Dhammatthavagga: The Judge
translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu
Alternate translation: Buddharakkhita
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To pass judgment hurriedly doesn't mean you're a judge. The wise one, weighing both the right judgment & wrong, judges others impartially — unhurriedly, in line with the Dhamma, guarding the Dhamma, guarded by Dhamma, intelligent: he's called a judge.
Simply talking a lot doesn't mean one is wise. Whoever's secure — no hostility, fear — is said to be wise. Simply talking a lot doesn't maintain the Dhamma. Whoever — although he's heard next to nothing — sees Dhamma through his body, is not heedless of Dhamma: he's one who maintains the Dhamma.
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool. But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness, self-control — he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
Not by suave conversation or lotus-like coloring does an envious, miserly cheat become an exemplary man. But one in whom this is cut through up- rooted wiped out — he's called exemplary, his aversion disgorged, intelligent.
A shaven head doesn't mean a contemplative. The liar observing no duties, filled with greed & desire: what kind of contemplative's he? But whoever tunes out the dissonance of his evil qualities — large or small — in every way by bringing evil to consonance: he's called a contemplative.
Begging from others doesn't mean one's a monk. As long as one follows householders' ways, one is no monk at all. But whoever puts aside both merit & evil and, living the chaste life, judiciously goes through the world: he's called a monk.
Not by silence does someone confused & unknowing turn into a sage. But whoever — wise, as if holding the scales, taking the excellent — rejects evil deeds: he is a sage, that's how he's a sage. Whoever can weigh both sides of the world: that's how he's called a sage.
Not by harming life does one become noble. One is termed noble for being gentle to all living things.
Monk, don't on account of your precepts & practices, great erudition, concentration attainments, secluded dwelling, or the thought, 'I touch the renunciate ease that run-of-the-mill people don't know': ever let yourself get complacent when the ending of effluents is still unattained.