Categories
Dhammapada

Dhammapada
23 Nāga Vagga
The King Elephant (320-333)

Ahaṃ nāgova saṅgāme,
cāpato patitaṃ saraṃ;
Ativākyaṃ titikkhissaṃ,
dussīlo hi bahujjano.

320. As a king elephant in battle endures arrows shot from bows all around, so I endure the verbal abuse of others. Indeed, many people in this world lack virtue.

Dantaṃ nayanti samitiṃ,
dantaṃ rājābhirūhati;
Danto seṭṭho manussesu,
yotivākyaṃ titikkhati.

321. The well-tamed elephant is the one whom people take into a crowd. The well-tamed elephant is the one even the king mounts. Best among humans is the tamed person who endures verbal abuse.

Varamassatarā dantā,
ājānīyā ca sindhavā;
Kuñjarā ca mahānāgā,
attadanto tato varaṃ.

322. Excellent are well-tamed mules, thoroughbred Sindhu horses, tusker elephants and king elephants. But even more excellent is the person who has tamed himself.

Na hi etehi yānehi,
gaccheyya agataṃ disaṃ;
Yathāttanā sudantena,
danto dantena gacchati.

323. Not by these vehicles, however, could one go to that place not gone to, Nibbāna, as one who is self-tamed goes by his own tamed and well-controlled mind.

Dhanapālo nāma kuñjaro,
Kaṭukabhedano dunnivārayo;
Baddho kabaḷaṃ na bhuñjati,
Sumarati nāgavanassa kuñjaro.

324. During mating time, the tusker elephant named Dhanapāla was uncontrollable. Tied down, he did not even eat, but he spent his time remembering only the forest where his mother elephant lived. He waited to attend on her needs showing her the quality of gratefulness.

Middhī yadā hoti mahagghaso ca,
Niddāyitā sam­pari­vatta­sāyī;
Mahāvarāhova nivāpapuṭṭho,
Punappunaṃ gabbhamupeti mando.

325. If a person is sluggish and gluttonous, sleeps rolling around on a bed, he is like a fat, grain-fed pig. That fool comes to sleep in a womb again and again.

Idaṃ pure cittamacāri cārikaṃ,
Yenicchakaṃ yatthakāmaṃ yathāsukhaṃ;
Tadajjahaṃ niggahessāmi yoniso,
Hatthip­pa­bhin­naṃ viya aṅkusaggaho.

326. Formerly, this mind wandered about where it wished, as it liked, and as it pleased, but now, I will thoroughly master it with wisdom as an elephant keeper controls with his stick an elephant in its mating time.

Appamādaratā hotha,
sacitta­ma­nurak­kha­tha;
Duggā uddha­ra­thattānaṃ,
paṅke sannova kuñjaro.

327. Delight in diligence! Guard your mind well! Draw yourself out of this bog of defilements as an elephant that has sunken in mud draws himself out of the mud.

Sace labhetha nipakaṃ sahāyaṃ,
Saddhiṃ caraṃ sādhu­vihāri­dhīraṃ;
Abhibhuyya sabbāni parissayāni,
Careyya tenattamano satīmā.

328. If you find an intelligent and grateful friend of good conduct, you should keep his company joyously and mindfully overcoming all dangers.

No ce labhetha nipakaṃ sahāyaṃ,
Saddhiṃ caraṃ sādhu­vihāri­dhīraṃ;
Rājāva raṭṭhaṃ vijitaṃ pahāya,
Eko care mātaṅgaraññeva nāgo.

329. If you do not find an intelligent and grateful friend of good conduct, you should live alone like a king who leaves behind his conquered kingdom, or like the elephant Mātanga who left his herd and lived alone.

Ekassa caritaṃ seyyo,
Natthi bāle sahāyatā;
Eko care na ca pāpāni kayirā,
Appossukko mātaṅgaraññeva nāgo.

330. Better it is to live alone. There is no companionship with evil friends. Live alone, at ease, doing no evil like the king elephant Mātanga who left his herd and lived alone.

Atthamhi jātamhi sukhā sahāyā,
Tuṭṭhī sukhā yā itarītarena;
Puññaṃ sukhaṃ jīvita­saṅ­kha­yamhi,
Sabbassa dukkhassa sukhaṃ pahānaṃ.

331. Happiness is having friends when need arises. Happiness is contentment with just what one has. Happiness is merit at the end of one’s life. Happiness is the abandoning of all suffering.

Sukhā matteyyatā loke,
atho petteyyatā sukhā;
Sukhā sāmaññatā loke,
atho brahmaññatā sukhā.

332. In this world, serving one’s mother is happiness, serving one’s father is happiness, serving monks and nuns is happiness, and serving liberated ones is happiness.

Sukhaṃ yāva jarā sīlaṃ,
sukhā saddhā patiṭṭhitā;
Sukho paññāya paṭilābho,
pāpānaṃ akaraṇaṃ sukhaṃ.

333. Happiness is virtue until life’s end; happiness is well-established faith in the Buddha; happiness is the attainment of wisdom; and happiness is not doing evil.

Sādhu! Sādhu! Sādhu!

Three Bar Menu Button

Dhammapada 23 Nāga Vagga: The King Elephant (320-333)

Have a question?

Do you have a question about what you have read?