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The Dhammapada - Chapter 12 - The Self - v157 - 166

buddhafootbuddhafoot Veteran
edited May 2006 in Philosophy
The Self
Translated from the Pali by
Acharya Buddharakkhita
Alternate translation: Buddharakkhita Thanissaro


157. If one holds oneself dear, one should diligently watch oneself. Let the wise man keep vigil during any of the three watches of the night.

158. One should first establish oneself in what is proper; then only should one instruct others. Thus the wise man will not be reproached.

159. One should do what one teaches others to do; if one would train others, one should be well controlled oneself. Difficult, indeed, is self-control.

160. One truly is the protector of oneself; who else could the protector be? With oneself fully controlled, one gains a mastery that is hard to gain.

161. The evil a witless man does by himself, born of himself and produced by himself, grinds him as a diamond grinds a hard gem.

162. Just as a single creeper strangles the tree on which it grows, even so, a man who is exceedingly depraved harms himself as only an enemy might wish.

163. Easy to do are things that are bad and harmful to oneself. But exceedingly difficult to do are things that are good and beneficial.

164. Whoever, on account of perverted views, scorns the Teaching of the Perfected Ones, the Noble and Righteous Ones — that fool, like the bamboo, produces fruits only for self destruction. 14

165. By oneself is evil done; by oneself is one defiled. By oneself is evil left undone; by oneself is one made pure. Purity and impurity depended on oneself; no one can purify another.

166. Let one not neglect one's own welfare for the sake of another, however great. Clearly understanding one's own welfare, let one be intent upon the good.


-bf

Comments

  • buddhafootbuddhafoot Veteran
    edited May 2006
    I still haven't figured out what the "three watches of the night" are. I've heard that the "three stages of the night" can be an analogy to the "three stages of life".

    Does anyone know for sure what the "three watches of the night" are?

    -bf
  • not1not2not1not2 Veteran
    edited May 2006
    not sure, but I do like this one:
    163. Easy to do are things that are bad and harmful to oneself. But exceedingly difficult to do are things that are good and beneficial.

    It's nice to see that the buddha pointed how difficult this is to do. We have a tendency to be very hard on ourselves when we fail.

    _/\_
    metta
  • BrigidBrigid Veteran
    edited May 2006
    166. Let one not neglect one's own welfare for the sake of another, however great. Clearly understanding one's own welfare, let one be intent upon the good.

    Aha! So this is where it's from. I remember when I first read this quotation. It was just this line, translated a little differently, without a reference to the sutra it came from. I puzzled over this one for a long time and it gave me all sorts of insights I'd never had before, coming from a Christian background where my God sacrificed himself for the sake of all sinners and the saints sacrificed themselves all the time. To me, Christianity was all about sacrificing oneself for others. So when I first read this quotation, understanding the wisdom of it took a while but when it finally sunk in I felt like I'd really grown up. I think about this one at least 4 or 5 times a week, applying it to different situations in my head, some real, some hypothesized. IMO this is one of the places where Buddhism and Christianity really differ. Although I'm sure a Jesuit could talk me out of that. Hell, even my dad could, I suppose. My father's Catholicism is a much more flexible, fluid and forgiving Catholicism compared to some.
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited May 2006
    buddhafoot wrote:
    I still haven't figured out what the "three watches of the night" are. I've heard that the "three stages of the night" can be an analogy to the "three stages of life".

    Does anyone know for sure what the "three watches of the night" are?

    -bf

    BF...Everyone...After much exhaustive, diligent and intensely focussed research, this is all I could find....


    "The three watches or periods of the night.

    During the first watch of the night, when his mind was calm, clear and purified, light arose in him, knowledge and insight arose. He saw his previous lives, at first one, then two, three up to five, then multiples of them .. . ten, twenty, thirty to fifty. Then 100, 1000 and so on.... As he went on with his practice, during the second watch of the night, he saw how beings die and are reborn, depending on their Karma, how they disappear and reappear from one form to another, from one plane of existence to another. Then during the final watch of the night, he saw the arising and cessation of all phenomena, mental and physical. He saw how things arose dependent on causes and conditions. This led him to perceive the arising and cessation of suffering and all forms of unsatisfactoriness paving the way for the eradication of all taints of cravings. With the complete cessation of craving, his mind was completely liberated. He attained to Full Enlightenment. The realisation dawned in him together with all psychic powers. "

    from here ........


    Phew....I need a sit down, fanning with a copy of Cosmopolitan, and a good hot cup of tea....

    Do I get extra points....?
  • buddhafootbuddhafoot Veteran
    edited May 2006
    Brigid wrote:
    Aha! So this is where it's from. I remember when I first read this quotation. It was just this line, translated a little differently, without a reference to the sutra it came from. I puzzled over this one for a long time and it gave me all sorts of insights I'd never had before, coming from a Christian background where my God sacrificed himself for the sake of all sinners and the saints sacrificed themselves all the time. To me, Christianity was all about sacrificing oneself for others. So when I first read this quotation, understanding the wisdom of it took a while but when it finally sunk in I felt like I'd really grown up. I think about this one at least 4 or 5 times a week, applying it to different situations in my head, some real, some hypothesized. IMO this is one of the places where Buddhism and Christianity really differ. Although I'm sure a Jesuit could talk me out of that. Hell, even my dad could, I suppose. My father's Catholicism is a much more flexible, fluid and forgiving Catholicism compared to some.

    Brigid,

    I believe Christianity has also taught "Charity begins at home". Which!, could mean a number of things, but I also assumed it meant being wise enough to take care of one's self and their family before running off and giving the farm to everyone else and leaving yourself and your family destitute.

    I could be wrong though.

    -bf
  • buddhafootbuddhafoot Veteran
    edited May 2006
    That was good Freddie. I stumbled across that too.

