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Nava Sutta


Title: Nava Sutta: A Boat

Summary: url=index.html#snp.2.08.than A teacher, like a skilled boatman, is one who knows firsthand how to cross to the opposite shore.

Sn 2.8

PTS: Sn 316-323


Nava Sutta: A Boat

translated from the Pali by

Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Alternate translation: Ireland


<p><b>Translator's note:</b> Although it is often lost in translation, this poem in the Pali has a clearly articulated over-all structure. The first seven verses — coming under the “because” <i>(yasma)</i> — state reasons, while the last verse, under the “so” <i>(tasma),</i> draws the conclusion: find a good teacher and practice the Dhamma.</p>


when you honor — as the devas, Indra — one from whom you might learn the Dhamma, he, learned, honored, confident in you,

shows you the Dhamma.
You, enlightened, heedful,

befriending a teacher like that,

practicing the Dhamma in line with the Dhamma,
giving it priority,



But if you consort with a piddling fool who's envious,

hasn't come to the goal,

you'll go to death without having cleared up the Dhamma right here, with your doubts unresolved.

Like a man gone down to a river — turbulent, flooding, swift-flowing — and swept away in the current:

how can he help others across?

Even so: he who hasn't

cleared up the Dhamma,
attended to the meaning
	of what the learned say,
crossed over his doubts:

how can he get others to comprehend?

But as one who's embarked

on a sturdy boat,
with rudder & oars,

would — mindful, skillful, knowing the needed techniques —

carry many others across,

even so an attainer-of-knowledge, learned, self-developed, unwavering can get other people to comprehend —

if they're willing to listen,
ready to learn.

you should befriend a person of integrity —

learned, intelligent.

Practicing so as to know the goal, when you've experienced the Dhamma,

you get bliss.

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	<div id="F_sourceCopy">The source of this work is the gift within Access to Insight "Offline Edition 2012.09.10.14", last replication 12. March 2013, generously given by John Bullitt and mentioned as: ©2001 Thanissaro Bhikkhu.</div>
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	<div id="F_sourceTitle">Transcribed from a file provided by the translator.</div>
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<div id="F_citation"><b>How to cite this document</b> (one suggested style): "Nava Sutta: A Boat" (Sn 2.8), translated from the Pali by  Thanissaro Bhikkhu. <i>Access to Insight</i>, 29 August 2012, [[|]] . Retrieved on 10 September 2012 (Offline Edition 2012.09.10.14), republished by <i>Zugang zur Einsicht</i> on &nbsp; retreived on: <script type=“text/javascript”>var d=new Date();document.write(d);</script><noscript>Your browser does not support JavaScript or the script for the file Name and date of the retrieving was blocked! Please enter the whole URL on and add the date when reciting texts of this page.</noscript>

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en/tipitaka/sut/kn/snp/snp.2.08.than.txt · Last modified: 2018/11/14 04:26 by Johann