Khuddaka Nikaya


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Dhammapada

The Path of Dhamma

XXIV. Tanhavagga: Craving (334-359)

By Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
For free distribution only.

 


 

[334] When a person lives heedlessly,
his craving grows like a creeping vine.
He runs now here
and now there,
as if looking for fruit:
a monkey in the forest.

[335] If this sticky, uncouth craving
overcomes you in the world,
your sorrows grow like wild grass
after rain.

[336] If, in the world, you overcome
this uncouth craving, hard to escape,
sorrows roll off you,
like water beads off
a lotus.

[337] To all of you gathered here
I say: Good fortune.
Dig up craving
-- as when seeking medicinal roots, wild grass --
by the root.
Don't let Mara cut you down
-- as a raging river, a reed --
over and over again.

[338] If its root remains
undamaged and strong,
a tree, even if cut,
will grow back.
So too if latent craving
is not rooted out,
this suffering returns
again
and
again.

[339] He whose 36 streams,
flowing to what is appealing, are strong:
the currents -- resolves based on passion --
carry him, of base views, away.

[340] They flow every which way, the streams,
but the sprouted creeper stays
in place.
Now, seeing that the creeper's arisen,
cut through its root
with discernment.

[341] Loosened and oiled
are the joys of a person.
People, bound by enticement,
looking for ease:
to birth and aging they go.

[342] Encircled with craving,
people hop round and around
like a rabbit caught in a snare.
Tied with fetters and bonds
they go on to suffering,
again and again, for long.

[343] Encircled with craving,
people hop round and around
like a rabbit caught in a snare.
So a monk
should dispel craving,
should aspire to dispassion
for himself.

[344] Cleared of the underbrush
but obsessed with the forest,
set free from the forest,
right back to the forest he runs.
Come, see the person set free
who runs right back to the same old chains!

[345-346] That's not a strong bond
-- so say the enlightened --
the one made of iron, of wood, or of grass.
To be smitten, enthralled,
with jewels and ornaments,
longing for children and wives:
that's the strong bond,
-- so say the enlightened --
one that's constraining,
elastic,
hard to untie.
But having cut it, they
-- the enlightened -- go forth,
free of longing, abandoning
sensual ease.

[347] Those smitten with passion
fall back
into a self-made stream,
like a spider snared in its web.
But, having cut it, the enlightened set forth,
free of longing, abandoning
all suffering and stress.

[348] Gone to the beyond of becoming,
you let go of in front,
let go of behind,
let go of between.
With a heart everywhere let-go,
you don't come again to birth
and aging.

[349-350] For a person
forced on by his thinking,
fierce in his passion,
focused on beauty,
craving grows all the more.
He's the one
who tightens the bond.
But one who delights
in the stilling of thinking,
always mindful
cultivating
a focus on the foul:
He's the one
who will make an end,
the one who will cut Mara's bond.

[351-352] Arrived at the finish,
unfrightened, unblemished, free
of craving, he has cut away
the arrows of becoming.
This physical heap is his last.
Free from craving,
ungrasping,
astute in expression,
knowing the combination of sounds --
which comes first and which after.
He's called a
last-body
greatly discerning
great man.

[353] All-conquering,
all-knowing am I,
with regard to all things,
unadhering.
All-abandoning,
released in the ending of craving:
having fully known on my own,
to whom should I point as my teacher?

[354] A gift of Dhamma conquers all gifts;
the taste of Dhamma, all tastes;
a delight in Dhamma, all delights;
the ending of craving, all suffering
and stress.

[355] Riches ruin the man
weak in discernment,
but not those who seek
the beyond.
Through craving for riches
the man weak in discernment
ruins himself
as he would others.

[356] Fields are spoiled by weeds;
people, by passion.
So what's given to those
free of passion
bears great fruit.

[357] Fields are spoiled by weeds;
people, by aversion.
So what's given to those
free of aversion
bears great fruit.

[358] Fields are spoiled by weeds;
people, by delusion.
So what's given to those
free of delusion
bears great fruit.

[359] Fields are spoiled by weeds;
people, by longing.
So what's given to those
free of longing
bears great fruit.

 


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