After a man has once understood the law as taught by the Well-
awakened (Buddha), let him worship it carefully, as the Brahmana
worships the sacrificial fire.
393. A man does not become a Brahmana by his platted hair, by his
family, or by birth; in whom there is truth and righteousness, he is
blessed, he is a Brahmana.
394. What is the use of platted hair, O fool! what of the raiment
goat-skins? Within thee there is ravening, but the outside thou
395. The man who wears dirty raiments, who is emaciated and covered
with veins, who lives alone in the forest, and meditates, him I call
indeed a Brahmana.
396. I do not call a man a Brahmana 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 Brahmana.
397. Him I call indeed a Brahmana who has cut all fetters, who
trembles, is independent and unshackled.
398. Him I call indeed a Brahmana who has cut the strap and the
the chain with all that pertains to it, who has burst the bar, and is
399. Him I call indeed a Brahmana who, though he has committed no
offence, endures reproach, bonds, and stripes, who has endurance for
his force, and strength for his army.
400. Him I call indeed a Brahmana who is free from anger, dutiful,
virtuous, without appetite, who is subdued, and has received his last
401. Him I call indeed a Brahmana who does not cling to pleasures,
like water on a lotus leaf, like a mustard seed on the point of a
402. Him I call indeed a Brahmana who, even here, knows the end of
suffering, has put down his burden, and is unshackled.
403. Him I call indeed a Brahmana whose knowledge is deep, who
possesses wisdom, who knows the right way and the wrong, and has
attained the highest end.
404. Him I call indeed a Brahmana who keeps aloof both from laymen
from mendicants, who frequents no houses, and has but few desires.
405. Him I call indeed a Brahmana who finds no fault with other
beings, whether feeble or strong, and does not kill nor cause
406. Him I call indeed a Brahmana who is tolerant with the
mild with fault-finders, and free from passion among the passionate.
407. Him I call indeed a Brahmana from whom anger and hatred, pride
and envy have dropt like a mustard seed from the point of a needle.
408. Him I call indeed a Brahmana who utters true speech,
and free from harshness, so that he offend no one.
409. Him I call indeed a Brahmana who takes nothing in the world
is not given him, be it long or short, small or large, good or bad.
410. Him I call indeed a Brahmana who fosters no desires for this
world or for the next, has no inclinations, and is unshackled.
411. Him I call indeed a Brahmana who has no interests, and when he
has understood (the truth), does not say How, how? and who has reached
the depth of the Immortal.
412. Him I call indeed a Brahmana who in this world is above good
evil, above the bondage of both, free from grief from sin, and from
413. Him I call indeed a Brahmana who is bright like the moon,
serene, undisturbed, and in whom all gaiety is extinct.
414. Him I call indeed a Brahmana 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. Him I call indeed a Brahmana who in this world, leaving all
desires, travels about without a home, and in whom all concupiscence
416. Him I call indeed a Brahmana who, leaving all longings,
about without a home, and in whom all covetousness is extinct.
417. Him I call indeed a Brahmana who, after leaving all bondage to
men, has risen above all bondage to the gods, and is free from all and
418. Him I call indeed a Brahmana who has left what gives pleasure
what gives pain, who is cold, and free from all germs (of renewed
life), the hero who has conquered all the worlds.
419. Him I call indeed a Brahmana who knows the destruction and the
return of beings everywhere, who is free from bondage, welfaring
(Sugata), and awakened (Buddha).
420. Him I call indeed a Brahmana whose path the gods do not know,
spirits (Gandharvas), nor men, whose passions are extinct, and who is
an Arhat (venerable).
421. Him I call indeed a Brahmana who calls nothing his own,
it be before, behind, or between, who is poor, and free from the love
of the world.
422. Him I call indeed a Brahmana, the manly, the noble, the hero,
great sage, the conqueror, the impassible, the accomplished, the
423. Him I call indeed a Brahmana who knows his former abodes, who
sees heaven and hell, has reached the end of births, is perfect in
knowledge, a sage, and whose perfections are all perfect.
Suggested Further Reading