Dhammapada, Stanza 5

Version 1:

Not by enmity are enmities quelled,
Whatever the occasion here.
By the absence of enmity are they quelled.
This is an ancient truth.

Version 2:

Hostilities aren’t stilled
through hostility,
regardless.
Hostilities are stilled
through non-hostility:
this, an unending truth.

Version 3:

Hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world. By non-hatred alone is hatred appeased. This is a law eternal.

Commentary:

“Whatever the occasion here,” “regardless,” and “Hatred is never appeased by hatred”. Not – hatred doesn’t appease hatred sometimes.  Not – hostility doesn’t still hostility when it comes to dealing with others and not oneself.  In every occasion, whatever it is, whenever it arises, does enmity fail to quell enmity. May our practice help us awaken to the ceaseless flow of situations so that we may realize this ancient truth!

(Note: Version 1 is from the John Ross Carter and Mahinda Palihawadana translation. Version 2 is from the Thanissaro Bhikkhu translation. Version 3 is from the Acharya Buddharakkhita translation.)

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2 thoughts on “Dhammapada, Stanza 5”

  1. I like the range of terms: enmity, hostility, hatred.

    They give dimension to this familiar feeling, the feeling of active resistance to life and what it requires of us.

    I also appreciate that each translation doesn’t say that we must fully extinguish enmity or hatred. Rather, we should realize that if we act from enmity or hostility, then we perpetuate enmity and hostility. Nice.

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