Dhammapada(Dhp XXIII) - Nagavagga: Elephants
Tuesday 18 May 2010, by
I — like an elephant in battle,enduring an arrow shot from a bow —will endure a false accusation,for the mass of peoplehave no principles.
The tamed is the onethey take into assemblies.The tamed is the onethe king mounts.The tamed who enduresa false accusationis, among human beings,the best.
Excellent are tamed mules,tamed thoroughbreds,tamed horses from Sindh.Excellent, tamed tuskers,great elephants.But even more excellentare those self-tamed.For not by these mounts could you goto the land unreached,as the tamed one goesby taming, well-taming, himself.
The tusker, Dhanapalaka,deep in rut, is hard to control.Bound, he won’t eat a morsel:the tusker missesthe elephant wood.
When torpid & over-fed,a sleepy-head lolling aboutlike a stout hog, fattened on fodder:a dullard enters the wombover andover again.
Before, this mind went wanderinghowever it pleased,wherever it wanted,by whatever way that it liked.Today I will hold it aptly in check —as one wielding a goad, an elephant in rut.
Delight in heedfulness.Watch over your own mind.Lift yourself upfrom the hard-going way,like a tusker sunk in the mud.
If you gain a mature companion —a fellow traveler, right-living, enlightened —overcoming all dangersgo with him, gratified,mindful.If you don’t gain a mature companion —a fellow traveler, right-living, enlightened —go alonelike a king renouncing his kingdom,like the elephant in the Matanga wilds,his herd.Going alone is better,there’s no companionship with a fool.Go alone,doing no evil, at peace,like the elephant in the Matanga wilds.
A blessing: friends when the need arises.A blessing: contentment with whatever there is.Merit at the ending of life is a blessing.A blessing: the abandoning of all sufferingand stress.A blessing in the world: reverence to your mother.A blessing: reverence to your father as well.A blessing in the world: reverence to a contemplative.A blessing: reverence for a brahman, too.A blessing into old age is virtue.A blessing: conviction established.A blessing: discernment attained.The non-doing of evil things isa blessing.
Provenance: ©1997 Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
Transcribed from a file provided by the translator.
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