The Downward Course
He who says what is not, goes to hell; he also who, having done a
thing, says I have not done it. After death both are
equal, they are
men with evil deeds in the next world.
307. Many men whose shoulders are covered with the yellow
ill-conditioned and unrestrained; such evil-doers by their evil deeds
go to hell.
308. Better it would
be to swallow a heated iron ball, like flaring
fire, than that a bad unrestrained fellow should live on the charity
309. Four things does a wreckless man gain who covets his neighbour's
wife,--a bad reputation, an uncomfortable
bed, thirdly, punishment,
and lastly, hell.
310. There is bad reputation, and the evil way (to hell), there is the
pleasure of the frightened in the arms of the frightened, and
the king imposes heavy punishment; therefore let no man think
311. As a grass-blade, if badly grasped, cuts the arm, badly-practised
312. An act carelessly performed, a broken vow, and hesitating
obedience to discipline, all this brings
no great reward.
313. If anything is to be done, let a man do it, let him attack it
vigorously! A careless
pilgrim only scatters the dust of his passions
314. An evil deed is better left undone, for a man repents
afterwards; a good deed is better done, for having done it, one does
315. Like a well-guarded
frontier fort, with defences within and
without, so let a man guard himself. Not a moment should escape, for
who allow the right moment to pass, suffer pain when they are in
316. They who are ashamed of what they ought
not to be ashamed of, and
are not ashamed of what they ought to be ashamed of, such men,
embracing false doctrines enter
the evil path.
317. They who fear when they ought not to fear, and fear not when they
ought to fear, such men, embracing
false doctrines, enter the evil
318. They who forbid when there is nothing to be forbidden, and forbid
when there is something to be forbidden, such men, embracing false
doctrines, enter the evil path.
319. They who
know what is forbidden as forbidden, and what is not
forbidden as not forbidden, such men, embracing the true doctrine,
the good path.
320. Silently shall I endure abuse as the elephant in battle
the arrow sent from the bow: for the world is ill-natured.
321. They lead a tamed elephant to battle, the
king mounts a tamed
elephant; the tamed is the best among men, he who silently endures
322. Mules are
good, if tamed, and noble Sindhu horses, and elephants
with large tusks; but he who tames himself is better still.
For with these animals does no man reach the untrodden country
(Nirvana), where a tamed man goes on a tamed animal, viz.
on his own
324. The elephant called Dhanapalaka, his temples running with sap,
to hold, does not eat a morsel when bound; the elephant
longs for the elephant grove.
325. If a man becomes fat
and a great eater, if he is sleepy and rolls
himself about, that fool, like a hog fed on wash, is born again and
This mind of mine went formerly wandering about as it liked, as
it listed, as it pleased; but I shall now hold it in thoroughly,
the rider who holds the hook holds in the furious elephant.
327. Be not thoughtless, watch your thoughts!
Draw yourself out of
the evil way, like an elephant sunk in mud.
328. If a man find a prudent companion who walks
with him, is wise,
and lives soberly, he may walk with him, overcoming all dangers,
happy, but considerate.
If a man find no prudent companion who walks with him, is wise,
and lives soberly, let him walk alone, like a king who
has left his
conquered country behind,--like an elephant in the forest.
330. It is better to live alone, there is
no companionship with a
fool; let a man walk alone, let him commit no sin, with few wishes,
like an elephant in the
331. If an occasion arises, friends are pleasant; enjoyment is
pleasant, whatever be the cause; a good work
is pleasant in the hour
of death; the giving up of all grief is pleasant.
332. Pleasant in the world is the state
of a mother, pleasant the
state of a father, pleasant the state of a Samana, pleasant the state
of a Brahmana.
Pleasant is virtue lasting to old age, pleasant is a faith firmly
rooted; pleasant is attainment of intelligence, pleasant
334. The thirst of a thoughtless man grows like a creeper;
from life to life, like a monkey seeking fruit in the forest.
335. Whomsoever this fierce thirst overcomes,
full of poison, in this
world, his sufferings increase like the abounding Birana grass.
