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!
T210 Dharmapada, Chapter 37: Life and Death
Volume 18. The Chapter of Life and Death describes people’s souls, namely, death of soul, exsitence of spirit, and reincarnation by conducts.
Life is like a fruit waiting to ripen,
Always afraid of falling;
All that are born have pain,
For they cannot escape death.
At first people were all delighted with love,
They made love in an empty bubble;
The shape of life is like lightning,
Flowing day and night, can’t be stoped.
This body is a stiff,
The spirit is invisible;
If the dead are reborn,
Sin and bliss will not disappear.
The end and beginning are not in one life,
The foolish love makes it last;
From then on through pain and happiness,
The body dies, and the spirit does not.
The 4 elements of body are the form,
The 4 shadows of consciousness are the name;
There are 18 types of them, (18 dhatus)
Coming from 12 origins.
(In Chinese translation, the 5 aggregates[五蕴] were sometimes referred as 5 shadows/barriers[五阴].)
The spirit stays in 9 places,
Life and death never annihilate;
Lay people are ignorant and deaf,
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.)
They smear themself with 3 dirts, (3 poisons)
They are blind, with false ideas in their minds;
They say death is like life,
or death is annihilation.
The spirit made the 3 realms,
And 5 kind or evil places;
They walk in shadows and arrive in silence,
Their direction is like an echo.
The existence of desire, form and formless,
Are all caused by past conducts;
Like the seed would grow as its parent plant,
Natually the retribution is like the shadow behind.
The spirit is named after its body,
Just like fire is named after what it burns;
On a candle, it’s candle fire,
As well as carbon, grass, feces and firewood.
The things would rise as the mind rises,
The things would vanish as the mind vanishes;
Rise and fall are like rain and hail,
Keep truning without self cognition.
The spirit walk through 5 paths,
None of these places do not change;
Abandon one body and accept another body,
Like a wheel rolling on the ground.
Like someone living along,
leaves one’s old house;
The spirit uses the form as its house,
When the form breaks the spirit doesn’t die.
The spirit lives in the body of form,
Like a sparrow hidden in a cage;
When the cage breaks the sparrow flies away,
When the body breaks the spirit goes away and is reborn.
The ignorance in nature has thoughts of cleanness and constancy,
The thoughts of body hapiness and thoughts of doubts;
Dislikes and wishes are not important keynotes,
The Buddha said they are just misunderstandings.
One essence (spirit) tosses about in 2 places, (life & death)
Three dirts and 5 vast worlds;
Twelve things (12 ayatana) in (karma) oceans,
The abyss would vanish when one crossed it and found joy.
When the 3 things (body, mouth, mind) annihilate,
One would realise the body worth nothing;
Life, breath, temper, warmness and consciousness,
Would be gone immediately when the body is abandoned.
When one dies and lies on the ground,
Like a grass knows nothing;
See the situation like this,
It is only illusionary, ignorant and greedy.