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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Dhammapada - Chapter 6 - The Wise

The sixth chapter of Dhammapada talks about the wise. It describes the qualities of a wise man and guides us how to identify such a person. Further the verses encourage us to associate ourselves with such people with whose association we would gain lot of benefits. It is said that as the irrigators guides the water, as the fletchers shape the arrow shaft, as the carpenters shape the wood, a wise man controls his mind. These lines highlight the importance of the control of mind which is a difficult thing to attain for a normal person. The wise are neither moved by praise nor blame. They are equanimous at any point of time.

There are 14 verses in this Chapter.

Verse 76
Regard him as one, who points out treasure,
the wise one who seeing your faults rebukes you.
Stay with this sort of sage
For the one who stays with the sage of this sort,
things get better, not worse.

Verse 77
Let him admonish, instruct, deflect you
away from poor manners.
To the good he is endearing,
to the bad he is not.

Verse 78
Don't associate with bad friends.
Don't associate with the low.
Associate with admirable friends.
Associate with the best.

Verse 79
Drinking the Dhamma, refreshed by the Dhamma,
one sleeps at ease with clear awareness and calm.
In the Dhamma revealed by the noble ones,
the wise person always delights.

Verse 80
Irrigators guide the water.
Fletchers shape the arrow shaft.
Carpenters shape the wood.
The wise controls themselves.

Verse 81
As a single slab of of rock
won't budge in the wind,
so the wise are not moved
by praise, by blame.

Verse 82
Like a deep lake, 
clear unruffled, and calm,
so the wise becomes clear, calm,
on hearing the words of Dhamma.

Verse 83
Everywhere, truly, those of integrity stand apart.
They, the good, don't chatter in hopes of favour or gains.
When touched now by pleasure, now pain,
the wise give no sign of high, or low.

Verse 84
One who wouldn't -  not for his own sake
nor that of another - hanker for wealth,
a son, a kingdom, his own fulfillment,
by unrighteous means:
he is righteous, rich in virtue, discernment.

Verse 85 - 89
Few are the people who reach far ashore.
These others simply scurry along this shore.
But those who practice Dhamma
in line with the well-taught Dhamma,
will cross over the realm of Death
so hard to transcend.

Forsaking dark practices,
the wise person should develop the bright,
having gone from home to no home
in seclusion, so hard to enjoy.
There he should wish for delight,
discarding sensuality - he who has nothing.
He should cleanse himself  - wise - 
of what defiles the mind.

Whose minds are well-developed
in the factors of self awakening,
who delight in non-clinging,
relinquishing grasping -
resplendent, their effluents ended:
they in the world are unbound.

Chapter 7 will be continued in future blog posts.

For further reading:

The Dhammapada: A New Translation of the Buddhist Classic with Annotations
The Dhammapada (Classics of Indian Spirituality)
Dhammapada, a collection of verses; being one of the canonical books of the Buddhists
The Dhammapada
Dhammapada (Shambhala Pocket Classics)
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