336. He who overcomes this
fierce thirst, difficult to be conquered in
this world, sufferings fall off from him, like water-drops from a
337. This salutary word I tell you, `Do ye, as many as are here
assembled, dig up the root of thirst, as he
who wants the sweet-
scented Usira root must dig up the Birana grass, that Mara (the
tempter) may not crush you again
and again, as the stream crushes the
338. As a tree, even though it has been cut down, is firm so long as
root is safe, and grows again, thus, unless the feeders of thirst
are destroyed, the pain (of life) will return again and
339. He whose thirst running towards pleasure is exceeding strong in
the thirty-six channels, the waves will
carry away that misguided man,
viz. his desires which are set on passion.
340. The channels run everywhere, the
creeper (of passion) stands
sprouting; if you see the creeper springing up, cut its root by means
A creature's pleasures are extravagant and luxurious; sunk in
lust and looking for pleasure, men undergo (again and again)
342. Men, driven on by thirst, run about like a snared hare; held in
fetters and bonds, they
undergo pain for a long time, again and again.
343. Men, driven on by thirst, run about like a snared hare; let
the mendicant drive out thirst, by striving after
passionlessness for himself.
344. He who having got rid of the
forest (of lust) (i.e. after having
reached Nirvana) gives himself over to forest-life (i.e. to lust), and
removed from the forest (i.e. from lust), runs to the forest
(i.e. to lust), look at that man! though free, he runs into
345. Wise people do not call that a strong fetter which is made of
iron, wood, or hemp; far stronger is
the care for precious stones and
rings, for sons and a wife.
346. That fetter wise people call strong which drags
down, yields, but
is difficult to undo; after having cut this at last, people leave the
world, free from cares, and
leaving desires and pleasures behind.
347. Those who are slaves to passions, run down with the stream (of
as a spider runs down the web which he has made himself;
when they have cut this, at last, wise people leave the world
from cares, leaving all affection behind.
348. Give up what is before, give up what is behind, give up what
in the middle, when thou goest to the other shore of existence; if thy
mind is altogether free, thou wilt not again
enter into birth and
349. If a man is tossed about by doubts, full of strong passions, and
for what is delightful, his thirst will grow more and
more, and he will indeed make his fetters strong.
a man delights in quieting doubts, and, always reflecting,
dwells on what is not delightful (the impurity of the body,
certainly will remove, nay, he will cut the fetter of Mara.
351. He who has reached the consummation,
who does not tremble, who is
without thirst and without sin, he has broken all the thorns of life:
this will be his
352. He who is without thirst and without affection, who understands
the words and their interpretation,
who knows the order of letters
(those which are before and which are after), he has received his last
body, he is called
the great sage, the great man.
353. `I have conquered all, I know all, in all conditions of life I am
taint; I have left all, and through the destruction of
thirst I am free; having learnt myself, whom shall I teach?'
The gift of the law exceeds all gifts; the sweetness of the law
exceeds all sweetness; the delight in the law exceeds all
the extinction of thirst overcomes all pain.
355. Pleasures destroy the foolish, if they look not for
shore; the foolish by his thirst for pleasures destroys himself, as if
he were his own enemy.
The fields are damaged by weeds, mankind is damaged by passion:
therefore a gift bestowed on the passionless brings great
357. The fields are damaged by weeds, mankind is damaged by hatred:
therefore a gift bestowed on those who
do not hate brings great
358. The fields are damaged by weeds, mankind is damaged by vanity:
a gift bestowed on those who are free from vanity brings
359. The fields are damaged by weeds, mankind
is damaged by lust:
therefore a gift bestowed on those who are free from lust brings great
The Bhikshu (Mendicant)
360. Restraint in the eye is good, good is restraint in the ear, in
the nose restraint
is good, good is restraint in the tongue.
361. In the body restraint is good, good is restraint in speech, in
restraint is good, good is restraint in all things. A
Bhikshu, restrained in all things, is freed from all pain.
He who controls his hand, he who controls his feet, he who
controls his speech, he who is well controlled, he who delights
who is collected, who is solitary and content, him they call
363. The Bhikshu who controls his mouth, who
speaks wisely and calmly,
who teaches the meaning and the law, his word is sweet.
