Dhammapada, Stanza 10

Version 1:

But one who, well placed in virtues,
Would be with defilements ejected,
Endowed with control and truth,
That one is worthy of a yellow robe.

Version 2:

But [one] who is free
of depravity
endowed
with truthfulness
& self-control,
well-established
in the precepts,
truly deserves the ochre robe.

Version 3:

But whoever is purged of depravity, well-established in virtues and filled with self-control and truthfulness, [they] indeed [are] worthy of the yellow robe.

(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. I have switched gendered pronouns for non-gendered pronouns and made other appropriate changes. These are indicated with brackets.)

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2 thoughts on “Dhammapada, Stanza 10”

  1. Guess that’s why I’ll never ordain (well, there are a few other reasons!).

    These are interesting passages – in their absolutist approach to ridding oneself of defilements. This strikes me as quite different from the Zen view, which is that the defilements are just defilements. Don’t attach to them, then no problem.

    1. I agree with this questioning – they do sound quite absolutist. It is funny how focusing closely on the verse brings this out.

      My only other comment now is that the last lines focus on worthiness and truly deserving the robe. The passage might be setting up the ideal we aim at but never attain – but, much like the precepts, better to have one’s compass focused in the right direction even if unattainable…like saving ALL beings…just a thought for now…

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