    In other religions, I found that the "three watches of the night" referred to the three stages of a man's life. Childhood, adulthood, old age.

    Yes, you get one extra point. That brings your total up to ... <click> ... <whirrrr> ... processing...

    1.

    -bf
  • not1not2not1not2 Veteran
    edited May 2006
    Brigid wrote:
    Aha! So this is where it's from. I remember when I first read this quotation. It was just this line, translated a little differently, without a reference to the sutra it came from. I puzzled over this one for a long time and it gave me all sorts of insights I'd never had before, coming from a Christian background where my God sacrificed himself for the sake of all sinners and the saints sacrificed themselves all the time. To me, Christianity was all about sacrificing oneself for others. So when I first read this quotation, understanding the wisdom of it took a while but when it finally sunk in I felt like I'd really grown up. I think about this one at least 4 or 5 times a week, applying it to different situations in my head, some real, some hypothesized. IMO this is one of the places where Buddhism and Christianity really differ. Although I'm sure a Jesuit could talk me out of that. Hell, even my dad could, I suppose. My father's Catholicism is a much more flexible, fluid and forgiving Catholicism compared to some.

    I don't think the difference is quite as large here as the passage implies. From a discussion over at E-Sangha:

    http://www.lioncity.net/buddhism/index.php?showtopic=30068
    Chavalata Sutta
    Trans by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

    "Monks, these four types of individuals are to be found existing in the world. Which four? The one who practices neither for his/her own benefit nor for that of others. The one who practices for the benefit of others but not for his/her own. The one who practices for his/her own benefit but not for that of others. The one who practices for his/her own benefit and for that of others.

    [1] Just as a firebrand from a funeral pyre -- burning at both ends, covered with excrement in the middle -- is used as fuel neither in a village nor in the wilderness: I tell you that this is a simile for the individual who practices neither for his/her own benefit nor for that of others.

    [2] The individual who practices for the benefit of others but not for his/her own is the higher & more refined of these two.

    [3] The individual who practices for his/her own benefit but not for that of others is the highest & most refined of these three.

    [4] The individual who practices for his/her own benefit and for that of others is, of these four, the foremost, the chief, the most outstanding, the highest, & supreme.

    Just as from a cow comes milk; from milk, curds; from curds, butter; from butter, ghee; from ghee, the skimmings of ghee; and of these, the skimmings of ghee are reckoned the foremost -- in the same way, of these four, the individual who practices for his/her own benefit and for that of other is the foremost, the chief, the most outstanding, the highest, & supreme.

    "These are the four types of individuals to be found existing in the world." AN IV.95

    ...

    ...the one who practices for his own benefit but not that of others is to be criticized for that reason, the one who practices for both his own benefit and that of others is, for that reason, to be praised. — AN VII.64

    ...

    "Cunda, it is impossible that one who is himself sunk in the mire should pull out another who is sunk in the mire. But it is possible, Cunda, that one not sunk in the mire himself should pull out another who is sunk in the mire.

    "It is not possible, Cunda, that one who is himself not restrained, not disciplined and not quenched [as to his passions], should make others restrained and disciplined, should make them attain to the full quenching [of passions]. But it is possible, Cunda, that one who is himself restrained, disciplined and fully quenched [as to his passions] should make others restrained and disciplined, should make them attain to the full quenching [of passions].
    -- Majjhima Nikaya 8

    I especially like that last one.

    _/\_
    metta
  • BrigidBrigid Veteran
    edited May 2006
    buddhafoot wrote:
    Brigid,

    I believe Christianity has also taught "Charity begins at home". Which!, could mean a number of things, but I also assumed it meant being wise enough to take care of one's self and their family before running off and giving the farm to everyone else and leaving yourself and your family destitute.

    I could be wrong though.

    -bf

    Huh? I don't understand.
  • buddhafootbuddhafoot Veteran
    edited May 2006
    Brigid wrote:
    Huh? I don't understand.

    A correlation between "one's own welfare" and "charity to one's self".

    Was that too much of a stretch?

    -bf
  • BrigidBrigid Veteran
    edited May 2006
    Not1,

    Yes, I see. It was just a small thought.
    I like the last one, too. Your quotations bring to mind the instructions for parents traveling with small children on a plane. In the case of an emergency and a drop in cabin pressure the parent is instructed to place the oxygen mask on themselves first before placing one on their child. Obviously an unconscious parent is of little help to their child. Another small thought.
  • BrigidBrigid Veteran
    edited May 2006
    buddhafoot wrote:
    A correlation between "one's own welfare" and "charity to one's self".

    Was that too much of a stretch?

    -bf
    Yeah, but where does running off and leaving the farm to others come in? That's the part I didn't get. You mean hypothetically just giving away our farm to somebody and having to live on the streets as a result? Yeah, that would be pretty foolish. lol!
  • buddhafootbuddhafoot Veteran
    edited May 2006
    Yes, that's what I meant.

    Sorry for the obfuscation, punkin.

    -bf
  • BrigidBrigid Veteran
    edited May 2006
    Lol! That "punkin" makes me laugh every time I see it.
  • edited May 2006
    buddhafoot wrote:

    Does anyone know for sure what the "three watches of the night" are?

    -bf


    I don't know for sure what the three watches of night are for sure. Contemplation brought forth-

    +the thief in the night (doubt being the thief)

    +be watchful of the fire that is started by an arsonist in the night ( if I chase after the arsonist my whole house will burn down, take care of my anger or other feelings rather ten lose myself in them)

    +be prepared to recieve the unexpected guest that comes at the most inopprotune time(could be an emotion or literal person) I have etched HALT to memory. Be most mindfull of those things that occur when I'm "Hungry,Angry, Lonely, or Tired"
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