Sacred Books of the East, Vol. 10: The Dhammapada and Sutta Nipata, by Max Müller and Max Fausböll, , at sacred-texts.com
44. Who shall overcome this earth, and the world of Yama (the lord of the departed), and the world of the gods? Who shall find out the plainly shown path of virtue, as a clever man finds out the (right) flower?
45. The disciple will overcome the earth, and the world of Yama, and the world of the gods. The disciple will find out the plainly shown path of virtue, as a clever man finds out the (right) flower.
[1. See Beal, Dhammapada, p. 75.
44, 45. If I differ from the translation of Fausböll and Weber, it is because the commentary takes the two verbs, vigessati and pakessati, to mean in the end the same thing, i.e. sakkhi-karissati, 'he will perceive.' I have not ventured to take vigessate for viganissati, though it should be remembered that the overcoming of the earth and of the worlds below and above, as here alluded to, is meant to be achieved by means of knowledge. Pakessati, 'he will gather' (cf. vi-ki, Indische Sprüche, 4560), means also, like 'to gather' in English, 'he will perceive or understand,' and the dhammapada, or 'path of virtue,' is distinctly explained by Buddhaghosa as consisting of the thirty-seven states or stations which lead to Bodhi. (See Burnouf, Lotus, p. 430; Hardy, Manual, p. 497.) Dhammapada might, no doubt, mean also 'a law-verse,' and sudesita, 'well taught,' and this double meaning may be intentional here as elsewhere. Buddha himself is called Mârga-darsaka and Mârga-desika (cf. Lal. Vist. p. 551). There is a curions similarity between these verses and verses 6540-41, and 9939 of the Sânti-parva:
Pushpânîva vikinvantam anyatragatamanasam,
Anavâpteshu kâmeshu mrityur abhyeti mânavam.
'Death approaches man like one who is gathering flowers, and whose mind is turned elsewhere, before his desires have been fulfilled.'
Suptam vyâghram mahaugho vâ mrityur âdâya gakkhati,
Sañkinvânakam evainam kâmânâm avitriptikam.
'As a stream (carries off) a sleeping tiger, death carries off this man who is gathering flowers, and who is not satiated in his pleasures.'
This last verse, particularly, seems to me clearly a translation from Pâli, and the kam of sañkinvânakam looks as if put in metri causâ.]
46. He who knows that this body is like froth, and has learnt that it is as unsubstantial as a mirage, will break the flower-pointed arrow of Mâra, and never see the king of death.
47. Death carries off a man who is gathering flowers and whose mind is distracted, as a flood carries off a sleeping village.
48. Death subdues a man who is gathering flowers, and whose mind is distracted, before he is satiated in his pleasures.
49. As the bee collects nectar and departs without injuring the flower, or its colour or scent, so let a sage dwell in his village.
50. Not the perversities of others, not their sins
[46. The flower-arrows of Mâra, the tempter, are borrowed from Kâma, the Hindu god of love. For a similar expression see Lalita-vistara, ed. Calc. p. 40, l. 20, mâyâmarîkisadrisâ vidyutphenopamâs kapalâh. It is on account of this parallel passage that I prefer to translate marîki by 'mirage,' and not by 'sunbeam,' as Fausböll, or by 'solar atom,' as Weber proposes. The expression, 'he will never see the king of death,' is supposed to mean Arhatship by Childers, s.v. nibbâna, p. 270.
47. See Thiessen, Die Legende von Kisâgotamî, p. 9.
48. Antaka, 'death,' is given as an explanation of Mâra in the Amarakosha and Abhidhânappadîpika (cf. Fausböll, p. 210).
49. See Beal, Catena, p. 159, where vv. 49 and 50 are ascribed to Wessabhu, i.e. Visvabhû. See also Der Weise und der Thor, p. 134.]
of commission or omission, but his own misdeeds and negligences should a sage take notice of.
51. Like a beautiful flower, full of colour, but without scent, are the fine but fruitless words of him who does not act accordingly.
52. But, like a beautiful flower, full of colour and full of scent, are the fine and fruitful words of him who acts accordingly.
53. As many kinds of wreaths can be made from a heap of flowers, so many good things may be achieved by a mortal when once he is born.
54. The scent of flowers does not travel against the wind, nor (that of) sandal-wood, or of Tagara and Mallikâ flowers; but the odour of good people travels even against the wind; a good man pervades every place.
55. Sandal-wood or Tagara, a lotus-flower, or a Vassikî, among these sorts of perfumes, the perfume of virtue is unsurpassed.
56. Mean is the scent that comes from Tagara and sandal-wood;--the perfume of those who possess virtue rises up to the gods as the highest.
57. Of the people who possess these virtues, who live without thoughtlessness, and who are emancipated
[51. St. Matthew xxiii. 3, 'For they say, and do not.'
54. Tagara, a plant from which a scented powder is made. Mallaka or mallikâ, according to Benfey, is an oil vessel. Hence tagaramallikâ was supposed to mean a bottle holding aromatic powder, or oil made of the Tagara. Mallikâ, however, is given by Dr. Eitel (Handbook of Chinese Buddhism) as the name of a flower now called Casturi (musk) on account of its rich odour, and Dr. Morris informs me that he has found mallikâ in Pâli as a name of jasmine. See also Childers, s.v.; Notes, p. 6 ; and Beal, Dhammapada, p. 76.]
through true knowledge, Mâra, the tempter, never finds the way.
58., 59. As on a heap of rubbish cast upon the highway the lily will grow full of sweet perfume and delight, thus the disciple of the truly enlightened Buddha shines forth by his knowledge among those who are like rubbish, among the people that walk in darkness.
[58, 59. Cf. Beal, Dhammapada, p. 76.]