Very long is the night to him who is awake,
very long the road to him who is weary,
very long is life to the fool without Dhamma, (1)
If you find no better or equal on life’s road,
Loneliness is better than friendship of a fool.
“These sons are mine.
This wealth is mine.”
The words of a fool.
He himself is not his.
How can sons be his?
How can wealth be his?
The fool who knows he is foolish is, let us say, wise,
The fool who thinks he is wise is hugely foolish.
Does a spoon know the taste of broth?
Can a fool learn wisdom from a pandit?
As quickly as a tongue knows the taste of broth,
a serious man learns wisdom from a pandit.
A fool is his own enemy,
does evil deeds, reaps bitter fruit.
Ill done is deed that breeds bitterness,
whose reward is lamentation and remorse.
Well done is deed that gives sweetness,
whose reward is unending delight.
Ill deed is sweet, so the fool thinks.
Till it bear fruit, which is bitterness and grief.
A fool sits with blade of holy grass,
with which he daily licks a pot of honey,
yet his holiness is not one-sixteenth
that of the wise knower of Dhamma.
Fresh milk does not curdle,
neither does a fresh evil deed;
like embers under ashes, it smolders,
and slowly destroys the fool.
The little knowledge a fool picks up
goes against him,
his share of brightness gets tarnished,
his merit is destroyed.
What a fool wants is cheap fame,
lordship over bhikkus, power in monasteries,
and puja from everybody.
“Look, householder, look, monk,
I do this, I am powerful,
I know what’s right and I know what’s wrong.”
The pride and the passion of a fool’s words!
One road goes to profit, another to Nirvana.
Know this, O bhikku, disciple of Buddha,
and struggle for wisdom, not the world’s fame.
source: Buddha, “The Dhammapada”
picture: ancient Buddha scroll, Bing/images
(1) Dhamma “refers to both the system of analysis taught by the Buddha regarding the causes of suffering and the necessary course of action needed to be taken to undo these causes” (source: WIKIPEDIA)