Treasury of Truth (Dhammapada) Chapter 13, World

Verse 167. Do Not Cultivate The Worldly

Do not follow base desires,
nor live with heedlessness,
do not follow wrong beliefs
to grow in worldly ways.

Explanation: Stoop not to depraved ways, to practices that promote lower urges. Do not live slothfully. Do not associate yourself with those who hold false views.

Verse 168. The Righteous Are Happy - Here And Hereafter

Rouse yourself, be diligent,
in Dhamma faring well.
Who dwells in Dhamma’s happy
in this birth and the next.

Explanation: Wake up to reality; do not be delude. Live in accordance with reality. The realistic person lives happily in this world and in the next.

Verse 169. Behave According To The Teaching

Fare in Dhamma coursing well,
in evil courses do not fare.
Who dwells in Dhamma’s happy
in this birth and the next.

Explanation: Practice the dhamma to perfection. Do not practice it in a faulty manner. He who follows the teaching in the proper manner will live in peace and comfort both in this world and in the next.

Verse 170. Observe The Impermanence Of Life

Just as a bubble may be seen,
just as a faint mirage,
so should the world be viewed
that the Death-king sees one not.

Explanation: Look at a bubble. How impermanent is it? Look at a mirage. What an illusion! If you look at the world in this way, even the king of death will not see you.

Verse 171. The Disciplined Are Not Attached To The Body

Come, look upon this world
like to a rich , royal chariot
wherein fools lounge at ease
but alert ones linger not.

Explanation: The spiritually immature ones are fully engrossed in this world the glamour of which is deceptively like a decorated royal carriage. Those who are aware of reality do not cling to those worldly things. See the world as it really is.

Verse 172. The Diligent Illumine The World

Whoso was heedless formerly
but later lives with heedfulness
illuminates the world
as moon when free of clouds.

Explanation: An individual may have been deluded in the past. But later corrects his thinking and becomes a disillusioned person. He, therefor, is like the moon that has come out from behind a dark cloud; thus, he illuminates the world.

Verse 173. Evil Is Overcome By Good

Who by wholesome kamma
covers up the evil done
illumines the world
as moon when free from clouds.

Explanation: If the evil habits of behaviour of an individual get replaced by his good behaviour, he will illuminate the world.

Verse 174. Without Eye of Wisdom, This World Is Blind

This world is blind-become
few are here who see within
as few the birds break free from net
so those who go to heavens.

Explanation: Most people in this world are unable to see. They cannot see reality properly. Of those, only a handful are capable of insight. Only they see well. A few, like a stray bird escaping the net, can reach heaven.

Verse 175. The Wise Travel Beyond The Worldly

Swans upon the sun’s path fly,
the powerful through space,
conquering Mara and his host
away from the world the wise are led.

Explanation: The swans fly away in the sky - as the path of the sun. Those possessing psychic power travel through the sky. Those diligent, wise saint conquer death with his armies and leave the world and reach Nibbana.

Verse 176. A Liar Can Commit Any Crime

For one who falsely speaks,
who disregards the Dhamma,
who other lives denies:
no evil this one will not do.

Explanation: The evil person who has given up the virtue of truthfulness has abandoned all hope of the next world.

Verse 177. Happiness Through Partaking In Good Deeds

To heavenly realms the mean don’t fare,
fools magnanimity ne’er acclaim,
but the one of wisdom rejoices at giving
and happy will be in future lives.

Explanation: The extreme misers do not reach the heavenly worlds. The evil ignorant ones do not approve acts of charity. But those noble ones approve and partake of charity. In consequence, they are happy in the next birth.

Verse 178. Being Stream-Winner Is Supreme

Than o’er the earth sole sovereignty,
than going to heaven,
than lordship over all the worlds:
better the Steam-winner’s fruit.

Explanation: The achievement of the stream-winner is the primary stage in the attainment of spiritual success. The state is greater than being a universal monarch, or reaching heaven.

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