Regard one who sees your faults
as a guide to a hidden treasure.
Stay close to one so wise and astute
who corrects you when you need it.
Sticking close to such an impartial person,
things get better, not worse.
Advise and instruct;
for you shall be loved by the good,
and disliked by the bad.
Don’t mix with bad friends,
nor with the worst of men.
Mix with spiritual friends,
and with the best of men.
Through joy in the teaching you sleep at ease,
with clear and confident heart.
An astute person always delights in the teaching
proclaimed by the Noble One.
Irrigators guide water,
fletchers straighten arrows,
carpenters carve timber,
the astute tame themselves.
As the wind cannot stir
a solid mass of rock,
so too blame and praise
do not affect the wise.
Like a deep lake,
clear and unclouded,
so clear are the astute
when they hear the teachings.
True persons give up everything,
they don’t cajole for the things they desire.
Though touched by sadness or happiness,
the astute appear neither depressed nor elated.
Never wish for success by unjust means,
for your own sake or that of another,
desiring children, wealth, or nation;
rather, be virtuous, wise, and just.
Few are those among humans
who cross to the far shore.
The rest just run around
on the near shore.
When the teaching is well explained,
those who practice accordingly
will cross over
Death’s domain so hard to pass.
Rid of dark qualities,
an astute person should develop the bright.
Leaving home behind
for the seclusion so hard to enjoy,
find delight there,
having left behind sensual pleasures.
With no possessions, an astute person
would cleanse themselves of mental corruptions.
Those whose minds are rightly developed
in the awakening factors;
who, letting go of attachments,
delight in not grasping:
with defilements ended, brilliant,
they in this world are quenched.
Read this translation of Dhammapada 76–89 Paṇḍitavagga: by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, SuttaFriends.org, DhammaTalks.org, Ancient-Buddhist-Texts.net or AccessToInsight.org. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.
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