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Dhp 273–289 Magga Vagga: The Path

  1. Of all paths, the Noble Eight Fold Path is the best. Of all truths, the Four Noble Truth is the best. Of all things, the passionless state, Nibbāna, is the best. Of all humans, the one with eyes of the Dhamma, Buddha, is the best.
  2. This is the only path for purifying one’s vision of truth; there is no other. Follow it and you will bewilder Māra.
  3. By following the Noble Eight Fold Path you can put an end to suffering. I have taught you this path which pulls out arrows of defilements.
  4. You, yourself, must make a strong effort to attain Nibbāna. Buddhas only point the way. Those who follow the path and those who meditate will be freed from Māra’s bonds.
  5. “All conditioned things are impermanent”—when one sees this with wisdom, one gives up admiration for suffering which is disguised as happiness. This is the path to purification, Nibbāna.
  6. “All conditioned things are suffering”— when one sees this with wisdom, one gives up admiration for suffering which is disguised as happiness. This is the path to purification, Nibbāna.
  7. “All things are not-self”—when one sees this with wisdom, one gives up admiration for suffering which is disguised as happiness. This is the path to purification, Nibbāna.
  8. The inactive one who does not exert himself when he should, who though young and strong is full of laziness, with a mind full of vain thoughts—such an indolent person does not find the path to wisdom.
  9. Let a person be watchful in speech, well restrained in mind, and not commit evil by the body. Let him purify these three courses of action and fulfill the path taught by the sages.
  10. Wisdom arises from calm and insight meditation. Without meditation wisdom decays. Knowing this two-way path for progress and decline, conduct yourself on the path which grows wisdom.
  11. Oh monks, cut down the trees of defilements, but not the trees in the forest. From the trees of defilements, fear is born. Having cut down both large and small trees of defilements, be without defilements.
  12. As long as the underbrush of desire, even the slightest, of a man towards a woman is not cut down, his mind is in bondage, like the suckling calf to its mother.
  13. Cut off craving as one plucks with his hand an autumn lotus. Cultivate only the path to excellent peace, Nibbāna, as taught by the Well-Gone One, the Buddha.
  14. “Here I will live in the rainy season, here in winter and summer”—thus thinks the fool. He does not realize the danger that death might intervene.
  15. Some people live clinging to and intoxicated by children and wealth. Suddenly they are carried away to death by Māra, as a great flood carries away a sleeping village to the ocean.
  16. For someone who is seized by Māra, there is no protection by relatives. No one can save him—not sons, not father, and not relatives.
  17. Realizing this truth, let the wise person restrain himself with virtue. Let him quickly clear the path to Nibbāna.

Read this translation of Dhammapada 20 Magga Vagga: The Path (273-289) by Ven. Kiribathgoda Gnananda Thero on SuttaFriends.org. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, DhammaTalks.org, Ancient-Buddhist-Texts.net or AccessToInsight.org. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

Or read a translation in Deutsch, Tiếng Việt, Català, Čeština, Español, Français, עִבְֿרִיתּ, Magyar, Italiano, 日本語, Latine, मराठी, မြန်မာဘာသာ, Nederlands, Norsk, Polski, Português, සිංහල, Slovenščina, தமிழ், or 汉语. Learn how to find your language.

Dhp 167–178 Lokavagga: The World

  1. Follow not the vulgar way; live not in heedlessness; hold not false views; linger not long in worldly existence.
  2. Arise! Do not be heedless! Lead a righteous life. The righteous live happily both in this world and the next.
  3. Lead a righteous life; lead not a base life. The righteous live happily both in this world and the next.
  4. One who looks upon the world as a bubble and a mirage, him the King of Death sees not.
  5. Come! Behold this world, which is like a decorated royal chariot. Here fools flounder, but the wise have no attachment to it.
  6. He who having been heedless is heedless no more, illuminates this world like the moon freed from clouds.
  7. He, who by good deeds covers the evil he has done, illuminates this world like the moon freed from clouds.
  8. Blind is the world; here only a few possess insight. Only a few, like birds escaping from the net, go to realms of bliss.
  9. Swans fly on the path of the sun; men pass through the air by psychic powers; the wise are led away from the world after vanquishing Mara and his host.
  10. For a liar who has violated the one law (of truthfulness) who holds in scorn the hereafter, there is no evil that he cannot do.
  11. Truly, misers fare not to heavenly realms; nor, indeed, do fools praise generosity. But the wise man rejoices in giving, and by that alone does he become happy hereafter.
  12. Better than sole sovereignty over the earth, better than going to heaven, better even than lordship over all the worlds is the supramundane Fruition of Stream Entrance.

