The Dhammapada contains the solution to all our sufferings. Within this much-loved text are pearls of wisdom and nuggets of practical advice on how we can reduce and remove the suffering we cause to ourselves and others.
Altogether there are twenty-six chapters. You will soon notice as you go through all the chapters that training the mind is the solution to end all suffering and it forms the basis of our spiritual cultivation, practice, and sadhana. From thought flows behaviour which then shapes our character. The Buddha’s fundamental teaching is that we are what we think. And all suffering comes from not knowing how to use our minds properly.
Of the many renditions of the Dhammapada, I have decided to share the one from The Still Point Dhammapada by Geri Larkin. I find it to be the most relevant to the struggles we face in our complicated, contemporary lives especially when we live in a city where chances are we build walls more than relationships. People matter and how we behave towards them begins with what goes on in our mind and heart. The only way out of our own suffering is actually to be inclusive. A heart big enough for all.
Chapter 7 – The Worthy
The person who has gone the distance, who is sorrowless, free of everything, ties loosened — in him the fever of passion no longer exists.
The heedful strive diligently. They take no delight in the home. Like swans that forsake a muddy pool they leave their home life behind.
The worthy do not hoard. When they eat, they eat mindfully. Their focus is on awakening — an awakening that is signless. Like the path of birds in the sky their destination cannot be traced.
He whose defilements are destroyed, she who is unattached to sustenance, the ones who focus on an awakening that is signless — these have a path that cannot be traced just as a migrating bird leaves no track.
She whose senses are subdued, whose pride is destroyed, who is free of corruption — that woman is held dear even by the gods.
One who is worthy is like the earth. Even when provoked he does not respond in anger. He is serene and pure like a clear lake. For him there will be no more rebirth.
Calm is his mind. Calm is his speech, Calm is his action. He is free, perfectly peaceful, unshaken by the ups and downs of life.
The woman who is awake, wise, free of attachments; the woman who has shed her cravings — she, indeed, is a supreme woman. In the city or the town, in the forest, valley, or hills, wherever the worthy ones dwell is delightful.
Delightful to the worthy are the places where others find no joy. Being free of the pull of passions, the worthy rejoice anywhere precisely because they seek no delight.
~ ॐ ~