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Sacred Books of the East, Vol. 10: The Dhammapada and Sutta Nipata, by Max Müller and Max Fausböll, [1881], at

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   1. All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him, as the wheel follows the foot of the ox that draws the carriage.

[1. Dharma, though clear in its meaning, is difficult to translate. It has different meanings in different systems of philosophy, and its peculiar application in the phraseology of Buddhism has been fully elucidated by Burnouf, Introduction à l'Histoire du Buddhisme, p. 41 seq. He writes: 'Je traduis ordinairement ce terme par condition, d'autres fois par lois, mais aucune de ces traductions n'est parfaitement complète; il faut entendre par dharma ce qui fait qu'une chose est ce qu'elle est, ce qui constitue sa nature propre, comme l'a bien montré Lassen, à l'occasion de la célèbre formule, "Ye dharmâ hetuprabhavâ."' Etymologically the Latin for-ma expresses the same general idea which was expressed by dhar-ma. See also Burnouf, Lotus de la bonne Loi, p. 524. Fausböll translates: 'Naturae a mente principium ducunt,' which shows that he rightly understood dharma in the Buddhist sense. Gogerly (see Spence Hardy, Eastern Monachism, p. 28) translates: 'Mind precedes action,' which, if not wrong, is at all events wrongly expressed; while Professor Weber's rendering, 'Die Pflichten aus dem Herz folgern,' is quite inadmissible. D'Alwis (Buddhist Nirwana, p. 70 seq.), following the commentary, proposes to give a more technical interpretation of this verse, viz. 'Mind is the leader or all its faculties. Mind is the chief (of all its faculties). The very mind is made up of those (faculties). If one speaks or acts with a polluted mind, then affliction follows him as the wheel follows the feet of the bearer (the bullock).' To me this technical acceptation seems not applicable here, where we have to deal with the simplest moral precepts, and not with psychological niceties of Buddhist philosophy. It should be stated, however, that Childers, who first (s.v. dhamma) approved of my translation, seems afterwards to have changed his opinion. On p. 120 of his excellent Pâli Dictionary he said: 'Three of the five khandhas, viz. vedanâ, saññâ, and sankhâra, are collectively termed dhammâ (plur.), "mental faculties," and in the first verse of Dhammapada the commentator takes the word dhammâ to mean those three faculties. But this interpretation appears forced and unnatural, and I look upon Dr. Max Müller's translation, "All that we are is the result of what we have thought," as the best possible rendering of the spirit of the phrase mano pubbangamâ dhammâ.' But on p. 577 the same scholar writes: 'Of the four mental khandhas the superiority of viññâna is strongly asserted in the first verse of Dhammapada, "The mental faculties (vedanâ, saññâ, and sankhâra) are dominated by Mind," they are governed by Mind, they are made up of Mind." That this is the true meaning of the passage I am now convinced; see D'Alwis, Nirwana, pp. 70-75.' I do not deny that this may have been the traditional interpretation, at all events since the days of Buddhaghosa, but the very legend quoted by Buddhaghosa in illustration of this verse shows that its simpler and purely moral interpretation was likewise supported by tradition, and I therefore adhere to my original translation.]

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   2. All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him.

   3. 'He abused me, he beat me, he defeated me, he robbed me,'--in those who harbour such thoughts hatred will never cease.

   4. 'He abused me, he beat me, he defeated me, he robbed me,'--in those who do not harbour such thoughts hatred will cease.

[2. See Beal, Dhammapada, p. 169.

3. On akkokkhi, see Kakkâyana VI, 4, 17. D'Alwis, Pâli Grammar, p. 38 note, 'When akkokkhi means "he abused," it is derived from krus, not from krudh.' See Senart, Kakkâyana, I. c.]

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   5. For hatred does not cease by hatred at any time: hatred ceases by love, this is an old rule.

   6. The world does not know that we must all come to an end here;--but those who know it, their quarrels cease at once.

   7. He who lives looking for pleasures only, his senses uncontrolled, immoderate in his food, idle, and weak, Mâra (the tempter) will certainly overthrow him, as the wind throws down a weak tree.

   8. He who lives without looking for pleasures, his senses well controlled, moderate in his food, faithful and strong, him Mâra will certainly not overthrow, any more than the wind throws down a rocky mountain.

   9. He who wishes to put on the yellow dress without having cleansed himself from sin, who disregards temperance and truth, is unworthy of the yellow dress.

[6. Pare is explained by 'fools,' but it has that meaning by implication only. It is {Greek: oi pólloi}, cf. Vinaya, ed. Oldenberg, vol. i., p. 5, l. 4. Yamâmase, a 1 pers. plur. imp. Âtm., but really a Let in Pâli. See Fausböll, Five Gâtakas, p. 38.

7. Mâra must be taken in the Buddhist sense of 'tempter,' or 'evil spirit.' See Burnouf, Introduction, p. 76: 'Mâra est le démon de l'amour, du péché et de la mort; c'est le tentateur et l'ennemi de Buddha.' As to the definite meaning of vîrya, see Burnouf, Lotus, p. 548.

In the Buddhistical Sanskrit, kusîda, 'idle,' is the exact counterpart of the Pâli kusîta; see Burnouf, Lotus, p. 548. On the change of Sanskrit d into Pâli t, see Kuhn, Beiträge zur Pali Grammatik, p. 40; Weber, Ind. Studien, XIII, p. 135.

