The Path of Virtue


Chapter 14 to 20

Chapter 14
The Buddha (Buddhavagga)

Verses 179 and 180 Maradhitara Vatthu

The Buddha, whose conquest (of moral defilement’s) is complete, in whom there cannot arise any further defilement’s in this world, - that Buddha of infinite range of wisdom, who is trackless, by what track will you lead him?

The Buddha, in whom there is no craving, which like a net, would bring him back to any existence (in samsara), - that Buddha of infinite range of wisdom, who is trackless, by what track will you lead him?

Verse 181 Devorohana Vatthu

The wise who practice jhana concentration and Insight Meditation take delight in the peace of liberation from sensual pleasures and moral defilement’s. Such wise and mindful ones, who truly comprehend the Four Noble Truth (i.e., arahats and Buddhas), are held dear also by the devas.

Verse 182 Erakapattanagaraja Vatthu

Hard to gain is birth as a man; hard is the life of mortals; hard to get the opportunity of hearing the Ariya Dhamma (Teaching of the Buddhas); hard it is for a Buddha to appear.

Verses 183, 184 and 185 Anandattherapanha Vatthu

Not to do evil, to cultivate merit, to purify one’s mind – this is the Teaching of the Buddha.

The best moral practice is patience and forbearance; “Nibbana is Supreme”, said the Buddhas. A bhikkhu does not harm others; one who harms others is not a bhikkhu.

Not to revile, not to do any harm, to practice restraint according to the Fundamental Instructions for the bhikkhus, to be moderate in taking food, to dwell in a secluded place, to devote oneself to higher concentration – this is the Teaching of the Buddhas.

Verses 186 and 187 Anabhiratabhikkhu Vatthu

Not by a shower of coins can sensual desires be satiated; sensual desires give little pleasure and are fraught with evil consequences (dukkha). Knowing this, the wise man, who is the disciple of the Buddha, does not find delight even in the pleasures of the devas, but rejoices in the cessation of craving (Nibbana).

Verses 188, 189, 190, 191 and 192 Aggidattabrahmana Vatthu

When threatened with danger, men go to many a refuge, - to mountains and forests, to parks and gardens, and to the sacred trees.

But such a refuge is not a safe refuge, not the best refuge. One is not liberated from evil consequences of existence (dukkha) for having come to such refuge.

One who takes refuge in the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha, sees with Magga Insight the Four Noble Truh, viz., Dukkha, the Cause of Dukkha, the Cessation of Dukkha, and the Noble Path of Eight Constituents which leads to the Cessation of Dukkha.

This indeed is the safe refuge; this is the best refuge. Having come to this refuge, one is liberated from all Dukkha.

Verse 193 Anandattherapanha Vatthu

It is hard to find the noblest of men; he is not born everywhere nor in every clan. To whatever clan such wise man is born, that clan prospers.

Verse 194 Sambahulabhikkhu Vatthu

Happy is the arising of a Buddha; happy is the exposition of the Ariya Dhamma; happy is the harmony amongst the Sangha; happy is the practice of those in harmony.

Verses 195 and 196 Kassapadasabalassa Suvannacetiya Vatthu

He pays homage to those who are worthy of veneration, whether they are the Buddhas or their disciples who have overcome obstacles (to Insight Development) and have rid themselves of sorrow and lamentation.

The merit gained by such a person who pays homage to those who have been freed from moral defilement’s and have nothing to fear, cannot be measured by anyone, as this much or that much.

Chapter 15
Happiness (Sukhavagga)

Verses 197, 198 and 199 Natikalahavupasamana Vatthu

Indeed we live happily, not hating anyone among those who hate; among men who hate we live without hating anyone.

Indeed we live very happily, in good health among the ailing; among men who are ailing we live in good health.

Indeed we live very happily, not striving (for sensual pleasures) among those who strive (for them); we live without striving.

