Dhamma Verses

Piyavaggo
16. The Chapter about Love

Hold nothing as loved

In quick succession a son, his father and mother all retired from the world and became monastics, but even after ordination they were inseparable; the Buddha told them this was not suitable for monastics and admonished them with this verse.

209. Ayoge yuñjam-attānaṁ, yogasmiñ-ca ayojayaṁ,
atthaṁ hitvā piyaggāhī, pihetattānuyoginaṁ.

Engaging in what is not suitable,
not engaging in what is suitable,
abandoning the good, grasping the loved,
he envies the person who endeavours.

210. Mā piyehi samāgañchī appiyehi kudācanaṁ,
piyānaṁ adassanaṁ dukkhaṁ, appiyānañ-ca dassanaṁ.

Do not associate at any time
with those who are loved, or with those unloved,
there is suffering not meeting those loved
and suffering from meeting those unloved.

211. Tasmā piyaṁ na kayirātha, piyāpāyo hi pāpako.
Ganthā tesaṁ na vijjanti yesaṁ natthi piyāppiyaṁ.

Therefore do not hold anything as loved,
for losing those who are loved is loathsome.
There are no knots or attachments for those
who hold nothing as loved or as unloved.

When free from loving there is no fear

A layman greatly grieved over the loss of his son; the Buddha went to him and explained that the wise of old, understanding the nature of things, did not grieve, and then he spoke this verse.

212. Piyato jāyatī soko, piyato jāyatī bhayaṁ,
piyato vippamuttassa natthi soko, kuto bhayaṁ?

From loving there arises grief,
from loving there arises fear,
for one who is free from loving
there is no grief, how is there fear?

When free from fondness there is no fear

The lay supporter Visākhā lost her granddaughter and was given over to grief; she went to the Buddha who explained that everyone must die and that if she had many relatives there would be no end of occasions for grief, and advised her further with this verse.

213. Pemato jāyatī soko, pemato jāyatī bhayaṁ,
pemato vippamuttassa natthi soko, kuto bhayaṁ?

From fondness there arises grief,
from fondness there arises fear,
for one who is free from fondness
there is no grief, how is there fear?

When free from delight there is no fear

As the Buddha and the monks went for alms in Vesālī they saw the Licchavī princes dressed like gods going out with a courtesan; later they fought over her, and many were killed and wounded, and the Buddha explained the matter to the monks with this verse.

214. Ratiyā jāyatī soko, ratiyā jāyatī bhayaṁ,
ratiyā vippamuttassa natthi soko, kuto bhayaṁ?

From delight there arises grief,
from delight there arises fear,
for one who is free from delight
there is no grief, how is there fear?

When free from desire there is no fear

A rich man’s son, Anitthigandha, had a image of a beautiful woman made from red gold and said he would only marry a woman its match; a young woman was found who surpassed the image, but she died on the way to meet him, sending the young man into grief; the Buddha explained why he was grieving with this verse.

215. Kāmato jāyatī soko, kāmato jāyatī bhayaṁ,
kāmato vippamuttassa natthi soko, kuto bhayaṁ?

From desire there arises grief,
from desire there arises fear,
for one who is free from desire
there is no grief, how is there fear?

When free from craving there is no fear

A brahmin farmer wishing for his fields to prosper decided to make the Buddha his partner; just before the crop was brought in floods washed it all away, and the farmer was inconsolable; the Buddha explained the origin of the farmer’s sorrow.

216. Taṇhāya jāyatī soko, taṇhāya jāyatī bhayaṁ,
taṇhāya vippamuttassa natthi soko, kuto bhayaṁ?

From craving there arises grief,
from craving there arises fear,
for one who is free from craving
there is no grief, how is there fear?

The one who does what is necessary

Fifty youths were going out of Rājagaha carrying baskets of cakes, but did not think to offer any to the Buddha and the monks, until they saw Ven. Mahākassapa, and then they offered him the cakes; the Buddha spoke this verse about Ven. Mahākassapa.

217. Sīladassanasampannaṁ, dhammaṭṭhaṁ saccavedinaṁ,
attano kamma’ kubbānaṁ, taṁ jano kurute piyaṁ.

Endowed with virtue and insight,
principled and knowing the truths,
doing the deeds that are his own,
that one the people truly love.

The one who has gone upstream

A monk attained the third stage of Awakening, but when questioned by his fellow monks, didn’t mention it as he first wanted to attain Arahatship; in the meantime he passed away and was reborn in the Pure Lands; his fellow monks lamented, thinking he had fallen short, but the Buddha explained his attainment with this verse.

218. Chandajāto anakkhāte, manasā ca phuṭo siyā,
kāmesu ca appaṭibaddhacitto, ‘uddhaṁsoto’ ti vuccati.

The one with desire for the undeclared,
will be suffused with the awak’ning mind,
with a mind unconnected with pleasures,
he is spoken of as ‘one gone upstream’.

One’s merits will follow one to the next life

The faithful householder Nandiya at Isipatana erected a building for the monastics and as he poured the water of donation a celestial mansion arose for him in the World of the Thirty-Three gods; Ven. Moggallāna saw it and asked the Buddha about it, who explained the matter with this verse.

219. Cirappavāsiṁ purisaṁ dūrato sotthim-āgataṁ,
ñātimittā suhajjā ca abhinandanti āgataṁ.

When one who lives abroad for a
long time comes safely from afar,
relatives and companions
come and greatly rejoice.

220. Tatheva katapuññam-pi asmā lokā paraṁ gataṁ,
puññāni paṭigaṇhanti piyaṁ ñātīva āgataṁ.

Just so, when one who has merit
goes from this world unto the next,
his merits are received just as
relatives come to their loved one.

Piyavaggo Soḷasamo
The Chapter about Love, the Sixteenth