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Dhammapada - (Dhp 4). Pupphavagga: Blossoms

Wednesday 27 January 2010, by Buddhachannel Eng.

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Bouddha regardant passer les nuages de la vie

(Dhp 4). Pupphavagga: Blossoms

translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu © 1997–2009


Who will penetrate this earth
& this realm of death
with all its gods?
Who will ferret out
the well-taught Dhamma-saying,
as the skillful flower-arranger
the flower?
The learner-on-the-path
will penetrate this earth
& this realm of death
with all its gods.
The learner-on-the-path
will ferret out
the well-taught Dhamma-saying,
as the skillful flower-arranger
the flower.


Knowing this body
is like foam,
realizing its nature
— a mirage —
cutting out
the blossoms of Mara,
you go where the King of Death
can’t see.


The man immersed in
gathering blossoms,
his heart distracted:
death sweeps him away —
as a great flood,
a village asleep.
The man immersed in
gathering blossoms,
his heart distracted,
insatiable in sensual pleasures:
the End-Maker holds him
under his sway.


As a bee — without harming
the blossom,
its color,
its fragrance —
takes its nectar & flies away:
so should the sage
go through a village.


not on the rudenesses of others,
not on what they’ve done
or left undone,
but on what you
have & haven’t done


Just like a blossom,
bright colored
but scentless:
a well-spoken word
is fruitless
when not carried out.
Just like a blossom,
bright colored
& full of scent:
a well-spoken word
is fruitful
when well carried out.


Just as from a heap of flowers
many garland strands can be made,
even so
one born & mortal
should do
— with what’s born & is mortal —
many a skillful thing.


No flower’s scent
goes against the wind —
not sandalwood,
But the scent of the good
does go against the wind.
The person of integrity
wafts a scent
in every direction.
Sandalwood, tagara,
lotus, & jasmine:
Among these scents,
the scent of virtue
is unsurpassed.
Next to nothing, this fragrance
— sandalwood, tagara —
while the scent of the virtuous
wafts to the gods,


Those consummate in virtue,
dwelling in heedfulness,
released through right knowing:
Mara can’t follow their tracks.


As in a pile of rubbish
cast by the side of a highway
a lotus might grow
pleasing the heart,
so in the midst of the rubbish-like,
people run-of-the-mill & blind,
there dazzles with discernment
the disciple of the Rightly
Self-Awakened One.

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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