24 Taṇhā Vagga
Craving (334-359)

Manujassa pamattacārino,
Taṇhā vaḍḍhati māluvā viya;
So plavatī hurā huraṃ,
Phalamicchaṃva vanasmi vānaro.

334. The craving of a person who lives negligently spreads like a creeping vine. Like a monkey who leaps from tree to tree in the forest seeking fruits, that person leaps from life to life, in this journey of misery.

Yaṃ esā sahate jammī,
taṇhā loke visattikā;
Sokā tassa pavaḍḍhanti,
abhivaṭṭhaṃva bīraṇaṃ.

335. Whoever is overcome by this miserable, wretched, and sticky craving, his sorrow grows like rapidly growing grass after rain.

Yo cetaṃ sahate jammiṃ,
taṇhaṃ loke duraccayaṃ;
Sokā tamhā papatanti,
udabinduva pokkharā.

336. Whoever overcomes this miserable, wretched craving that is difficult to overcome, from him sorrow falls away like water drips from a lotus leaf.

Taṃ vo vadāmi bhaddaṃ vo,
yāvantettha samāgatā;
Taṇhāya mūlaṃ khaṇatha,
usīratthova bīraṇaṃ;
Mā vo naḷaṃva sotova,
māro bhañji punappunaṃ.

337. This I say to you: Good luck to all assembled here! Dig up the root of craving like someone in search of the fragrant root of the bīrana grass. Do not let Māra crush you over and over again, as the flood crushes a bunch of bamboo trees on a bank of the river.

Yathāpi mūle anupaddave daḷhe,
Chinnopi rukkho punareva rūhati;
Evampi taṇhānusaye anūhate,
Nibbattatī dukkhamidaṃ punappunaṃ.

338. Just as a tree, though cut down, grows again if its roots are strong and remain uncut, so does suffering sprout again and again until the tendency of craving in the mind is rooted out.

Yassa chattiṃsati sotā,
manāpasavanā bhusā;
Mahāvahanti duddiṭṭhiṃ,
saṅkappā rāganissitā.

339. Thirty-six streams of craving flow through pleasurable objects. The misguided person who is entangled by this craving is carried away to hell by the flood of lustful thoughts.

Savanti sabbadhi sotā,
latā uppajja tiṭṭhati;
Tañca disvā lataṃ jātaṃ,
mūlaṃ paññāya chindatha.

340. The stream of craving flows through every sense base and the creeper of craving sprouts and grows throughout your life. In seeing that the creeper has sprouted in you, cut off its roots with the sword of wisdom.

Saritāni sinehitāni ca,
Somanassāni bhavanti jantuno;
Te sātasitā sukhesino,
Te ve jātijarūpagā narā.

341. When craving flows through objects, feelings of pleasure arise in beings. They get attached to that pleasure and seek more enjoyment. Undoubtedly, these people are bound to the journey of birth and old age.

Tasiṇāya purakkhatā pajā,
Parisappanti sasova bandhito;
Dukkhamupenti punappunaṃ cirāya.

342. Surrounded by craving, these people run around frightened like a trapped rabbit. Held by fetters and bonds of defilements, they suffer repeatedly over a long time.

Tasiṇāya purakkhatā pajā,
Parisappanti sasova bandhito;
Tasmā tasiṇaṃ vinodaye,
Ākaṅkhanta virāgamattano.

343. Surrounded by craving, these people run around frightened like a trapped rabbit. Therefore, the monk who wishes for passion-free Nibbāna should destroy his own craving.

Yo nibbanatho vanādhimutto,
Vanamutto vanameva dhāvati;
Taṃ puggalametha passatha,
Mutto bandhanameva dhāvati.

344. There is a person who, turning away from the forest of defilements called household life, delights in the monk life. But after being freed from the forest of defilements called the household life, he runs back to it. Look at that person! Though freed, he runs back to that very bondage!

Na taṃ daḷhaṃ bandhanamāhu dhīrā,
Yadāyasaṃ dāruja­pabba­jañca;
Sārattarattā maṇikuṇḍalesu,
Puttesu dāresu ca yā apekkhā.
Etaṃ daḷhaṃ bandhanamāhu dhīrā,
Ohārinaṃ sithilaṃ duppamuñcaṃ;
Etampi chetvāna paribbajanti,
Anapekkhino kāmasukhaṃ pahāya.

345-346. If a person was bound with chains made of iron, shackles made of wood, and ropes made of hemp grass, those bonds are not called strong bonds by the wise. Instead, the infatuation and longing for jewels, ornaments, children, and wives—that, they say, is a far stronger bond, which pulls one downwards all the way to hell, and, though seemingly loose, is hard to remove. This, too, the wise cut off. By abandoning sense pleasures, and without any longing, they become monks and nuns.

