Buddhist Wisdom Verses

20: Vajjavaggo

right click to download mp3

The Buddha has no Faults

SN 1.1.35 Ujjhānasaññisuttaṁ

A group of gods who constantly perceive offense speak offensively to the Buddha, implying that he is not without fault. This is part of the exchange.

380. “Kassaccayā na vijjanti, kassa natthi apāgataṁ,
Ko na sammoham-āpādi, ko ’dha Dhīro sadā sato?”

“In whom are no faults found at all,
In whom is there no deviance,
Who does not foster delusion,
Who is Wise, and always mindful?”

381. “Tathāgatassa Buddhassa, sabbabhūtānukampino,
Tassaccayā na vijjanti, tassa natthi apāgataṁ,
So na sammoham-āpādi, so ’dha Dhīro sadā sato.”

“The Realised One, the Buddha,
Who has great compassion for all,
In him no faults are found at all,
In him there is no deviance,
He does not foster delusion,
He is Wise, and always mindful.”

A Small Wickedness appears Great to the Pure of Heart

Jā 392 Bhisapupphajātakaṁ

A monk is reproved by a Devadhītā for smelling a lotus flower. He asks why she does not reprove someone who cuts down the lotuses instead. They do not accept reproof, she says, and adds the following.

382. Anaṅgaṇassa posassa, niccaṁ sucigavesino,
Vāḷaggamattaṁ pāpassa abbhāmattaṁ va khāyati.

For the one without defilements,
Who always seeks for purity,
Even a little wickedness
Appears as large as the heavens.

Seeing one’s own Faults

Dhp 252 Meṇḍakaseṭṭhivatthu

A merchant goes to see the Buddha when he is passing through, but the outside ascetics try to persuade him not to by telling him falsely that he teaches there is no result of actions.

383. Sudassaṁ vajjam-aññesaṁ, attano pana duddasaṁ,
Paresaṁ hi so vajjāni opuṇāti yathā bhusaṁ,
Attano pana chādeti, kaliṁ va kitavā saṭho.

Easy to see are others’ faults,
But one’s own fault is hard to see,
For one sifts other peoples’ faults
Like chaff, but conceals one’s own faults,
Like a cheat conceals his defeat.

The Fate of a Fault-Finder

Dhp 253 Ujjhānasaññittheravatthu

A monk is always finding fault with the others, so they ask the Buddha about it. This is his admonition.

384. Paravajjānupassissa, niccaṁ ujjhānasaññino,
Āsavā tassa vaḍḍhanti, ārā so āsavakkhayā.

One who looks for another’s faults,
Who is an abject complainer,
For him the pollutants increase,
He is far from their destruction.

Looking to one’s own Deeds

Dhp 50 Pāveyyakājīvakavatthu

When a lay-disciple invites the Buddha for a meal an ascetic she supports abuses both her and the Buddha, who tells her not to worry about what the ascetic is doing or saying, but to look to herself.

385. Na paresaṁ vilomāni, na paresaṁ katākataṁ
Attano va avekkheyya, katāni akatāni ca.

Not the wrong of others, or what
Others have done or have not done
One should consider, but what has
Been done and not done by oneself.

Patience with Rough Speech

Jā 522 Sarabhaṅgajātakaṁ

Sakka and other gods come to consult with the Bodhisatta. He asks questions and these are the replies.

386. Kodhaṁ vadhitvā na kadāci socati,
Makkhappahānaṁ isayo vaṇṇayanti,
Sabbesaṁ vuttaṁ pharusaṁ khametha,
Etaṁ khantiṁ uttamam-āhu santo.

Having destroyed anger one does not grieve,
Abandoning ingratitude sages praise,
He should be patient with harsh and rough speech,
Good people say: This patience is supreme.

387. Bhayā hi seṭṭhassa vaco khametha,
Sārambhahetu pana sādisassa,
Yo cīdha hīnassa vaco khametha,
Etaṁ khantiṁ uttamam-āhu santo.

Through fear be patient with superiors,
Through fear of quarelling towards equals,
But being patient with inferiors,
Good people say: This patience is supreme.