Verse 200 Mara Vatthu

Indeed we live happily, without any anxiety (i.e., without greed, ill will and ignorance); like the Abhassara brahmas we shall live on delightful satisfaction (piti) as our food.

Verse 201 Kosalaranno Parajaya Vatthu

Conquest begets enmity; the conquered live in misery; the peaceful live happily having renounced conquest and defeat.

Verse 202 Annatarakuladarika Vatthu

There is no fire like passion; there is no evil like hatred; there is no ill like (the burden of) khandhas; there is no bliss that surpasses the Perfect Peace (i.e., Nibbana).

Verse 203 Eka Upasaka Vatthu

Hunger is the greatest ailment, khandhas are the greatest ill. The wise, knowing them as they really are, realize Nibbana, the greatest bliss.

Verse 204 Pasenadikosala Vatthu

Health is the greatest gift, contentment is the greatest wealth, a trusted friend is the best relative, Nibbana is the greatest bliss.

Verse 205 Tissatthera Vatthu

Having had the taste of solitude and the taste of Perfect Peace of Nibbana, one who drinks in the joy of the essence of the Dhamma is free from fear and evil.

Verse 206, 207 and 208 Sakka Vatthu

It is good to see the Noble Ones (ariyas); to live with them is always a pleasure; not seeing fools is also always a pleasure. He who walks in the company of fools has to grieve for a long time. Association with fools is ever painful, as living with an enemy; association with the wise is a pleasure, as living with relatives. Therefore, one should follow a resolute, intelligent, learned, persevering and dutiful ariya; follow such a virtuous and wise man, as the moon follows the path of the stars.

Chapter 16
Affection (Piyavagga)

Verses 209, 210 and 211 Tayojanapabbajita Vatthu

He, who does what should not be done and fails to do what should be done, who forsakes the noble aim of life (i.e., Morality, Concentration and Insight) and grasps at sensual pleasure, covets the benefits gained by those who exert themselves (in meditation).

Do not associate with those who are dear, and never with those who are not dear to you; not seeing the dear ones is painful, and seeing those who are not dear to you is also painful.

Therefor, one should hold nothing dear; separation from the loved ones is painful; there are no fetters for those who do not love or hate.

Verse 212 Annatarakutumbika Vatthu

Affection begets sorrow, affection begets fear. For him who is free from affection there is no sorrow; how can there be fear for him?

Verse 213 Visakha Vatthu

Endearment begets sorrow, endearment begets fear. For him who is free from endearment there is no sorrow; how can there be fear for him?

Verse 214 Liccavi Vatthu

Attachment (to sensual pleasures) begets sorrow, attachment begets fear. For him who is free from attachment there is no sorrow; how can there be fear for him?

Verse 215 Anitthigandhakumara Vatthu

Lust begets sorrow, lust begets fear. For him who is free from lust there is no sorrow; how can there be fear for him?

Verse 216 Annatarabrahmana Vatthu

Craving begets sorrow, craving begets fear. For him who is free from craving there is no sorrow; how can there be fear for him?

Verse 217 Pancasatadaraka Vatthu

He who is endowed with Virtue and Insight, who is established in the Dhamma, who has realized the Truth and performs his own duties, is loved by all men.

Verse 218 Eka Anagamitthera Vatthu

He who has developed a desire for the Ineffable (i.e., Nibbana), whose mind reaches the same and is no longer attached to the sensual world (kamaloka), is called one who is bound upstream (uddhamsoto).

Verses 219 and 220 Nandiya Vatthu

A man who has long been absent and has returned home safely from a distance is welcomed with joy by relatives, friends and well-wishers on his return.

In the same way, his good deeds will receive him who has done good when he goes from this world to the other, as relatives receive a dear one on his return.

Chapter 17
Anger (Kodhavagga)

Verse 221 Rohinikhattiyakanna Vatthu

Give up anger, abandon conceit, and overcome all fetters. Ills of life (dukkha) do not befall one who does not cling to mind and body and is free from moral defilement’s.

