a collection of
Buddhist Wisdom Verses

10: Sevanavaggo 1
Association 1

Jā 435 Haliddirāgajātakaṁ
Turmeric Dye

Discrimination in whom to Follow

A Father and Son are living as ascetics in the Himālayas when a woman tries to lure the Son away to the city. When he finds out the Father admonishes him with these verses, and he maintains his state.

185. Yo te vissasate, Tāta, vissāsañ-ca khameyya te,
One whom you find is trustworthy, my Son, who will also accept your trust,

Sussūsī ca titikkhī ca, taṁ bhajehi ito gato.
Who will listen and is patient, accompany him when he’s gone from here.

186. Yassa kāyena vācāya, manasā natthi dukkataṁ,
One who by body, word or mind does nothing wrong,

Urasīva patiṭṭhāya, taṁ bhajehi ito gato.
Support, as (friend) upon your breast, accompany him when he’s gone from here.

187. Yo ca Dhammena carati, caranto pi na maññati,
The one who lives by the Dhamma, not just imagining he is lives that way,

Visuddhakāriṁ sappaññaṁ, taṁ bhajehi ito gato.
One who is purified, with wisdom, accompany him when he’s gone from here.

188. Haliddirāgaṁ kapicittaṁ, purisaṁ rāgavirāginaṁ,
(But) that person, who is (unstable) like turmeric dye, having a monkey mind, (both) passionate and dispassionate,

Tādisaṁ Tāta mā sevi, nimmanussam-pi ce siyā.
Do not mix with such, my Son, as if he were not of human kind.

189. Āsīvisaṁ va kupitaṁ, mīḷhalittaṁ mahāpathaṁ,
Like one angry, like snake’s poison, like a great highway smeared with muck,

Ārakā parivajjehi, yānīva visamaṁ pathaṁ.
You should keep far away (from him), like a vehicle on an uneven road.

190. Anatthā, Tāta, vaḍḍhanti, bālaṁ accupasevato,
A fool when mixed with too often, my Son, increases the unbeneficial,

Māssu bālena saṅgañchi, amitteneva sabbadā.
Do not meetings with a fool, he is in everyway a foe.

191. Taṁ tāhaṁ, Tāta, yācāmi, karassu vacanaṁ mama:
Therefore Comm: tena karaṇena. I beg you, my Son, accept this word of mine:

Māssu bālena saṅgañchi, dukkho bālehi saṅgamo.
Do not have meetings with a fool, suffering comes from meeting with fools.

Jā 161 Indasamānagottajātakaṁ
One of Indasamāna’s Clan

Choosing Friends Carefully

An arrogant ascetic from the Indasamāna clan kept an elephant as a pet. His teacher, the Bodhisatta, warned him of the danger, but he would not listen. One day the elephant trampled him to death.

192. Na santhavaṁ kāpurisena kayirā,
Do not have intimacy with a contemptible person,

Ariyo anariyena BJT: hi ariyena; [The noble (should) know the worth] of the noble; Ariyonariyena; different sandhi, same meaning as text. pajānam-atthaṁ.
The noble (should) know the worth of the ignoble.

Cirānuvuttho pi karoti pāpaṁ,
Eventually he does what is wicked,

Gajo yathā Indasamānagottaṁ.
Like the elephant to the one of Indasamāna’s clan.

193. Yaṁ tveva jaññā: Sadiso maman-ti,
But he of whom you know: He is like I,

Sīlena paññāya sutena cāpi,
Having virtue and wisdom and learning,

Teneva mettiṁ kayirātha saddhiṁ,
With him one should certainly be friendly,

Sukhāvaho Text: Sukhā have; ChS, Thai: Sukho have; [In association with the Righteous Man there is] surely happiness. Sappurisena saṅgamo.
Coming together with a Good Person brings happiness.

Jā 162 Santhavajātakaṁ

Intimacy with the Wicked and the Righteous

A brahmin ascetic feeds his sacred fire with ghee and milk-rice and it flares up and burns down his hut. Later he saw a black deer who was intimate with his traditional enemies the lion, the tiger and the panther and he spoke these verses.

