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Dhp 256–272 Dhammaṭṭhavagga: The Judge

To pass judgment hurriedly
doesn’t mean you’re a judge.
The wise one, weighing both
the right judgment & wrong,
judges others impartially–
unhurriedly, in line with the Dhamma,
     guarding the Dhamma,
     guarded by Dhamma,
he’s called a judge.

Simply talking a lot
doesn’t mean one is wise.
Whoever’s secure–
is said to be wise.

Simply talking a lot
doesn’t maintain the Dhamma.
–although he’s heard next to nothing–
     sees Dhamma through his body,
     is not heedless of Dhamma:
he’s one who maintains the Dhamma.

A head of gray hairs
doesn’t mean one’s an elder.
Advanced in years,
one’s called an old fool.

But one in whom there is
truth, restraint,
rectitude, gentleness,
he’s called an elder,
his impurities disgorged,

Not by suave conversation
or lotus-like coloring
does an envious, miserly cheat
become an exemplary man.

But one in whom this is
     cut through
     wiped out–
he’s called exemplary,
     his aversion disgorged,

A shaven head
doesn’t mean a contemplative.
The liar observing no duties,
filled with greed & desire:
what kind of contemplative’s he?

But whoever tunes out
the dissonance
of his evil qualities
–large or small–
in every way
by bringing evil to consonance:
     he’s called a contemplative.

Begging from others
doesn’t mean one’s a monk.
As long as one follows
householders’ ways,
one is no monk at all.

But whoever puts aside
both merit & evil and,
living the chaste life,
goes through the world:
     he’s called a monk.

Not by silence
does someone confused
     & unknowing
turn into a sage.

But whoever–wise,
as if holding the scales,
     taking the excellent–
     rejects evil deeds:
he is a sage,
that’s how he’s a sage.
Whoever can weigh
both sides of the world:
     that’s how he’s called
     a sage.

Not by harming life
does one become noble.
One is termed
     for being
to all living things.

on account of
     your habits & practices,
     great erudition,
     concentration attainments,
     secluded dwelling,
     or the thought, ‘I touch
     the renunciate ease
     that run-of-the-mill people
     don’t know’:
ever let yourself get complacent
     when the ending of effluents
     is still unattained.

Read this translation of Dhp 256–272 Dhammaṭṭhavagga: The Judge by Bhikkhu Ṭhanissaro on Or read a different translation on,, or Or explore the Pali on

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