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Daily Dhammapada

1552 Views 5 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Ms Deer

I've noticed a bit of interest in Buddhist thought recently so decided to post parts of the Dhammapada. Feel free to comment...


Verse 1. Suffering Follows The Evil-Doer

Mind precedes all knowables,
mind's their chief, mind-made are they.
If with a corrupted mind
one should either speak or act
dukkha follows caused by that,
as does the wheel the ox's hoof.

Explanation: All that we experience begins with thought. Our words and deeds spring from thought. If we speak or act with evil thoughts, unpleasant circumstances and experiences inevitably result. Wherever we go, we create bad circumstances because we carry bad thoughts. This is very much like the wheel of a cart following the hoofs of the ox yoked to the cart. The cart-wheel, along with the heavy load of the cart, keeps following the draught oxen. The animal is bound to this heavy load and cannot leave it.

Verse 2. Happiness Follows The Doer of Good

Mind precedes all knowables,
mind's their chief, mind-made are they.
If with a clear, and confident mind
one should speak and act
as one's shadow ne'er departing.

Explanation: All that man experiences springs out of his thoughts. If his thoughts are good, the words and the deeds will also be good. The result of good thoughts , words and deeds will be happiness. This happiness will never leave the person whose thoughts are good. Happiness will always follow him like his shadow that never leaves him.

Verse 3. Uncontrolled Hatred Leads to Harm

Who bears within them enmity:
"He has abused and beaten me,
defeated me and plundered me",
hate is not allayed for them.

Explanation: When a person holds that he was insulted, assaulted, defeated, or robbed, his anger continues to increase. The anger such a person has no way of subsiding. The more he goes over his imaginary trouble the greater becomes his desire to avenge it.
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Nice stuff, thanks for posting that. I'm believing stronger and stronger that this is the way that things happen, that all physical happenings are a manefestation of thoughts. I see how this happens from time to time during the day. Sometimes I can spot it and flip the situation around or just build on it, depending on how I'm thinking.

Sometimes I say to myself "Ok I'm suffering right now and there is nothing I can really do to fix it. So maybe I can do something for somebodyelse that I know would help them. It would really be the same as helping myself because I'm still trying to ease suffering, just somebodyelse's instead of my own."
Thanks, Waaom. I have come to believe that everything is "mind stuff" too. It just takes a great deal of vigilance on our parts to recognize it because our culture does not train us to think in that way.

I like your idea about easing the suffering of someone else. I've just been reading about Anatman. It was a tough thing to get my mind around. The early Native Americans believed it. Pantheists believe it. Apparently, even Jesus believed it and recognized himself as part of the huge web when he said, (parapharased) "Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of these, you have done it unto me."

Anatman means that all things are interconnected and interdependent, so that no thing -- including ourselves -- has a separate existence.


Verse 33. The Wise Person Straightens The Mind

Mind agitated, wavering,
hard to guard and hard to check,
one of wisdom renders straight
as arrow-maker a shaft.

Explanation: In the Dhammapada there are several references to the craftsmanship of the fletcher. The Buddha seems to have observed the process through which a fletcher transforms an ordinary stick into an efficient arrow-shaft. The disciplining of the mind is seen as being a parallel process. In this stanza the Buddha says that the wise one straightens and steadies the vacillating mind that is difficult to guard, like a fletcher straightening an arrow-shaft.

Verse 34. The Fluttering Mind

As fish from watery home
is drawn and cast upon the land,
even so flounders this mind
while Mara's Realm abandoning.

Explanation: When making an effort to abandon the realm of Mara (evil), the mind begins to quiver like a fish taken out of the water and thrown on land.

Verse 35. Restrained Mind Leads To Happiness

The mind is very hard to check
and swift, it falls on what it wants.
The training of the mind is good,
a mind so tamed brings happiness.

Explanation: The mind is exceedingly subtle and is difficult to be seen. It attaches on whatever target it wishes. The wise guard the mind. The guarded mind brings bliss.
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I love the Dhammapada, because I think it has something for everyone, whether they are spiritual or not. Most of it is just good common sense.

Thanks for the excerpts, Ms Deer.
pyramidsong said:
I love the Dhammapada, because I think it has something for everyone, whether they are spiritual or not. Most of it is just good common sense.

Thanks for the excerpts, Ms Deer.
Glad you enjoyed them, Pyramidsong.

I agree with your assessment. I will not be posting anymore of them but this is where I got them from. Any interested person can read them here:
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