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Monday, November 8, 2010

Dhammapada - Chapter 3 - The Mind

The third chapter of Dhammapada expounds upon the subject of mind. The verses talk in great detail about the characteristics of mind - how wavering the mind is, how difficult it is to control the mind. It further explains the benefits of a controlled mind and the handicaps of an ill-controlled mind.

There are 11 verses in Chapter 3.

Verse 33:
Quivering, Wavering, hard to guard,
hold in check: the mind.
The sages makes it straight - 
like a fletcher, the shaft an arrow.

Verse 34:
Like a fish pulled from its home in the water
and thrown on land:
this mind flips and flaps about 
to escape Mara's sway.

Verse 35:
Hard to hold down, nimble,
alighting wherever it likes: the mind
Its taming is good.
The mind well tamed brings ease.

Verse 36:
So hard to see, so very very subtle,
alighting wherever it likes: the mind.
The wise should guard it.
The mind protected brings ease.

Verse 37:
Wandering far, going alone,
bodiless, lying in a cave: the mind.
Those who restrain it: from Mara's bond,
they will be freed.

Verse 38:
For a person of unsteady mind,
not knowing true Dhamma,
serenity, set adrift:
discernment doesn't grow full.

Verse 39:
For a person of unsoddened   mind,
unassaulted awareness
abandoning merit and evil, wakeful,
there is no danger, no fear.

Verse 40:
Knowing this body is like a clay jar,
securing this mind like a fort,
attack Mara with the spear of discernment,
then guard what's won,
without settling there,
without laying claim.

Verse 41:
All too soon, this body,
will lie on the ground, cast off,
bereft of consciousness,
like a useless scrap of wood.

Verse 42:
Whatever an enemy might do
to an enemy,
or a foe to a foe,
the ill-directed mind 
can do you the worse.

Verse 43:
Whatever a mother, father,
or other kinsman,
might do for you,
the well-directed mind,
can do for you even better.

Chapter 4 will be continued in the next post.
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