The Enlightened One -- CANTO XIV

179. By what path will you lead the Buddha of infinite range of perception, the Pathless One, whose conquest of passions cannot be undone, into whose conquest no one in this world enters?

180. By what path will you lead the Buddha of infinite range of perception, the Pathless One, in whom there is not that entangling and poisonous craving which leads one astray (to another state of birth)?

181. Those wise ones who are absorbed in meditation, who take delight in the inner calm of renunciation, such mindful and perfectly awakened ones even the devas (gods) hold dear.

182. Difficult is it to be born as a human being; difficult is the existence of mortals; difficult is the hearing of the Sublime Truth; rare is the appearance of the Enlightened Ones (Buddhas).

183. Abstention from all evil, the doing of good deeds, and the purification of the mind, is the admonition of the Enlightened Ones.

184. Forbearance which is long-suffering is the highest austerity. The Buddhas declare nirvana to be the supreme state. Verily he is not an anchorite who harms another; nor is he an ascetic who causes grief to another.

185. Not reviling, not injuring, practicing restraint according to the moral code (patimokkha) leading to freedom, moderation in eating, living in solitude, dwelling with diligence on the highest thoughts -- this is the teaching of the Buddhas.

186, 187. There is no satisfying the passions even by a shower of gold coins; the wise man, knowing that sense delights are of fleeting pleasure and productive of pain, finds no joy even in celestial pleasures. The true disciple of the Fully Enlightened One delights only in the destruction of all worldly desires.

188. Men driven by fear betake themselves to numerous refuges, such as mountains, forests, groves, sacred trees and shrines.

189. Verily, none of these is a safe refuge, nor is it the supreme refuge. For even after arriving at a refuge, one is not emancipated from all suffering.

190. He who takes refuge in the Enlightened One (buddha), in his Doctrine (dhamma), and in his Community of Monks (sangha), perceives with clarity of wisdom the Four Noble Truths, namely:

191, 192. Suffering, the Origin of Suffering, the Cessation of Suffering, the Noble Eightfold Path (1) that leads to the cessation of suffering.

That, verily, is the safe refuge and the supreme refuge. After having arrived at that refuge, a man is emancipated from all suffering.

193. An illumined person (a Buddha) is indeed very rare. He is not born everywhere. Wherever such a one takes birth, that family prospers.

194. Blessed is the birth of the Buddhas; blessed is the discourse on the Noble Law; blessed is the harmony of the Community of Monks; blessed is the devotion of those living in brotherhood.

195, 196. He who pays homage to those who deserve homage, whether the Enlightened Ones or their disciples; he who has overcome the host of passions, and crossed the stream of grief and lamentations; he who pays homage to such as are emancipated and fearless -- his merit cannot be measured.

Dhammapada, Wisdom of the Buddha translated by Harischandra Kaviratna

Theosophical University Press Online Edition