Dhammapada, Stanza 20

Version 1:

If one, though reciting little of texts,
lives a life in accord with dhamma,
Having discarded passion, ill will, and unawareness,
Knowing full well, the mind well freed,
They, not grasping here, neither hereafter,
Are a partaker of the religious quest.

Version 2:

If they recite next to nothing
but follow the Dhamma
in line with the Dhamma;
abandoning passion,
aversion, delusion;
alert,
their mind well-released,
not clinging
either here or hereafter:
they have their share in the contemplative life.

Version 3:

Little though they recite the sacred texts, but put the Teaching into practice, forsaking lust, hatred, and delusion, with true wisdom and emancipated mind, clinging to nothing of this or any other world — they indeed partake of the blessings of a holy life.

(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 made significant changes throughout in both pronouns and verbs for a neutral gender reading.)

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1 thought on “Dhammapada, Stanza 20”

  1. This is a wonderful passage in all three translations. I especially like the terms “discarding,” “abandoning,” and “forsaking” as ways of describing how to relate to the poisons.

    These terms all indicate that the poisons do not disappear but that our relationship to them can change. Very clear teaching, as I experience it.

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