15. The Chapter about Happiness
Living happily, without pollutants
The Sākiyans and the Koliyans were kindred tribes who nearly fell into a war over short water supplies; the Buddha, in order to prevent bloodshed, went to them and gave them this teaching, following which they relented.
197. Susukhaṁ vata jīvāma verinesu averino,
verinesu manussesu viharāma averino.
Let us live on without hatred,
amongst those who do have hatred,
amongst humans who have hatred
let us now live without hatred.
198. Susukhaṁ vata jīvāma āturesu anāturā,
āturesu manussesu viharāma anāturā.
Let us live on without sickness,
amongst those who do have sickness,
amongst humans who have sickness
let us now live without sickness.
199. Susukhaṁ vata jīvāma ussukesu anussukā
ussukesu manussesu viharāma anussukā.
Let us live on without longing,
amongst those who do have longing,
amongst humans who have longing
let us now live without longing.
Living like the gods
One festival day the Buddha went to the village for alms, but due to Māra taking possession of the people in the village he received nothing; Māra then taunted the Buddha, who rebuked him with this verse.
200. Susukhaṁ vata jīvāma yesaṁ no natthi kiñcanaṁ,
pītibhakkhā bhavissāma devā Ābhassarā yathā.
We can live happily enough
having no possessions ourselves,
we will feed on joy like
the gods of Streaming Light.
The truly happy one
The King of Kosala is defeated three times by his nephew Ajātasattu, the King of Magadha, and took to his bed in sorrow and despair; when the Buddha heard about it he gave this teaching.
201. Jayaṁ veraṁ pasavati, dukkhaṁ seti parājito,
upasanto sukhaṁ seti, hitvā jayaparājayaṁ.
The victor generates hatred,
the defeated one finds suff’ring,
the one at peace lives happily,
without victory and defeat.
The happiness of peace
The Buddha and the monastics were invited to a wedding, and the bride served them with all due attention; the groom, however, was overcome with lust and could pay no attention to his duties; the Buddha spoke this verse to him.
202. Natthi rāgasamo aggi, natthi dosasamo kali,
natthi khandhasamā dukkhā, natthi santiparaṁ sukhaṁ.
There is no bonfire like passion,
there is no offence like hatred,
there is no suffering like the
components of mind and body,
no happiness other than peace.
The greatest good
The Buddha saw that a poor man was ready to attain stream-entry, and went with the monastics to give him teachings; the man however spent the whole morning seeking his lost ox; the Buddha ordered that the tired man be fed first, and only later did he teach him; afterwards he spoke this verse to the monastics.
203. Jighacchā paramā rogā, saṅkhāraparamā dukhā,
etaṁ ñatvā yathābhūtaṁ, Nibbānaṁ paramaṁ sukhaṁ.
Hunger is the supreme sickness,
conditions the supreme suff’ring,
knowing this as it really is,
know Nibbāna’s the supreme good.
The greatest things
King Pasenadi was always overeating and suffering for it so the Buddha had the King’s nephew learn and recite a verse which reminded the King to be moderate; later the King told the Buddha he was cured, and the Buddha recited the following verse.
204. Ārogyaparamā lābhā, santuṭṭhi paramaṁ dhanaṁ,
vissāsā paramā ñāti, Nibbānaṁ paramaṁ sukhaṁ.
Health is the supreme gain,
content the supreme wealth,
faith is the supreme kin,
Nibbāna supreme good.
The taste of solitude
When Ven. Tissa heard the Buddha declare his intention to finally pass away in four months time, rather than attend on the Buddha, he went to the forest to practice the teaching; the Buddha lauded him and said this is how one truly honours him, and spoke this verse.
205. Pavivekarasaṁ pitvā, rasaṁ upasamassa ca,
niddaro hoti nippāpo, Dhammapītirasaṁ pivaṁ.
Savouring the taste of solitude,
and savouring the taste of peace,
he is fearless, faultless, savouring
the joyful taste of the Dhamma.
Seeing noble ones
When the Buddha lay ill Sakka, lord of the gods, came to minister to him; the monks wondered why, and the Buddha explained how he had previously answered Sakka’s questions who thereby became a stream-enterer; the Buddha summarised Sakka’s affection with these verses.
206. 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.
207. Bālasaṅgatacārī hi dīgham-addhāna’ socati,
dukkho bālehi saṁvāso amitteneva sabbadā,
dhīro ca sukhasaṁvāso ñātīnaṁ va samāgamo.
For he who consorts with fools grieves
for a long time, dwelling with fools
is always suffering as it
is with enemies, the wise one
dwells happily as with his kin.
208. dhīrañ-ca paññañ-ca bahussutañ-ca,
dhorayhasīlaṁ vatavantam-ariyaṁ –
taṁ tādisaṁ sappurisaṁ sumedhaṁ
bhajetha nakkhattapathaṁ va candimā.
therefore, the firm, the wise and the learned,
the virtuous, dutiful and noble –
keep company with such a true person
as the moon accompanies the stars.
The Chapter about Happiness, the Fifteenth
last updated: August 2016