When a person lives heedlessly,
craving grows in them like a parasitic creeper.
They jump from life to life, like a monkey
greedy for fruit in a forest grove.
Whoever is beaten by this wretched craving,
this attachment to the world,
their sorrow grows,
like grass in the rain.
But whoever prevails over this wretched craving,
so hard to get over in the world,
their sorrows fall from them,
like a drop from a lotus-leaf.
I say this to you, good people,
all those who have gathered here:
dig up the root of craving,
as you’d dig up the grass in search of roots.
Don’t let Māra break you again and again,
like a stream breaking a reed.
Act on the Buddha’s words,
don’t let the moment pass you by.
For if you miss your moment
you’ll grieve when sent to hell.
Negligence is always dust;
dust follows right behind negligence.
Through diligence and knowledge,
pluck out the dart from yourself.
Read this translation of Theragāthā 6.5 Mālukyaputtattheragāthā: Māluṅkyaputta (1st) by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, SuttaFriends.org or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net.