Read this translation of Dhammapada 167–178 Lokavagga: The World by Acharya Buddharakkhita on accesstoinsight.org. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, SuttaFriends.org, DhammaTalks.org, or Ancient-Buddhist-Texts.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

Or read a translation in Deutsch, Tiếng Việt, Català, Čeština, Español, Français, עִבְֿרִיתּ, Magyar, Italiano, 日本語, Latine, मराठी, မြန်မာဘာသာ, Nederlands, Norsk, Polski, Português, සිංහල, Slovenščina, தமிழ், or 汉语. Learn how to find your language.

Dhp 100-115 Sahassa Vagga: The Thousands

  1. Better than a thousand unbeneficial words is one beneficial word which, having been heard, brings peace.
  2. Better than a thousand unbeneficial verses is one beneficial line of verse which, having been heard, brings peace.
  3. Better than reciting a hundred unbeneficial verses is one line of Dhamma which, having been heard, brings peace.
  4. Greater than a person who conquers a thousand people in battle a thousand times is the person who conquers himself in the battle of defilements.
  5. Certainly it is better to conquer oneself than others. The person who tames himself and always restrains sense faculties wins the battle.
  6. Neither a god, nor a divine musician, nor Māra, nor brahma, can turn into defeat the victory of a person who has conquered himself.
  7. Better than a thousand ritual sacrifices offered every month for a hundred years is one moment’s gift offered to a liberated one who has fully developed his mind.
  8. Better than a hundred years in the forest tending a ritual fire is one moment’s gift offered to a liberated one who has fully developed his mind.
  9. Whatever gift or offering a merit seeker might perform in an entire year is not worth one-fourth as much as worshipping the liberated ones.
  10. For the person who worships virtuous people and always reveres and serves the elders, four things increase: long life, beauty, happiness, and power.
  11. Better it is to live one day virtuous and meditative than to live a hundred years without virtue and stillness of mind.
  12. Better it is to live one day wise and meditative than to live a hundred years without wisdom and stillness of mind.
  13. Better it is to live one day energetic and resolute than to live a hundred years lazy and sluggish.
  14. Better it is to live one day seeing the arising and passing of the five groups of clinging than to live a hundred years without ever seeing their arising and passing.
  15. Better it is to live one day experiencing Nibbāna than to live a hundred years without ever experiencing Nibbāna.
  16. Better it is to live one day realizing the Supreme Dhamma than to live a hundred years without ever realizing the Supreme Dhamma.

Read this translation of Dhammapada 8 Sahassa Vagga: The Thousands (100-115) by Ven. Kiribathgoda Gnananda Thero on SuttaFriends.org. 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.

Or read a translation in Deutsch, Tiếng Việt, Català, Čeština, Español, Français, עִבְֿרִיתּ, Magyar, Italiano, 日本語, Latine, मराठी, မြန်မာဘာသာ, Nederlands, Norsk, Polski, Português, සිංහල, Slovenščina, தமிழ், or 汉语. Learn how to find your language.

AN 6.45 Iṇasutta: Debt

“Mendicants, isn’t poverty suffering in the world for a person who enjoys sensual pleasures?”

“Yes, sir.”

“When a poor, penniless person falls into debt, isn’t being in debt also suffering in the world for a person who enjoys sensual pleasures?”

“Yes, sir.”

“When a poor person who has fallen into debt agrees to pay interest, isn’t the interest also suffering in the world for a person who enjoys sensual pleasures?”

“Yes, sir.”

“When a poor person who has fallen into debt and agreed to pay interest fails to pay it when it falls due, they get a warning. Isn’t being warned suffering in the world for a person who enjoys sensual pleasures?”

“Yes, sir.”

“When a poor person fails to pay after getting a warning, they’re prosecuted. Isn’t being prosecuted suffering in the world for a person who enjoys sensual pleasures?”

“Yes, sir.”

“When a poor person fails to pay after being prosecuted, they’re imprisoned. Isn’t being imprisoned suffering in the world for a person who enjoys sensual pleasures?”

“Yes, sir.”

