The Buddha's Way of Virtue, by W.D.C Wagiswara and K.J. Saunders, , at sacred-texts.com
Tanhā (desire) is defined as the hankering after pleasure, or existence, or success (or all three). (Mahavagga xvi. 20.) It is the germ from which springs all human misery: birth, old age, and suffering. To be rid of Tanhā is to be free of pain, to pass into the Beyond, the painless dream-world of Nirvāna.
334. As the "maluwa" creeper, so spreads the desire of the sluggard. From birth to birth he leaps like a monkey seeking fruit.
335. Whoso is subdued by this sordid clinging desire, his sorrows wax more and more, like "birana" grass after rain.
336. But his sorrows drop off like water from the lotus leaf, who subdues this sordid, powerful desire.
337. I give you this good counsel, all ye who are gathered here: cut out desire as one digs up the grass to find the fragrant root. Let
not Mara break you again and again as the river breaks the rushes.
338. A tree, though it be cut down, yet springs up again, if its roots are safe and firm: thus sorrow, if it be not uprooted, springs repeatedly to birth.
339. If man's desires flow unchecked, the waves of his lust and craving bear him off—misguided one!
340. Everywhere flow the streams; everywhere the creeper sprouts and takes hold. If thou seest this creeper growing, be wise! pluck it out by the roots.
341. Men hug delights; they foster some pet sin, hankering after which they suffer birth and old age.
342. Dogged by lust, men double like a hunted hare. Fast bound in its fetters, they go through long ages to misery.
343. Dogged by lust, they double like a hunted hare. Throw off thy lust, O Bhikkhu, if thou wouldst be free.
344. Whoso has left the tangle of home-life for the solitude of the jungle, and goes back to it, regard him thus: "Lo, one who was freed, and ran back to his chains."
345. Iron and wood and hemp—these sages call not heavy bonds, but rather love of bejewelled women, and the care for children and wives.
346. This is a heavy bond indeed: light
though it seem, it drags men down, and is not easily cut off. Yet some there are who cut even this asunder, and leave behind them pleasure and lust, with no backward glance.
347. Some again there are who fall into the meshes of their own lust as the spider falling into her own net: even this the wise cut through, leaving sorrow behind, with no backward glance.
348. Lay aside past, future, and present, escaping the world: wholly freed in mind, thou shalt not again return to birth and old age.
349. Desire waxes great in him who is oppressed by wandering thoughts, fired with lust and seeking after pleasure. So doth he make his fetters strong.
350. Whoso delights in calming his thoughts and looks askance at the things of sense, will thus come to an end, and cut the bonds of Mara.
351. This will be his last body, who has reached the goal, who is fearless, detached, and un-blameable: who has pulled out the rivets of existence.
352. He who is detached and not grasping, a clever student of the law and its meaning, knowing the words and their order, he is called the enlightened; this is his last birth.
353. "All conquering and all knowing am I, detached, untainted, untrammelled, wholly freed by destruction of desire. Whom shall I call Teacher? Myself found the way."
354. The gift of the Law surpasses every gift; the savour of the Law surpasses every savour; the pleasure of the Law surpasses every pleasure. The destruction of desire conquers all sorrow.
355. Wealth kills the fool if he look not to the Beyond: for greed of wealth fools kill each other.
356. Weeds are the bane of fields, and lust the bane of the crowd. Therefore a gift given where there is no lust bears much fruit.
357-9. Weeds are the bane of fields; wrath, infatuation, and avarice are the bane of the crowd. A gift given where there is neither wrath, nor infatuation, nor avarice bears much fruit.