Pali Translations

Like a Pillar

Ye suppayuttā manasā daḷhena, nikkāmino gotamasāsanamhi.
Te pattipattā amataṃ vigayha, laddhā mudhā nibbutiṃ bhuñjamānā.
Idampi saṅghe ratanaṃ paṇītaṃ, etena saccena suvatthi hotu.

Yathindakhīlo pathavissito var siyā, catubbhi vātehi asampakampiyo.
Tathūpamaṃ sappurisaṃ vadāmi, yo ariyasaccāni avecca passati.
Idampi saṅghe ratanaṃ paṇītaṃ, etena saccena suvatthi hotu.

Ye ariyasaccāni vibhāvayanti, gambhīrapaññena sudesitāni.
Kiñcāpi te honti bhusaṃ pamattā, na te bhavaṃ aṭṭhamamādiyanti.
Idampi saṅghe ratanaṃ paṇītaṃ, etena saccena suvatthi hotu.

Those who apply themselves with firm, non-craving mind, to Gotama’s teachings
They plunge into the deathless, enjoying the freedom of liberation.
This is the priceless gem of the Sangha; hail to this truth!

Just like a pillar at the city gate, planted alongside the roadway
Unshaken by the four winds:
I say a wise one is like that, one who knows the Noble Truths with certainty.
This is the priceless gem of the Sangha; hail to this truth!

Those who to dwell in the Noble Truths, that well-expounded, profound wisdom,
Though they may often be heedless, will not be reborn an eighth time.
This is the priceless gem of the Sangha; hail to this truth!

Ratana Sutta (KN 1.6)

To See the Buddha

“yojanasate cepi so, bhikkhave, bhikkhu vihareyya. so ca hoti anabhijjhālu kāmesu na tibbasārāgo abyāpannacitto apaduṭṭhamanasaṅkappo upaṭṭhitassati sampajāno samāhito ekaggacitto saṃvutindriyo; atha kho so santikeva mayhaṃ, ahañca tassa. taṃ kissa hetu? dhammaṃ hi so, bhikkhave, bhikkhu passati; dhammaṃ passanto maṃ passatī”ti. etamatthaṃ bhagavā avoca. tatthetaṃ iti vuccati —
“anubandhopi ce assa, mahiccho ca vighātavā.
ejānugo anejassa, nibbutassa anibbuto.
giddho so vītagedhassa, passa yāvañca ārakā.
“yo ca dhammamabhiññāya, dhammamaññāya paṇḍito.
rahadova nivāte ca, anejo vūpasammati.
“anejo so anejassa, nibbutassa ca nibbuto.
agiddho vītagedhassa, passa yāvañca santike”ti.

Even if a bhikkhus lives seven hundred miles away, if he is not greedy for physical pleasure, if his mind has not sunken into strong infatuations,  if he does not grow angry or foster evil intentions, but has developed mindfulness, is thoughtful, composed, has a tranquil heart and controlled senses – that one is close to me, right next to me.  And why is this? Because that bhikkhu sees the Dhamma. One who sees the Dhamma sees me.

One who is in bondage is greedy and distressed.
How far away is the one plagued by craving from the one freed from craving;
The liberated one from the one still burning,
The greedy one from the one freed from greed!
But the wise one who understands the Dhamma, who ponders the Dhamma,
The one free of lust is tranquil, like a lake sheltered from the wind.
How near is the desireless to the one freed from craving,
The liberated one to the liberated,
The greedless one to the one freed from greed!

Saṅghāṭikaṇṇa Suttaṃ (KN 4.92)

Like Your Head Is On Fire

Evaṃ me sutaṃ — ekaṃ samayaṃ bhagavā rājagahe viharati veḷuvane kalandakanivāpe. Tatra kho bhagavā bhikkhū āmantesi — “bhikkhavo”ti. “bhadante”ti te bhikkhū bhagavato paccassosuṃ. Bhagavā etadavoca —

“Appamidaṃ, bhikkhave, manussānaṃ āyu. Gamanīyo samparāyo, kattabbaṃ kusalaṃ, caritabbaṃ brahmacariyaṃ. Natthi jātassa amaraṇaṃ. Yo, bhikkhave, ciraṃ jīvati, so vassasataṃ appaṃ vā bhiyyo”ti.

