a collection of
Buddhist Wisdom Verses

20: Vajjavaggo

SN 1.1.35 Ujjhānasaññisuttaṁ
Perceiving Offense

The Buddha has no Faults

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, Thai: apāhataṁ; [in whom is there nothing] refused? refuted? Same below.
“In whom are no faults found, in whom there is no deviance,

Ko na sammoham-āpādi, ko 'dha Dhīro sadā sato?”
Who does not foster delusion, who is the Wise One, and always mindful here?”

381. “Tathāgatassa Buddhassa, sabbabhūtānukampino,
“The Realised One, the Buddha, who has compassion for all living beings,

Tassaccayā na vijjanti, tassa natthi apāgataṁ,
In him no faults are found, in him there is no deviance,

So na sammoham-āpādi, so 'dha Dhīro sadā sato.”
He does not foster delusion, he is the Wise One, always mindful here.”

Jā 392 Bhisapupphajātakaṁ

A Small Wickedness appears Great to the Pure of Heart

A monk is reproved by a Godly daughter 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,
For a person without defilements, who always seeks for purity,

Vāḷaggamattaṁ pāpassa abbhāmattaṁ va khāyati.
(Even) the tip of a hair of wickedness appears as (large as) the sky.

Dhp 252 Meṇḍakaseṭṭhivatthu
The Merchant Meṇḍaka

Seeing One’s own Faults

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,
Easy to see is another’s fault, but one’s own is hard to see,

Paresaṁ hi so vajjāni opuṇāti yathā bhusaṁ,
For he sifts other peoples’ faults like they were chaff,

Attano pana chādeti, kaliṁ va kitavā saṭho.
But he conceals his own, like a crafty cheat (conceals) defeat.

Dhp 253 Ujjhānasaññittheravatthu
The Elder named Complainer

The Fate of a Fault-Finder

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

384. Paravajjānupassissa, niccaṁ ujjhānasaññino,
He who forever looks for another’s faults, who is an abject complainer,

Āsavā tassa vaḍḍhanti, ārā so āsavakkhayā.
For him the pollutants increase, he is far from their destruction.

Dhp 50 Pāveyyakājīvakavatthu
The Naked Ascetic from Pāva

Looking to One’s own Deeds

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
Not the wrongs of others, or what others have done or have not done

Attano va avekkheyya, katāni akatāni ca.
One should consider, but what has been done and not done by oneself.

Jā 522 Sarabhaṅgajātakaṁ
Bodhisatta Sarabhaṅga

Patience with Rough Speech

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

386. Kodhaṁ vadhitvā na kadāci socati,
Having destroyed anger one does not grieve,

Makkhappahānaṁ isayo vaṇṇayanti,
Abandoning ingratitude Comm: akataññubhāvasaṅkhātassa makkhassa. sages praise,

Sabbesaṁ vuttaṁ pharusaṁ khametha,
He should be patient with all the harsh speech,

Etaṁ khantiṁ uttamam-āhu santo.
This patience is supreme, say the good.

387. Bhayā hi seṭṭhassa vaco khametha,
Through fear one should be patient with a superior’s word,

Sārambhahetu pana sādisassa,
Because of (fear of) quarelling towards equals,

Yo cīdha hīnassa vaco khametha,
But the one who is patient here with an inferior’s word,

Etaṁ khantiṁ uttamam-āhu santo.
This patience is supreme, say the good.

388. Kathaṁ vijaññā catu-m-attharūpaṁ Comm: catūhi iriyāpathehi paṭicchannasabhāvaṁ. I can't see how we can derive the meaning four postures, and I translate according to what must be the sense.
How can we know from appearances

Seṭṭhaṁ sarikkhaṁ atha vā pi hīnaṁ?
Whether (someone is) superior, equal or lower?

Virūparūpena caranti santo,
The good (sometimes) appear in an ugly form,

Tasmā hi sabbesavaco khametha.
Therefore he should be patient with everyone’s word.

