Buddhist Wisdom Verses

7: Dubbhavaggo


Gratefulness and Moderation
Jā 493, Mahāvāṇijajātakaṁ

The god of a Banyan tree gives presents to merchants, who out of greed decide to cut down the tree. Their chief protests with this verse, and is the only one spared retribution.

125. Yassa rukkhassa chāyāya, nisīdeyya sayeyya vā,
Na tassa sākhaṁ bhañjeyya mittadubbho hi pāpako.

That tree with shade where you can sit or lie,
Its branches the wicked should not destroy.

Ungratefulness gets its Just Deserts
Jā 516 Mahākapijātakaṁ

A man lost in a forest is saved by a monkey, the Bodhisatta, who, tired out, lies down to rest. The man, who is hungry, tries to kill him with a rock but fails. He is struck with leprosy, dies and is reborn in hell.

126. Kuṭṭhī kilāsī bhavati yo mittānaṁ idhaddubhi,
Kāyassa bhedā mittaddu Nirayaṁ so upapajjati.

He who betrays his friends
Will become an outcaste,
And after that cheat dies
He is reborn in Hell.

Not Deceiving One’s Friends
Jā 538 Mūgapakkhajātakaṁ

The King sends his charioteer to kill and bury his son, the Bodhisatta, whom he believes to be disabled and unlucky. The Bodhisatta appeals to the charioteer thus.

127. Pahūtabhakkho bhavati, vippavuttho sakā gharā,
Bahū naṁ upajīvanti, yo mittānaṁ na dūbhati.

He has an abundance of food,
Even when away from his home,
Many live depending on him,
He who does not deceive his friends.

128. Yaṁ yaṁ janapadaṁ yāti, nigame Rājadhāniyo,
Sabbattha pūjito hoti, yo mittānaṁ na dūbhati.

Whatever country he goes to,
In a town or a King’s city,
Where’er he goes he is honoured,
He who does not deceive his friends.

129. Nāssa corā pasahanti, nātimaññeti khattiyo,
Sabbe amitte tarati, yo mittānaṁ na dūbhati.

Thieves do not overpower him,
And nobles do not despise him,
He overcomes all of his foes,
He who does not deceive his friends.

130. Akkuddho sagharaṁ eti, sabhāya paṭinandito,
Ñātīnaṁ uttamo hoti, yo mittānaṁ na dūbhati.

Without anger he comes back home,
He is welcomed in public halls,
He is the best of relatives,
He who does not deceive his friends.

131. Sakkatvā sakkato hoti, garu hoti sagāravo,
Vaṇṇakittibhato hoti, yo mittānaṁ na dūbhati.

After greeting, he is greeted,
Respectable and respected,
He enjoys splendour and renown,
He who does not deceive his friends.

132. Pūjako labhate pūjaṁ, vandako paṭivandanaṁ,
Yaso kittiñ-ca pappoti, yo mittānaṁ na dūbhati.

Honourable, receiving honour,
Worshipful, receiving worship,
He acquires repute and renown,
He who does not deceive his friends.

133. Aggi yathā pajjalati, devatā va virocati,
Siriyā ajahito hoti, yo mittānaṁ na dūbhati.

Just like a fire he will shine forth,
He is brilliant like a god,
Good luck does not abandon him,
He who does not deceive his friends.

134. Gāvo tassa pajāyanti, khette vuttaṁ virūhati,
Puttānaṁ phalam-asnāti, yo mittānaṁ na dūbhati.

His cows are productive for him,
What is sown in his fields grows up,
He enjoys the boon of children,
He who does not deceive his friends.

135. Darito pabbatāto vā, rukkhato patito naro,
Cuto patiṭṭhaṁ labhati, yo mittānaṁ na dūbhati.

Whether that man has fallen from
A cleft, a mountain, or a tree,
While falling, he receives support,
He who does not deceive his friends.

136. Virūḷhamūlasantānaṁ, nigrodham-iva māluto,
Amittā nappasahanti yo mittānaṁ na dūbhati.

As wind cannot overpower
A banyan tree with roots well grown,
So foes cannot overpower
He who does not deceive his friends.

Prudence in Giving
Jā 302 Mahā-assārohajātakaṁ

A royalist treats with kindness a great horseman who has been defeated in battle, not knowing it is the King himself. The great horseman tells him if he comes to the city he will receive his reward. One day the man comes and the King gives him half his kingdom.

137. Adeyyesu dadaṁ dānaṁ, deyyesu nappavecchati,
Āpāsu vyasanaṁ patto sahāyaṁ nādhigacchati.

By giving to the unworthy,
Not donating to the worthy,
One who has come to misfortune
Will not gain a companion.

138. Nādeyyesu dadaṁ dānaṁ, deyyesu yo pavecchati,
Āpāsu vyasanaṁ patto sahāyam-adhigacchati.

By not giving to the unworthy,
And donating to the worthy,
One who has come to misfortune
Will gain a companion true.

Overstaying One’s Welcome
Jā 528 Mahābodhijātakaṁ

The Bodhisatta is an ascetic who is invited by the King to stay in his park. After some time the King plots to kill him, and he decides to leave.

139. Accābhikkhaṇasaṁsaggā asamosaraṇena ca,
Etena mittā jīranti – akāle yācanāya ca.

Too constant an association
And never coming together,
Through these things will friendship decay –
And through begging at the wrong time.

140. Tasmā nābhikkhaṇaṁ gacche, na ca gacche cirāciraṁ,
Kālena yācaṁ yāceyya, evaṁ mittā na jīyare,
Aticiraṁ nivāsena piyo bhavati appiyo.

Therefore do not go constantly,
After a long time do not go,
Begging a gift at the right time,
His friendships will never decay,
Through staying back for a long time
One held dear is no more held dear.