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Sacred Texts: The Twin Verses from the Dhammapada

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    The Twin Verses of The Dhammapada

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Sacred Texts: The Twin Verses from the Dhammapada

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    Chapter One: The Twin Verses

    1. All that we are is the result of what we have thought: all that we are is founded on our thoughts and formed of our thoughts. If a man thinks or acts with an evil thought, pain pursues him, as the wheel of the wagon follows the hoof of the ox that draws it. 1

    2. All that we are is the result of what we have thought: all that we are is founded on our thoughts and formed of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness pursues him like his own shadow that never leaves him. 2

    3. “He reviled me, he beat me and conquered and then plundered me,” who express such thoughts tie their mind with the intention of retaliation. In them hatred will not cease.

    4. “He reviled me, he beat me and conquered and then plundered me,” who do not express such thoughts, in them hatred will cease.

    5. In this world never is enmity appeased by hatred; enmity is ever appeased by Love. This is the Law Eternal. 3

    6. The many who know not this also forget that in this world we shall one day die. They do not restrain themselves. But those who recognize the Law end their quarrels soon.

    7. Whoso lives pursuing pleasures, his senses unrestrained, immoderate in eating, indolent, devitalized, him verily doth Mara uproot as a gale a weak tree.

    -Theosophy Company Rendition “This is not a new translation. It is only a rendition. Over a score of translations have been consulted in its compilation and of course our debt of gratitude to them is large.” — The Publishers

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    The Twin Verses — CANTO I

    1. All the phenomena of existence have mind as their precursor, mind as their supreme leader, and of mind are they made. If with an impure mind one speaks or acts, suffering follows him in the same way as the wheel follows the foot of the drawer (of the chariot).

    2. All the phenomena of existence have mind as their precursor, mind as their supreme leader, and of mind are they made. If with a pure mind one speaks or acts, happiness follows him like his shadow that never leaves him.

    3. The hatred of those who harbor such ill feelings as, “He reviled me, assaulted me, vanquished me and robbed me,” is never appeased.

    4. The hatred of those who do not harbor such ill feelings as, “He reviled me, assaulted me, vanquished me and robbed me,” is easily pacified.

    5. Through hatred, hatreds are never appeased; through non-hatred are hatreds always appeased — and this is a law eternal.

    6. Most people never realize that all of us here shall one day perish. But those who do realize that truth settle their quarrels peacefully.

    7. The pleasure-seeker who finds delight in physical objects, whose senses are unsubdued, who is immoderate in eating, indolent and listless, him Mara (the Evil One) prevails against, as does the monsoon wind against a weak-rooted tree.

    Dhammapada: Wisdom of the Buddha translated by Harischandra Kaviratna

    • Profile photo of Gerry Kiffe
      Gerry Kiffe
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      Profile photo of Gerry KiffeGerry Kiffe

      What I am gathering from these initial statements of the Dhammapada is that the mind is the battle ground for growth and evolution. It is here where we must pay special attention. How do others see it?

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        Garo Ketchian
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        Profile photo of Garo KetchianGaro Ketchian

        Yes, the idea that mind is the battleground for growth and evolution is certainly highlighted in these statements. That teaching is echoed in nearly all Theosophical devotional books and writings.

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    8. Whoso lives, disciplining himself, unmindful of pleasures, his senses restrained, moderate in eating, full of faith and dauntless energy (Virya)—him verily Mara doth not overturn as a gale doth not overturn a rocky mountain. 4

    9. He may display it on himself but he has not merited the yellow robe who is not free from depravities, who disregards temperance and truth.

    10. He indeed has merited the yellow robe who has purged away depravities and is well grounded in virtues, who is regardful of temperance and truth.

    11. Those who live in the pleasure-ground of fancy see truth in the unreal and untruth in the real. They never arrive at truth.

    12. Those who abide in the world of right thought see truth in the real and untruth in the unreal. They arrive at truth.

    13. Rains pour into an ill-thatched house; desires pour into an ill-trained mind.

    14. Rains wet not a well-thatched house; desires enter not a disciplined mind.

    • Profile photo of Gerry Kiffe
      Gerry Kiffe
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      Profile photo of Gerry KiffeGerry Kiffe

      Can more be said about why the metaphor of the well-thatched house representing the disciplined mind if fitting?

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        Garo Ketchian
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        Profile photo of Garo KetchianGaro Ketchian

        Elsewhere we have read that the water elementals are dangerous. We have some good examples recently of destruction by water and history is full of these examples. Rain is water in the form of precipitation.

        13. Rains pour into an ill-thatched house; desires pour into an ill-trained mind.
        14. Rains wet not a well-thatched house; desires enter not a disciplined mind.

        These statements seem to point to the idea that a disciplined mind is needed to keep out desires and keep out danger.

      • Profile photo of Kirk Marzulo
        Kirk Marzulo
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        Profile photo of Kirk MarzuloKirk Marzulo

        The idea that a well-thatched roof, which will keep out both the blistering sun and all rainfall, is analagous to a well-disciplined mind, would present the concept clearly to the most uneducated villager. Thoroughness, attention to every detail, watchfulness for even small leaks or weak areas and constant vigilance is needed to maintain the condition of a well-thatched roof. Even one weak area can allow a leak that would ruin the entire purpose and interior comfort of the hut. It points to the idea that vices begin in the mind. Just because we might train or withold the body from acting upon personal desires does not mean we are free from desire. The mind must be developed and trained in virtuous conduct. Otherwise, “our thoughts become an army” and carry us off “a captive slave.”
        But there may be a more esoteric meaning as well. Whether a hut is circular, square or rectangular, a roof is sloped from the edges up towards the center. In other words, it is triangulated from outer edges to peak. Any flat spots will force the water to collect and then leak into the hut. The only way to slay the “entire forest of desire” is to “slay the lunar form,” to paralyze all sense of separative consciousness and instead to center consciousness in the higher triad, the Self of All. This, as we know, is the ultimate discipline of the mind, without which all other disciplines simply become another form of personal egotism.

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    Last group of Twin Verses:
    15. The evil doer suffers in this world and he grieves in the next; he mourns in both. Afflicted he grieves in the visualization of his sinful deeds.

    16. The virtuous rejoices in this world and he rejoices in the next; he rejoices in both. He rejoices, rejoices exceedingly in the visualization of his pure deeds.

    17. The evildoer laments here, he laments hereafter. “Evil have I done,” he soliloquizes. Greater his torment when he is in the place of evil.

    18. The righteous man is happy here, he is happy hereafter. “I have done well,” he soliloquizes. Greater is his delight in the blissful place.

    19. He who quotes the Sacred texts but is lazy and will not apply, he is like a cowherd counting the cows of others. He shares not the blessings of the Good Life.

    20. He who forsakes lust, hatred and folly is possessed of true knowledge and a serene mind, craves not of this world or of any other, applies to himself the teachings of the Sacred texts he recites, even though a few in number—such a one shares in the blessings of the Good Life.

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