Dhammapada: Wisdom of the Buddha — trans. Harischandra Kaviratna

The Righteous — Canto XIX

256. He who arbitrates a case by force does not thereby become just (established in Dhamma). But the wise man is he who carefully discriminates between right and wrong.

257. He who leads others by nonviolence, righteously and equitably, is indeed a guardian of justice, wise and righteous.

258. One is not wise merely because he talks much. But he who is calm, free from hatred and fear, is verily called a wise man.

259. One is not a supporter of Dhamma merely because he talks much. But he who hears only a little of the Law, yet perceives its essence by diligent exertion, and does not neglect it, is indeed a true supporter of Dhamma.

260. One does not become an elder by reason of his hair being grey. Of course, he may be ripe in age, but he is a person "grown old in vain."

261. He in whom there dwell truth, virtue, nonviolence, self-restraint and moderation, such a wise monk who has cast away all impurities is indeed called an elder (thera).

262. Not by mere ornate speech, nor by a beautiful complexion, does a man who is jealous, selfish and crafty become worthy of respect.

263. But he in whom these evils are completely uprooted and extinguished, who has given up hatred and is wise — indeed he is called worthy of respect.

264. Not by tonsure does one who is undisciplined and utters lies become a monk. How can he who is overcome by desire and greed become a monk?

265. But he who constantly stills his evil tendencies, small or great, is called a true monk (samana), because he has quieted all these evils.

266. He is not a religious mendicant because he begs alms from others. He does not become a bhikkhu merely by outward observances of the Law.

267. But he who has transcended both merit and demerit, who leads a life of purity and lives in this world in full realization of the Truth, he indeed is called a bhikkhu.

268, 269. By quietude alone one does not become a sage (muni) if he is foolish and ignorant. But he who, as if holding a pair of scales, takes the good and shuns the evil, is a wise man; he is indeed a muni by that very reason. He who understands both good and evil as they really are, is called a true sage.

270. He who injures living beings is not an Ariya (noble). By nonviolence towards all living beings one becomes an Ariya.

271, 272. Not merely by the practice of morality and self-discipline nor by great learning, not even by samadhi (profound spiritual contemplation) or by a life of seclusion, do I reach the bliss of freedom which is not attainable by the ordinary mortal. O bhikkhu, rest not content until you have attained the extinction of all desires.

Theosophical University Press Online Edition