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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Dhammapada - Chapter 5 - Fools

Chapter 5 of Dhammapada is based on the subject of "Fools". A person who is unaware of Dhamma is considered to be a fool. It has been advised that one should not associate himself with a fool. It is better to be alone that to be associated with a fool. The chapter further says that a fool torments himself by clinging to worldly things and the enemy of a fool is none other than himself.

This chapter has 16 verses. Read on to taste it.

Verse 60
Long for the wakeful is the night,
Long the weary, a league
For fools unaware of true Dhamma,
Samsara is long.

Verse 61
If, in your course, you don't meet
your equal, your better,
then continue on your course
firmly, alone.
There is no fellowship with fools.

Verse 62
I have sons, I have wealth,
the fool torments himself.
When even he himself
doesn't belong to himself,
how then sons?
how wealth?

Verse 63
A fool with a sense of his foolishness
is - at least to that extent - wise.
But a fool who thinks himself wise
really deserves to be called fool.

Verse 64
Even if for a lifetime
the fool stays with a wise,
he knows nothing of the Dhamma - 
as the ladle,
the taste of soup.

Verse 65
Even if for a moment,
the perceptive person stays with the wise,
he immediately knows the Dhamma - 
as the tongue,
the taste of soup.

Verse 66
Fools, their wisdom weak,
are their own enemies
as they go through life,
doing evil that bears bitter fruits.

Verse 67
It's not good,
the doing of the deed
that, once it's done,
you regret,
whose result you reap crying,
your face in tears.

Verse 68
It's good,
the doing of the deed
that, once it's done,
you don't regret,
whose result you reap gratified,
happy at heart.

Verse 69
As long as evil has yet to ripen,
the fool mistakes it for honey.
But when the evil ripens,
the fool falls into pain.

Verse 70
Month after month
the fool might eat 
only a tip-of-grass measure of food,
but he won't be worth
one sixteenth of those
who fathomed the Dhamma.

Verse 71
An evil deed, when done,
doesn't - like ready milk - 
come out right away.
It follows the fool,
smoldering like a fire
hidden in the ashes.

Verse 72
Only for his ruin
does renown come to the fool.
It ravages his bright fortune
and rips his head apart.

Verse 73
He would want unwarranted status,
preeminence among monks,
authority among monasteries,
homage from lay families.

Verse 74
"Let householders and those gone forth
both think that this
was done by me alone.
May I alone determine
what's the duty and what's not:" :
the resolve of a fool
as they grow - his desire and pride.

Verse 75
The path to the material gain
goes on way,
the way to unbinding,
Realizing this, the monk,
a disciple to the Awakened One,
should not relish offerings,
should cultivate seclusion

Chapter 6 will be continued in the next blog post.
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