The Downward Path

The speaker of that which is not real goes down,
also he who, doing a thing, says, “I did not do it.”
They are men of falseness;
after death they are united,they become partners.

Many men dressed in saffron
are ill-mannered and undisciplined;
the evil deeds of such evildoers,
after death, drag them down.

Better for a boorish monk
to swallow a red-hot steel ball
than in seeming goodness
to live on people’s almsgiving.

Four effects result from a fool’s
hankering for another man’s wife
much impurity, much restlessness,
moral blame, the downward path.

Do not lust for another’s wife.
Much demerit follows, much punishment,
much fleeting and frightened pleasure
in the arms of the frightened.

As a soft blade of kusa grass,
wrongly handled, cuts the finger,
wrongly practiced, ascetcism
leads to the downward path.

Acts carefully performed,
vows carefully kept,
reluctant practice of continence,
do not bring rewards with them.

If a thing must be done,
it must be done well!
A careless sadhu will find himself
no cleaner than before.

Better an evil deed not done,
than done, for future suffering.
Better a good deed done now,
done, it brings no suffering.

A border post is well guarded,
inside and out. Guard your self well.
Not a second must be wasted.
Each wasted second makes a downward path.

Those who are ashamed of deeds
that they should not be ashamed of,
and not ashamed of deeds
they should be ashamed of
such men follow false doctrines,
and walk the downward path.

Those who fear when they should not fear,
and do not fear when they ought to fear
such men follow false doctrines,
and walk the downward path.

Those who see evil where there is none,
and see no evil where there is evil
such men follow false doctrines,
and walk the downward path.

Those who see evil where there is evil,
and no evil where there is none
such men follow the true doctrine,
and walk straight.

source: The Downward Path, The Dhammapada, The Buddha
(please do not copy; no post on Saturday,  August 26, 2017)



4 thoughts on “The Downward Path

  1. i’ve been drawn back to this Eddie and reading some more around the The Dhammapada….dense read…i will be re-reading…i’m still working with Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda…so much to read…and meditate with…think of all this…smiles hedy 😀

    • Interested in the Buddha and His teachings early on in my life, I felt The Dhammapada became the book
      that would give me the most direct connection with him. This book is old and well used and has been
      everywhere with me throughout my travels. broad smiles to you Hedy

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