Dhammapada: Wisdom of the Buddha — trans. Harischandra Kaviratna

Anger — Canto XVII

221. Let a man abandon anger, let him renounce pride and let him get beyond all worldly fetters. No suffering befalls him who is passionless and clings neither to mind nor to form (nama-rupa).

222. He who controls his rising anger as a skilled driver curbs a rolling chariot, him I call a true charioteer. Others merely hold the reins.

223. Let a man conquer anger by love, let him subdue evil by good; let him overcome the greedy by liberality and the liar by truth.

224. One should always speak the truth, not yield to anger, and give, even though it be little, to the person who begs. By these three virtues, a man is able to come into the presence of the devas.

225. Those sages who observe nonviolence, who are ever controlled in body, attain the changeless state (nirvana) where, having gone, they suffer no more.

226. The influxes of passion disappear in those who are ever vigilant, who are absorbed day and night in spiritual studies, and who are bent on realization of nirvana.

227. This is an old saying, O Atula, not one merely of today: "They blame him who remains silent, they blame him who speaks much, they even blame him who speaks in moderation." There is none in this world who is not blamed.

228. There never existed, nor will there ever exist, nor does there exist today anyone who is always scorned or always praised.

229, 230. If wise men, after due observation day after day, praise one who is flawless in character, highly intelligent and endowed with religious insight and virtue, who is like unto a coin made of the purest gold from the jambu river — who would dare censure such a man? Even the devas praise him; he is praised even by Brahma.

231. One should guard against the agitations of the body; he should be restrained in body. Having abandoned the bodily sins (1 ), he should cultivate good conduct in body.

232. One should guard against the agitations of speech; he should be restrained in speech. Having abandoned the verbal sins (2), he should cultivate good conduct in speech.

233. One should guard against the agitations of mind; he should be restrained of mind. Having abandoned the mental sins (3), he should cultivate good conduct in mind.

234. The wise who are controlled in body, who likewise are controlled in speech, those wise men who are controlled in mind, are indeed well controlled.


1. Bodily sins are threefold: 1) killing; 2) stealing; 3) adultery. (return to text)

2. Verbal sins are fourfold: 1) falsehood; 2) slander; 3) obscene speech; 4) idle gossip. (return to text)

3. Mental sins are: 1 ) covetousness; 2) malevolence; 3) false views. (return to text)

Theosophical University Press Online Edition