Dhammapada: Cittavagga
Chapter 3 — Verses 33 to 43

3. The Mind



This mind, so fickle and disturbed,
Hard to guard, and hard to curb,
The wise ones straighten, just as do
Skilled fletchers make their arrows true.



Like a fish that has been landed,
From the water drawn and stranded,
So this mind does shake and strain
In breaking free of Mara’s reign.


Hard to control is this mind, and so changeable,
Darting at what it conceives as delectable.
Mastering the mind is supremely commendable;
Mastered, it kindles a joy that’s ineffable.


The mind is very subtle and difficult to see. It descends on whatever it finds pleasant. A wise person should protect the mind: a protected mind brings happiness.


How far the mind roams!
It wanders alone;
No body it owns;
Concealed is its home.
Once training it’s known,
From death’s bonds have you flown.


In one who is
          of unsteady mind,
          ignorant of Dhamma,
          of wavering faith,
wisdom does not mature.


For one whose mind is not flooded by lust, and not plagued by doubt; for one who has given up both merit and evil; for him, watchful and vigilant, there are no fears.


Having realised this body’s like a pitcher - it’s as breakable -
And stabilised your mind until it’s stable as a citadel,
Then, using wisdom’s weapons, you should battle with the Evil One.
Your victory then defending, any yearnings you should overcome.


Not long, indeed, till it will rest,
This body here, beneath the clod -
Discarded, void of consciousness,
As useless as a rotten log.


Whatever aggressors might do to aggressors,
Or haters to men they despise,
We do harm to ourselves that’s immeasureably greater
With mind, if it's wrongly inclined.


What mother or father or kindred can’t do,
A mind well-directed could do it for you.


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* The verses marked with an asterisk are more or less Samanera Bodhesako's compositions.

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