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T210 Dharmapada, Chapter 37: Life and Death in English

I found that this vagga 37 of T210 didn’t have an English version.
So I did the translation in 2 days, because I thought its contents were quite interesting.
For parallels, we could only found some for gatha 37.1. For the rest part, there are only several parallels in T211 and late literatures.
Please have a look, and some advices would be very helpful, thanks!

《法句经》生死品第三十七
T210 Dharmapada, Chapter 37: Life and Death

十有八章。生死品者。说诸人魂灵亡神在随行转生。
Volume 18. The Chapter of Life and Death describes people’s souls, namely, death of soul, exsitence of spirit, and reincarnation by conducts.

1 命如果待熟
Life is like a fruit waiting to ripen,
常恐会零落
Always afraid of falling;
已生皆有苦
All that are born have pain,
孰能致不死
For they cannot escape death.

2 从初乐恩爱
At first people were all delighted with love,
可淫入泡影
They made love in an empty bubble;
受形命如电
The shape of life is like lightning,
昼夜流难止
Flowing day and night, can’t be stoped.

3 是身为死物
This body is a stiff,
精神无形法
The spirit is invisible;
假令死复生
If the dead are reborn,
罪福不败亡
Sin and bliss will not disappear.

4 终始非一世
The end and beginning are not in one life,
从痴爱久长
The foolish love makes it last;
自此受苦乐
From then on through pain and happiness,
身死神不丧
The body dies, and the spirit does not.

5 身四大为色
The 4 elements of body are the form,
识四阴曰名
The 4 shadows of consciousness are the name;
其情十八种
There are 18 types of them, (18 dhatus)
所缘起十二
Coming from 12 origins.

(In Chinese translation, the 5 aggregates[五蕴] were sometimes referred as 5 shadows/barriers[五阴].)

6 神止凡九处
The spirit stays in 9 places,
生死不断灭
Life and death never annihilate;
世间愚不闻
Lay people are ignorant and deaf,
蔽闇无天眼
They stay in darkness without eyes in the sky.

(9 places in 3 realms[三界九地].
1五趣杂居地 - the realm of desire;
2离生喜乐地 - the first dhyana in the realm of form;
3定生喜乐地 - the second dhyana;
4离喜妙乐地 - the third dhyana;
5舍念清净地 - the forth dhyana in the realm of form;
6空无边处地 - the infinite space in the formless realm
7识无边处地 - the infinite consciousness;
8无所有处地 - the infinite nothingness;
9非想非非想处地 - neither perception nor non-perception in the formless realm.)

7 自涂以三垢
They smear themself with 3 dirts, (3 poisons)
无目意妄见
They are blind, with false ideas in their minds;
谓死如生时
They say death is like life,
或谓死断灭
or death is annihilation.

8 识神造三界
The spirit made the 3 realms,
善不善五处
And 5 kind or evil places;
阴行而默到
They walk in shadows and arrive in silence,
所往如响应
Their direction is like an echo.

9 欲色不色有
The existence of desire, form and formless,
一切因宿行
Are all caused by past conducts;
如种随本像
Like the seed would grow as its parent plant,
自然报如影
Natually the retribution is like the shadow behind.

10 神以身为名
The spirit is named after its body,
如火随形字
Just like fire is named after what it burns;
着烛为烛火
On a candle, it’s candle fire,
随炭草粪薪
As well as carbon, grass, feces and firewood.

11 心法起则起
The things would rise as the mind rises,
法灭而则灭
The things would vanish as the mind vanishes;
兴衰如雨雹
Rise and fall are like rain and hail,
转转不自识
Keep truning without self cognition.

12 识神走五道
The spirit walk through 5 paths,
无一处不更
None of these places do not change;
舍身复受身
Abandon one body and accept another body,
如轮转着地
Like a wheel rolling on the ground.

13 如人一身居
Like someone living along,
去其故室中
leaves one’s old house;
神以形为庐
The spirit uses the form as its house,
形坏神不亡
When the form breaks the spirit doesn’t die.

14 精神居形躯
The spirit lives in the body of form,
犹雀藏器中
Like a sparrow hidden in a cage;
器破雀飞去
When the cage breaks the sparrow flies away,
身坏神逝生
When the body breaks the spirit goes away and is reborn.

15 性痴净常想
The ignorance in nature has thoughts of cleanness and constancy,
乐身想疑想
The thoughts of body hapiness and thoughts of doubts;
嫌望非上要
Dislikes and wishes are not important keynotes,
佛说是不明
The Buddha said they are just misunderstandings.

16 一本二展转
One essence (spirit) tosses about in 2 places, (life & death)
三垢五弥广
Three dirts and 5 vast worlds;
诸海十二事
Twelve things (12 ayatana) in (karma) oceans,
渊销越度欢
The abyss would vanish when one crossed it and found joy.

17 三事断绝时
When the 3 things (body, mouth, mind) annihilate,
知身无所直
One would realise the body worth nothing;
命气熅暖识
Life, breath, temper, warmness and consciousness,
舍身而转逝
Would be gone immediately when the body is abandoned.

18 当其死卧地
When one dies and lies on the ground,
犹草无所知
Like a grass knows nothing;
观其状如是
See the situation like this,
但幻而愚贪
It is only illusionary, ignorant and greedy.

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