389. Na hetam-atthaṁ mahatī pi senā
* No army together with its King

Sarājikā yujjhamānā labhetha,
Receive such honour, even while waging war,

Yaṁ khantimā Sappuriso labhetha,
As the patient and Good Person receives,

Khantī balassūpasamanti verā.
Being patient and appeasing their enemies’ might.

SN 1.11.4 Vepacittisuttaṁ
The Demon Vepacitti

The Strength of Patience

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 BJT: mathavā? I don't know what this would mean, but Maghavā is another name for Sakka, and makes good sense. Sakka, dubbalyā no titikkhasi,
“Is it through fear, Maghavā Sakka, or through weakness that you forebear,

Suṇanto pharusaṁ vācaṁ sammukhā Vepacittino?” ti
Listening to Vepacitti’s harsh words when you are face to face?”

391. “Nāhaṁ bhayā na dubbalyā khamāmi Vepacittino,
“It is not through fear or weakness that I am patient with Vepacitti,

Kathañ-hi mādiso Viññū bālena paṭisaṁyujev.” ti
How can a Wise One like me engage (in argument) with a fool?”

392. “Bhiyyo bālā pabhijjeyyuṁ no cassa paṭisedhako,
“Fools will show no more interest if you will not have them constrained,

Tasmā bhusena daṇḍena Dhīro bālaṁ nisedhaye.” ti
Therefore the Wise One will (surely) restrain them with great punishment.”

393. “Etad-eva ahaṁ maññe bālassa paṭisedhanaṁ:
“I think myself this is the way to constrain a fool:

Paraṁ saṅkupitaṁ ñatvā, yo We need to read: so here for good sense, but the texts all write yo. sato upasammatī.” ti
Having come to know the other is angry, he is mindful and calm.”

394. “Etad-eva titikkhāya, vajjaṁ passāmi, Vāsava,
“Through forbearance like this, Vāsava, Sakka is also known as Vāsava. I see a (great) fault,

Yadā naṁ maññati bālo: Bhayā myāyaṁ titikkhati,
When the fool thinks about you: He forebears out of fear,

Ajjhāruhati dummedho, go va bhiyyo palāyinan.”-ti
The unintelligent one rises up, like a bull the more you flee.”

395. “Kāmaṁ maññatu vā mā vā: Bhayā myāyaṁ titikkhati,
“If he wants he can think, or not: He forebears out of fear,

Sad-atthaparamā atthā, khantyā bhiyyo na vijjati.
(Because) the greatest benefit of (all) benefits, nothing better than patience is found.

396. Yo have balavā santo, dubbalassa titikkhati,
The one who, though he has (great) strength, is forebearing towards the one who is weak,

Tam-āhu paramaṁ khantiṁ: niccaṁ khamati dubbalo.
Is said to have the greatest patience: the weak are always patient.

397. Abalan-taṁ balaṁ āhu, yassa bālabalaṁ balaṁ,
They say that strength is weakness, that strength which is a fool’s strength,

Balassa Dhammaguttassa, paṭivattā na vijjati.
(But) the strength of one who guards the Dhamma, one who contradicts it is not found.

398. Tasseva tena pāpiyo, yo kuddhaṁ paṭikujjhati,
By this he makes it worse, the one who gets angry at one who is angry,

Kuddhaṁ appaṭikujjhanto, saṅgāmaṁ jeti dujjayaṁ.
(But) the one who is unangered at one who is angry, he is victorious in a battle difficult to win,

399. Ubhinnam-atthaṁ carati attano ca parassa ca,
He lives for the benefit of both himself and the other,

Paraṁ saṅkupitaṁ ñatvā, yo sato upasammati.
He who, having come to know the other is angry, is mindful and calm.

400. Ubhinnaṁ tikicchantānaṁ attano ca parassa ca.
He is treating with medicine both himself and the other.

Janā maññanti: Bālo ti, ye Dhammassa akovidā.” ti
Those people who think: He is a fool, are unskilled in the Dhamma.”

Catutthaṁ Satakaṁ
The Fourth Hundred