Dhammapada 2: Heedfulness


Heedfulness: the path to the Deathless.
Heedlessness: the path to death.
The heedful do not die.
The heedless are as if
already dead.

Knowing this as a true distinction,
those wise in heedfulness
rejoice in heedfulness,
enjoying the range of the noble ones.

The enlightened, constantly
absorbed in jhana,
firm in their effort:
they touch Unbinding,
the unexcelled rest
from the yoke.

Those with initiative,
clean in action,
acting with due consideration,
heedful, restrained,
living the Dhamma:
their glory


Through initiative, heedfulness,
restraint, & self-control,
the wise would make
an island
no flood
can submerge.


They’re addicted to heedlessness
— dullards, fools —
while one who is wise
cherishes heedfulness
as his highest wealth.


Don’t give way to heedlessness
or to intimacy
with sensual delight —
for a heedful person,
absorbed in jhana,
attains an abundance of ease.


When the wise person drives out
with heedfulness,
having climbed the high tower
of discernment,
he observes the sorrowing crowd —
as the enlightened man,
having scaled
a summit,
the fools on the ground below.


Heedful among the heedless,
wakeful among those asleep,
just as a fast horse advances,
leaving the weak behind:
so the wise.


Through heedfulness, Indra won
to lordship over the gods.
Heedfulness is praised,
heedlessness censured —


The monk delighting in heedfulness,
seeing danger in heedlessness,
advances like a fire,
burning fetters
great & small.

The monk delighting in heedfulness,
seeing danger in heedlessness
— incapable of falling back —
stands right on the verge
of Unbinding.

FEATURE: Okie in Exile

Big Buddy is just one of many human stories from our new resident writer, Bobby Winters. Follow his exploration of faith and necessity through the living landscapes of Oklahoma in his new writing column, An Okie in Exile.


FORUM: Seeing Jesus?

If you could have witnessed any part of the Gospels first hand, which would it have been? Check out the discussion in the forum: Which part of Jesus's life...?.