Verse 222 Annatarabhikkhu Vatthu

He who restrains his rising anger as a skilful charioteer checks a speeding chariot, - him I call a true charioteer; other charioteers only hold the reins.

Verse 223 Uttara Upasika Vatthu

Conquer the angry one by not getting angry (i.e., by loving-kindness); conquer the wicked by goodness; conquer the stingy by generosity, and the liar by speaking the truth.

Verse 224 Mahamoggallanapanha Vatthu

One should speak the truth, one should not yield to anger, one should give when asked even if it is only a little. By means of these three, one may go to the world of the devas.

Verse 225 Buddhapitubrahmana Vatthu

The arahats, who do not harm others and are always restrained in their actions, go to the deathless Nibbana, where there is no sorrow.

Verse 226 Punnadasi Vatthu

In those who are ever vigilant, who by day and by night train themselves in the three sikkhas (i.e., sila, samadhi and panna), and who have their mind directed towards Nibbana, moral intoxicants become extinct.

Verses 227, 228, 229 and 230 Atula Upasaka Vatthu

It is not new, O Atula! It has always been done from ancient times. They blame one who is silent, they blame one who speaks much, and they blame one who speaks little. There is no one in this world that is not blamed.

There never has been, there never will be, nor is there now, anyone who is always blamed or praised.

If the wise praise him day after day, knowing him to be truly faultless, wise and endowed with knowledge and virtue, who would blame him, who is like a nikkha of pure gold? The devas praise him; he is praised even by the great Brahma.

Verses 231, 232, 233 and 234 Chabbaggiya Vatthu

Guard against evil deeds, control your body. Giving up evil deed, cultivate good deeds.

Guard against evil speech, control your speech. Giving up evil speech, cultivate good speech.

Guard against evil thoughts, control your thoughts. Giving up evil thoughts, cultivate good thoughts.

The wise who are controlled in deed, they are controlled in speech, they are controlled in thought. Indeed, they are perfectly self-controlled.

Chapter 18
Impurities (Malavagga)

Verses 235, 236, 237 and 238 Goghatakaputta Vatthu

You are now like a withered leaf; the messengers of death are near you; you are about to set out on a long journey; (yet) you have no provisions (for the journey).

Make a firm support for yourself; hasten to strive hard; and be wise. Having removed impurities and being free from moral defilement’s, you shall enter the abodes of the ariyas (i.e., Suddhavasa brahma realm).

Now you are of advances age, you are going to the presence of the King of Death and you cannot stop on the way; (yet) you have no provisions (for the journey).

Make a firm support for yourself; hasten to strive hard and be wise. Having removed impurities and being free from moral defilement’s, you will no longer be subject to rebirth and decay.

Verse 239 Annatara brahmana Vatthu

By degrees, little by little from moment to moment, a wise man removes his own impurities (moral defilement’s), as a smith removes the dross of silver or gold.

Verse 240 Tissatthera Vatthu

Just as rust is formed from iron, and corrodes the iron from which it is formed, so also, his own deeds lead the transgressor to a lower plane of existence (duggati).

Verse 241 Laludayi Vatthu

Non-recitation is the taint of learning; non-maintenance is the taint of houses; indolence is the taint of beauty; unmindfulness is the taint o one who keeps watch.

Verses 242 and 243 Annatarakulaputta Vatthu

Sexual misconduct is the taint of a woman; stinginess is the taint of a giver; evil ways are indeed taints in this world as well as in the next.

A taint worse than these is ignorance (of the Truth), which is the greatest of taints. O Bhikkhus, abandon this taint and be taintless.

Verses 244 and 245 Culasaribhikkhu Vatthu

Life is easy for one who is shameless and bold as a crow, who slanders others and is pretentious, aggressive and corrupt.

Life is hard for one with a sense of shame, who always seeks purity, who is free from attachment, who is modest and who sees clearly what is proper livelihood.

