A series of posts for my draft translation of the Dhammapada, for feedback and discussion. Final version will be on SuttaCentral.
Regard one who sees your faults
as a guide to a hidden treasure.
Stay close to one so wise and astute
who corrects you when you need it.
If you stay close to one such as this,
things get better, not worse.
One who would advise and instruct,
shielding you from what is bad,
is beloved by the good,
but disliked by the bad.
Don’t stay around bad friends,
nor with the worst of men.
Associate with spiritual friends,
and with the best of men.
Through joy in the teaching you sleep at ease,
with clear and confident heart.
An astute person always delights in the teaching
proclaimed by the noble one.
While irrigators guide water,
fletchers straighten arrows,
and carpenters carve timber—
the astute tame themselves.
As the wind cannot stir
a solid mass of rock,
so too praise and blame
do not affect the wise.
Like a deep lake,
clear and unclouded,
so clear are the astute
when they hear the teachings.
Good people give up everything,
they speak not of the things they desire.
Though touched by sadness or happiness,
the astute appear neither depressed nor elated.
Never wish for success by unjust means,
not for your own sake or that of another,
nor wishing for children or wealth or nation;
rather, one should be virtuous, wise, and just.
Few are those among humans
who cross to the far shore.
The rest just run around
on the near shore.
When the teaching is well explained,
those who practice accordingly
are the ones who will cross over
Death’s domain so hard to pass.
Rid of dark qualities,
an astute person should develop the bright.
Leaving home behind
for the seclusion so hard to enjoy,
find delight there,
having left behind sensual pleasures.
With no possessions, an astute person
would cleanse themselves of mental corruptions.
Those whose minds are rightly developed
in the awakening factors;
who, letting go of attachments,
delight in not grasping:
with defilements ended, brilliant,
they in this world are quenched.