Khuddaka Nikaya

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The Path of Dhamma

V. Balavagga: The Fool (60-75)

Index The Pāḷi


By Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
For free distribution only.



[60] Long for the wakeful is the night.
Long for the weary, a league.
For fools
unaware of True Dhamma,
is long.

[61] If, in your course, you don't meet
your equal, your better,
then continue your course,
There's no fellowship with fools.

[62] 'I have sons, I have wealth' --
the fool torments himself.
When even he himself
doesn't belong to himself,
how then sons?
How wealth?

[63] A fool with a sense of his foolishness
is -- at least to that extent -- wise.
But a fool who thinks himself wise
really deserves to be called
a fool.

[64] Even if for a lifetime
the fool stays with the wise,
he knows nothing of the Dhamma --
as the ladle,
the taste of the soup.

[65] Even if for a moment,
the perceptive person stays with the wise,
he immediately knows the Dhamma --
as the tongue,
the taste of the soup.

[66] Fools, their wisdom weak,
are their own enemies
as they go through life,
doing evil
that bears
bitter fruit.

[67] It's not good,
the doing of the deed
that, once it's done,
you regret,
whose result you reap crying,
your face in tears.

[68] It's good,
the doing of the deed
that, once it's done,
you don't regret,
whose result you reap gratified,
happy at heart.

[69] As long as evil has yet to ripen,
the fool mistakes it for honey.
But when that evil ripens,
the fool falls into

[70] Month after month
the fool might eat
only a tip-of-grass measure of food,
but he wouldn't be worth
one sixteenth
of those who've fathomed
the Dhamma.

[71] An evil deed, when done,
doesn't -- like ready milk --
come out right away.
It follows the fool,
like a fire
hidden in ashes.

[72] Only for his ruin
does renown come to the fool.
It ravages his bright fortune
and rips his head apart.

[73] He would want unwarranted status,
preeminence among monks,
authority among monasteries,
homage from lay families.

[74] 'Let householders and those gone forth
both think that this
was done by me alone.
May I alone determine
what's a duty, what's not':
the resolve of a fool
as they grow --
his desire and pride.

[75] The path to material gain
goes one way,
the way to Unbinding,
Realizing this, the monk,
a disciple to the Awakened One,
should not relish offerings,
should cultivate seclusion




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