Verses 246, 247 and 248 Panca Upasaka Vatthu

He who destroys life, tells lies, takes what is not given him, commits adultery, and takes intoxicating drinks, digs up his own roots even in this very life.

Know this, O man! Not restraining oneself is evil; do not let greed an ill will subject you to prolonged misery.

Verse 249 and 250 Tissadahara Vatthu

People give according to their faith and their devotion; one who is displeased with other receiving food and drink cannot attain concentration (samadhi) by day and by night. He, who has this feeling of displeasure cut off, uprooted and removed, will surely attain concentration (samadhi) by day or by night.

Verse 251 PancaUpasaka Vatthu

There is no fire like passion, there is no grip like ill will, there is no net like ignorance, and there is no river like craving.

Verse 252 Mendakasetthi Vatthu

It is easy for one to see the faults of others, but difficult to see one’s own. That man broadcasts the faults of others like winnowing chaff in the wind, but hides his own faults as a crafty fowler covers himself.

Verse 253 Ujjhanasannitthera Vatthu

In one who constantly sees the faults of others and is always disparaging them, moral intoxicants (asavas) increase; he is far from extinction of moral intoxicants (i.e., he is far from attainment of arahatship).

Verses 254 and 255 Subhaddaparibbajaka Vatthu

In the sky there is no track; outside the Buddha’s teaching there is no ariya bhikkhu (samana). All beings take delight in fetters (i.e., craving, pride and wrong view) that prolong samsara; all the Buddhas are free from these fetters.

In the sky there is no track; outside the Buddha’s teaching there is no ariya bhikkhu (samana). There is no conditioned thing that is permanent; all the Buddhas are unperturbed (by craving, pride and wrong view).

Chapter 19
The Just or the Righteous (Dhammatthavagga)

Verses 256 and 257 Vinicchayamahamatta Vatthu

He is not just if he decides a case arbitrarily; the wise man should decide after considering both what is right and what is wrong.

The wise man who decides not arbitrarily, but in accordance with the law is one who safeguards the law; he is called one who abides by the law’ (dhammattho).

Verse 258 Chabaggiya Vatthu

He is not a wise man just because he talks much; only he who is peaceful, free from enmity, and does no harm to others, is called ‘a wise man’.

Verse 259 Ekudanakhinasava Vatthu

He is not “one versed in Dhamma” (Dhammadhara) just because he talks much. He who hears only a little but comprehends the Dhamma, and is not unmindful is, “one versed in the Dhamma”.

Verses 260 and 261 Lakundakabhaddiyatthera Vatthu

He is not a thera just because his head is grey; he who is ripe only in years is called “one grown old in vain.”

Only a wise man that comprehends the Four Noble Truths and the Dhamma, who is harmless and virtuous, who restrains his senses and has rid himself of moral defilement’s is indeed called a thera.

Verses 262 and 263 Sambahulabhikkhu Vatthu

Neither by fine talk, nor by good looks could one be a good-hearted man, if he were envious, miserly and crafty.

A wise man who has cut off, uprooted and removed these and has rid himself of moral defilement’s is, indeed, called a good-hearted man.

Verses 264 and 265 Hatthaka Vatthu

Not by a shaven head does a man become a samana, if he lacks morality and austere practices, and tells lies. How could he who is full of covetousness and greed be a samana?

He, who has totally subdued all evil, great and small, is called a samana because he has overcome all evil.

Verses 266 and 267 Anatarabrahmana Vatthu

He does not become a bhikkhu merely because he stands at the door for alms. He cannot become a bhikkhu because he acts according to a faith, which is not in conformity with the Dhamma.

In this world, he who lays aside both good and evil, who leads the life of purity, and lives meditating on the khandha aggregates is, indeed, called a bhikkhu.