Atha kho māro pāpimā yena bhagavā tenupasaṅkami; upasaṅkamitvā bhagavantaṃ gāthāya ajjhabhāsi —

“Dīghamāyu manussānaṃ, na naṃ hīḷe suporiso.
Careyya khīramattova, natthi maccussa āgamo”ti.

“Appamāyu manussānaṃ, hīḷeyya naṃ suporiso.
Careyyādittasīsova, natthi maccussa nāgamo”ti.

Atha kho māro … Pe … Tatthevantaradhāyīti.

I have heard this: one time the Blessed One was living at Rajagaha, in Veluvana, where they feed the squirrels. There the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus: “Bhikkhus!”

“Yes, Bhanante,” they replied. Then the Blessed One said this:

“Bhikkhus, a human life is very short. One moves on to future states, so one should do what is virtuous, and live a life of goodness. Nothing that is born avoids death.  The longer one has lived, the fewer years one has left.”

Then Mara the Sinner approached the Blessed One; having come near to the Blessed One he said this:

“Long is human life; a wise one doesn’t scorn it.
Live complacently as a suckling baby,
As if death isn’t drawing near.”

[The Blessed One replied]
“Short is human life; a wise one scorns it.
Practice like your head is on fire,
Not as if death isn’t drawing near.”

Then Mara the Sinner, thinking “The Blessed One has recognized me; the Well-Come One has recognized me,” sad and dejected, disappeared on the spot.

Paṭhamāayu Sutta, SN 4.9

A Sea of Troubles

“Yaṃ pubbe taṃ visosehi, pacchā te māhu kiñcanaṃ.
Majjhe ce no gahessasi, upasanto carissasi.

“Sabbaso nāmarūpasmiṃ, yassa natthi mamāyitaṃ.
Asatā ca na socati, sa ve loke na jīyati.

“Yassa natthi idaṃ meti, paresaṃ vāpi kiñcanaṃ.
Mamattaṃ so asaṃvindaṃ, natthi meti na socati.”

 

What has passed, let it wither
What comes after, treat it as trifling
If you don’t get lost in what’s in the middle
You will live and move in peace.

One who does not see as “mine”
Anything having name and form,
Doesn’t taste grief
Is not of the decaying world

Whoever doesn’t think, “this is mine”
Has passed over a sea of troubles
One who knows nothing of my-making
Is not grieved by having nothing.

Sn 4.25. 955-957

The Unafflicted Heart

“Evametaṃ, gahapati, evametaṃ, gahapati! Āturo hāyaṃ, gahapati, kāyo aṇḍabhūto pariyonaddho. Yo hi, gahapati, imaṃ kāyaṃ pariharanto muhuttampi ārogyaṃ paṭijāneyya, kimaññatra bālyā? Tasmātiha te, gahapati, evaṃ sikkhitabbaṃ — ‘āturakāyassa me sato cittaṃ anāturaṃ bhavissatī’ti. Evañhi te, gahapati, sikkhitabban”ti…

“Kathañca, gahapati, āturakāyo hi kho hoti no ca āturacitto? Idha, gahapati, sutavā ariyasāvako ariyānaṃ dassāvī ariyadhammassa kovido ariyadhamme suvinīto sappurisānaṃ dassāvī sappurisadhammassa kovido sappurisadhamme suvinīto na rūpaṃ attato samanupassati, na rūpavantaṃ vā attānaṃ; na attani vā rūpaṃ, na rūpasmiṃ vā attānaṃ. ‘ahaṃ rūpaṃ, mama rūpan’ti na pariyuṭṭhaṭṭhāyī hoti. Tassa ‘ahaṃ rūpaṃ, mama rūpan’ti apariyuṭṭhaṭṭhāyino, taṃ rūpaṃ vipariṇamati aññathā hoti. Tassa rūpavipariṇāmaññathābhāvā nuppajjanti sokaparidevadukkhadomanassupāyāsā.”

