Treasury of Truth (Dhammapada) Chapter 25, The Monk

Verse 360. Sense Discipline

Right is restraint in the eye,
restraint in the ear is right,
right is restraint in the nose,
restraint in the tongue is right.

Explanation: It is good to be disciplined in the eye. It is good to be disciplined in the ear. It is good to be disciplined in the nose. To be disciplined in the tongue is good.

Verse 361. Suffering End With All-Round Discipline

Right is restraint in the body,
restraint in speech is right,
right is restraint in the mind,
everywhere restraint is right.
The bhikkhu everywhere restrained
is from all dukkha free.

Explanation: It is good to be disciplined in body. It is good to be disciplined in words. It is good to be disciplined in mind. The monk who is disciplined in all these areas will achieve freedom from all suffering.

Verse 362. The True Monk

With hands controlled and feet controlled,
in speech as well as head controlled,
delighting in inward collectedness
alone, content, a bhikkhu’s called.

Explanation: He who controls his hands, controls his foot, controls his speech, and has complete control of himself; who finds delight in insight development practice and is calm; who stays alone and is contented they call him a monk.

Verse 363. The Ideal Monk

Whatever bhikkhu tongue-controlled
speaks wisely and who is not proud,
who theory and practice can expound,
sweet as honey is his speech.

Explanation: The monk who controls his speech, who speaks wisely with his mind composed, who explains the meaning of the Dhamma - sweet are the words of that monk.

Verse 364. The Monk Abides in Dhamma

The bhikkhu who in Dhamma dwells,
in Dhamma delighting and pondering,
remembering the Dhamma - he
does not decline from Dhamma True.

Explanation: The monk who abides in the Dhamma, who delights in the Dhamma, and is ever mindful of the Dhamma, does not fall away from the Dhamma of the virtuous.

Verse 365. Accept What One Receives

He should not disdain his gains
nor live of others envious,
the bhikkhu who is envious
does not attain collectedness.

Explanation: Do not underestimate what you have received. And again, do not expect what others have got. If a monk covets what others have received, he will never attain tranquillity of mind.

Verse 366. The Gods Adore Virtuous Monks

Disdaining not his gains,
though little he receives,
pure of life and keen
that bhikkhu devas praise.

Explanation: The monk may have received only a little but he does not under estimate what was given him. He is satisfied with what he has received. Such a monk, who leads a pure livelihood, is praised by deities.

Verse 367. He Is A Monk Who Has No Attachment

For whom there is no making ‘mine’
towards all name and form,
who does not grieve for what is not,
he’s truly ‘bhikkhu’ called.

Explanation: He has gone beyond all sense of his own name and form. To him, there is no existence of I, my or mine. If his name and form entity were to decay and deteriorate, he will not grieve. Such a person is called a monk.

Verse 368. The Monk Who Radiates Loving-Kindness Radiates Peace

The bhikkhu in kindness abiding,
bright in the Buddha’s Teaching
can come to the Place of Peace,
the bliss of conditionedness ceased.

Explanation: The monk who extends loving-kindness to all, takes delight in the Teaching of the Buddha, will attain the state of bliss, the happiness of Nibbana, which denotes the pacifying of the agitation of existence.

Verse 369. Give Up Lust And Hatred

O bhikkhu bail this boat,
when emptied it will swiftly go.
Having severed lust and hate
thus to Nibbana you’ll go.

Explanation: O monk, your boat must be emptied of the water which, if accumulated, will sink it. Once the water is taken out and the boat is emptied, both lust and hate gone, it will swiftly reach its destination - Nibbana.

Verse 370. Flood-Crosser Is One Who Has Giver Up The Fetters

Five cut off and five forsake,
a further five then cultivate,
a bhikkhu from five fetter free
is called a ‘Forder of the flood.’

Explanation: One should break away from the five lower fetter. One must get rid of the five higher fetters. One must cultivate the five faculties. One must go beyond five attachments. A monk who has achieved these is described as the one who has crossed the flood.

Verse 371. Meditate Earnestly

Meditate bhikkhu! Don’t be heedless!
Don’t let pleasures whirl the mind!
Heedless, do not gulp a glob of iron!
Bewail not when burning, ‘This is dukkha’!