Verses 268 and 269 Titthiya Vatthu

Not by silence does one become a muni, if one is dull and ignorant. Like one holding a pair of scales, the wise takes what is good and rejects what is evil. For this reason he is a muni. He who understands both internal and external aggregates is also, for that reason, called a muni.

Verse 270 Balisika Vatthu

He who harms living beings is, for that reason, not an ariya (a Noble One); he who does not harm any living being is called an ariya.

Verses 271 and 272 Sambahulasiladisampannabhikkhu Vatthu

Not by mere moral practice, nor by much learning, nor by acquiring concentration, nor by dwelling in seclusion, nor by assuring oneself “I enjoy the bliss of Anagami Fruition that is not enjoyed by common worldlings (puthujjanas)” should the bhikkhu rest content without attaining the extinction of moral intoxicants (asavas) [i.e., without attaining arahatship].

Chapter 20
The Path (Maggavagga)

Verses 273, 274, 275 and 276 Pancasatabhikkhu Vatthu

Of paths, the Path of Eight Constituents is the noblest; of truths, the Four Noble Truths are the noblest; of the dhammas, the absence of craving (i.e., Nibbana) is the noblest; of the two-legged beings, the All-Seeing Buddha is the noblest.

This is the only noble Path, and there is none other for the purity of vision. Follow this Path; it will bewilder Mara. Following this Path, you will make an end of dukkha. Having myself known the Path, which can lead to the removal of the thorns of moral defilement’s, I have shown you the Path.

You yourself should make the effort; the Thatagatas (Buddhas) can only show the way. Those who practice the Tranquillity and Insight Meditation are freed from the bond of Mara.

Verses 277, 278 and 279 Aniccalakkhana, Dukkhalakkhana and Anattalakkhana Vatthu

“All conditioned phenomena are impermanent”; when one sees this with Insight-wisdom, one becomes weary of dukkha (i.e., the khandhas). This is the Path to Purity.

“All conditioned phenomena are dukkha”; when one sees this with Insight-wisdom, one becomes weary of dukkha (i.e., the khandhas). This is the Path to Purity.

“All phenomena (dhammas) are without self”; when one sees this with Insight-wisdom, one becomes weary of dukkha (i.e., the khandhas). This is the Path to Purity.

Verse 280 Padhanakammikatissatthera Vatthu

The idler who does not strive when he should be striving, who though young and strong is given to idleness, whose thoughts are weak and wandering, will not attain Magga Insight which can only be perceived by wisdom.

Verse 281 Sukarapeta Vatthu

One should be careful in speech, be well-restrained in mind, and physically, too, one should do no evil. One should purify these three courses of action and accomplish the practice of the Path of Eight Constituents made known by the Buddhas.

Verse 282 Potthilatthera Vatthu

Indeed, wisdom is born of meditation; without meditation wisdom is lost. Knowing this twofold path of gain and loss of wisdom, one should conduct oneself so that wisdom may increase.

Verses 283 and 284 Pancamahallakabhikkhu Vatthu

O Bhikkhus, cut down the forest of craving, not the real tree; the forest of craving breeds danger (of rebirth). Cut down the forest of craving as well as its undergrowth and be free from craving.

Verse 285 Suvannakaratthera Vatthu

Cut off your craving as one plucks an autumn lily with the hand. Nibbana has been expounded on by the Buddha; cultivate that Path which leads to it.

Verse 286 Mahadhanavanija Vatthu

“Here will I live in the rainy season; here will I live in the cold season and the hot season,” so imagines the fool, not realizing the danger (of approaching death).

Verse 287 Kisagotami Vatthu

The man who dotes on his children and his herds of cattle, whose mind longs for and is attached to sensual pleasures, is carried away by Death even as a sleeping village is swept away by a great flood.

Verses 288 and 289 Patacara Vatthu

Not sons, nor parents, nor close relatives can protect one assailed by Death; indeed, neither kith nor kin can give protection.

Knowing this, the wise man restrained by morality should quickly clear (the obstacles to) the Path leading to Nibbana.