“So mendicants, poverty, debt, interest, warnings, prosecution, and imprisonment are suffering in the world for those who enjoy sensual pleasures. In the same way, whoever has no faith, conscience, prudence, energy, and wisdom when it comes to skillful qualities is called poor and penniless in the training of the Noble One.

Since they have no faith, conscience, prudence, energy, or wisdom when it comes to skillful qualities, they do bad things by way of body, speech, and mind. This is how they’re in debt, I say.

In order to conceal the bad things they do by way of body, speech, and mind they harbour corrupt wishes. They wish, plan, speak, and act with the thought: ‘May no-one find me out!’ This is how they pay interest, I say.

Good-hearted spiritual companions say this about them: ‘This venerable acts like this, and behaves like that.’ This is how they’re warned, I say.

When they go to a wilderness, the root of a tree, or an empty hut, they’re beset by remorseful, unskillful thoughts. This is how they’re prosecuted, I say.

That poor, penniless person has done bad things by way of body, speech, and mind. When their body breaks up, after death, they’re trapped in the prison of hell or the animal realm. I don’t see a single prison that’s as brutal, as vicious, and such an obstacle to reaching the supreme sanctuary from the yoke as the prison of hell or the animal realm.

Poverty is said to be suffering in the world,
and so is being in debt.
A poor person who has fallen into debt
frets even when spending the loan.

And then they’re prosecuted,
or even thrown in jail.
Such imprisonment is true suffering
for someone who prays for pleasure and possessions.

In the same way, in the noble one’s training
whoever has no faith,
no conscience or prudence,
contemplates bad deeds.

After doing bad things
by way of body,
speech, and mind,
they wish, ‘May no-one find me out!’

Their behavior is creepy
by body, speech, and mind.
They pile up bad deeds
on and on, life after life.

That stupid evildoer,
knowing their own misdeeds,
is a poor person who has fallen into debt,
and frets even when spending the loan.

And when in village or wilderness
they’re prosecuted
by painful mental plans,
which are born of remorse.

That stupid evildoer,
knowing their own misdeeds,
goes to one of the animal realms,
or is trapped in hell.

Such imprisonment is true suffering,
from which a wise one is released.
With confident heart, they give
with wealth that is properly earned.

That faithful householder
holds a perfect hand on both counts:
welfare and benefit in this life,
and happiness in the next.
This is how, for a householder,
merit grows by generosity.

In the same way, in the noble one’s training,
whoever is grounded in faith,
with conscience and prudence,
wise, and ethically restrained,

is said to live happily
in the noble one’s training.
After gaining pleasure not of the flesh,
they concentrate on equanimity.

They give up the five hindrances,
constantly energetic,
and enter the absorptions,
unified, alert, and mindful.

Truly knowing in this way
the end of all fetters,
by not grasping in any way,
their mind is rightly freed.

To that poised one, rightly freed
with the end of the fetters of rebirth,
the knowledge comes:
‘My freedom is unshakable.’

This is the ultimate knowledge.
This is the supreme happiness.
Sorrowless, stainless, secure:
this is the highest freedom from debt.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 6.45 Iṇasutta: Debt by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaFriends.org or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

Or read a translation in Deutsch, Bengali, Čeština, Español, Indonesian, Italiano, မြန်မာဘာသာ, Português, ру́сский язы́к, සිංහල, ไทย, Tiếng Việt, or 汉语. Learn how to find your language.

AN 7.67 Nagaropamasutta: The Simile of the Citadel

[Sometimes the Buddha gave very complex similes to explain an important topic. We will have some of these as longer suttas on the weekends.]

“Mendicants, when a king’s frontier citadel is well provided with seven essentials and gets four kinds of sustenance when needed, without trouble or difficulty, it is then called a king’s frontier citadel that cannot be overrun by external foes and enemies.

With what seven essentials is a citadel well provided?

Firstly, a citadel has a pillar with deep foundations, firmly embedded, imperturbable and unshakable. This is the first essential with which a king’s frontier citadel is well provided, to defend those within and repel those outside.

Furthermore, a citadel has a moat that is deep and wide. This is the second essential …

Furthermore, a citadel has a patrol path that is high and wide. This is the third essential …

Furthermore, a citadel has stores of many weapons, both projectile and hand-held. This is the fourth essential …

Furthermore, many kinds of armed forces reside in a citadel, such as elephant riders, cavalry, charioteers, archers, bannermen, adjutants, food servers, warrior-chiefs, princes, chargers, great warriors, heroes, leather-clad soldiers, and sons of bondservants. This is the fifth essential …

Furthermore, a citadel has a gatekeeper who is astute, competent, and intelligent. He keeps strangers out and lets known people in. This is the sixth essential …

Furthermore, a citadel has a wall that’s high and wide, covered with plaster. This is the seventh essential with which a king’s frontier citadel is well provided, to defend those within and repel those outside.

