Sacred Books of the East, Vol. 10: The Dhammapada and Sutta Nipata, by Max Müller and Max Fausböll, , at sacred-texts.com
21. Earnestness is the path of immortality (Nirvâna), thoughtlessness the path of death. Those who are in earnest do not die, those who are thoughtless are as if dead already.
22. Those who are advanced in earnestness, having understood this clearly, delight in earnestness, and rejoice in the knowledge of the Ariyas (the elect).
23. These wise people, meditative, steady, always possessed of strong powers, attain to Nirvâna, the highest happiness.
[1. There is nothing in the tenth section of the Dhammapada, as translated by Beal, corresponding to the verses of this chapter.
21. Apramâda, which Fausböll translates by 'vigilantia,' Gogerly by 'religion,' Childers by 'diligence,' expresses literally the absence of that giddiness or thoughtlessness which characterizes the state of mind of worldly people. It is the first entering into oneself, and hence all virtues are said to have their root in apramâda. (Ye keki kusalâ dhammâ sabbe te appamâdamûlakâ.) I have translated it by 'earnestness,' sometimes by 'reflection.' 'Immortality,' amrita, is explained by Buddhaghosa as Nirvâna. Amrita is used, no doubt, as a synonym of Nirvâna, but this very fact shows how many different conceptions entered from the very first into the Nirvâna of the Buddhists. See Childers, s.v. nibbâna, p. 269.
This verse, as recited to Asoka; occurs in the Dîpavamsa VI, 53, and in the Mahâvamsa, p. 25. See also Sanatsugâtîya, translated by Telang, Sacred Books of the East, vol. viii. p. 138.
22. The Ariyas, the noble or elect, are those who have entered on the path that leads to Nirvâna; see Köppen, p. 396. Their knowledge and general status is minutely described; see Köppen, p. 436.
23. Childers, s.v. nibbâna, thinks that nibbâna here and in many other places means Arhatship.]
24. If an earnest person has roused himself, if he is not forgetful, if his deeds are pure, if he acts with consideration, if he restrains himself, and lives according to law,--then his glory will increase.
25. By rousing himself, by earnestness, by restraint and control, the wise man may make for himself an island which no flood can overwhelm.
26. Fools follow after vanity, men of evil wisdom. The wise man keeps earnestness as his best jewel.
27. Follow not after vanity, nor after the enjoyment of love and lust! He who is earnest and meditative, obtains ample joy.
28. When the learned man drives away vanity by earnestness, he, the wise, climbing the terraced heights of wisdom, looks down upon the fools, serene he looks upon the toiling crowd, as one that stands on a mountain looks down upon them that stand upon the plain.
29. Earnest among the thoughtless, awake among the sleepers, the wise man advances like a racer, leaving behind the hack.
30. By earnestness did Maghavan (Indra) rise to the lordship of the gods. People praise earnestness; thoughtlessness is always blamed.
31. A Bhikshu (mendicant) who delights in earnestness, who looks with fear on thoughtlessness,
[25. Childers explains this island again as the state of an Arhat (arahatta-phalam).
28. Cf. Childers, Dictionary, Preface, p. xiv. See Vinaya, ed. Oldenberg, vol. i. p. 5, s.f.
31. Instead of saham, which Dr. Fausböll translates by 'vincens,' Dr. Weber by 'conquering,' I think we ought to read dahan, 'burning,' which was evidently the reading adopted by Buddhaghosa. Mr. R. C. Childers, whom I requested to see whether the MS. at the India Office gives saham or daham, writes that the reading daham is as clear as possible in that MS. The fetters are meant for the senses. See verse 370.]
moves about like fire, burning all his fetters, small or large.
32. A Bhikshu (mendicant) who delights in reflection, who looks with fear on thoughtlessness, cannot fall away (from his perfect state)--he is close upon Nirvâna.
[1. See Childers, Notes, p. 5.]