12 Atta Vagga
Oneself (157-166)

Attānañce piyaṃ jaññā,
rakkheyya naṃ surakkhitaṃ;
Tiṇṇaṃ aññataraṃ yāmaṃ,
paṭijaggeyya paṇḍito.

157. If one holds oneself dear, one should guard oneself with care. Avoiding evil, the wise person should watch over himself at least in one of these three stages of life—childhood, adulthood, or old age.

Attānameva paṭhamaṃ,
patirūpe nivesaye;
na kilisseyya paṇḍito.

158. One should first establish oneself in good qualities; then only should one instruct others. Thus, the wise person will not be stained.

Attānañce tathā kayirā,
Sudanto vata dametha,
attā hi kira duddamo.

159. As one instructs others, so should one act; if one would tame others, one should first be well tamed. Truly, it is very hard to tame oneself.

Attā hi attano nātho,
ko hi nātho paro siyā;
Attanā hi sudantena,

nāthaṃ labhati dullabhaṃ.

160. Oneself, indeed, is one’s own protector. Who else could the protector be? With oneself well tamed, one can obtain the protection of Dhamma which is hard to obtain.

Attanā hi kataṃ pāpaṃ,
Attajaṃ attasambhavaṃ;
Abhimatthati dummedhaṃ,
Vajiraṃ­vas­mamayaṃ maṇiṃ.

161. The evil a foolish person does by himself, born of himself, and produced by himself, grinds him as the diamond which was produced by the gems grinds similar types of gems.

Yassa accan­ta­dussil­yaṃ,
māluvā sāla­mi­vottha­taṃ;
Karoti so tathattānaṃ,
yathā naṃ icchatī diso.

162. The plant vines with big leaves cover the sal tree on which it grows. As a result, eventually the tree breaks down. In the same way, the person who completely covers himself with his own corrupt conduct does to himself what an enemy wishes for him.

Sukarāni asādhūni,
attano ahitāni ca;
Yaṃ ve hitañca sādhuñca,
taṃ ve paramadukkaraṃ.

163. Easy to do are things that are bad and harmful to oneself. However, it is very difficult to do things that are good and beneficial for oneself.

Yo sāsanaṃ arahataṃ,
ariyānaṃ dhammajīvinaṃ;
Paṭikkosati dummedho,
diṭṭhiṃ nissāya pāpikaṃ;
Phalāni kaṭṭhakasseva,
attaghātāya phallati.

164. The fool, relying on evil views, scorns the teaching of the liberated ones who live righteously. The fool produces fruit that destroys himself, like the bamboo tree produces fruit bringing its own destruction.

Attanā hi kataṃ pāpaṃ,
attanā saṅkilissati;
Attanā akataṃ pāpaṃ,
attanāva visujjhati;
Suddhī asuddhi paccattaṃ,
nāñño aññaṃ visodhaye.

165. Through one’s own evil deeds one is defiled. By avoiding evil deeds one is purified. Purity or impurity entirely depends on oneself; no one can purify another.

Attadatthaṃ paratthena,
bahunāpi na hāpaye;
sadatthapasuto siyā.

166. Do not lose your own welfare for the sake of others’ welfare. Clearly understand your own welfare which is the attainment of enlightenment. Therefore, work hard to be a liberated one.

Sādhu! Sādhu! Sādhu!

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Dhammapada 12 Atta Vagga: Oneself (157-166)

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