Dhammapada: Wisdom of the Buddha — trans. Harischandra Kaviratna

The Woeful State — Canto XXII

306. The man who utters a falsehood goes to the woeful state (hell), as does he who having committed an act says, "I did not commit it." After death both these men of contemptible deeds become equal in the next world.

307. Many of those who wear the saffron robe are of evil character and unrestrained. These evildoers are born in hell by reason of their sinful deeds.

308. It is far better for an irreligious and unrestrained monk to swallow a flaming ball of red-hot iron than to feed on the alms of the people.

309. Four wretched conditions befall the heedless man who commits adultery: demerit, broken sleep, scorn as third, and birth in hell as fourth.

310. There is the acquirement of demerit as well as of rebirth in an evil state; even the fleeting pleasure of the man in the arms of the woman is accompanied by fear; and, moreover, the penalty inflicted by the Raja is heavy. Therefore, a man should not commit adultery.

311. Just as a blade of kusa grass when wrongly handled cuts the hand, so does asceticism when wrongly practiced drag one to the woeful state.

312. Any act performed halfheartedly, any religious rite observed improperly, or continence reluctantly practiced none of these produces great fruit.

313. If anything ought to be done, let a man perform that deed with all his might; an ascetic who is lax scatters more and more dust (of passion).

314. An evil act is better left undone, for that evil deed causes torment afterwards. It is better to perform a good deed; by performing it one does not repent later.

315. As a frontier city, well-guarded within and without, so guard yourself. Do not lose a single moment, for those who let opportunity slip away do indeed grieve when they are born in the woeful state (hell).

316. Those who are ashamed of what they ought not to be ashamed of, and are not ashamed of what they ought to be, such men, embracing erroneous views, enter the woeful path.

317. Those who are fearful when there is no cause for fear, and feel no fear when they should, such men, embracing erroneous views, enter the woeful path.

318. Those who imagine error where there is none, and do not see it where it does exist, such men, embracing false views, enter the woeful path.

319. Those who discern error as error and truth as truth, such men, embracing right views, enter the path of bliss.

Theosophical University Press Online Edition