Dhammapada: Yamakavagga
Chapter 1 — Verses 1 to 20

1. Twinned Verses


Mind precedes created things;
Mind’s their chief, from mind they spring.
With tainted mind who speaks or acts,
Pain trails that man like the wheel trails ox-tracks.


Mind precedes created things,
Mind’s their chief, from mind they spring.
Who speaks or acts with purified mind,
Joy trails that man, like his shadow, behind.


“Me, she swore at”.
“Me, he flogged”.
“Me, defeated”.
“Me, she robbed”.
Those with hateful thoughts thus held,
Hatred in those ones will never be quelled.


“Me, she swore at”.
“Me, he flogged”.
“Me, defeated”.
“Me, she robbed”.
Those who live such thoughts not held,
Hatred in those ones is utterly quelled.


Hatred by hatred has been pacified
Never, in all of creation.
Through freedom from hatred does hatred subside:
This law is of ageless duration.


Most of men seem not to see
That man should live restrained;(1)
For those who have this realised,
Their quarrels fade away.


One with senses unsubdued,
And indulgent with his food,
Living languid and at leisure,
Contemplating sensual pleasure:
Him, will Mara soon defeat,
Like the wind, a tree that’s weak.


One with faith and self-exertion,
Body-foulness contemplation,
With his senses well-subdued,
Not excessive with his food:
Him, will Mara not defeat,
Nor will wind, a granite peak.


The man not free of inward taints,
In ochre tints ordained,
Who’s full of lies and unrestrained,
Does not deserve that ochre stain.


Whatever monk is purged of taints,
With virtue well-ingrained,
A man sincere and well restrained,
Is worthy of the ochre stain.


Quintessence they see as non-essence;
Non-essence they see as quintessence;
And they in wrong thoughts acquiescent,
Will never discover quintessence.


Quintessence they see as quintessence,
Non-essence they see as non-essence,
And they in right thoughts acquiescent,
Go on to discover quintessence.


Like ill-thatched huts let in the rain,
Is lust let in by minds untrained.
In well-roofed huts no water leaks:
In well-trained minds no passion seeps.


Evil-doers sorrow in both present and future lives. They sorrow and grieve, having realised their own defiled conduct.


Kind people are happy in both present and future lives. They are happy and satisfied, having realised their own pure conduct.


Here he regrets,
Hereafter regrets,
In both worlds the doer of evil regrets.

“I have done evil” -
The thought makes him mourn.
Still more he regrets when in low realms he’s born.


Here he’s delighted,
Hereafter delighted,
In both worlds the maker of merit’s delighted.

“I have made merit!” -
His glad exultation.
He’s happy still more with his good destination.


Although he frequently recites the scriptures, a heedless person fails to put them into practice. He is like a cowherd, counting others’ cattle. He has no real share in the life of asceticism.


Although a person infrequently recites the scriptures
          if he practises in accordance with Dhamma;
          if he has abandoned greed, hatred and delusion;
          if he possesses right knowledge;
          if his mind is liberated;
          if he is attached to nothing in the human or deva
he has a real share in the life of asceticism.


Go to the next chapter


1. Verse 6: "man should live restrained" (yamāmase). PED (yamati): "to control oneself".

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