[Buddha:]

So it is, Gahapati, so it is! I’d say your body has become overwhelmed by disease. Who, carrying around a body like that, would think for a second that it was healthy, other than out of foolishness? Therefore, Gahapati, you should practice this way: “Though afflicted in body, mindful, my heart will dwell unafflicted.”  That’s the way you should train yourself, Gahapati…

[Sariputta:]

How, Gahapati, can one be afflicted in body but unafflicted in heart? It happens when  a learned disciple of the noble ones, one with noble vision, practicing the noble Dhamma, well versed in the teachings of the noble ones,  a well-trained righteous one, one with the vision of the righteous, practicing the Dhamma of the righteous, well versed in the teachings of the righteous, does not perceive the body as the self, does not see the self has having bodily form, does not locate the self in the body, does not locate the self in bodily form.  [The thought]“This is my body, I have a body” does not arise.  Because “This is my body, I have a body” does not arise, when that body changes for the worse, the fact that it is changing for the worse does not cause grief, sobbing, suffering, sadness, and despair.

Nakulapitu Sutta, SN 22.1

To Drive Out Hatred

“Pañcime, bhikkhave, āghātapaṭivinayā yattha bhikkhuno uppanno āghāto sabbaso paṭivinetabbo. Katame pañca? Yasmiṃ, bhikkhave, puggale āghāto jāyetha, mettā tasmiṃ puggale bhāvetabbā; evaṃ tasmiṃ puggale āghāto paṭivinetabbo. Yasmiṃ, bhikkhave, puggale āghāto jāyetha, karuṇā tasmiṃ puggale bhāvetabbā; evaṃ tasmiṃ puggale āghāto paṭivinetabbo. Yasmiṃ, bhikkhave, puggale āghāto jāyetha, upekkhā tasmiṃ puggale bhāvetabbā; evaṃ tasmiṃ puggale āghāto paṭivinetabbo. Yasmiṃ, bhikkhave, puggale āghāto jāyetha, asatiamanasikāro tasmiṃ puggale āpajjitabbo; evaṃ tasmiṃ puggale āghāto paṭivinetabbo. Yasmiṃ, bhikkhave, puggale āghāto jāyetha, kammassakatā tasmiṃ puggale adhiṭṭhātabbā — ‘kammassako ayamāyasmā kammadāyādo kammayoni kammabandhu kammappaṭisaraṇo, yaṃ kammaṃ karissati kalyāṇaṃ vā pāpakaṃ vā tassa dāyādo bhavissatī’ti; evaṃ tasmiṃ puggale āghāto paṭivinetabbo. Ime kho, bhikkhave, pañca āghātapaṭivinayā, yattha bhikkhuno uppanno āghāto sabbaso paṭivinetabbo”ti.

Bhikkhus, there are five ways of driving out hatred which will drive out any hatred that arises in a bhikkhu. What are the five?

When hatred arises towards a person, one should cultivate lovingkindness toward that person.  In that way one drives out hatred for that person.

When hatred arises towards a person, one should cultivate compassion toward that person.  In that way one drives out hatred for that person.

When hatred arises towards a person, one should cultivate equanimity toward that person.  In that way one drives out hatred for that person.

When hatred arises towards a person, one should pay no mind to that person.  In that way one drives out hatred for that person.

When hatred arises towards a person, one should consider the person’s actions this way: “That person’s bad actions belong to him;  he will inherit the fruits of his actions; his actions are the womb from which he is born;  his actions are his kin; his actions are his shelter;  whatever actions he performs, for good or for evil,  that’s what he’ll inherit.” In that way one drives out hatred for that person.

