Dhammapada: Brāhmaṇavagga
Chapter 26 — Verses 383 to 423

26. The Brahman


Cut the stream of craving energetically,
And drive away, O wise man, sensuality.
The end of things conditioned having seen,
Then knower of the un-formed will you be.


When, through concentration and insight, a true brahman has gone beyond, he understands truth, and all his bonds fall away.


One for whom there is no attachment to this world, or to the world beyond, or to both; one who is free of sorrow and fetters, I call a true brahman.


One who sits in meditation, stainless, duty done, free of the asavas, the highest goal attained, I call such a person a true brahman.


The sun by day shines bright;
The moon’s ablaze at night;
The soldier gleams when wearing armour;
Brahmans glow immersed in jhana;
But through the daytime and the night,
The Buddha floods the world with light.


By renouncing all evil one’s called a renunciate.
If anchored in peace, then one’s known as an anchorite.
And whoever their spiritual defects removes,
It is proper to label the person, recluse.


One shouldn’t ever strike a monk;
A monk should not retaliate.
Shame on those who first attack,
And shame on those who then strike back!


For a monk there’s naught excelling
Holding back from what’s endearing.
As desires destructive fade,
So his sorrows melt away.(1)


I call someone a true brahman if he is restrained in three ways: doing no wrong by body, speech or mind.


To him through whom you first received
The Dhamma that the Lord revealed,
Bestow respectful salutation,
Like priests serve fire, with veneration.


Not matted hair, nor birth, nor clan
Establish one’s a godly man.
But knowing truth, and conduct righteous,
Evince one’s pure, indeed religious.(2)


Why, O fool, the matted hair?
What good, the deerskin cloak you wear?
Within you lies entanglement;
Outside is mere embellishment.


The monk who uses rag-cloth robes,
Who sits alone in lonely groves,
Whose frame is lean, with sinews lined,
That person’s one I’d call divine.(2)


From mother born,
And womb emerged,
Don’t mean a man
“A saint” be termed.(2)

A man inclined
To call things “mine”,
And then refer
To men as “Sir”:
He should be termed,
“Addresser by ‘Sir’”.

But he who’s free
Of thoughts of ‘me’,(3)
And holding-on,
A saint is he.


One who
          has sundered all fetters,
          is free of worry and excitement,
          is free of bonds,
          is liberated,
I call a true brahman.


One who has cut the reins of craving,
The traces of hatred,
The lead of views,
Together with the bridle of the latent tendencies,
Who has thrown off the yoke of ignorance,
Who is fully enlightened,
I call a true brahman.


One who bears, without resentment,
          verbal abuse,
          physical restraint;
whose power, whose invincible army, is patience, I call a true brahman.


One who
          is free of anger,
          carefully observes his religious duties,
          is virtuous,
          is free of defilement,
          is tamed,
          has been born for the last time,
I call a true brahman.


A lotus leaf scatters the droplets of rain;
A needlepoint lets fall a mustard-seed grain.
If someone should likewise life’s pleasures relinquish,
That person, I say, is one truly religious.


One who, in his lifetime, knows the complete destruction of suffering, whose burden is laid down, who is unbound, I call a true brahman.


One who
          is of profound wisdom,
          is insightful,
          knows what is the path, and what is not,
          has attained the highest goal,
I call a true brahman.


One who is aloof from both laypeople and the religious, with nowhere called ‘home’, and with few needs, I call a true brahman.


One who has abandoned the use of weapons against creatures, either fierce or timorous, and who neither kills nor encourages others to kill, I call a true brahman.


One tranquil amid the tempestuous,
And friendly amid the ferocious,
Who's gracious amid the rapacious,
Is rightfully labelled religious.


A pin-tip retains
Not a mustard-seed grain.
They who likewise have sloughed
Their ill-feelings and lust,
And put also aside
Their contempt and their pride;
Having cast off these stains,
As true brahmans they’re named.


With gentle discourse, never lies,
With courteous speech, he edifies;
And with his tongue, he none maligns:
He is, indeed, a man divine.


One who would not steal anything at all, either large or small, attractive or unattractive, I call a true brahman.


One who is free of longing for all worlds, either human or divine, who is free of hopes and expectations, who is free of attachment, I call a true brahman.


One in whom no attachment is found; who, through final knowledge, has no doubts about Dhamma; and who has attained to the depths of the Immortal, I call a true brahman.


One who has overcome attachment to both good and evil, who is sorrowless, stainless, and pure, I call a true brahman.


Unruffled as the moon, as spotless,
Pure, resplendent and serene;
Becoming and delight uprooted;
Brahmans true, are deemed to be.


He who has escaped danger, this difficult road, samsara, delusion; he who has reached the other shore, attained Nibbana, is meditative, free of lust, free of doubt, free of clinging, desireless, I call a true brahman.


One who has overcome his lusts, who wanders homeless, who has destroyed sensuality and becoming, I call a true brahman.


One who abandons craving, becomes a homeless wanderer, and who then destroys both craving and becoming, I call a true brahman.


One who has forsaken human bonds, transcended divine bonds, who is thus liberated from all bonds, I call a true brahman.


One who has given up liking and disliking, who is free of passion, free of possessiveness, a hero who has conquered all worldly attachment, I call a true brahman.


One who understands in every way both the death and rebirth of beings, who is free of clinging, who has attained bliss, and is awakened, I call a true brahman.


One whose destiny is unknowable to humans, spirits and devas; who has destroyed the asavas, an arahant, I call a true brahman.


One who has no attachment to anything, either in the past, future or present; who is free of attachment and clinging, I call a true brahman.


One who is mighty, noble, heroic, a great sage, victorious, free of lust, cleansed of evil, enlightened, I call a true brahman.


One who
          knows his former lives,
          sees heaven and hell,
          has ended birth,
          has attained the special knowledges,
          is fully accomplished, a sage,
I call a true brahman.


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1. Verse 390: "As desires destructive (hiṃsamano) fade/ So his sorrows melt away": I assume, from the previous line, that 'mano' means 'desire of the mind for what's endearing'. This desire is destructive because of associated attachment. As desire fades, so his sorrows melt away.

2. Verse 393, 395, 396: The word 'brahman' has various implied meanings, including religiosity, saintliness, godliness, divinity. I use these words interchangeably.

3. Verse 396: as in verse 221: "free of all identity" (akiñcanaṃ). PED: having nothing.

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