Sacred Books of the East, Vol. 10: The Dhammapada and Sutta Nipata, by Max Müller and Max Fausböll, , at sacred-texts.com
290. If by leaving a small pleasure one sees a great pleasure, let a wise man leave the small pleasure, and look to the great.
291. He who, by causing pain to others, wishes to obtain pleasure for himself, he, entangled in the bonds of hatred, will never be free from hatred.
292. What ought to be done is neglected, what ought not to be done is done; the desires of unruly, thoughtless people are always increasing.
293. But they whose whole watchfulness is always directed to their body, who do not follow what ought not to be done, and who steadfastly do what ought to be done, the desires of such watchful and wise people will come to an end.
294. A true Brâhmana goes scatheless, though he have killed father and mother, and two valiant kings, though he has destroyed a kingdom with all its subjects.
295. A true Brâhmana goes scatheless, though he have killed father and mother, and two holy kings, and an eminent man besides.
[292. Cf. Beal, Catena, p. 264.
294, 295. These two verses are either meant to show that a truly holy man who, by accident, commits all these crimes is guiltless, or they refer to some particular event in Buddha's history. The commentator is so startled that he explains them allegorically. Mr. D'Alwis is very indignant that I should have supposed Buddha capable of pardoning patricide. 'Can it be believed,' he writes, 'that a Teacher, who held life, even the life of the minutest insect, nay, even a living tree, in such high estimation as to prevent its wanton destruction, has declared that the murder of a Brâhmana, to whom he accorded reverence, along with his own Sangha, was blameless?' D'Alwis, Nirvâna, p. 88. Though something might be said in reply, considering the antecedents of king Agâtasatru, the patron of Buddha, and stories such as that quoted by the commentator on the Dhammapada (Beal, l.c. p. 150), or in Der Weise und der Thor, p. 306, still these two verses are startling, and I am not aware that Buddha has himself drawn the conclusion, which has been drawn by others, viz. that those who have reached the highest Sambodhi, and are in fact no longer themselves, are outside the domain of good and bad, and beyond the reach of guilt. Verses like 39 and 412 admit of a different explanation. Still our verses being miscellaneous extracts, might possibly have been taken from a work in which such an opinion was advanced, and I find that Mr. Childers, no mean admirer of Buddha, was not shocked by my explanation. 'In my judgment,' he says, 'this verse is intended to express in a forcible manner the Buddhist doctrine that the Arhat cannot commit a serious sin.' However, we have met before wilh far-fetched puns in these verses, and it is not impossible that the native commentators were right after all in seeing some puns or riddles in this verse. D'Alwis, following the commentary, explains mother as lust, father as pride, the two valiant klngs as heretical systems, and the realm as sensual pleasure, while veyyaggha is taken by him for a place infested wilh the tigers of obstruction against final beatitude. Some confirmation of this interpretation is supplied by a passage in the third book of the Lankâvatâra-sûtra, as quoted by Mr. Beal in his translation of the Dhammapada, Introduction, p. 5. Here a stanza is quoted as having been recited by Buddha, in explanation of a similar startling utterance which he had made to Mahâmati:
'Lust, or carnal desire, this is the Mother,
Ignorance, this is the Father,
The highest point of knowledge, this is Buddha,
All the klesas, these are the Rahats,
The five skandhas, these are the Priests;
To commit the five unpardonable sins
Is to destroy these five
And yet not suffer the pains of hell.'
The Lankâvatâra-sûtra was translated into Chinese by Bodhiruki (508-511); when it was written is doubtful. See also Gâtaka, vol. ii. p. 263.]
296. The disciples of Gotama (Buddha) are always well awake, and their thoughts day and night are always set on Buddha.
297. The disciples of Gotama are always well awake, and their thoughts day and night are always set on the law.
298. The disciples of Gotama are always well awake, and their thoughts day and night are always set on the church.
299. The disciples of Gotama are always well awake, and their thoughts day and night are always set on their body.
300. The disciples of Gotama are always well awake, and their mind day and night always delights in compassion.
301. The disciples of Gotama are always well awake, and their mind day and night always delights in meditation.
302. It is hard to leave the world (to become a friar), it is hard to enjoy the world; hard is the monastery, painful are the houses; painful it is to dwell with equals (to share everything in common), and the itinerant mendicant is beset with pain. Therefore let no man be an itinerant mendicant and he will not be beset with pain.
303. Whatever place a faithful, virtuous, celebrated, and wealthy man chooses, there he is respected.
304. Good people shine from afar, like the snowy
[302. This verse is difficult, and I give my translation as tentative only. Childers (Notes, p. 11) does not remove the difficulties, and I have been chiefly guided by the interpretation put on the verse by the Chinese translator; Beal, Dhammapada, p. 137.]
mountains; bad people are not seen, like arrows shot by night.
305. He alone who, without ceasing, practises the duty of sitting alone and sleeping alone, he, subduing himself, will rejoice in the destruction of all desires alone, as if living in a forest.
[305. I have translated this verse so as to bring it into something like harmony with the preceding verses. Vanânte, according to a pun pointed out before (v. 283), means both 'in the end of a forest,' and 'in the end of desires.']