364. He who dwells in the law,
delights in the law, meditates on the
law, follows the law, that Bhikshu will never fall away from the true
Let him not despise what he has received, nor ever envy others: a
mendicant who envies others does not obtain peace of
366. A Bhikshu who, though he receives little, does not despise what
he has received, even the gods will praise
him, if his life is pure,
and if he is not slothful.
367. He who never identifies himself with name and form, and
grieve over what is no more, he indeed is called a Bhikshu.
368. The Bhikshu who acts with kindness, who
is calm in the doctrine
of Buddha, will reach the quiet place (Nirvana), cessation of natural
desires, and happiness.
O Bhikshu, empty this boat! if emptied, it will go quickly;
having cut off passion and hatred thou wilt go to Nirvana.
Cut off the five (senses), leave the five, rise above the five.
A Bhikshu, who has escaped from the five fetters, he is
Oghatinna, `saved from the flood.'
371. Meditate, O Bhikshu, and be not heedless! Do not direct thy
to what gives pleasure that thou mayest not for thy
heedlessness have to swallow the iron ball (in hell), and that thou
not cry out when burning, `This is pain.'
372. Without knowledge there is no meditation, without meditation
is no knowledge: he who has knowledge and meditation is near
373. A Bhikshu who has entered his empty
house, and whose mind is
tranquil, feels a more than human delight when he sees the law
374. As soon
as he has considered the origin and destruction of the
elements (khandha) of the body, he finds happiness and joy which
to those who know the immortal (Nirvana).
375. And this is the beginning here for a wise Bhikshu: watchfulness
the senses, contentedness, restraint under the law; keep noble
friends whose life is pure, and who are not slothful.
Let him live in charity, let him be perfect in his duties; then
in the fulness of delight he will make an end of suffering.
As the Vassika plant sheds its withered flowers, men should shed
passion and hatred, O ye Bhikshus!
378. The Bhikshu
whose body and tongue and mind are quieted, who is
collected, and has rejected the baits of the world, he is called
Rouse thyself by thyself, examine thyself by thyself, thus self-
protected and attentive wilt thou live happily, O Bhikshu!
For self is the lord of self, self is the refuge of self;
therefore curb thyself as the merchant curbs a good horse.
The Bhikshu, full of delight, who is calm in the doctrine of
Buddha will reach the quiet place (Nirvana), cessation of
desires, and happiness.
382. He who, even as a young Bhikshu, applies himself to the doctrine
brightens up this world, like the moon when free from
The Brahmana (Arhat)
Stop the stream valiantly, drive away the desires, O Brahmana!
When you have understood the destruction of all that was
will understand that which was not made.
384. If the Brahmana has reached the other shore in both laws
restraint and contemplation), all bonds vanish from him who has
385. He for whom there
is neither this nor that shore, nor both, him,
the fearless and unshackled, I call indeed a Brahmana.
386. He who
is thoughtful, blameless, settled, dutiful, without
passions, and who has attained the highest end, him I call indeed a
The sun is bright by day, the moon shines by night, the warrior
is bright in his armour, the Brahmana is bright in his
Buddha, the Awakened, is bright with splendour day and night.
388. Because a man is rid of evil,
therefore he is called Brahmana;
because he walks quietly, therefore he is called Samana; because he
has sent away his
own impurities, therefore he is called Pravragita
(Pabbagita, a pilgrim).
389. No one should attack a Brahmana,
but no Brahmana (if attacked)
should let himself fly at his aggressor! Woe to him who strikes a
woe to him who flies at his aggressor!
390. It advantages a Brahmana not a little if he holds his mind back
the pleasures of life; when all wish to injure has vanished, pain
391. Him I call indeed a Brahmana
who does not offend by body, word,
or thought, and is controlled on these three points.
392. After a man has once
understood the law as taught by the Well-
awakened (Buddha), let him worship it carefully, as the Brahmana
the sacrificial fire.
