Dhammapada(Dhp XXIV) - Tanhavagga: Craving
Monday 17 May 2010, by
When a person lives heedlessly,his craving grows like a creeping vine.He runs now hereand now there,as if looking for fruit:a monkey in the forest.
If this sticky, uncouth cravingovercomes you in the world,your sorrows grow like wild grassafter rain.If, in the world, you overcomethis uncouth craving, hard to escape,sorrows roll off you,like water beads offa lotus.
To all of you gathered hereI 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.
If its root remainsundamaged and strong,a tree, even if cut,will grow back.So too if latent cravingis not rooted out,this suffering returnsagain and again.
He whose 36 streams,flowing to what is appealing, are strong:the currents — resolves based on passion —carry him, of base views, away.They flow every which way, the streams,but the sprouted creeper staysin place.Now, seeing that the creeper’s arisen,cut through its rootwith discernment.
Loosened & oiledare the joys of a person.People, bound by enticement,looking for ease:to birth & aging they go.
Encircled with craving,people hop round & aroundlike a rabbit caught in a snare.Tied with fetters and bondsthey go on to suffering,again and again, for long.Encircled with craving,people hop round and aroundlike a rabbit caught in a snare.So a monkshould dispel craving,should aspire to dispassionfor himself.
Cleared of the underbrushbut obsessed with the forest,set free from the forest,right back to the forest he runs.Come, see the person set freewho runs right back to the same old chains!
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, abandoningsensual ease.Those smitten with passionfall backinto a self-made stream,like a spider snared in its web.But, having cut it, the enlightened set forth,free of longing, abandoningall suffering & stress.
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 birthand aging.
For a personforced on by his thinking,fierce in his passion,focused on beauty,craving grows all the more.He’s the onewho tightens the bond.But one who delightsin the stilling of thinking,always mindfulcultivatinga focus on the foul:He’s the onewho will make an end,the one who will cut Mara’s bond.
Arrived at the finish,unfrightened, unblemished, freeof craving, he has cut awaythe arrows of becoming.This physical heap is his last.Free from craving,ungrasping,astute in expression,knowing the combination of sounds —which comes first & which after.He’s called alast-bodygreatly discerninggreat man.
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?
A gift of Dhamma conquers all gifts;the taste of Dhamma, all tastes;a delight in Dhamma, all delights;the ending of craving, all sufferingand stress.
Riches ruin the manweak in discernment,but not those who seekthe beyond.Through craving for richesthe man weak in discernmentruins himselfas he would others.
Fields are spoiled by weeds;people, by passion.So what’s given to thosefree of passionbears great fruit.Fields are spoiled by weeds;people, by aversion.So what’s given to thosefree of aversionbears great fruit.Fields are spoiled by weeds;people, by delusion.So what’s given to thosefree of delusionbears great fruit.Fields are spoiled by weeds;people, by longing.So what’s given to thosefree of longingbears great fruit.
Provenance: ©1997 Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
Transcribed from a file provided by the translator.
This Access to Insight edition is ©1997–2009 John T. Bullitt.
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