With these seven essentials a citadel is well provided.

What are the four kinds of sustenance it gets when needed, without trouble or difficulty?

Firstly, a king’s frontier citadel has much hay, wood, and water stored up for the enjoyment, relief, and comfort of those within and to repel those outside.

Furthermore, a king’s frontier citadel has much rice and barley stored up for those within.

Furthermore, a king’s frontier citadel has much food such as sesame, green gram, and black gram stored up for those within.

Furthermore, a king’s frontier citadel has much medicine—ghee, butter, oil, honey, molasses, and salt—stored up for the enjoyment, relief, and comfort of those within and to repel those outside.

These are the four kinds of sustenance it gets when needed, without trouble or difficulty.

When a king’s frontier citadel is well provided with seven essentials and gets four kinds of sustenance when needed, without trouble or difficulty, it is then called a king’s frontier citadel that cannot be overrun by external foes and enemies.

In the same way, when a noble disciple has seven good qualities, and they get the four absorptions—blissful meditations in the present life that belong to the higher mind—when they want, without trouble or difficulty, they are then called a noble disciple who cannot be overrun by Māra, who cannot be overrun by the Wicked One. What are the seven good qualities that they have?

Just as a king’s frontier citadel has a pillar with deep foundations, firmly embedded, imperturbable and unshakable, to defend those within and repel those outside, in the same way a noble disciple has faith in the Realized One’s awakening: ‘That Blessed One is perfected, a fully awakened Buddha, accomplished in knowledge and conduct, holy, knower of the world, supreme guide for those who wish to train, teacher of gods and humans, awakened, blessed.’ A noble disciple with faith as their pillar gives up the unskillful and develops the skillful, they give up the blameworthy and develop the blameless, and they keep themselves pure. This is the first good quality they have.

Just as a citadel has a moat that is deep and wide, in the same way a noble disciple has a conscience. They’re conscientious about bad conduct by way of body, speech, and mind, and conscientious about having any bad, unskillful qualities. A noble disciple with a conscience as their moat gives up the unskillful and develops the skillful, they give up the blameworthy and develop the blameless, and they keep themselves pure. This is the second good quality they have.

Just as a citadel has a patrol path that is high and wide, in the same way a noble disciple is prudent. They’re prudent when it comes to bad conduct by way of body, speech, and mind, and prudent when it comes to acquiring any bad, unskillful qualities. A noble disciple with prudence as their patrol path gives up the unskillful and develops the skillful, they give up the blameworthy and develop the blameless, and they keep themselves pure. This is the third good quality they have.

Just as a citadel has stores of many weapons, both projectile and hand-held, in the same way a noble disciple is very learned. They remember and keep what they’ve learned. These teachings are good in the beginning, good in the middle, and good in the end, meaningful and well-phrased, describing a spiritual practice that’s entirely full and pure. They are very learned in such teachings, remembering them, reciting them, mentally scrutinizing them, and comprehending them theoretically. A noble disciple with learning as their weapon gives up the unskillful and develops the skillful, they give up the blameworthy and develop the blameless, and they keep themselves pure. This is the fourth good quality they have.

Just as many kinds of armed forces reside in a citadel … in the same way a noble disciple is energetic. They live with energy roused up for giving up unskillful qualities and embracing skillful qualities. They are strong, staunchly vigorous, not slacking off when it comes to developing skillful qualities. A noble disciple with energy as their armed forces gives up the unskillful and develops the skillful, they give up the blameworthy and develop the blameless, and they keep themselves pure. This is the fifth good quality they have.

Just as a citadel has a gatekeeper who is astute, competent, and intelligent, who keeps strangers out and lets known people in, in the same way a noble disciple is mindful. They have utmost mindfulness and alertness, and can remember and recall what was said and done long ago. A noble disciple with mindfulness as their gatekeeper gives up the unskillful and develops the skillful, they give up the blameworthy and develop the blameless, and they keep themselves pure. This is the sixth good quality they have.

