a collection of
Buddhist Wisdom Verses

Namo tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammāsambuddhassa
Reverence to him, the Fortunate One, the Worthy One, the Perfect Sambuddha

1: Sīlavaggo

Jā 406 Gandhārajātakaṁ
The Gandhāra Realm

One should be Amenable to Admonition

Two Kings renounced the world and lived as ascetics. One day they fell into a quarrel about who should admonish the other.

1. No ce assa sakā buddhi, vinayo vā susikkhito, Text: na vijjati; are not found.
If he himself is not well-trained, intelligent and disciplined,

Vane andhamahiṁso va careyya bahuko jano.
Many a person will wander in the wood like a buffalo that is blind.

2. Yasmā ca panidhekacce ācāramhi Text, ChS, Thai: Āceramhi; locative with instrumental sense, by the Teacher? susikkhitā,
But since there are some who aspire to be well-trained in good conduct,

Tasmā vinītavinayā Text, Thai: Vinītaviniyā Dhīrā; The Wise, well-led; making the metre hypermetric by two syllables. caranti susamāhitā.
Therefore, trained in the discipline, Comm: vinayena vinītattā vinītavinayā. they live (with their minds) well-composed.

DN 14 Mahāpadānasuttaṁ This verse also appears in Dhammapada, vs. 183 Buddhavaggo.
The Great Legend

True Cultivation

This verse is a well-known summary of the teaching, given by all the Buddhas. In some of the Dispensations it replaced the more detailed teaching found in the Rules of Discipline (Vinaya).

3. Sabbapāpassa akaraṇaṁ, kusalassa upasampadā,
Not doing anything wicked, the undertaking of what is good,

Sacittapariyodapanaṁ – etaṁ Buddhāna' Sāsanaṁ.
And the purification of one’s mind – this is the Teaching of the Buddhas.

Jā 84 Atthassadvārajātakaṁ
The Gateways to Benefit

The Six Gateways to Benefit

A son asked his Father (the Bodhisatta) for advice on the spiritual life. The Father explained these six gateways leading to great benef it in life.

4. Ārogyam-icche, paramañ-ca lābhaṁ,
Desire (the following): (good) health, Both physical and mental, the commentary explains. the greatest gain,

Sīlañ-ca vuddhānumataṁ Thai: Buddhānumataṁ; approval by the Buddha. sutañ-ca,
Virtue, approval by elders and learning,

Dhammānuvattī ca alīnatā ca:
Conformity to the Dhamma, striving:

Atthassa dvārā pamukhā chaḷete.
These six gateways are of the foremost benefit.

AN 8.54 Dīghajāṇusuttaṁ
Long-Knee the Householder

Eight things Leading to Prosperity

A householder asks the Buddha for advice on how to live well in his present state.

5. Uṭṭhātā kammadheyyesu, appamatto vidhānavā,
Being active in the realm of (good) deeds, being heedful and circumspect,

Samaṁ kappeti jīvikaṁ sambhataṁ anurakkhati,
Equanimous in making his living and protecting his savings,

6. Saddho sīlena sampanno, vadaññū vītamaccharo,
Endowed with faith and virtue, being bountiful, unselfish,

Niccaṁ maggaṁ visodheti, sotthānaṁ samparāyikaṁ,
Always purifying the path, heading for safety in the next world,

7. Iccete aṭṭhadhammā ca saddhassa gharam-esino,
For the faithful householder having these eight things,

Akkhātā Saccanāmena, ubhayattha sukhāvahā.
(This) was declared by the one named Truth, I.e. the Buddha. as leading to happiness in both places. I.e. in this world and in the next.

DN 31 Sigālasuttaṁ
Advice to Sigāla

Four Ways to spend one’s Wealth

The Buddha gives instructions to the young man Sigāla on the four kinds of friends, and then tells him how to keep them.

8. Paṇḍito sīlasampanno jalam-aggīva bhāsati,
The Wise One endowed with virtue shines like a burning fire,

Bhoge saṁharamānassa, bhamarasseva iriyato
He is one who is gathering wealth, just like the bees move and

Bhogā sannicayaṁ yanti, vammiko vupacīyati.
Strive to pile up their wealth, (or like) an ant-hill is piled-up.

9. Evaṁ bhoge samāhatvā, alam-atto kule gihī,
Having gathered wealth like this, enough for his family and home,

Catudhā vibhaje bhoge, sa ve mittāni ganthati:
He can divide his wealth in four ways, which will bind his friends:

10. Ekena bhoge bhuñjeyya, dvīhi kammaṁ payojaye,
With one part he should enjoy his wealth, with two parts he should manage his work,

Catutthañ-ca nidhāpeyya, āpadāsu bhavissati.
The fourth he should deposit, to be used against misfortune.

AN 5.58 Licchavikumārakasuttaṁ
The Young Licchavis

A Wise Man’s Duties

The Buddha explains the five duties which, when fulfilled, lead to prosperity and not to decline.

11. Mātāpitukiccakaro, puttadārahito sadā,
Doing his duty to Mother and Father, and always benefitting his children and wife,

Anto janassa atthāya, yo cassa upajīvino.
For the welfare of the one in his home, and for those who live in dependence,

12. Ubhinnaṁ yeva atthāya, vadaññū hoti sīlavā,
For the welfare This is the infinitive-like dative. of both, the virtuous one is bountiful,

Ñātīnaṁ pubbapetānaṁ, diṭṭhadhamme ca jīvitaṁ.
For the relatives who have departed, and those who live in this very life.

