a collection of
Buddhist Wisdom Verses

14: Nindavaggo
Blame

AN 8.5 Paṭhamalokadhammasuttaṁ
Worldy Things

The Eight Worldly Things

The Buddha explains the eight worldly conditions to the monks and summarises them with a verse.

254. Lābho alābho ayaso yaso ca,
Gain and loss, fame and infamy,

Nindā pasaṁsā ca sukhañ-ca dukkhaṁ:
Blame and praise, happiness and suffering:

Ete aniccā manujesu dhammā,
Amongst human beings these things are impermanent,

Asassatā vipariṇāmadhammā.
Non-eternal, a changeable nature.

Dhp 227-8 Atula-upāsakavatthu
The Layman Atula

Blameworthy

The lay-disciple Atula goes to see Revata, who speaks not, Sāriputta, who speaks at length, and Ānanda who speaks moderately; but he is upset with them all. Finally he goes to the Buddha who explains it thus.

255. Porāṇam-etaṁ, Atula, netaṁ ajjatanām-iva:
This is ancient (wisdom), Atula, this is not something modern:

Nindanti tuṇhim-āsīnaṁ, nindanti bahubhāṇinaṁ,
They blame the one who sits silently, they blame the one who talks a lot,

Mitabhāṇim-pi nindanti, natthi loke anindito.
They blame the one who talks in moderation, there is no one in the world not blamed.

256. Na cāhu na ca bhavissati, na cetarahi vijjati
There was not and there will not be, and at present there is not found

Ekantaṁ nindito poso, ekantaṁ vā pasaṁsito.
A person totally blameworthy, or totally praiseworthy.

Dhp 81 Lakuṇṭakabhaddiyattheravatthu
The Elder Lakuṇṭaka Bhaddiya

Unperturbed

The Elder Lakuṇṭaka Bhaddiya was a dwarf who attained arahantship. Novices and others used to tease him, but he remained unmoved. The Buddha explained why.

257. Selo yathā ekaghano vātena na samīrati,
Just as solid rock is not shaken by the wind,

Evaṁ nindāpasaṁsāsu na samiñjanti Paṇḍitā.
Even so the Wise are unmoved by blame or by praise.

Ud 3.3 Yasojasuttaṁ
The Monk Yasoja

Unshaken by Pleasure and Pain

The monk Yasoja and 500 other monks who are visiting the Buddha are very noisy so he sends them away. They put forth extra effort during the Rains retreat and become Arahats, after which the Buddha sends for them again.

258. Yassa jito kāmakaṇṭako,
He who overcomes the thorn of sense desire,

Akkoso ca vadho ca bandhanañ-ca,
Scolding, slaying, and (other) bonds,

Pabbato va so ṭhito anejo,
He who stands unmoved like a mountain,

Sukhadukkhesu na vedhatī sa bhikkhu.
That monk is unshaken by pleasure and pain.

AN 5.48 Alabbhanīyaṭhānasuttaṁ
Unobtainable States

The Wise do not Tremble

The Buddha explains there are five things that cannot be obtained: for those having the nature of ageing, sickness, dying, wasting and destruction that there should be none of these things is impossible. The Noble disciple knows this and does not grieve.

259. Na socanāya paridevanāya,
In grief and lamentation (there is) no

Atthodha laddhā api appako pi.
Profit and not even a little gain here.

Socantam-enaṁ dukhitaṁ viditvā,
Understanding your grieving and suffering,

Paccatthikā attamanā bhavanti.
(Your) opponents will become uplifted.

260. Yato ca kho Paṇḍito āpadāsu,
* But when the Wise One does not tremble,

Na vedhatī atthavinicchayaññū,
Having (good) sense regarding misfortune,

Paccatthikāssa dukhitā bhavanti,
His opponents will become afflicted,

Disvā mukhaṁ avikāraṁ purāṇaṁ.
Seeing that his former face is unchanged.

261. Jappena mantena subhāsitena,
Through praise, Comm: vaṇṇabhaṇanena; by speaking praise.01 charms, or speaking well,

Anuppadānena paveṇiyā vā,
Through much giving Comm: satassa vā sahassassa vā dānena; by giving a hundred or a thousand gifts. 02 or through tradition,

Yathā yathā yattha labhetha atthaṁ,
Whatever the place he finds is good,

Tathā tathā tattha parakkameyya.
Just there is the place he should make his effort.

262. Sace pajāneyya: alabbhaneyyo
If he should understand: (this is) unobtainable

Mayā vā aññena vā esa attho.
By myself or another, that is good.

