Dhammapada: Buddavagga
Chapter 14 — Verses 179 to 196

14. The Buddha


The Buddha, whose victory is not overturned,
That hero no longer proceeds in the world;
Of limitless range, having left every way,
Then where is the track that could lead him astray?


The Buddha is free of entangling affection,
And nowhere has left any cravings to lure him;
Of limitless range, having left every way,
Then where is the track that could lead him astray?


Wise ones strive in meditation,
Joy- and peace-filled in seclusion,
Fully conscious, minds awakened,
Gods would wish their situation.(1)


Rare the chance, the birth as man;
Hard to live, this mortal span;
Rare, to hear the Dhamma true;
Buddhas rising forth are few.


Undertake wholesomeness;
Shun every wickedness;
Purify consciousness:
All Buddhas’ teaching’s thus.


Patient perseverance
Is the finest of austerities.
Nibbana, say the Buddhas,
Is the greatest of all verities.
No recluse or monk is he
That hurts or causes injury.

Not insulting, not tormenting;
Governed by the codes of training;
Not excessive food consuming;
Isolated lodgings using;
Training mind with dedication:
This, the Buddhas’ dispensation.


Even a cloudburst of sovereigns would never
Allow one to have all one asks for of pleasure.
The one who goes hunting for sensual enjoyment
Finds little enchantment but much disappointment.

So, one who can see this, possessed of discretion,
Does not even covet the pleasures of heaven.
The Blessed One’s pupils pursue his instruction
And find their enjoyment in craving’s destruction.


In a dangerous plight,
The faint-hearted take flight,
For a refuge to run to,
Distracted by fright.

To the shrines and pagodas
And mountains they flee;
To the jungles and meadows
And sanctified trees.

But unfit are such places
As havens of safety,
And none can be deemed
As a refuge supreme.

For although they may reach
Such secluded retreats,
They would not from their sorrows
Be utterly freed.

Thus, whoever dismayed
Wants a refuge supreme,
To the Buddha and Dhamma
And Sangha should flee,

And with wisdom direct
Should on Four Truths reflect,
Which are: Sorrows reality,
Sorrow’s causality,
Sorrow’s transcendence
And Eightfold Modality.

These are, indeed,
The protections supreme.
Having realised such safety
From sorrow one’s free.


It’s hard to discover a man of real quality;
Such are not born in just any locality.
Countries where sages have found their nativity,
People thereof come to happy prosperity.


How delightful is the advent of the Buddhas;
How delightful is the teaching of the Dhamma;
In the Sangha, how delightful solidarity;
In concord, how delightful our austerity!


To those who are worthy, whoever gives reverence,
To Buddhas, and monks who have cleared the impediments,
Crossed over grief and traversed lamentation,
Those safe from all quarters, who’ve reached liberation:
The greatness of merit from honouring such,
Can by no one be fixed at ‘just this-or-that much’.


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1. Verse 181: "gods would wish their situation" (devāpi tesaṃ pihayanti). PED says pihayanti means desire or envy.

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