13. Samaṇānaṁ brāhmaṇānaṁ, devatānañ-ca Paṇḍito
For the ascetics, brāhmaṇas and the gods, the Wise One

Vittisañjanano hoti, Dhammena gharam-āvasaṁ.
Is one who generates joy, being a householder (endowed) with the Dhamma. This is the so-called Instrumental of Attendant Circumstance (Syntax, §65), but it would be better to refer to it as the Adjectival Instrumental, as it is qualifying the person. It is a very common usage.

14. So karitvāna kalyāṇaṁ, pujjo hoti pasaṁsiyo,
Having done what is good, he is worshipful and praiseworthy,

Idheva naṁ pasaṁsanti, pecca Sagge pamodati.
They praise him right here (and now), and after passing away he rejoices in heaven.

AN 4.61 Pattakammasuttaṁ
Suitable Deeds For a full translation of this discourse, see elsewhere on this website.

The Right Uses of Wealth

The Householder Anāthapiṇḍika receives instruction on the right ways to make use of the wealth that has been righteously obtained.

15. Bhuttā bhogā bhatā Thai: bhaṭā; this maybe the same word, with an alternative spelling, PED doesn't list it; [Wealth enjoyed] by hirelings. bhaccā, vitiṇṇā āpadāsu me,
Wealth enjoyed by servants and brothers, or for overcoming misfortunes by me,

Uddhaggā dakkhiṇā dinnā, atho pañcabalīkatā,
Given in lofty donations, also through making the five offerings, I.e. offerings to relatives (ñāti), guests (atithi), departed (pubbapeta), kings (rāja) and the gods (devatā).

Upaṭṭhitā sīlavanto, saññatā brahmacārayo.
Has been established by the virtuous, skilful ones who live spiritually.

16. Yad-atthaṁ bhogaṁ iccheyya Paṇḍito Gharam-āvasaṁ:
The Wise Householder can wish for wealth and welfare (thinking):

‘So me attho anuppatto kataṁ ananutāpiyaṁ.’
‘That prosperity attained by me is a cause of lack of remorse.’

17. Etaṁ anussaraṁ macco, Ariyadhamme ṭhito naro,
A mortal remembering this, a person who is established in Nobility, Comm: pañcasīladhamme patiṭṭhito; established in the five virtuous practices.

Idheva naṁ pasaṁsanti, pecca Sagge pamodati.
They praise him right here (and now), and after passing away he rejoices in heaven.

DN 31 Sigālasuttaṁ
Advice to Sigāla

The Wise attain Fame

These are the Buddha’s words at the conclusion of the instruction given to the young man Sigāla.

18. Paṇḍito sīlasampanno, saṇho ca paṭibhānavā,
The Wise One endowed with virtue, gentle and of ready wit,

Nivātavutti atthaddho: tādiso labhate yasaṁ.
Humble and not haughty: such a one will (rightly) gain fame.

19. Uṭṭhānako analaso, āpadāsu na vedhati,
Active, not lazy, not trembling in misfortune,

Acchinnavutti medhāvī: tādiso labhate yasaṁ.
Without defects and intelligent: such a one will (rightly) gain fame.

20. Saṅgāhako mittakaro, vadaññū vītamaccharo,
Kindly and a maker of friends, bountiful, unselfish,

Netā vinetā anunetā: tādiso labhate yasaṁ.
A guide, a leader, a conciliator: such a one will (rightly) gain fame.

21. Dānañ-ca peyyavajjañ-ca, atthacariyā ca yā idha,
Generous, with lovely speech, one who lives benefically here,

Samānatā ca dhammesu, tattha tattha yathārahaṁ,
Equanimous towards all things, he does that which is suitable in all places,

Ete kho saṅgahā loko ChS: loke; [make] the worlds [go round]. rathassāṇī va yāyato.
These kindnesses, like a chariot’s linchpin, make the world go round.

22. Ete ca saṅgahā nāssu, na Mātā puttakāraṇā
* Without these kindnesses, Mothers would not receive the duties due from their children

Labhetha mānaṁ pūjaṁ vā, Pitā vā puttakāraṇā.
(Such as) respect and honour, Fathers would not receive them too.

23. Yasmā ca saṅgahe ete samavekkhanti Paṇḍitā.
Wherefore the Wise have consideration for these kindnesses,

Tasmā mahattaṁ papponti, pāsaṁsā ca bhavanti te.
Therefore they attain greatness, and they are ones who are praised.

DN 31 Sigālasuttaṁ
Advice to Sigāla

Four Things not to be Done

The teaching to Sigāla on what increases and decreases fame and good fortune.

24. Chandā dosā bhayā mohā, yo Dhammaṁ ativattati,
For one who trangresses the Dhamma through desire, hate, fear, delusion,

Nihīyati tassa yaso, kāḷapakkhe va candimā.
His fame diminishes, like the moon in the dark fortnight. The dark fortnight is the time when the moon is waning; the bright fortnight (below) when it is waxing.

25. Chandā dosā bhayā mohā, yo Dhammaṁ nātivattati,
For one who doesn't trangress the Dhamma through desire, hate, fear, delusion,

Āpūrati tassa yaso, sukkapakkhe va candimā.
His renown increases, like the moon in the bright fortnight.