Dhammapada 12: self


If you hold yourself dear
then guard, guard yourself well.
The wise person would stay awake
nursing himself
in any of the three watches of the night,
the three stages of life.


he’d settle himself
in what is correct,
only then
teach others.
He wouldn’t stain his name
: he is wise.


If you’d mold yourself
the way you teach others,
then, well-trained,
go ahead & tame —
for, as they say,
what’s hard to tame is you


Your own self is
your own mainstay,
for who else could your mainstay be?
With you yourself well-trained
you obtain the mainstay
hard to obtain.


The evil he himself has done
— self-born, self-created —
grinds down the dullard,
as a diamond, a precious stone.


When overspread by extreme vice —
like a sal tree by a vine —
you do to yourself
what an enemy would wish.


They’re easy to do —
things of no good
& no use to yourself.
What’s truly useful & good
is truly harder than hard to do.


The teaching of those who live the Dhamma,
worthy ones, noble:
whoever maligns it
— a dullard,
inspired by evil view —
bears fruit for his own destruction,
like the fruiting of the bamboo.


Evil is done by oneself
by oneself is one defiled.
Evil is left undone by oneself
by oneself is one cleansed.
Purity & impurity are one’s own doing.
No one purifies another.
No other purifies one.


Don’t sacrifice your own welfare
for that of another,
no matter how great.
Realizing your own true welfare,
be intent on just that.

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