Buddhist Wisdom Verses

11: Sevanavaggo 2
Association 2

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According to Upbringing
Jā 503 Sattigumbajātakaṁ

Two parrots who are brothers are brought up differently, one in a robber-village, and one in a hermitage of the wise. When a King loses his way the first wants to kill and rob him, while the second offers him a helping hand.

201. Yaṁ yaṁ hi Rāja bhajati, santaṁ vā yadi vā asaṁ,
Sīlavantaṁ visīlaṁ vā, vasaṁ tasseva gacchati.

With the one he keeps company,
King, be he good or be he bad,
Virtuous or unvirtuous,
He goes under their influence.

202. Yādisaṁ kurute mittaṁ, yādisañ-cūpasevati,
So pi tādisako hoti, sahavāso hi tādiso.

With whomever he makes his friend,
With whomever he associates,
Such a person does he become,
Through living close with such a one.

203. Sevamāno sevamānaṁ, samphuṭṭho samphusaṁ paraṁ,
Saro diddho kalāpaṁ va alittam-upalimpati,
Upalepabhayā Dhīro neva pāpasakhā siyā.

Associating with associates,
Being touched by another’s touch,
A poisoned arrow soon defiles
A quiver that is undefiled,
But the Wise One is not afraid
He will be defiled by his friends.

204. Pūtimacchaṁ kusaggena yo naro upanayhati
Kusāpi pūti vāyanti, evaṁ bālūpasevanā.

Just as one who wraps rotten fish
In sacred and sweet-smelling grass
Finds the grass will soon smell rotten,
So it is from mixing with fools.

205. Tagaraṁ va palāsena yo naro upanayhati
Pattā pi surabhi vāyanti, evaṁ Dhīrūpasevanā.

Just as one who wraps up incense
In leaves that are without a smell
Will soon find the leaves smell fragrant,
So it is from mixing with the Wise.

206. Tasmā pattapuṭasseva ñatvā sampākam-attano.
Asante nopaseveyya, santo seveyya paṇḍito,
Asanto Nirayaṁ nenti, santo pāpenti Suggatiṁ.

Having understood the result
Is the same as for a leaf-wrap
He will not mix with bad people,
But mix with good and wise people,
The bad go to the lower realms,
The good will attain to Heaven.

Seeing Noble Ones
Dhp 206 Sakkavatthu

When the Buddha lies ill Sakka, the King of the Gods, comes to minister to him. The monks wonder why, and the Buddha explains how he previously answered Sakka’s questions whereby he became a stream-enterer.

207. Sāhu dassanam-Ariyānaṁ, sannivāso sadā sukho,
Adassanena bālānaṁ niccam-eva sukhī siyā.

Meeting the noble ones is good, and
Living together is pleasant,
Through not meeting foolish people
One will constantly be happy.

The Benefits of Associating with the Virtuous
SN 1.1.31 Sabbhisuttaṁ

Five gods approach the Buddha and speak one verse each on the benefits of associating with the wise, to which the Buddha adds the final verse below.

208. Sabbhi-r-eva samāsetha, sabbhi kubbetha santhavaṁ,
Sataṁ Saddhammam-aññāya, seyyo hoti na pāpiyo.

Sit down with the virtuous,
Be close to the virtuous,
After learning the Dhamma
From a learned person
One is better not worse.

209. Sabbhi-r-eva samāsetha, sabbhi kubbetha santhavaṁ,
Sataṁ Saddhammam-aññāya, paññā labbhati – nāññato.

Sit down with the virtuous,
Be close to the virtuous,
After learning the Dhamma
From a learned person
One surely gains wisdom.

210. Sabbhi-r-eva samāsetha, sabbhi kubbetha santhavaṁ,
Sataṁ Saddhammam-aññāya, sokamajjhe na socati.

Sit down with the virtuous,
Be close to the virtuous,
After learning the Dhamma
From a learned person
One will no longer grieve.

211. Sabbhi-r-eva samāsetha, sabbhi kubbetha santhavaṁ,
Sataṁ Saddhammam-aññāya, ñātimajjhe virocati.

Sit down with the virtuous,
Be close to the virtuous,
After learning the Dhamma
From a learned person
One shines among one’s kin.

212. Sabbhi-r-eva samāsetha, sabbhi kubbetha santhavaṁ,
Sataṁ Saddhammam-aññāya, sattā gacchanti Suggatiṁ.

Sit down with the virtuous,
Be close to the virtuous,
After learning the Dhamma
From a learned person
One attains to Heaven.

213. Sabbhi-r-eva samāsetha, sabbhi kubbetha santhavaṁ,
Sataṁ Saddhammam-aññāya, sattā tiṭṭhanti sātataṁ.

Sit down with the virtuous,
Be close to the virtuous,
After learning the Dhamma
From a learned person
One is always steady.

214. Sabbhi-r-eva samāsetha, sabbhi kubbetha santhavaṁ,
Sataṁ Saddhammam-aññāya, sabbadukkhā pamuccati.

Sit down with the virtuous,
Be close to the virtuous,
After learning the Dhamma
From a learned person
One is freed from suffering.

Wander with the Wise or Wander Alone
Jā 428 Kosambijātakaṁ

A King executes a neighbouring King. The latter’s son secretely becomes the King’s trusted confidant, and one day, still intent on revenge, has him alone. But rather than kill him he forgives him, and the two become close friends.

215. Sace labhetha nipakaṁ sahāyaṁ
Saddhiṁ caraṁ Sādhuvihāridhīraṁ,
Abhibhuyya sabbāni parissayāni,
Careyya tenattamano satīmā.

If you find a good friend
A Wise One who lives well,
Overcome your troubles,
And wander mindfully.

216. No ce labhetha nipakaṁ sahāyaṁ
Saddhiṁ caraṁ Sādhuvihāridhīraṁ,
Rājā va raṭṭhaṁ vijitaṁ pahāya,
Eko care mātaṅgaraññe va nāgo.

If you don’t find a friend
A Wise One who lives well,
Abandoning your home,
One should wander alone.

217. Ekassa caritaṁ seyyo, natthi bāle sahāyatā,
Eko care na ca pāpāni kayirā,
Appossukko mātaṅgaraññe va nāgo.

Wandering alone is best,
Have no friendship with fools,
One should wander alone,
Doing nothing wicked,
Like a grand elephant
In a lonely forest.

No Friendship with Fools
Dhp 61 Mahākassapattherasaddhivihārikavatthu

A faithless pupil of Ven. Mahākassapa tricks a supporter into giving him food and drinks which he says are needed by the elder. Being rebuked he burns down the Elder’s hut and runs away. The whole story is reported to the Buddha.

218. Carañ-ce nādhigaccheyya seyyaṁ sadisam-attano,
Ekacariyaṁ daḷhaṁ kayirā: natthi bāle sahāyatā.

If while roaming one cannot find
One better or same as oneself,
One should resolve to go alone:
There can be no friendship with fools.