Just as a citadel has a wall that’s high and wide, covered with plaster, to defend those within and repel those outside, in the same way a noble disciple is wise. They have the wisdom of arising and passing away which is noble, penetrative, and leads to the complete ending of suffering. A noble disciple with wisdom as their wall gives up the unskillful and develops the skillful, they give up the blameworthy and develop the blameless, and they keep themselves pure. This is the seventh good quality they have. These are the seven good qualities that they have.

And what are the four absorptions—blissful meditations in the present life that belong to the higher mind—that they get when they want, without trouble or difficulty? Just as a king’s frontier citadel has much hay, wood, and water stored up for the enjoyment, relief, and comfort of those within and to repel those outside, in the same way a noble disciple, quite secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unskillful qualities, enters and remains in the first absorption, which has the rapture and bliss born of seclusion, while placing the mind and keeping it connected. This is for their own enjoyment, relief, and comfort, and for alighting upon extinguishment.

Just as a king’s frontier citadel has much rice and barley stored up, in the same way, as the placing of the mind and keeping it connected are stilled, a noble disciple enters and remains in the second absorption, which has the rapture and bliss born of immersion, with internal clarity and mind at one, without placing the mind and keeping it connected. This is for their own enjoyment, relief, and comfort, and for alighting upon extinguishment.

Just as a king’s frontier citadel has much food such as sesame, green gram, and black gram stored up, in the same way with the fading away of rapture, a noble disciple enters and remains in the third absorption, where they meditate with equanimity, mindful and aware, personally experiencing the bliss of which the noble ones declare, ‘Equanimous and mindful, one meditates in bliss.’ This is for their own enjoyment, relief, and comfort, and for alighting upon extinguishment.

Just as a king’s frontier citadel has much medicine—ghee, butter, oil, honey, molasses, and salt—stored up for the enjoyment, relief, and comfort of those within and to repel those outside, in the same way, giving up pleasure and pain, and ending former happiness and sadness, a noble disciple enters and remains in the fourth absorption, without pleasure or pain, with pure equanimity and mindfulness. This is for their own enjoyment, relief, and comfort, and for alighting upon extinguishment. These are the four absorptions—blissful meditations in the present life that belong to the higher mind—which they get when they want, without trouble or difficulty.

When a noble disciple has seven good qualities, and they get the four absorptions—blissful meditations in the present life that belong to the higher mind—when they want, without trouble or difficulty, they are then called a noble disciple who cannot be overrun by Māra, who cannot be overrun by the Wicked One.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 7.67 Nagaropamasutta: The Simile of the Citadel by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on DhammaTalks.org or SuttaFriends.org. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

Or read a translation in Deutsch, Bengali, Español, Indonesian, မြန်မာဘာသာ, Norsk, Português, ру́сский язы́к, සිංහල, ไทย, Tiếng Việt, or 汉语. Learn how to find your language.

Thag 5.9 Vijitasenattheragāthā: Vijitasena

I’ll cage you, mind,
like an elephant in a stockade.
Born of the flesh, that net of the senses,
I won’t urge you to do bad.

Caged, you won’t go anywhere,
like an elephant who can’t find an open gate.
Demon-mind, you won’t wander again and again,
bullying, in love with wickedness.

Just as a strong trainer with a hook
takes a wild, newly captured elephant
and wins it over against its will,
so I’ll win you over.

Just as a fine charioteer, skilled in the taming
of fine horses, tames a thoroughbred,
so I’ll tame you,
firmly established in the five powers.

I’ll bind you with mindfulness;
devout, I shall tame you;
kept in check by harnessed energy,
mind, you won’t go far from here.


To learn about the five powers, see AN 5.14: Vitthatasutta.

Read this translation of Theragāthā 5.9 Vijitasenattheragāthā: Vijitasena by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaFriends.org. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net.

Thag 3.5 Mātaṅgaputta

     It’s too cold,
     too hot,
     too late in the evening—
people who say this,
shirking their work:
          The moment passes them by.

Whoever regards cold & heat
as no more than grass,
doing his manly duties,
     won’t fall away
     from ease.

With my chest
I push through wild grasses—
     spear-grass,
     ribbon-grass,
     rushes—
cultivating a heart
               bent on seclusion.


Read this translation of Theragāthā 3.5 Mātaṅgaputta by Bhikkhu Ṭhanissaro on DhammaTalks.org. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, SuttaFriends.org or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net.