Attavagga: Self
translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu
Alternate translation: Buddharakkhita
Alternate format: [PDF icon]
If you hold yourself dear then guard, guard yourself well. The wise person would stay awake nursing himself in any of the three watches of the night, the three stages of life.
First he'd settle himself in what is correct, only then teach others. He wouldn't stain his name : he is wise.
If you'd mold yourself the way you teach others, then, well-trained, go ahead & tame — for, as they say, what's hard to tame is you yourself.
Your own self is your own mainstay, for who else could your mainstay be? With you yourself well-trained you obtain the mainstay hard to obtain.
The evil he himself has done — self-born, self-created — grinds down the dullard, as a diamond, a precious stone.
When overspread by extreme vice — like a sal tree by a vine — you do to yourself what an enemy would wish.
They're easy to do — things of no good & no use to yourself. What's truly useful & good is truly harder than hard to do.
The teaching of those who live the Dhamma, worthy ones, noble: whoever maligns it — a dullard, inspired by evil view — bears fruit for his own destruction, like the fruiting of the bamboo.
Evil is done by oneself by oneself is one defiled. Evil is left undone by oneself by oneself is one cleansed. Purity & impurity are one's own doing. No one purifies another. No other purifies one.
Don't sacrifice your own welfare for that of another, no matter how great. Realizing your own true welfare, be intent on just that.