site logo

The Dhammapada

This is the Dhammapada, the path of religion pursued by those who

are followers of the Buddha:

Creatures from mind their character derive; mind-marshalled are

they, mind-made. Mind is the source either of bliss or of


By oneself evil is done; by oneself one suffers; by oneself evil

is left
undone; by oneself one is purified. Purity and impurity

belong to oneself, no one can purify another. 3 You yourself must

make an effort. The Tathagatas are only preachers. The thoughtful

who enter the way are freed from the bondage of Mara.

He who does not rouse himself when it is time to rise; who,

though young and strong, is full of sloth; whose will and

thoughts are weak; that lazy and idle man will never find the way

to enlightenment.

If a man hold himself dear, let him watch himself carefully; the

truth guards him who guards himself.

If a man makes himself as he teaches others to be, then, being

himself subdued, he may subdue others; one's own self is indeed

difficult to subdue.

If some men conquer in battle a thousand times a thousand men,

and if another conquer himself, he is the greatest of conquerors.

It is the habit of fools, be they laymen or members of the

clergy, to think, "this is done by me. May others be subject to

me. In this or that transaction a prominent part should be played

by me." Fools do not care for the duty to be performed or the aim

to be reached, but think of their self alone. Everything is but a

pedestal of their vanity.

Bad deeds, and deeds hurtful to ourselves, are easy to do; what

is beneficial and good, that is very difficult.

If anything is to be done, let a man do it, let him attack it


Before long, alas! this body will lie on the earth, despised,

without understanding, like a useless log; yet our thoughts will

endure. They will be thought again, and will produce action. Good

thoughts will produce good actions, and bad thoughts will produce

bad actions.

Earnestness is the path of immortality, thoughtlessness the path

of death. Those who are in earnest do not die; those who are

thoughtless are as if dead already.

Those who imagine they find truth in untruth, and see untruth in

truth, will never arrive at truth, but follow vain desires. They

who know truth in truth, and untruth in untruth, arrive at truth,

and follow true desires.

As rain breaks through an ill-thatched house, passion will break

through an unreflecting mind. As rain does not break through a

well-thatched house, passion will not break through a

well-reflecting mind.

Well-makers lead the water wherever they like; fletchets bend the

arrow; carpenters bend a log of wood; wise people fashion

themselves; wise people falter not amidst blame and praise.

Having listened to the law, they become serene, like a deep,

smooth, and still lake.

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.

An evil deed is better left undone, for a man will repent of it

afterwards; a good deed is better done, for having done it one

will not repent.

If a man commits a wrong let him not do it again; let him not

delight in wrongdoing; pain is the outcome of evil. If a man does

what is good, let him do it again; let him delight in it;

happiness is the outcome of good.

Let no man think lightly of evil, saying in his heart, "It will

not come nigh unto me." As by the falling of water-drops a

water-pot is filled, so the fool becomes full of evil, though he

gather it little by little.

Let no man think lightly of good, saying in his heart, "It will

not come nigh unto me." As by the falling of water-drops a

water-pot is filled, so the wise man becomes full of good, though

he gather it little by little.

He who lives for pleasure only, his senses uncontrolled,

immoderate in his food, idle, and weak, him Mara, the tempter,

will certainly overthrow, as the wind throws down a weak tree. He

who lives without looking for pleasures, his senses

well-controlled, moderate in his food, faithful and strong, him

Mara will certainly not overthrow, any more than the wind throws

down a rocky mountain.

The fool who knows his foolishness, is wise at least so far. But

a fool who thinks himself wise, he is a fool indeed.

To the evil-doer wrong appears sweet as honey; he looks upon it

as pleasant so long as it bears no fruit; but when its fruit

ripens, then he looks upon it as wrong. And so the good man looks

upon the goodness of the Dharma as a burden and an evil so long

as it bears no fruit; but when its fruit ripens, then he sees its


A hater may do great harm to a hater, or an enemy to an enemy;

but a wrongly-directed mind will do greater mischief unto itself.

A mother, a father, or any other relative will do much good; but

a well-directed mind will do greater service unto itself.

He whose wickedness is very great brings himself down to that

state where his enemy wishes him to be. He himself is his

greatest enemy. Thus a creeper destroys the life of a tree on

which it finds support.