388. Kathaṁ vijaññā catu-m-attharūpaṁ
Seṭṭhaṁ sarikkhaṁ atha vā pi hīnaṁ?
Virūparūpena caranti santo,
Tasmā hi sabbesavaco khametha.

But how can we know from appearances
He is superior, equal, lower?
The good sometimes appear to be ugly,
Therefore best be patient with everyone.

389. Na hetam-atthaṁ mahatī pi senā
Sarājikā yujjhamānā labhetha,
Yaṁ khantimā Sappuriso labhetha,
Khantī balassūpasamanti verā.

No King or army receive such honour,
Even while waging war on the battlefield,
As the patient and Good Person receives,
Being patient towards their enemies.

The Strength of Patience

SN 1.11.4 Vepacittisuttaṁ

The gods defeat the demons, and their leader Vepacitti is brought before Sakka, whom he abuses. Sakka remains calm, and the following conversation takes place between him and Mātali, his charioteer.

390. “Bhayā nu Maghavā Sakka, dubbalyā no titikkhasi,
Suṇanto pharusaṁ vācaṁ sammukhā Vepacittino?” ti

“Is it through fear, O Sakka,
Or through weakness that you forebear,
Listening to the demon’s harsh words
When you are together face to face?”

391. “Nāhaṁ bhayā na dubbalyā khamāmi Vepacittino,
Kathañ-hi mādiso Viññū bālena paṭisaṁyuje.” ti

“It is not through fear or weakness
That I’m patient with the demon,
How can a Wise One such as I
Engage in argument with fools?”

392. “Bhiyyo bālā pabhijjeyyuṁ no cassa paṭisedhako,
Tasmā bhusena daṇḍena Dhīro bālaṁ nisedhaye.” ti

“Fools will show no more interest
If you will not have them constrained,
Therefore the Wise One will surely
Restrain them with great punishment.”

393. “Etad-eva ahaṁ maññe bālassa paṭisedhanaṁ:
Paraṁ saṅkupitaṁ ñatvā, yo sato upasammatī.” ti

“After consideration I think
This is the way to constrain fools:
If you know the other is angry,
Remain mindful and very calm.”

394. “Etad-eva titikkhāya, vajjaṁ passāmi, Vāsava,
Yadā naṁ maññati bālo: Bhayā myāyaṁ titikkhati,
Ajjhāruhati dummedho, go va bhiyyo palāyinan.”-ti

“Through forebearance like this, Sakka,
I see a great fault, for when the fool
Believes: He forebears out of fear,
The fool rises up like a bull.”

395. “Kāmaṁ maññatu vā mā vā: Bhayā myāyaṁ titikkhati,
Sad-atthaparamā atthā, khantyā bhiyyo na vijjati.

“If he wants he can think like this,
Or not: He forebears out of fear,
Because out of all benefits,
Nothing is better than patience.

396. Yo have balavā santo, dubbalassa titikkhati,
Tam-āhu paramaṁ khantiṁ: niccaṁ khamati dubbalo.

The one who, though he has great strength,
Is forebearing towards the weak,
Has the greatest patience, ’tis said:
For the weak are always patient.

397. Abalan-taṁ balaṁ āhu, yassa bālabalaṁ balaṁ,
Balassa Dhammaguttassa, paṭivattā na vijjati.

They say strength is really weakness,
When that strength is the strength of fools,
But the strength of the Righteous One,
There is no one to contradict.

398. Tasseva tena pāpiyo, yo kuddhaṁ paṭikujjhati,
Kuddhaṁ appaṭikujjhanto, saṅgāmaṁ jeti dujjayaṁ.

By this he makes it worse, the one
Who gets angry at the angry,
But the one who is unangered,
He wins a difficult battle,

399. Ubhinnam-atthaṁ carati attano ca parassa ca,
Paraṁ saṅkupitaṁ ñatvā, yo sato upasammati.

That one lives for the true benefit
Of both himself and the other,
Who, knowing others are angry,
Remains mindful and very calm.

400. Ubhinnaṁ tikicchantānaṁ attano ca parassa ca.
Janā maññanti: Bālo ti, ye Dhammassa akovidā.” ti

He is treating with medicine
Both himself and the other one.
Those who think: This one is a fool,
Are unskilled in the True Dhamma.”

The Fourth Hundred