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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Dhammapada - Chapter 10 - The Rod

The 10th Chapter of Dhammapada is based on the concept of punishment. All are frightened of being hurt or any threat to one's life. To all life is dear. Seeing that others see the same way as oneself, equating others to oneself, refrain from harming or killing. People who like to be happy are in search of pleasure hurt others through various acts of violence for their own happiness. These victims too want to be happy as much as those who inflict pain on them. Those who inflict pain do not achieve happiness even in their next birth.

To know further read the verses that follow. There are 17 verses in this chapter:

Verse 129
All tremble at the rod,
all are fearful of death.
Drawing the parallel to yourself,
neither kill nor get others to kill.

Verse 130
All tremble at the rod,
hold their life dear.
Drawing the parallel to yourself,
neither kill nor get others to kill.

Verse 131
Whoever takes a rod
to harm living beings desiring ease,
when he himself is looking for ease,
will meet with no ease after death.

Verse 132
Whoever doesn't take a rod
to harm living beings desiring ease,
when he himself is looking for ease,
will meet with ease after death.

Verse 133
Speak harshly to no one,
or the words will be thrown
right back at you.
Contentious talk is painful,
for you get struck by rods in return.

Verse 134
If, like a flattened metal pot
you don't resound,
you have attained an Unbinding;
in you there's found
no contention.

Verse 135
As a cowherd with a rod
drives cows to the field,
so ageing and death
drive the life of living beings.

Verse 136
When doing evil deeds,
the fool is oblivious.
The dullard is tormented
by his own deeds,
as if burned by a fire.

Verse 137-140
Whoever, with a rod,
harasses an innocent man, unarmed,
quickly falls into any of the ten things:
harsh pains, devastation, a broken body,
grave illness, mental derangement, trouble 
with the government, violent slander, relatives lost,
property dissolved, houses burned down.

At the break-up of the body
this one with no discernment,
reappears in hell.

Verse 141
Neither nakedness nor matted hair
nor mud nor the refusal of food
nor sleeping on the bare ground
nor dust and dirt nor squatting austerities
cleanses the mortal
who's not gone beyond doubt.

Verse 142
If, though adorned, one lives in tune
with the chaste life
-calmed, tamed and assured-
having put down the rod towards other beings,
he's a contemplative, a brahmin, a monk.

Verse 143
Who in the world
is a man constrained by conscience,
who awakens to censure
like a fine stallion to whip.

Verse 144
Like a fine stallion
struck with a whip,
be ardent and chastened.
Through conviction, virtue,
persistence, concentration, judgment,
consummate in knowledge and conduct,
you will abandon this non-insignificant pain.

Verse 145
Irrigators guide the water.
Fletchers shape the arrow shaft.
Carpenters shape the wood.
Those of good practices control themselves.

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