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Title: Balavagga: Fools
PTS: Dhp 60-75
translated from the Pali by
Alternate format: dhammapada_en.pdf (??pages/0.8MB)
Long for the wakeful is the night. Long for the weary, a league. For fools unaware of True Dhamma, samsara is long.
If, in your course, you don't meet your equal, your better, then continue your course, firmly, alone. There's no fellowship with fools.
'I have sons, I have wealth' — the fool torments himself. When even he himself doesn't belong to himself, how then sons? How wealth?
A fool with a sense of his foolishness is — at least to that extent — wise. But a fool who thinks himself wise really deserves to be called a fool.
Even if for a lifetime the fool stays with the wise, he knows nothing of the Dhamma — as the ladle, the taste of the soup. Even if for a moment, the perceptive person stays with the wise, he immediately knows the Dhamma — as the tongue, the taste of the soup.
Fools, their wisdom weak, are their own enemies as they go through life, doing evil that bears bitter fruit.
It's not good, the doing of the deed that, once it's done, you regret, whose result you reap crying, your face in tears. It's good, the doing of the deed that, once it's done, you don't regret, whose result you reap gratified, happy at heart.
As long as evil has yet to ripen, the fool mistakes it for honey. But when that evil ripens, the fool falls into pain.
Month after month the fool might eat only a tip-of-grass measure of food, but he wouldn't be worth one sixteenth of those who've fathomed the Dhamma.
An evil deed, when done, doesn't — like ready milk — come out right away. It follows the fool, smoldering like a fire hidden in ashes.
Only for his ruin does renown come to the fool. It ravages his bright fortune & rips his head apart. He would want unwarranted status, preeminence among monks, authority among monasteries, homage from lay families. 'Let householders & those gone forth both think that this was done by me alone. May I alone determine what's a duty, what's not': the resolve of a fool as they grow — his desire & pride.
The path to material gain goes one way, the way to Unbinding, another. Realizing this, the monk, a disciple to the Awakened One, should not relish offerings, should cultivate seclusion instead.