The Twin Verses




THE TWIN VERSES


1. The mind is the precursor of all propensities.[footnote: Sensations, perceptions, conceptions, predilections and predispositions.] The mind is the foremost; they are all mind- made. If with an impure mind a person speaks or acts, suffering pursues him even as the wheel follows the hoof of the ox.

2. The mind is the precursor of all propensities. The mind is the foremost; they are all mind-made. If with a pure mind a person speaks or acts, happiness follows him even as his never- departing shadow.

3. "He abused me, he struck me, he subdued me, he robbed me", in those who harbour such thoughts hatred is not stilled.

4. "He abused me, he struck me, he subdued me, he robbed me", in those who do not harbour such thoughts hatred is stilled.

5. Hatred is never stilled through hatred in this world; by non- hatred alone is hatred stilled. This is the Eternal Law (sanantana dhamma).

6. The contenders do not realize that one day we must all die, but those who realize this resolve their quarrels.

7. As a stormy blast brings down an infirm tree, so too does Mara overpower the man who lives for the pursuit of pleasure, with senses unrestrained, immoderate in eating, indolent and dissipated in energy.

8. As a stormy blast cannot prevail against a rocky mountain, so too Mara cannot overpower the man who lives meditating on the impurities, with senses restrained, moderate in eating, full of faith and conserved in energy.

9. Whosoever dons the saffron robe while still polluted, devoid of temperance and truth, is undeserving of the saffron robe. [footnote: Verses 9 and 10 were spoken about Devadatta.]

10. Whosoever is purged of all impurity, firmly fixed in moral precepts, endowed with temperance and truth, is indeed deserving of the saffron robe.

11. Those who imagine the non-essential to be essential, and see the essential as non-essential, never attain the essential, for they hold a false view.

12. Those who know the essential as essential, and the non- essential as non-essential, attain to the essential, for they hold the right view.

13. Just as the rain penetrates an ill-thatched house, so too passion penetrates the uncollected mind.

14. Just as the rain does not penetrate a well-thatched house, so too passion does not penetrate a well-developed mind.

15. Both here and hereafter he grieves; in both states the evil- doer grieves. He suffers through recollecting his sinful deeds.

16. Both here and hereafter he rejoices; in both states the doer of good rejoices. He exults in his rejoicing through recollecting his pure deeds.

17. Both here and hereafter he suffers; in both states the evil- doer suffers. Thinking, "I have done evil", he suffers. Even more does he suffer as he goes to a woeful state. [footnote: Verses 17-20 were spoken about Devadatta.]

18. Both here and hereafter he delights; in both states the doer of good delights. Thinking, "I have done good", he is happy. Even more does he rejoice as he goes to a blissful state.

19. Though he recites much from the sacred texts, but acts not accordingly, the heedless man is like a cowherd who counts the cows of others. He does not share in the blessings [footnote: These are the four stages of spiritual growth: sotapana or the Stream-Winner; sakadagamin, the Once-Returner; anagamin, the Never-Returner; and arahant, the Worthy, the Holy One.] of ascetic life.

20. Though he recites little from the sacred texts, but acts accordingly, forsaking passion, hatred and delusion, truly knowing, with a liberated consciousness, clinging to naught here and hereafter, he partakes of the blessings of ascetic life.

Dhammapada I