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Dhammapada XXIII

Elephants

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320:
I -- like an elephant in battle,
enduring an arrow shot from a bow --
will endure a false accusation,
for the mass of people
have         no principles.


321:

The tamed is the one
they take into assemblies.
The tamed is the one
the king mounts.
The tamed who endures
a false accusation
is, among human beings,
    the best.


322-323:

Excellent are tamed mules,
    tamed thoroughbreds,
    tamed horses from Sindh.
Excellent, tamed tuskers,
    great elephants.
But even more excellent
are those     self-tamed.

For not by these mounts could you go
to the land unreached,
as the tamed one goes
by taming, well-taming, himself.


324*:

The tusker, Dhanapalaka,
deep in rut, is hard to control.
Bound, he won't eat a morsel:
the tusker misses
the elephant wood.


325:

When torpid & over-fed,
a sleepy-head lolling about
like a stout hog, fattened on fodder:
a dullard enters the womb
    over &
    over again.


326:

Before, this mind went wandering
    however it pleased,
    wherever it wanted,
    by whatever way that it liked.
Today I will hold it aptly in check --
as one wielding a goad, an elephant in rut.


327:

Delight in heedfulness.
Watch over your own mind.
Lift yourself up
from the hard-going way,
like a tusker sunk in the mud.


328-330*:

If you gain a mature companion --
a fellow traveler, right-living, enlightened --
overcoming all dangers
    go with him, gratified,
    mindful.

If you don't gain a mature companion --
a fellow traveler, right-living, enlightened --
    go alone
like a king renouncing his kingdom,
like the elephant in the Matanga wilds,
    his herd.

Going alone is better,
there's no companionship with a fool.
    Go alone,
doing no evil, at peace,
like the elephant in the Matanga wilds.


331-333:

A blessing:     friends when the need arises.
A blessing:     contentment with whatever there is.
Merit at the ending of life is a blessing.
A blessing:     the abandoning of all suffering
                & stress.
A blessing in the world:     reverence to your mother.
A blessing:     reverence to your father as well.
A blessing in the world:     reverence to a contemplative.
A blessing:     reverence for a brahmin, too.
A blessing into old age is virtue.
A blessing:     conviction established.
A blessing:     discernment attained.
The non-doing of evil things is
        a blessing.

Revised: Sun 3 October 1999
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/canon/khuddaka/dhp/23.html