9. The dark yellow dress, the Kâsâva or Kâshâya, is the distinctive garment of the Buddhist priests. See Vishnu-sûtra LXIII, 36. The play on the words anikkasâvo kâsâvam, or in Sanskrit anishkashâyah kâshâyam, cannot be rendered in English. Kashâya means 'impurity,' nish-kashâya, 'free from impurity,' anish-kashâya, 'not free from impurity,' while kâshâya is the name of the yellowish Buddhist garment. The pun is evidently a favourite one, for, as Fausböll shows, it occurs also in the Mahâbhârata, XII, 568:
      Anishkashâye kâshâyam îhârtham iti viddhi tam,
      Dharmadhvagânâm mundânâm vrittyartham iti me matih.
'Know that this yellow-coloured garment on a man who is not free from impurity, serves only for the purpose or cupidity; my opinion is, that it is meant to supply the means of living to those shavelings, who carry their virtue or the dharma like a flag.'

(I read vrittyartham, according to the Bombay edition, instead of kritârtham, the reading of the Calcutta edition.)

On the exact colour of the dress, see Bishop Bigandet, The Life or Legend or Gaudama, the Budha of the Burmese, Rangoon, 1866, p. 504. Cf. Gâtaka, vol. ii. p. 198.]

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   10. But he who has cleansed himself from sin, is well grounded in all virtues, and regards also temperance and truth, he is indeed worthy of the yellow dress.

   11. They who imagine truth in untruth, and see untruth in truth, never arrive at truth, but follow vain desires.

   12. They who know truth in truth, and untruth in untruth, arrive at truth, and follow true desires.

   13. As rain breaks through an ill-thatched house, passion will break through an unreflecting mind.

   14. As rain does not break through a well-thatched house, passion will not break through a well-reflecting mind.

   15. The evil-doer mourns in this world, and he

[10. With regard to sîla, 'virtue,' see Burnouf, Lotus, p. 547.

11, 12. Sâra, which I have translated by 'truth,' has many meanings in Sanskrit. It means the sap of a thing, then essence or reality; in a metaphysical sense, the highest reality; in a moral sense, truth. It is impossible in a translation to do more than indicate the meaning of such words, and in order to understand them fully, we must know not only their definition, but their history. See Beal, Dhammapada, p. 64.

13. See Beal, Dhammapada, p. 65.

15. Kilittha is klishta, a participle of klis. It means literally, what is spoilt. The abstract noun klesa, 'evil or sin,' is contantly employed in Budddist works; see Burnouf, Lotus, p. 443.]

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mourns in the next; he mourns in both. He mourns and suffers when he sees the evil of his own work.

   16. The virtuous man delights in this world, and he delights in the next; he delights in both. He delights and rejoices, when he sees the purity of his own work.

   17. The evil-doer suffers in this world, and he suffers in the next; he suffers in both. He suffers when he thinks of the evil he has done; he suffers more when going on the evil path.

   18. The virtuous man is happy in this world, and he is happy in the next; he is happy in both. He is happy when he thinks of the good he has done; he is still more happy when going on the good path.

   19. The thoughtless man, even if he can recite a large portion (of the law), but is not a doer of it, has no share in the priesthood, but is like a cowherd counting the cows of others.

[16. Like klishta in the preceding verse, visuddhi in the present has a technical meaning. One of Buddhaghosa's most famous works is called Visuddhi-magga. See Burnouf, Lotus, p. 844; Beal, Dhammapada, p. 67.

17, 18. 'The evil path and the good path' are technical expressions for the descending and ascending scale of worlds through which all beings have to travel upward or downward, according to their deeds; see Bigandet; Life of Gaudama, p. 5, note 4, and p. 449; Burnouf, Introduction, p. 599; Lotus, p. 865, l. 7; l. 11. Fausböll translates 'heaven and hell,' which comes to the same; cf. vv. 126, 306.

19. In taking sahitam in the sense of samhitam or samhitâ, I follow the commentator who says, Tepitakassa Buddhavakanass' etam nâmam, but I cannot find another passage where the Tipitaka, or any portion of it, is called Sahita. Samhita in vv. 100-102 has a different meaning. The fact that some followers of Buddha were allowed to learn short portions only of the sacred writings by heart, and to repeat them, while others had to learn a larger collection, is shown by the story of Kakkhupâla, p. 3. of Mahâkâla, p. 26, &c. See Childers, s.v. sahita.]

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   20. The follower of the law, even if he can recite only a small portion (of the law), but, having forsaken passion and hatred and foolishness, possesses true knowledge and serenity of mind, he, caring for nothing in this world or that to come, has indeed a share in the priesthood.

[20. Sâmañña, which I have rendered by 'priesthood,' expresses all that belongs to, or constitutes a real Samana or Sramana, this being the Buddhist name corresponding to the Brâhmana, or priest, of the orthodox Hindus. Buddha himself is frequently called the Good Samana. Fausböll takes the abstract word sâmañña as corresponding to the Sanskrit sâmânya, 'community,' but Weber has well shown that it ought to be taken as representing srâmanya. He might have quoted the Sâmañña-phala-sutta, of which Burnouf has given such interesting details in his Lotus, p. 449 seq. Fausböll also, in his notes on v. 332, rightly explains sâmaññatâ by srâmanyatâ. See Childers, s.v. sâmañña.

Anupâdiyâno, which I have translated by 'caring for nothing,' has a technical meaning. It is the negative of the fourth Nidâna, the so-called Upâdâna, which Köppen has well explained by Anhänglichkeit, 'taking to the world, loving the world.' Köppen, Die Religion des Buddha, p. 610. Cf. Suttanipâta, v. 470.]

Next: Chapter II. On Earnestness.