Saturday, March 4, 2017

Established in Virtue

One who forces an issue for his own benefit
is not established in virtue.
But the wise one,
who considers an issue from all sides,

who guides others without force,
who follows eternal principles,
is said to be established in virtue.

A man is not wise because he talks a lot.
One who is self-secure, who is without enmity or fear,
is said to be wise.

A man is not a bearer of the teaching
because he makes learned speeches.
One who learns but little,
yet realizes Dhamma in the body of self
and lives true to it,
is indeed a bearer of the teaching.

A man is not a venerable elder
because his hair turns grey.
One who has ripened in years only
is said to have “grown old in vain."

One who embodies truth, virtue,
harmlessness, restraint, and self-mastery,
who is free of impurities and rich in wisdom,
is called a venerable elder.

Not by mere talk nor physical beauty
can an envious, greedy, deceitful man
become a man of virtue.

One in whom these impurities are cut off,
dispelled, destroyed at the root,
who is wise and free of enmity,
is called a man of virtue.

Not by merely shaving his head
can a dishonest, undisciplined man
become a renunciant.
How can one full of cravings and greed
be a renunciant?

But one who stills all evils in himself,
coarse or subtle, in every way,
can be called a renunciant.

Not merely by begging from others
does one become a simple mendicant.
Nor does one become a mendicant
by living a grosser life.

But one who lives a life of virtue,
who gives no thought to good and evil,
who moves about the world with indifference,
is indeed a mendicant.

Not merely by observing silence
does a confused and ignorant man become a sage.
But the wise one who, as if holding up a set of scales,
selects what is true

and rejects what is false,
is called a sage.
This is the reason he is a sage.
He knows both worlds, and so is called a sage.

One who harms living beings is not noble.
One who is harmless to living beings is called noble.

Not with rules or rituals,
not with learning or higher states,
not with sleeping alone, or thinking:
"I enjoy the peace of renunciation unknown
by ordinary men," should the seeker be content –
until self-will is extinguished.