Sacred Books of the East, Vol. 10: The Dhammapada and Sutta Nipata, by Max Müller and Max Fausböll, , at sacred-texts.com
235. Thou art now like a sear leaf, the messengers of death (Yama) have come near to thee; thou standest at the door of thy departure, and thou hast no provision for thy journey.
236. Make thyself an island, work hard, be wise! When thy impurities are blown away, and thou art free from guilt, thou wilt enter into the heavenly world of the elect (Ariya).
237. Thy life has come to an end, thou art come near to death (Yama), there is no resting-place for thee on the road, and thou hast no provision for thy journey.
238. Make thyself an island, work hard, be wise! When thy impurities are blown away, and thou art free from guilt, thou wilt not enter again into birth and decay.
239. Let a wise man blow off the impurities of his self, as a smith blows off the impurities of silver one by one, little by little, and from time to time.
240. As the impurity which springs from the iron,
[235. Uyyoga seems to mean departure. See Buddhaghosa's commentary on verse 152, p. 319, l. 1; Fausböll, Five Gâtakas, p. 35.
236. 'An island,' for a drowning man to save himself; (see verse 25.) Dîpankara is the name of one of the former Buddhas, and it is also used as an appellative of the Buddha, but is always derived from dîpo, 'a lamp.'
239. This verse is the foundation of the thirty-fourth section of the Sûtra of the forty-two sections; see Beal, Catena, p. 201; Sutta-nipâta, v. 962.]
when it springs from it, destroys it; thus do a transgressor's own works lead him to the evil path.
241. The taint of prayers is non-repetition; the taint of houses, non- repair; the taint of the body is sloth; the taint of a watchman, thoughtlessness.
242. Bad conduct is the taint of woman, greediness the taint of a benefactor; tainted are all evil ways in this world and in the next.
243. But there is a taint worse than all taints,--ignorance is the greatest taint. O mendicants! throw off that taint, and become taintless!
244. Life is easy to live for a man who is without shame, a crow hero, a mischief-maker, an insulting, bold, and wretched fellow.
245. But life is hard to live for a modest man, who always looks for what is pure, who is disinterested, quiet, spotless, and intelligent.
246. He who destroys life, who speaks untruth, who in this world takes what is not given him, who goes to another man's wife;
247. And the man who gives himself to drinking intoxicating liquors, he, even in this world, digs up his own root.
248. O man, know this, that the unrestrained are in a bad state; take care that greediness and vice do not bring thee to grief for a long time!
[244. Pakkhandin is identified by Dr. Fausböll with praskandin, one who jumps forward, insults, or, as Buddhaghosa explains it, one who meddles with other people's business, an interloper. At all events, it is a term of reproach, and, as it would seem, of theological reproach.
246. On the five principal commandments which are recapitulated in verses 246 and 247, see Buddhaghosha's Parables, p. 153.
248. Cf. Mahâbhârata XII, 4055, yeshâm vrittis ka samyatâ. See also verse 307.]
249. The world gives according to their faith or according to their pleasure: if a man frets about the food and the drink given to others, he will find no rest either by day or by night.
250. He in whom that feeling is destroyed, and taken out with the very root, finds rest by day and by night.
251. There is no fire like passion, there is no shark like hatred, there is no snare like folly, there is no torrent like greed.
252. The fault of others is easily perceived, but that of oneself is difficult to perceive; a man winnows his neighbour's faults like chaff, but his own fault he hides, as a cheat hides the bad die from the gambler.
253. If a man looks after the faults of others, and is always inclined to be offended, his own passions will grow, and he is far from the destruction of passions.
254. There is no path through the air, a man is not a Samana by outward acts. The world
[249. This verse has evidently regard to the feelings of the Bhikshus or mendicants who receive either much or little, and who are exhorted not to be envious if others receive more than they themselves. Several of the Parables illustrate this feeling.
251. Dr. Fausböll translates gaho by 'captivitas,' Dr. Weber by 'fetter.' I take it in the same sense as grâha in Manu VI, 78; and Buddhaghosa does the same, though he assigns to grâha a more general meaning, viz. anything that seizes, whether an evil spirit (yakkha), a serpent (agagara), or a crocodile (kumbhîla).
Greed or thirst is represented as a river in Lalita-vistara, ed. Calc. p. 482, trishnâ-nadî tivegâ prasoshitâ me gñânasûryena, 'the wild river of thirst is dried up by the sun of my knowledge.'
252. See Childers, Notes, p. 7; St. Matthew vii. 3.
253. As to âsava, 'appetite, passion,' see note to verse 39.
254. I have translated this verse very freely, and not in accordance with Buddhaghosa's commentary. Dr. Fausböll proposed to translate, 'No one who is outside the Buddhist community can walk through the air, but only a Samana;' and the same view is taken by Professor Weber, though he arrives at it by a different construction. Now it is perfectly true that the idea of magical powers (riddhi) which enable saints to walk through the air, &c., occurs in the Dhammapada, see v. 175, note. But the Dhammapada may contain earlier and later verses, and in that case our verse might be an early protest on the part of Buddha against the belief in such miraculous powers. We know how Buddha himself protested against his disciples being called upon to perform vulgar miracles. 'I command my disciples not to work miracles,' he said, 'but to hide their good deeds, and to show their sins' (Burnouf, Introd. p. 170). It would be in harmony with this sentiment if we translated our verse as I have done. As to bahira, I should take it in the sense of 'external,' as opposed to adhyâtmika, or 'internal;' and the meaning would be, 'a Samana is not a Samana by outward acts, but by his heart.' D'Alwis translates (p. 85): 'There is no footprint in the air; there is not a Samana out of the pale of the Buddhist community.'
Prapañka, which I have here translated by 'vanity,' seems to include the whole host of human weaknesses; cf. v. 196, where it is explained by tamhâditthimânapapañka; in our verse by tamhâdisu papañkesu: cf. Lalita-vistara, p. 564, anâlayam nishprapañkam anutpâdam asambhavam (dharmakakram). As to Tathâgata, a name of Buddha, cf. Burnouf, Introd. p. 75.]
delights in vanity, the Tathâgatas (the Buddhas) are free from vanity.
255. There is no path through the air, a man is not a Samana by outward acts. No creatures are eternal; but the awakened (Buddha) are never shaken.
[255. Sankhâra for samskâra; cf. note to verse 203. Creature does not, as Mr. D'Alwis (p. 69) supposes, involve the Christian conception of creation.]