Dhammapada: Wisdom of the Buddha — trans. Harischandra Kaviratna

Impurity — Canto XVIII

235. You are now like a withered leaf; even the messengers of Yama (death) have drawn near you. You stand at the threshold of departure, with no provision for your journey.

236. Make of yourself a light; strive hard, without delay, and be wise; purged of moral impurities and being thus stainless, you will then enter the celestial realm of the Noble Ones.

237. Your life has now come to a close; you have come into the presence of death. There is no halting-place for you on the way, and no provision have you made for your journey.

238. Make of yourself a light; strive hard, without delay, and be wise; purged of moral impurities and being thus stainless, you will not then come again into birth and old age.

239. Little by little, ever and anon, the wise man should remove his moral impurities as a smith blows away the dross of silver.

240. As rust arising from iron straightway corrodes the very iron from which it arose, even so the evil deeds of the transgressor lead him to the state of woe.

241. Non-recitation is the rust of the scriptures; non-exertion is the rust of households; sloth is the rust of beauty; negligence is the rust of a watchman.

242. An unchaste life is the blemish of woman; niggardliness is the taint of a benefactor; impurities are indeed evils in this world and in the next.

243. But there is an impurity greater than all impurities — this is ignorance. Rid yourselves of this greatest impurity, O monks, be you free from all impurities.

244. Life is easy for him who is shameless, impudent as a crow-hero (rascal) and a slanderer, a braggart, arrogant and impure in living.

245. But life is difficult for him who is unassuming, constantly seeking that which is pure, disinterested in worldly things, not boastful, who lives in purity and is endowed with insight.

246, 247. He who destroys life here, who utters untruth, who takes what is not given to him, who goes to the wife of another, who indulges in intoxicating liquors, such a man, while in this world, destroys the root of his being.

248. Know this, O man, evil-natured ones are unrestrained; let not greed and wrongdoing lead you to untold misery for a long time.

249. People give alms according to their faith and inclination. But he who frets about the drink and food given to others does not attain peace of mind by day or by night.

250. He in whom that feeling is totally uprooted and destroyed, that person attains peace of mind by day and by night.

251. There is no fire like passion; there is no stranglehold like hatred; there is no snare like delusion; there is no torrent like craving.

252. The faults of others are easily seen, but one's own faults are perceived with difficulty. One winnows the faults of others like chaff, but conceals his own faults as a fowler covers his body with twigs and leaves.

253. If a man sees only the faults of others, and is ever taking offense, his appetite for sense pleasures increases and he is far from the eradication of his desires.

254. There is no footprint in the sky (akasa); there is no ascetic outwardly. Mankind delights in the illusory world; the Tathagatas (Buddhas) find no delight therein.

255. There is no footprint in the sky; there is no ascetic outwardly; no composite things are eternal; there is no instability in the Buddhas.

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