393. A man does not become a Brahmana by his platted hair, by his
family, or by birth; in
whom there is truth and righteousness, he is
blessed, he is a Brahmana.
394. What is the use of platted hair, O
fool! what of the raiment of
goat-skins? Within thee there is ravening, but the outside thou
The man who wears dirty raiments, who is emaciated and covered
with veins, who lives alone in the forest, and meditates,
him I call
indeed a Brahmana.
396. I do not call a man a Brahmana because of his origin or of his
He is indeed arrogant, and he is wealthy: but the poor, who
is free from all attachments, him I call indeed a Brahmana.
Him I call indeed a Brahmana who has cut all fetters, who never
trembles, is independent and unshackled.
I call indeed a Brahmana who has cut the strap and the thong,
the chain with all that pertains to it, who has burst the
bar, and is
399. Him I call indeed a Brahmana who, though he has committed no
offence, endures reproach,
bonds, and stripes, who has endurance for
his force, and strength for his army.
400. Him I call indeed a Brahmana
who is free from anger, dutiful,
virtuous, without appetite, who is subdued, and has received his last
Him I call indeed a Brahmana who does not cling to pleasures,
like water on a lotus leaf, like a mustard seed on the point
402. Him I call indeed a Brahmana who, even here, knows the end of his
suffering, has put down his
burden, and is unshackled.
403. Him I call indeed a Brahmana whose knowledge is deep, who
possesses wisdom, who
knows the right way and the wrong, and has
attained the highest end.
404. Him I call indeed a Brahmana who keeps
aloof both from laymen and
from mendicants, who frequents no houses, and has but few desires.
405. Him I call indeed
a Brahmana who finds no fault with other
beings, whether feeble or strong, and does not kill nor cause
Him I call indeed a Brahmana who is tolerant with the intolerant,
mild with fault-finders, and free from passion among
407. Him I call indeed a Brahmana from whom anger and hatred, pride
and envy have dropt like a mustard
seed from the point of a needle.
408. Him I call indeed a Brahmana who utters true speech, instructive
from harshness, so that he offend no one.
409. Him I call indeed a Brahmana who takes nothing in the world that
not given him, be it long or short, small or large, good or bad.
410. Him I call indeed a Brahmana who fosters no desires
world or for the next, has no inclinations, and is unshackled.
411. Him I call indeed a Brahmana who has
no interests, and when he
has understood (the truth), does not say How, how? and who has reached
the depth of the Immortal.
Him I call indeed a Brahmana who in this world is above good and
evil, above the bondage of both, free from grief from
sin, and from
413. Him I call indeed a Brahmana who is bright like the moon, pure,
and in whom all gaiety is extinct.
414. Him I call indeed a Brahmana who has traversed this miry road,
world and its vanity, who has gone through, and reached
the other shore, is thoughtful, guileless, free from doubts, free
attachment, and content.
415. Him I call indeed a Brahmana who in this world, leaving all
about without a home, and in whom all concupiscence
416. Him I call indeed a Brahmana who, leaving all
about without a home, and in whom all covetousness is extinct.
417. Him I call indeed a Brahmana
who, after leaving all bondage to
men, has risen above all bondage to the gods, and is free from all and
Him I call indeed a Brahmana who has left what gives pleasure and
what gives pain, who is cold, and free from all germs
life), the hero who has conquered all the worlds.
419. Him I call indeed a Brahmana who knows the destruction
return of beings everywhere, who is free from bondage, welfaring
(Sugata), and awakened (Buddha).
Him I call indeed a Brahmana whose path the gods do not know, nor
spirits (Gandharvas), nor men, whose passions are extinct,
and who is
an Arhat (venerable).
421. Him I call indeed a Brahmana who calls nothing his own, whether
it be before,
behind, or between, who is poor, and free from the love
of the world.
422. Him I call indeed a Brahmana, the manly,
the noble, the hero, the
great sage, the conqueror, the impassible, the accomplished, the
I call indeed a Brahmana who knows his former abodes, who
sees heaven and hell, has reached the end of births, is perfect
knowledge, a sage, and whose perfections are all perfect.