Ye ­rāgarat­tā­nu­patanti sotaṃ,
Sayaṅkataṃ makkaṭakova jālaṃ;
Etampi chetvāna vajanti dhīrā,
Anapekkhino sabbadukkhaṃ pahāya.

347. Those who are obsessed with passion and have fallen into the flood of craving, are like a spider, caught in its own web. This, too, the wise cut off. In order to abandon all suffering, without any longing for sense pleasures, wise people become monks and nuns.

Muñca pure muñca pacchato,
Majjhe muñca bhavassa pāragū;
Sabbattha vimuttamānaso,
Na punaṃ jātijaraṃ upehisi.

348. Let go of regret over the past, let go of dreaming over the future, and let go of clinging to the present. Go beyond existence. With the mind liberated in every way, do not come again and again to the world of birth and old age.

Vitak­ka­mathi­tassa jantuno,
Tibbarāgassa subhānupassino;
Bhiyyo taṇhā pavaḍḍhati,
Esa kho daḷhaṃ karoti bandhanaṃ.

349. Some people are occupied with sensual thoughts. With a mind of strong lust, they focus on what is pleasant. In them, craving grows more and more. Indeed, they strengthen their bond of craving.

Vitakkūpasame ca yo rato,
Asubhaṃ bhāvayate sadā sato;
Esa kho byanti kāhiti,
Esa checchati mārabandhanaṃ.

350. He who delights in subduing lustful thoughts, who meditates on the impurities of the body and is constantly mindful—it is he who will make an end of craving and will cut Māra’s bond.

Niṭṭhaṅgato asantāsī,
vītataṇho anaṅgaṇo;
Acchindi bhavasallāni,
antimoyaṃ samussayo.

351. The monk who has reached the end goal, Nibbāna, is fearless, free from craving, taintless, and has plucked out the spikes called existence—for him, this is the last body.

Vītataṇho anādāno,
Akkharānaṃ sannipātaṃ,
Jaññā pubbāparāni ca;
Sa ve “antimasārīro,
Mahāpañño mahāpuriso” ti vuccati.

352. The monk who is free from craving and attachment, is skilled in teaching the true meanings of the Dhamma, and knows the meaning of words and phrases,—he, indeed, is the bearer of his final body. He is truly called the profoundly wise one, the great man.

Sabbābhibhū sabba­vidū­hamasmi,
Sabbesu dhammesu anūpalitto;
Sabbañjaho taṇhakkhaye vimutto,
Sayaṃ abhiññāya kamuddiseyyaṃ.

353. I have conquered all unwholesome things. I have realized everything. I am stained by nothing. Abandoning all, I am freed through the destruction of craving. Having thus, directly realized all by myself, whom shall I call my teacher?

Sabbadānaṃ dhammadānaṃ jināti,
Sabbarasaṃ dhammaraso jināti;
Sabbaratiṃ dhammarati jināti,
Taṇhakkhayo sabbadukkhaṃ jināti.

354. The gift of Dhamma surpasses all gifts. The taste of Dhamma surpasses all taste. The delight in Dhamma surpasses all delights. The destruction of cravings conquers all suffering.

Hananti bhogā dummedhaṃ,
no ca pāragavesino;
Bhogataṇhāya dummedho,
hanti aññeva attanaṃ.

355. Wealth destroys those who lack in wisdom, but, those who seek Nibbāna are not destroyed like that. The foolish person is destroyed by his own craving for wealth, as if he had made someone destroy him.

Tiṇadosāni khettāni,
rāgadosā ayaṃ pajā;
Tasmā hi vītarāgesu,
dinnaṃ hoti mahapphalaṃ.

356. Weeds are the ruin of fields; passion is the ruin of people. Therefore, what is offered to those free of passion bears great fruit.

Tiṇadosāni khettāni,
dosadosā ayaṃ pajā;
Tasmā hi vītadosesu,
dinnaṃ hoti mahapphalaṃ.

357. Weeds are the ruin of fields; hatred is the ruin of people. Therefore, what is offered to those free of hatred bears great fruit.

Tiṇadosāni khettāni,
mohadosā ayaṃ pajā;
Tasmā hi vītamohesu,
dinnaṃ hoti mahapphalaṃ.

358. Weeds are the ruin of fields; delusion is the ruin of people. Therefore, what is offered to those free of delusion bears great fruit.

Tiṇadosāni khettāni,
icchādosā ayaṃ pajā;
Tasmā hi vigaticchesu,
dinnaṃ hoti mahapphalaṃ.

359. Weeds are the ruin of fields; desire is the ruin of people. Therefore, what is offered to those free of desire bears great fruit.

Sādhu! Sādhu! Sādhu!

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Dhammapada 24 Taṇhā Vagga: Craving (334-359)

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