Indeed, bhikkhus, those are the five ways of driving out hatred which will drive out any hatred that arises in a bhikkhu.

Paṭhamāaghātapaṭivinaya Sutta, AN 5.161

Good and Bad Equanimity

“Upekkhaṃpāhaṃ, devānaminda, duvidhena vadāmi sevitabbampi, asevitabbampīti iti kho panetaṃ vuttaṃ, kiñcetaṃ paṭicca vuttaṃ? Tattha yaṃ jaññā upekkhaṃ ‘Imaṃ kho me upekkhaṃ sevato akusalā dhammā abhivaḍḍhanti, kusalā dhammā parihāyantī’ti, evarūpā upekkhā na sevitabbā. Tattha yaṃ jaññā upekkhaṃ ‘Imaṃ kho me upekkhaṃ sevato akusalā dhammā parihāyanti, kusalā dhammā abhivaḍḍhantī’ti, evarūpā upekkhā sevitabbā. Tattha yaṃ ce savitakkaṃ savicāraṃ, yaṃ ce avitakkaṃ avicāraṃ, ye avitakke avicāre, te paṇītatare. Upekkhaṃpāhaṃ, devānaminda, duvidhena vadāmi sevitabbampi, asevitabbampīti iti yaṃ taṃ vuttaṃ, idametaṃ paṭicca vuttaṃ.

Lord of the devas, it is said that there are two kinds of equanimity – one to be practiced, and one not to be practiced, but why is this said? When one knows of equanimity, “When I practice equanimity in this way, unskillful mind states increase and skillful mind states decrease,” that kind of equanimity is not to be practiced. When one knows of equanimity, “When I practice equanimity in this way, unskillful mind states decrease and skillful mind states increase,” that kind of equanimity is to be practiced.  And this may be accompanied by reasoning and investigation, or free of reasoning and investigation;  when free of reasoning and investigation,  you cross over into the most excellent.  Thus it is said, Lord of the devas, that there are two kinds of equanimity – one to be practiced, and one not to be practiced, and this is why it is said.

Sakkapañha Sutta, DN 21.5

pali canon

Fractal Dhamma

In the Satipatthana Sutta, one of the Four Foundations of Mindfulness is “dhammesu dhammānupassī” or “contemplation of dhammas in dhammas.” And one of the ways one does that is through contemplation of the Seven Factors of Awakening, on of which is “dhammavicaya” — the investigation of dhammas! Feeling a little fractal?

“Santaṃ vā ajjhattaṃ dhammavicayasambojjhaṅgaṃ ‘atthi me ajjhattaṃ dhammavicayasambojjhaṅgo’ti pajānāti, asantaṃ vā ajjhattaṃ dhammavicayasambojjhaṅgaṃ ‘natthi me ajjhattaṃ dhammavicayasambojjhaṅgo’ti pajānāti, yathā ca anuppannassa dhammavicayasambojjhaṅgassa uppādo hoti tañca pajānāti, yathā ca uppannassa dhammavicayasambojjhaṅgassa bhāvanāya pāripūrī hoti tañca pajānāti.”

When one inwardly investigates dhammas, one clearly knows, “I am inwardly investigating dhammas,” or when one does not inwardly investigate dhammas, one clearly knows, “I am not inwardly investigating dhammas.” And one clearly knows the arising of unarisen investigation of dhammas, and clearly knows the existence and passing away of dhamma investigation that has arisen.
Mahāsatipaṭṭhānasuttaṃ, Dhammānupassanā Bojjhaṅgapabbaṃ (DN 22.13)

Don’t Confuse Your Dhammas

Ananda explains to Sariputta how to hear new Dhamma, and how not to get Dhammas mixed up:

