Dhammapada: Wisdom of the Buddha — trans. Harischandra Kaviratna

The Mind — Canto III

33. The discerning man straightens his mind, which is fickle and unsteady, difficult to guard and restrain, as the skilled fletcher straightens the shaft (of the arrow).

34. As the fish, taken out of its watery home and thrown on land, thrashes around, so does the mind tremble, while freeing itself from the dominion of Mara (the Evil One).

35. The mind is unstable and flighty. It wanders wherever it desires. Therefore it is good to control the mind. A disciplined mind brings happiness.

36. The mind is incomprehensible and exceedingly subtle. It wanders wherever it desires. Therefore, let the wise aspirant watch over the mind. A well-guarded mind brings happiness.

37. Those who control the mind which wanders afar, solitary, incorporeal, and which resides in the inner cavern (of the heart), will liberate themselves from the shackles of Mara.

38. He whose mind is not steady, who is ignorant of the true Dhamma, whose tranquillity is ruffled, the wisdom of such a man does not come to fullness.

39. Fear has he none, whose mind is not defiled by passion, whose heart is devoid of hatred, who has surpassed (the dichotomy of) good and evil and who is vigilant.

40. Knowing the corporeal body to be fragile, as an earthen jar, and fortifying the mind like a citadel, let the wise man fight Mara with the sword of wisdom. He should now protect what he has won, without attachment.

41. Alas! ere long, this corporeal body will lie flat upon the earth, unheeded, devoid of consciousness, like a useless log of wood.

42. An ill-directed mind does greater harm to the self than a hater does to another hater or an enemy to another enemy.

43. Neither father nor mother, nor any other kindred, can confer greater benefit than does the well-directed mind.

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