Treasury of Truth (Dhammapada) Chapter 22, Hell

Verse 306. Liars Suffer Tortures Of Hell

With one denying truth there goes to hell
that one who having done says ‘I did not’.
Both of them are making kammas base
are equal after death.

Explanation: One who tells lies about others goes to hell; one who has done evil and says "I did not do it", also goes to hell. Both of them are evil doers, suffer alike in their next existence.

Verse 307. Evil Men Get Born In Bad States

Many who wear the yellow robe
are unrestrained in evil things,
these evil ones by evil deeds,
in hell do they arise.

Explanation: Many men wearing the yellow robe up to their necks who have an evil disposition and are unrestrained in thought, word and deed are reborn in hell on account of their evil deeds.

Verse 308. Food Fit For Sinners

Better to eat a ball of iron
glowing as flame of fire
than one should eat country’s alms
immoral and unrestrained.

Explanation: It is better for one to eat a red-hot lump of iron burning like a flame than to eat alms-food offered by the people, if one is without morality (sila) and unrestrained in thought, word and deed.

Verse 309. The Man Who Covets Another’s Wife

Four things befall that heedless one
sleeping with one who’s wed:
demerit gained but not good sleep,
third is blame while fourth is hell.

Explanation: A thoughtless person, who goes to another man’s wife, will suffer four evil results. Firstly, he will acquire demerit - what is not meritorious. Secondly, he will not get enough comfortable sleep. Thirdly, he will be disgraced. Fourthly, he will be born in hell.

Verse 310. Shun Adultery

Demerit’s gained and evil birth,
scared man and women - brief their joy,
the king decrees a heavy doom:
so none should sleep with one who’s wed.

Explanation: Demerits will be acquired. The lowly state of hell, will be his lot. Since both man and the woman are frightened, their embrace will generate little pleasure. The king’s law will impose severe punishment. Because of all these, a man will not covet another’s wife.

Verse 311. Wrong Monastic Life Leads To Bad States

As blady grass when wrongly grasped
the hand does lacerate
so a mishandled monastic life
drags one off to hell.

Explanation: The blade of the kusa grass, if held wrongly, will cut one’s hand. In the same way, if one were to handle monastic life in the wrong way - against the grain - it will pull the person down into hell.


Verse 312. Three Things That Will Not Yield Good Results

Whatever of kammas slacks,
whatever of vows corrupt,
a faltering in the holy life
never brings ample fruit.

Explanation: Some act of merit may get committed casually. The practice of religious rite may be tainted. Higher life may get led dubiously. All these will not yield high results.

Verse 313. Do Merit With Commitment

If there’s aught that should be done
let it be done then steadily,
in truth a slack monastic life
all the more stirs up the dust.

Explanation: If you do an act of merit do it with a sense of commitment and concern. But, if the practice of monastic life is casual, instead of reducing the dust, much dust will be smeared.

Verse 314. Good Deeds Never Make You Repent

Better an evil deed not done
for misdeed later on torments.
Better done is deed that’s good,
which done, does not torment.

Explanation: It is better not to do an evil deed; an evil deed torments one later on. It is better to do a good deed as one has not to repent for having done it.

Verse 315. Guard The Mind

Even as a border town
guarded within and without,
so should you protect yourselves.
Do not let this moment pass
for when this moment’s gone they grieve
sending themselves to hell.

Explanation: As a border town is guarded both inside and outside, so guard yourself. Let not the moment go by. Those who miss this moment has come to grief when they fall into hell.

Verse 316. False Beliefs Lead To Hell

They are ashamed where shame is not
but where is shame are not ashamed
so by embracing evil views
beings go to an evil birth.

Explanation: Those who are ashamed of what they should not be ashamed of, and those who are unashamed of what they should be ashamed of, all those who embrace false views go to woeful states.

Verse 317. Fear And Fearlessness In Wrong Places

They are afraid where fear is not
but where is fear are unafraid,
so by embracing evil views
beings go to an evil birth.

Explanation: There are some who are afraid of what they should not fear. There are also some who are not afraid of what they should really fear. They, all, who embrace false beliefs go to woeful states.

Verse 318. Right And Wrong

Faults they see where fault is not
but where is fault they see it not,
so by embracing evil views
beings go to an evil birth.

Explanation: Those who take what is correct as incorrect, and those who take what is not correct as correct, both go to woeful states when they depart because of their false beliefs.

Verse 319. Right Understanding

A fault they understand as such,
they know as well where fault is not,
so by embracing righteous views
beings go to a happy rebirth.

Explanation: They regard error as error, and what is right as right. Those people who embrace right views go to heaven.

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