Dhammapada: Wisdom of the Buddha — trans. Harischandra Kaviratna

The Rod of Punishment — Canto X

129. All tremble before the rod of punishment; all fear death; likening others to oneself, one should neither slay nor cause to slay.

130. All tremble before the rod of punishment; for all life is dear; likening others to oneself, one should neither slay nor cause to slay.

131. He who, desirous of happiness for himself, torments with a rod others who are likewise seeking enjoyment, shall not obtain happiness in the hereafter.

132. He who, desirous of happiness for himself, does not torment others who likewise long for happiness, shall obtain happiness in the hereafter.

133. Do not speak harshly to anyone; those thus spoken to will retaliate in kind; discordant indeed will be the response, and soon retribution will overtake you.

134. If you can make yourself as silent as a shattered bronze gong, then you have attained to the peace of nirvana, for now there is no discord in you.

135. As a cowherd with his rod drives cattle to the pasture, so do old age and death drive the lives of sentient beings.

136. When a person ignorant (of the Dhamma) commits evil deeds, he does not realize their nature. The stupid man burns (suffers) through these deeds as if consumed by fire.

137. He who inflicts punishment upon those who do not deserve it, and hurts those who are harmless, such a person will soon come to face one of these ten states:

138,139,140. He may soon come to terrible pain, great deprivations, physical injury, deep-rooted ailment or mental disorder, the wrath of the monarch or a dreadful accusation, loss of relatives, the complete destruction of wealth, or a sudden fire may break out and burn his houses. After the dissolution of his physical body, he will surely be born in hell.

141. Neither nakedness, nor matted locks; neither applying mud (all over the body), nor fasting, nor lying on the bare earth; neither besmearing oneself with soot, nor squatting on one's heels, can purify a man who has not got rid of his doubts.

142. Even though a person be dressed in fine clothes, if he develops tranquillity, is quiet, self-disciplined, resolute and practices celibacy, and abstains from injuring all other beings, he is indeed a Brahman, an ascetic and a monk.

143. Is there any man in this world so self-restrained through modesty that he avoids censure as a self-respecting horse avoids the whip?

144. As a well-trained horse when touched by the whip, even so be you strenuous and eager. By devotion, virtue, effort, concentration, and by the critical investigation of truth (dhamma) may you abandon this great suffering (of samsara), perfect in wisdom, conduct and awareness.

145. Irrigators conduct water wherever they wish; fletchers shape the shafts; carpenters work the wood, and wise men discipline themselves.

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