Dhp XX
Maggavagga: The Path
translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu
Alternate translation: Buddharakkhita
Alternate format: [PDF icon]
Of paths, the eightfold is best. Of truths, the four sayings. Of qualities, dispassion. Of two-footed beings, the one with the eyes to see.
Just this is the path — there is no other — to purify vision. Follow it, and that will be Mara's bewilderment. Following it, you put an end to suffering & stress. I have taught you this path having known — for your knowing — the extraction of arrows. It's for you to strive ardently. Tathagatas simply point out the way. Those who practice, absorbed in jhana: from Mara's bonds they'll be freed.
When you see with discernment, 'All fabrications are inconstant' — you grow disenchanted with stress. This is the path to purity. When you see with discernment, 'All fabrications are stressful' — you grow disenchanted with stress. This is the path to purity. When you see with discernment, 'All phenomena are not-self' — you grow disenchanted with stress. This is the path to purity.
At the time for initiative he takes no initiative. Young, strong, but lethargic, the resolves of his heart exhausted, the lazy, lethargic one loses the path to discernment.
Guarded in speech, well-restrained in mind, you should do nothing unskillful in body. Purify these three courses of action. Bring to fruition the path that seers have proclaimed.
From striving comes wisdom; from not, wisdom's end. Knowing these two courses — to development, decline — conduct yourself so that wisdom will grow.
Cut down the forest of desire, not the forest of trees. From the forest of desire come danger & fear. Having cut down this forest & its underbrush, monks, be deforested. For as long as the least bit of underbrush of a man for women is not cleared away, the heart is fixated like a suckling calf on its mother. Crush your sense of self-allure like an autumn lily in the hand. Nurture only the path to peace — Unbinding — as taught by the One Well Gone.
'Here I'll stay for the rains. Here, for the summer & winter.' So imagines the fool, unaware of obstructions. That drunk-on-his-sons-&-cattle man, all tangled up in the mind: death sweeps him away — as a great flood, a village asleep.
There are no sons to give shelter, no father, no family for one seized by the Ender, no shelter among kin. Conscious of this compelling reason, the wise man, restrained by virtue, should make the path pure — right away — that goes all the way to Unbinding.