Thursday, August 31, 2017

081. Bear Harsh Words With Patience; Avoid Negative Thoughts; Break Bonds Of Selfish Desire

Dhammapada Part VI

Patiently I shall bear harsh words as the elephant bears arrows on the battlefield. People are often inconsiderate. (320)

Best among men are those who have trained the mind to endure harsh words patiently. (321)

Best among men is one with a well-trained mind. (322)

No animal can take you into nirvana; only a well-trained mind can lead you to this untrodden land. (323)

Eating too much, sleeping too much, like an overfed hog, those too lazy to exert effort are born again and again. (325)

Long ago my mind used to wander as it liked and do what it wanted. Now I can rule my mind as the mahout (i.e., a tender of elephants) controls the elephant with his hooked staff. (326)

Be vigilant; guard your mind against negative thoughts. Pull yourself out of bad ways as an elephant raises itself out of the mud. (327)

If you find a friend who is good, wise, and loving, walk with him all the way and overcome all dangers. (328)

If you cannot find a friend who is good, wise, and loving, walk alone, like a king who has renounced his kingdom or an elephant roaming at will in the forest. (329) 

It is better to be alone than to live with the immature. Be contented, and walk alone like a roaming elephant in the forest. Turn away from evil. (330)

It is good to live in virtue, good to have faith, good to attain the highest wisdom, good to be pure in heart and mind. Joy will be yours always. (333)

The compulsive urges of the thoughtless grow like a creeper. They jump like a monkey from one life to another, looking for fruit in the forest. (334)

When these urges drive us, sorrow spreads like a wild grass. (335) Conquer these fierce cravings and sorrow will fall away from your life like drops of water from a lotus leaf. (336)

Therefore I say, dig up craving root and all, as you would uproot birana grass, if you do not want Mara (i.e., adversary/tempter) to crush you as the stream crushes reeds on its banks. (337)

As a tree, though cut down, recovers and grows if its roots are not destroyed, suffering will come to you more and more if these compulsive urges are not extinguished. (338)

All human beings are subject to attachment and thirst for pleasure. Hankering after these, they are caught in the cycle of birth and death. (341) Driven by this thirst, they run about frightened like a hunted hare, suffering more and more. (342) Overcome this thirst and be free. (343)

Some, if they manage to come out of one forest of cravings, are driven into another. Though free, they run into bondage again. (344)

Fetters of wood, rope, or even iron, say the wise, are not as strong as selfish attachment to wealth and family. (345) Such fetters drag us down and are hard to break. Break them by overcoming selfish desires, and turn from the world of sensory pleasure without a backward glance. (346)

Like a spider caught in its own web is a person driven by fierce cravings. Break out of the web, and turn away from the world of sensory pleasure and sorrow. (347)

If you want to reach the other shore of existence, give up what is before, behind, and in between. Set your mind free, and go beyond birth and death. (348)

If you want to reach the other shore, do not let doubts, passions, and cravings strengthen your fetters. (349) Meditate deeply, discriminate between the pleasant and the permanent, and break the fetters of Mara (i.e., adversary/tempter). (350)

Those who are free from fear, thirst, and sin have removed all the thorns from their life. This body is their last. (351)

They are supremely wise who are free from compulsive urges and attachments, and who understand what words really stand for. This body is their last. (352)

I have conquered myself and live in purity. I know all. I have left everything behind, and live in freedom. Having taught myself, to whom shall I point as teacher? (353)

Greed ruins the mind as weeds ruin fields. Therefore honor those who are free from greed. (356)

Lust ruins the mind as weeds ruin fields. Therefore honor those who are free from lust. (357)

Hatred ruins the mind as weeds ruin fields. Therefore honor those who are free from hatred. (358)

Selfish desires ruin the mind as weeds ruin fields. Therefore honor those who are free from selfish desire. (359)

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