Asocamāno adhivāsayeyya,
Without grieving he should endure, (knowing):

Kammaṁ daḷhaṁ kinti karomi dāni.
I will now do whatever deed is required. Comm: vaṭṭagāmikammaṁ. 03

Jā 351 Maṇikuṇḍalajātakaṁ
Jewelled Earrings

Transient Wealth

The Bodhisatta is a King whose Capital is overrun by another King. He refuses to fight as it would involve maiming and killing. The conquering King wonders why he does not struggle, and the Bodhisatta speaks the following verses, after which the other departs.

263. Pubbeva maccaṁ vijahanti bhogā,
Soon wealth will depart from mortals,

Macco vā te pubbataraṁ jahāti.
Or perhaps a mortal abandons it sooner.

Asassatā bhogino, Kāmakāmi,
Wealth is not eternal, O Lover of Yourself,

Tasmā na socām' ahaṁ sokakāle.
Therefore I do not grieve at grieving time.

264. Udeti āpūrati veti cando, Thai: Udeti pūreti khīyati cando; the word is different but the meaning is the same. 04
The moon rises, becoming full, and then wanes again,

Atthaṁ tapetvāna Thai: Atthaṅgametvāna; [The sun] after setting [will set again]. 05 paleti sūriyo.
The sun after blazing will set again,

Viditā Thai: Vijitā; Conquered [are the (eight) worldly things]. 06 mayā sattuka lokadhammā,
Knowing this is the nature of the world, O enemy of mine,

Tasmā na socām' ahaṁ sokakāle.
Therefore I do not grieve at grieving time.

Jā 461 Dasarathajātakaṁ
King Dasaratha

Understanding Nature one Grieves Not

The Bodhisatta, along with his brother and sister, is exiled in the Himālayas. While there he learns that his father the King has died, yet understanding the way of nature he does not grieve.

265. Yaṁ na sakkā naṁ pāletuṁ posena lapataṁ bahuṁ,
When a person is unable to preserve himself, even with great weeping,

Sa kissa Viññū medhāvī attānam-upatāpaye?
Why should a Wise and intelligent person torment himself (with grief)?

266. Daharā ca hi ye vuddhā, ye bālā ye ca Paṇḍitā.
For those who are young and old, the foolish and also the Wise,

Aḍḍhā ceva daḷiddā ca – sabbe maccuparāyaṇā.
The wealthy and the poor – they all will have their end in death.

267. Phalānam-iva pakkānaṁ niccaṁ papatatā bhayaṁ,
Just as for a matured fruit there is always the danger of falling,

Evaṁ jātāna' maccānaṁ niccaṁ maraṇato bhayaṁ.
So for mortals who are born there is always the danger of death.

268. Sāyam-eke na dissanti pāto diṭṭhā bahujjanā,
Of the many people seen in the morning, some are not seen in the evening,

Pāto eke na dissanti sāyaṁ diṭṭhā bahujjanā.
Of the many people seen in the evening, some are not seen in the morning.

269. Paridevayamāno ce, kiñcid-atthaṁ udabbahe
* If (through) lamenting the one who is besotted, could remove

Sammūḷho hiṁsam-attānaṁ, kayirā cetaṁ Vicakkhaṇo.
Hurt for himself, the Wise One would do it as well.

270. Kiso vivaṇṇo bhavati hiṁsam-attānam-attano,
Though he has afflicted himself, and has become lean and pale,

Na tena petā pālenti, niratthā paridevanā.
The deed cannot be protected by that, no good comes from lamentation.

271. Yathā saraṇam-ādittaṁ vārinā parinibbaye, Thai: vārinā va nibbāpaye; same meaning. 07
Just as a burning house Comm: saraṇan-ti nivāsageham. 08 can be extinguished with water,

Evam-pi dhīro sutavā medhāvī Paṇḍito naro
So the strong, learned, intelligent and Wise person

Khippam-uppatitaṁ sokaṁ, vāto tūlaṁ va dhaṁsaye.
Quickly (extinguishes) the grief that has arisen, like the wind disperses cotton.

272. Eko va macco acceti, eko va jāyate kule,
When a mortal passes away he is born in (another) family,

Saṁyogaparamā tveva sambhogā sabbapāṇinaṁ.
The supreme bond for all beings is from living together. Comm: Tattha tattha pana ñātimittasaṁyogena ... paramatthena pana tīsu pi bhavesu kammassakā ve te sattā ti attho. Paraphrase of this difficult verse: Even though people find the greatest happiness in their friends and relations, still after they die they are reborn elsewhere with new friends and relations. 09

273. Tasmā hi dhīrassa bahussutassa,
Therefore the strong one, the learned one,

Sampassato lokam-imaṁ parañ-ca,
Seeing (clearly) this world and the next,

Aññāya Dhammaṁ hadayaṁ manañ-ca,
Knowing the Dhamma in his heart and mind,

Sokā mahantā pi na tāpayanti.
Will not be tormented by great griefs.