Explanation: O monk, meditate and do not be indolent. Do not allow your mind to loiter among sensual pleasures. If you allow it, it will be like having iron balls forced down your throat in hell. You will bewail your fate crying, "This is suffering," Do not allow it to happen.

Verse 372. There Is No Wisdom In Those Who Do Not Think

No concentration wisdom lacks,
no wisdom concentration lacks,
in whom are both these qualities
near to Nibbana is that one.

Explanation: For one who lacks meditation there is no wisdom. Both meditation and wisdom are essential and cannot be had without the other. If in a person, both wisdom and meditation are present, he is close to Nibbana.

Verse 373. He Who Is Calm Experiences Transcendental Joy

The bhikkhu gone to a lonely place
who is of peaceful heart
in-sees Dhamma rightly,
knows all-surpassing joy.

Explanation: A monk who enters an empty house, whose mind is at peace, and who is capable of seeing the reality of things, experiences an ecstasy not known to ordinary minds.

Verse 374. He Is Happy Who Reflects On Rise And Fall

Whenever one reflects
on aggregates’ arise and fall
one rapture gains and joy.
‘Tis Deathless for Those-who-know.

Explanation: When the meditator reflects upon the raise and the decay of the bodily aggregates he experiences a joy and ecstasy which is a fore taste of Nibbana for those who know it.

Verse 375. A Wise Monk Possess His Cardinal Virtues

Here’s indeed the starting point
for the bhikkhu who is wise,
sense-controlled, contented too,
restrained to limit freedom ways,
in company of noble friends
who’re pure of life and keen.

Explanation: The joy experienced as a fore taste of Nibbana, through the awareness of the rise and decay of the aggregates, is the first step of the wise meditator. Guarding the senses, even-minded, and disciplined in the principal code of morality and association with good friends who are unrelaxed in their effort and are pure in behaviour.

Verse 376. A Monk Should Be Cordial In All His Ways

One should be hospitable
and skilled in good behaviour,
thereby greatly joyful
come to dukkha’s end.

Explanation: One should be courteous and of pleasant behaviour. One should be efficient in the conduct of the proper rites and rituals. Through these, one acquires a vast quantum of ecstasy, leading him to the ending of suffering.

Verse 377. Cast Off Lust And Hatred

Just as the jasmine sheds
its shrivelled flowers all,
O bhikkhus so should you
lust, aversion shed.

Explanation: The jasmine creeper casts off its withered flowers. Exactly in that manner, O monks, cast off your passion and ill-will.

Verse 378. He Is Peaceful Who Is Free From All Worldly Things

That bhikkhu calmed of body, speech,
calmed and well-composed of mind,
who world-enjoyments has renounced,
‘one calmed’ indeed is truly called.

Explanation: For a monk to be wholly and completely tranquil, he must be restrained in body and speech. This discipline derives from restraint of mind. Then, when these three forms of restraints have been achieved, the monk is automatically wholly and completely tranquil.

Verse 379. He Who Guards Himself Lives Happily

By yourself exhort yourself!
By yourself restrain yourself!
So mindful and self-guarded too,
happily, bhikkhu, will you live.

Explanation: One’s own self must prod one’s self. You must assess and examine yourself. O monk, this way, you must guard yourself. Be perpetually mindful. This way, live in bliss.

Verse 380. Your Are Your Own Saviour

Oneself is refuge of oneself
and one is a haven for oneself,
therefore one should check oneself
as a merchant with a splendid horse.

Explanation: Your own self is your own refuge. You yourself are your own guide. Therefore, exert discipline over yourself as a merchant would cherish and retrain a noble horse.

Verse 381. With Joy And Faith Try To Win Your Goal

The bhikkhu full of joy and faith,
bright in the Buddha’s Teaching
can come to the Place of Peace,
the bliss of conditionedness ceased.

Explanation: His ecstasy is abundant. He takes delight in the Teaching of the Buddha. Such a monk will reach the state of total tranquillity - Nibbana - through the blissful ending of conditioning.

Verse 382. Even A Young Monk, If Devoted, Can Illuminate The Whole World

Surely that youthful bhikkhu who
strives in the Buddha’s Teaching
illuminates all this world
as moon when free from clouds.

Explanation: This is true. If a young monk exerts himself strenuously in the Teaching of the Buddha, he will certainly illuminate the world as brilliantly as a moon emerging from behind a dark cloud that hid it for a while.

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