6. The Chapter about the Wise

Nidhīnaṁ va pavattāraṁ yaṁ passe vajjadassinaṁ,
One should regard someone who shows your faults just like one who points out hidden treasure,

niggayhavādiṁ medhāviṁ tādisaṁ paṇḍitaṁ bhaje;
one should keep company with such a sagacious, learned person who reproves you;

tādisaṁ bhajamānassa seyyo hoti na pāpiyo. [76]
keeping company with such is (surely) better for you, not worse.


Ovadeyyānusāseyya, asabbhā ca nivāraye,
One should advise and instruct, and forbid whatever is vile,

sataṁ hi so piyo hoti, asataṁ hoti appiyo. [77]
for he is dear to the good, Although the theme of the good person is present, neither this verse nor the next mention the paṇḍita. (but) he is not dear to the bad.


Na bhaje pāpake mitte, na bhaje purisādhame,
One should not keep company with wicked friends, one should not keep company with the ignoble,

bhajetha mitte kalyāṇe, bhajetha purisuttame. [78]
you should keep company with spiritual friends, you should keep company with superior people. This is a bit irregular: the first two lines are in the 3rd person singular, and the second two in the 2nd person (polite) plural. It is possible we should take the last two lines as being in middle voice, but it would have been easy to write bhajeyya if the change of person wasn’t intended. Patna reads bhajetha throughout, and Udānavarga reads bhaje, probably trying to regularise the reading.


Dhammapīti sukhaṁ seti, vippasannena cetasā,
The one who drinks Dhamma Comm: Dhammapayako Dhammaṁ pivanto ti attho... ariyasaccāni paṭivijjhanto; the one who makes (others) drink Dhamma, who drinks Dhamma... who experiences the Noble truths. It seems both causative and active meanings may be intended. lives well, with a clear mind,

Ariyappavedite Dhamme sadā ramati paṇḍito. [79]
the wise one will always delight in the Dhamma that is made known by the Noble.


Udakaṁ hi nayanti nettikā,
Course-makers lead water,

usukārā namayanti tejanaṁ,
fletchers straighten arrows,

dāruṁ namayanti tacchakā,
carpenters straighten wood,

attānaṁ damayanti paṇḍitā. For a variant of this verse, see 145 below. [80]
the wise master themselves.


Selo yathā ekaghano vātena na samīrati,
Just as solid rock is not shaken by the wind,

evaṁ nindāpasaṁsāsu na samiñjanti paṇḍitā. [81]
so the wise are not moved by blame or praise.


Yathā pi rahado gambhīro vippasanno anāvilo,
Like a lake that is deep, clear and unruffled,

evaṁ Dhammāni sutvāna vippasīdanti paṇḍitā. [82]
just so the wise are confident There is a play on meaning of the forms derived from vippasīdati, it means both clear and confident. after listening to Dhamma.


Sabbattha ve sappurisā cajanti,
True people surely everywhere renounce,

na kāmakāmā lapayanti santo;
the good do not talk of desiring sense-pleasures;

sukhena phuṭṭhā atha vā dukhena,
when touched by pleasure or by suffering,

noccāvacaṁ paṇḍitā dassayanti. [83]
the wise show neither elation or depression.


Na attahetu na parassa hetu,
Not for one’s own sake and not for another’s sake,

na puttam-icche na dhanaṁ na raṭṭhaṁ –
not desiring a child, riches, or a kingdom –

na iccheyya adhammena samiddhim-attano;
he should not desire his success through corruption; Through wrong, unrighteous or corrupt ways.

sa sīlavā paññavā dhammiko siyā. [84]
he should be both virtuous and wise and righteous.


Appakā te manussesu ye janā pāragāmino,
Amongst humans few people go beyond,

athāyaṁ itarā pajā tīram-evānudhāvati, [85]
the rest of the people run down the bank,

ye ca kho sammad-akkhāte Dhamme dhammānuvattino,
but those who live righteously, conforming with this well-taught Dhamma,

te janā pāram-essanti, maccudheyyaṁ suduttaraṁ. [86]
those folk will go beyond the realm of death, which is very hard to cross. There is no mention of paṇḍita in this verse, the closest being those who live righteously.


Kaṇhaṁ dhammaṁ vippahāya, sukkaṁ bhāvetha paṇḍito,
Having abandoned the dark state, the wise one should develop the bright,

okā anokaṁ āgamma; viveke yattha dūramaṁ, [87]
having gone forth to homelessness from home; in solitude, where it is hard to delight.


Tatrābhiratim-iccheyya, hitvā kāme akiñcano,
One should desire to delight in that place, having given up sense pleasures, and having no possessions,

pariyodapeyya attānaṁ cittaklesehi paṇḍito. [88]
the wise one should purify the self of defilements of mind.


Yesaṁ sambodhi-aṅgesu sammā cittaṁ subhāvitaṁ,
For those who have well developed with right mind the factors of complete awakening,

ādānapaṭinissagge anupādāya ye ratā,
having given up grasping, those who delight in being unattached,

khīṇāsavā jutimanto, te loke parinibbutā. [89]
pollutant-free, shining forth, are emancipated in the world.

