Dhammapada – The Elephant/Matanga

February 23, 2015

As I mentioned, had an opportunity to sit atop Borobudur and read a bit of the Dhammapada…a most beautiful section…for those that are curious…here goes that passage…if you want to know more about the Dhammapada…it is better for you to look it up and fill in your own gaps, rather than me share that aspect.  As follows:

“As an elephant in battle

        Endures an arrow shot from a bow,

So will I endure verbal abuse;

Many people, indeed, lack virtue

The tamed elephant is the one

They take into a crowd.

The tamed elephant is the one

The king mounts.

Best among humans is the tamed person

Who endures verbal abuse.

Excellent are tamed mules,

Thoroughbreds, horses of the Indus valley,

Tusked elephants and great elephants.

But even more excellent

Are people who have tamed themselves.

Not by means of these animals could one go

To that place not gone to,

Where a self-tamed person goes

By means of a well-tamed, disciplined self.

The elephant called Dhanapalaka

Is hard to control when in rut;

Tied down, the tusker doesn’t even eat,

Remembering the elephant forest.

The sluggish and gluttonous simpleton

Who sleeps and rolls about

Like a fat, grain-fed hog

Is reborn again and again.

In the past, this mind went wandering

Where it wished, as it liked, and as it pleased.

Now I will retrain it wisely,

As an elephant keeper does an elephant in rut.

Delight in vigilance.

Protect your own mind.

Lift yourself from a bad course

Like a tusker sunk in mud.

If you find an intelligent companion,

A fellow traveler

A sage of good conduct,

You should travel together,

Delighted and mindful

Overcoming all dangers.

If you do not find an intelligent companion,

A fellow traveler

Of good conduct and wise,

Travel alone,

Like a king renouncing a conquered kingdom,

Like the elephant Matanga in the forest.

There is no companionship with a fool;

It is better to go alone.

Travel alone, at ease, doing no evil

Like the elephant Matanga in the forest.

Happiness is having friends when need arises.

Happiness is contentment with whatever there is.

Happiness is merit at the end of one’s life.

Happiness is the abandoning of all suffering.

In the world, respect for one’s mother is happiness,

As is respect for one’s father.

In the world, respect for renunciants is happiness,

As is respect for Brahmins.

Happiness is virtue lasting through old age.

Happiness is steadfast faith.

Happiness is the attainment of wisdom

Not doing evil is happiness.”

Personally, not that I am there yet…as I said…work in progress…but, will give it a shot!! 🙂

Peace!

One Response to “Dhammapada – The Elephant/Matanga”

  1. Rabiah Muhammad said

    Personally speaking. . . a very timely teaching for me. Thank you. . .

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