Do not direct thy thought to what gives pleasure, that thou

mayest not cry out when burning, "This is pain." The wicked man

burns by his own deeds, as if burnt by fire.

Pleasures destroy the foolish; the foolish man by his thirst for

pleasures destroys himself as if he were his own enemy. The

fields are damaged by hurricanes and weeds; mankind is damaged by

passion, by hatred, by vanity, and by lust.

Let no man ever take into consideration whether a thing is

pleasant or unpleasant. The love of pleasure begets grief and the

dread of pain causes fear; he who is free from the love of

pleasure and the dread of pain knows neither grief nor fear.

He who gives himself to vanity, and does not give himself to

meditation, forgetting the real aim of life and grasping at

pleasure, will in time envy him who has exerted himself in


The fault of others is easily noticed, but that of oneself is

difficult to perceive. A man winnows his neighbor's faults like

chaff, but his own fault he hides, as a cheat hides the false die

from the gambler.

If a man looks after the faults of others, and is always inclined

to take offence, his own passions will grow, and he is far from

the destruction of passions.

Not about the perversities of others, not about their sins of

commission or omission, but about his own misdeeds and

negligences alone should a sage be worried.

Good people shine from afar, like the snowy mountains; had people

are concealed, like arrows shot by night.

If a man by causing pain to others, wishes to obtain pleasure for

himself, he, entangled in the bonds of selfishness, will never be

free from hatred.

Let a man overcome anger by love, let him overcome evil by good;

let him overcome the greedy by liberality, the liar by truth!

For hatred does not cease by hatred at any time; hatred ceases by

not-hatred, this is an old rule.

Speak the truth, do not yield to anger; give, if thou art asked;

by these three steps thou wilt become divine.

Let a wise man blow off the impurities of his self, as a smith

blows off the impurities of silver, one by one, little by little,

and from time to time.

Lead others, not by violence, but by righteousness and equity.

He who possesses virtue and intelligence, who is just, speaks the

truth, and does what is his own business, him the world will hold


As the bee collects nectar and departs without injuring the

flower, or its color or scent, so let a sage dwell in the


If a traveller does not meet with one who is his better, or his

equal, let him firmly keep to his solitary journey; there is no

companionship with fools.

Long is the night to him who is awake; long is a mile to him who

is tired; long is life to the foolish who do not know the true


Better than living a hundred years, not seeing the highest truth,

is one day in the life of a man who sees the highest truth.

Some form their Dharma arbitrarily and fabricate it artificially;

they advance complex speculations and imagine that good results

are attainable only by the acceptance of their theories; yet the

truth is but one; there are not different truths in the world.

Having reflected on the various theories, we have gone into the

yoke with him who has shaken off all sin. But shall we be able to

proceed together with him?

The best of ways is the eightfold path. This is the path. There

is no other that leads to the purifying of intelligence. Go on

this path! Everything else is the deceit of Mara, the tempter. If

you go on this path, you will make an end of pain! Says the

Tathagata, The path was preached by me, when I had understood the

removal of the thorn in the flesh.

Not only by discipline and vows, not only by much learning, do I

earn the happiness of release which no worldling can know.

Bhikkhu, be not confident as long as thou hast not attained the

extinction of thirst. The extinction of evil desire is the

highest religion.

The gift of religion exceeds all gifts; the sweetness of religion

exceeds all sweetness; the delight in religion exceeds all

delights; the extinction of thirst overcomes all pain.

Few are there among men who cross the river and reach the goal.

The great multitudes are running up and down the shore; but there

is no suffering for him who has finished his journey.

As the lily will grow full of sweet perfume and delight upon a

heap of rubbish, thus the disciple of the truly enlightened

Buddha shines forth by his wisdom among those who are like

rubbish, among the people that walk in darkness.

Let us live happily then, not hating those who hate us! Among men

who hate us let us dwell free from hatred!

Let us live happily then, free from all ailments among the

ailing! Among men who are ailing let us dwell free from ailments!

Let us live happily, then, free from greed among the greedy!

Among men who are greedy let us dwell free from greed!

The sun is bright by day, the moon shines by night, the warrior

is bright in his armor, thinkers are bright in their meditation;

but among all the brightest with splendor day and night is the

Buddha, the Awakened, the Holy, Blessed.