Paṇḍitavaggo Chaṭṭho
The Chapter about the Wise, the Sixth


Related Verses from the Dhammapada

Etaṁ visesato ñatvā appamādamhi paṇḍitā,
The wise, fully understanding this in regard to heedfulness,

appamāde pamodanti, Ariyānaṁ gocare ratā. [22]
rejoice in heedfulness, delight in the domain of the Noble.


Pamādaṁ appamādena yadā nudati paṇḍito,
When the wise one eliminates heedlessness with his heedfulness,

paññāpāsādam-āruyha, asoko sokiniṁ pajaṁ,
and mounts the palace of wisdom, griefless, (he looks) on grieving people;

pabbataṭṭho va bhummaṭṭhe dhīro bāle avekkhati. [28]
the wise one, like one standing on a mountain, looks down on the fools, who are standing on the plains.


Yo bālo maññati bālyaṁ, paṇḍito vāpi tena so,
The fool who knows (his) foolishness, is at least wise in that (matter),

bālo ca paṇḍitamānī, sa ve bālo ti vuccati. [63]
the fool who is proud of his wisdom, he is said to be a fool indeed.


Yāvajīvam-pi ce bālo paṇḍitaṁ payirupāsati,
Even if a fool attends on a wise man for his whole life long,

na so Dhammaṁ vijānāti, dabbī sūparasaṁ yathā. [64]
he does not learn Dhamma, just as spoon learns not the taste of curry.


Muhuttam-api ce viññū paṇḍitaṁ payirupāsati,
If a perceptive man attends on a wise man even for a second,

khippaṁ Dhammaṁ vijānāti, jivhā sūparasaṁ yathā. [65]
he quickly learns Dhamma, just as the tongue (learns) the taste of curry.


Attānañ-ce piyaṁ jaññā rakkheyya naṁ surakkhitaṁ,
If one regards oneself as dear one should guard oneself right well,

tiṇṇam-aññataraṁ yāmaṁ paṭijaggeyya paṇḍito. [157]
during one of the three watches (of the night) the wise one should stay alert.


Attānam-eva paṭhamaṁ patirūpe nivesaye,
First one should establish oneself in what is suitable,

athaññam-anusāseyya, na kilisseyya paṇḍito. [158]
then one can advise another, the wise one should not have (any) defilement.


Na kahāpaṇavassena titti kāmesu vijjati,
Not through a rain of coins is satisfaction found for sense desires,

“Appassādā dukhā kāmā,” iti viññāya paṇḍito, [186]
the wise one knowing: “Sense pleasures have little joy, (much) suffering,”

api dibbesu kāmesu ratiṁ so nādhigacchati.
does not find delight even in heavenly pleasures.

Taṇhakkhayarato hoti Sammāsambuddhasāvako. [187]
The disciple of the Perfect Sambuddha delights in craving’s destruction.


So karohi dīpam-attano,
One should make an island for oneself,

khippaṁ vāyama paṇḍito bhava,
soon the wise one should endeavour,

niddhantamalo, anaṅgaṇo,
removing the stain, blemishless,

dibbaṁ ariyabhūmim-ehisi. [236]
you will go to the divine and noble realm.


So karohi dīpam-attano,
One should make an island for oneself,

khippaṁ vāyama paṇḍito bhava,
soon the wise one should endeavour,

niddhantamalo anaṅgaṇo,
removing the stain, blemishless,

na punaṁ jātijaraṁ upehisi. [238]
you will not come to birth and old age again.


Na tena hoti Dhammaṭṭho yenatthaṁ sahasā naye,
One who would hastily settle a case because of that is not one who stands by Dhamma,

yo ca atthaṁ anatthañ-ca ubho niccheyya paṇḍito. [256]
the wise one should discriminate the two: what is the case and what is not the case.


Na tena paṇḍito hoti yāvatā bahu bhāsati;
One is not a wise person merely because of speaking much;

khemī averī abhayo, paṇḍito ti pavuccati. [258]
being safe, hatred-free, fearless, one is called a wise person.


Na monena munī hoti mūḷharūpo aviddasu,
Not through silence is a deluded fool (considered to be) a seer,

yo ca tulaṁ va paggayha, varam-ādāya paṇḍito. [268]
the wise one, like one holding the balance, takes up what is noble.


Etam-atthavasaṁ ñatvā, paṇḍito sīlasaṁvuto,
Understanding the truth of this the wise one, endowed with virtue,

Nibbānagamanaṁ maggaṁ khippam-eva visodhaye. [289]
should quickly purify the path that is leading to Nibbāna.


Bālasaṅgatacārī hi dīgham-addhāna’ socati,
For he who consorts with fools grieves for a long time,

dukkho bālehi saṁvāso amitteneva sabbadā,
dwelling with fools is always suffering as it is with enemies,

dhīro ca sukhasaṁvāso ñātīnaṁ va samāgamo. [207]
the wise one dwells happily as with an assembly of kin.


“Idha vassaṁ vasissāmi, idha hemantagimhisu”,
“Here I will dwell during the rains, here during winter and summer”,

iti bālo vicinteti, antarāyaṁ na bujjhati. [286]
in just such a way a fool thinks, not understanding the danger.


Ekassa caritaṁ seyyo, natthi bāle sahāyatā,
It is better to live alone, there can be no friendship with a fool,

eko care na ca pāpāni kayirā,
one should live alone and not do anything bad,

appossukko mātaṅgaraññe va nāgo. [330]
unconcerned like a solitary elephant in the forest.