Āyasmā ānando etadavoca —

“Idhāvuso sāriputta, bhikkhu dhammaṃ pariyāpuṇāti — suttaṃ geyyaṃ veyyākaraṇaṃ gāthaṃ udānaṃ itivuttakaṃ jātakaṃ abbhutadhammaṃ vedallaṃ. So yathāsutaṃ yathāpariyattaṃ dhammaṃ vitthārena paresaṃ deseti, yathāsutaṃ yathāpariyattaṃ dhammaṃ vitthārena paresaṃ vāceti, yathāsutaṃ yathāpariyattaṃ dhammaṃ vitthārena sajjhāyaṃ karoti, yathāsutaṃ yathāpariyattaṃ dhammaṃ cetasā anuvitakketi anuvicāreti manasānupekkhati. Yasmiṃ āvāse therā bhikkhū viharanti bahussutā āgatāgamā dhammadharā vinayadharā mātikādharā tasmiṃ āvāse vassaṃ upeti. Te kālena kālaṃ upasaṅkamitvā paripucchati paripañhati — ‘Idaṃ, bhante, kathaṃ; imassa kvattho’ti? Te tassa āyasmato avivaṭañceva vivaranti, anuttānīkatañca uttānīkaronti, anekavihitesu ca kaṅkhāṭhāniyesu dhammesu kaṅkhaṃ paṭivinodenti. Ettāvatā kho, āvuso sāriputta, bhikkhu assutañceva dhammaṃ suṇāti, sutā cassa dhammā na sammosaṃ gacchanti, ye cassa dhammā pubbe cetasā samphuṭṭhapubbā te ca samudācaranti, aviññātañca vijānātī”ti.

This is what Ananda said: “Sariputta, there’s the case in which a bhikkhu masters the Dhamma – suttas,  mixed prose and verse, commentaries, verses, exclamations,  discourses, birth stories, miracle stories,  question-and-answer dialogues.  Regarding what is heard and what is known, the bhikkhu explains the Dhamma in great detail; regarding what is heard and what is known, the bhikkhu recites the Dhamma in great detail; regarding what is heard and what is known, the bhikkhu  thoroughly studies the Dhamma, regarding what is heard and  what is known, the bhikkhus  aims to reflect on, and think about the Dhamma, and consider it carefully.  He spend the rains retreats wherever senior bhikkhus dwell, learned knowers of the suttas,  experts in the Dhamma, the Vinaya and the Patimokkha. When you approach this bhikkhus at an appropriate time and ask:  ‘What is the reason for this, Bhante, why is it like that?’ that venerable one makes it clear, reveals the truth, explains deeply; faced with various reasons and causes for doubting  the Dhamma, he dispels doubt.  In such a case, friend Sariputta, a bhikkhu can hear Dhamma he has not heard before, and not get confused by Dhammas, and remember the Dhamma he has touched in the past, and understand what he has not known before.”

Ananda Sutta, AN 6.51

Dew-drop Alarm

Some of the Pali in this verse from the Cariyāpiṭaka is pretty obscure, being beyond the reach of any of my English translation tools. So I turned to some Pali-Burmese resources (which are far more extensive than the ones available in English), and then used Google Translate to render the Burmese into English. Phew!

“Yadāhaṃ amitayaso, rājaputto yudhañjayo.
Ussāvabinduṃ sūriyātape, patitaṃ disvāna saṃvijiṃ.

“taññevādhipatiṃ katvā, saṃvegamanubrūhayiṃ.
Mātāpitū ca vanditvā, pabbajjamanuyācahaṃ…

“Mātāpitā na me dessā, napi me dessaṃ mahāyasaṃ.
Sabbaññutaṃ piyaṃ mayhaṃ, tasmā rajjaṃ pariccajin”ti.

 

When I was the world-renowned Prince Yudhañjayo,
I grew alarmed as I watched a dewdrop vanish in the heat of the sun.

Taking it as a portent of death, my anxiousness for wisdom grew.
Having paid homage to my mother and father, I asked them for permission to go forth as a sage…

It’s not that I disliked my parents; nor did I dislike having great fame,
But I wanted to be all-knowing, so I left the throne behind.

Yudhañjayacariyā, Cariyāpiṭaka 3.1