194. Na santhavasmā paramatthi pāpiyo
Nothing is worse than the intimacy

Yo santhavo kāpurisena hoti.
Of he who has intimacy with a contemptible person.

Santappito sappinā pāyasena
(The fire that) burned with ghee and with milk-rice

Kicchākataṁ paṇṇakuṭiṁ adaḍḍhahi.
Burned down my leaf-hut, made with much trouble.

195. Na santhavasmā paramatthi seyyo
Nothing is better than the intimacy

Yo santhavo Sappurisena hoti,
Of he who has intimacy with a Good Person.

Sīhassă vyagghassa ca dīpino ca
The faces of the lion, the tiger and the leopard

Sāmā mukhaṁ lehati Text, BJT: lepati; a causative form, which seems inappropriate here. santhavena.
The black deer Comm: sāmā nāma migī. licks intimately.

Jā 141 Godhajātakaṁ
The Iguana

Consorting with the Wicked

An iguana makes friends with a chameleon, who he is wont to embrace. The chameleon, fearing for his life, calls in a hunter and destroys the iguana family.

196. Na pāpajanasaṁsevī accantaṁ sukham-edhati,
Associating with the wicked does not bring endless happiness,

Godhā kulaṁ kakaṇṭā va kaliṁ pāpeti attānaṁ.
They are like the chameleon who defeated the iguana family themselves.

Iti 76 Sukhapatthanāsuttaṁ
Wishing for Happiness


The Buddha explains the three kinds of happiness people should wish for, and warns against bad reputation.

197. Akaronto pi ce pāpaṁ karontam-upasevati,
If one not doing what is wicked associates with one who is,

Saṅkiyo hoti pāpasmiṁ, avaṇṇo cassa rūhati.
He will be suspected of wickedness, and (others') blame will grow for him.

SN 1.3.11 Sattajaṭilasuttaṁ
Seven yogis

Appearance is not All

King Pasenadi interrupts his interview with the Buddha to pay respect to various kinds of ascetics who are passing nearby. The Buddha cautions that outward appearance is not trustworthy, and the King admits that these are his spies.

198. Na vaṇṇarūpena naro sujāno,
Not by outward form is a person known,

Na vissase ittaradassanena,
Not by seeing briefly can there be trust,

Susaññatānañ-hi viyañjanena
For under the characteristic of restraint

Asaññatā lokam-imaṁ caranti.
The unrestrained ones live in this world.

199. Patirūpako mattikā kuṇḍalo va,
Like a clay earring resembling (one gold), Comm: suvaṇṇakuṇḍalapatirūpako mattikākuṇḍalo va.

Lohaḍḍhamāso va suvaṇṇachanno,
Like a copper coin covered in gold,

Caranti eke ChS, Thai: loke; [they wander] in the world. parivārachannā,
Some wander around with a retinue,

Anto asuddhā, bahi sobhamānā.
Inside impure, outside looking resplendent.

Jā 384 Dhammadhajajātakaṁ
The Show of Truth

Deceitful Appearances

A crow pretends to be a holy ascetic who lives on air alone, but secretly eats the eggs and young of other birds when left alone. Eventually he is caught and put to death.

200. Vācāya sakhilŏ manoviduggo,
Kindly in speech, his mind hidden away,

Channo kūpăsayo va kaṇhasappo,
Like a black snake dwelling in a hole,

Dhammadhajo gāmanigamesu sādhu, Text, BJT add: sammato; honoured, against the metre.
Virtuous in village and town, a banner for the Dhamma,

Dujjāno purisena bālisena.
It is hard for a foolish person to recognise (him). Comm: ayaṁ evarūpo dussīlo paṭicchannakammanto bālisena aññāṇena purisena na sakkā jānituṁ; it is not possible for foolish men to know the unvirtuous who cover up their actions. Bālisa here and in the verse seems to be used in the sense of bāla.

Dutiyaṁ Satakaṁ
The Second Hundred