XV. Discourse on the uptaken stick

Sutta Nipāta | The Aṭṭhakavagga | Contents | Pali

1. Fear is aroused by a stick one has acquired;
Look at people in conflict.
I shall relate to you a feeling of urgency,
How it was felt by me.

2. Having seen mankind thrashing about
Like fishes in little water,
Obstructed by one another—
Having seen, fear took hold of me.

3. The world was entirely without substance;
All the quarters were shaken.
Wanting a settled abiding for myself
I saw nothing that had not succumbed.

4. But even in succumbing people are obstructed—
Having seen this, strong dissatisfaction arose in me.
Then I saw a spike here,
Hard to see, stuck in the heart.

5. Subjected to this spike
Through all the quarters one runs about:
Having pulled out just this spike
One does not run, one does not sink.

6. Thereupon training rules are recited
Which are ties in the world—
One should not be engrossed in them.
But having broken through in every respect the objects of desire
One should train for one’s own blowing out.

7. One should be truthful, not audacious,
Not causing illusions, rid of denigration,
Without anger. A sage would cross over
The evil of yearning and manyness of wants.

8. A man intent upon blowing out
Would rise above sleepiness, indolence, and inertia;
He would not abide with cloudiness of mind;
He would not stand in contemptuousness.

9. He would not be led into falsehood;
He would not work up affection for form;
And he would thoroughly understand self-regard.
He would live refraining from impetuosity.

10. He would not rejoice in the old;
He would not make submission to the new.
In something being lost he would not sorrow;
He would not be stuck on ethereal show.

11. I call greed “the great flood”;
I call longing the current;
Supporting stimuli, the turbulence;
Objects of desire, the mud so hard to get over.

12. Not deviating from truth, the sage,
The holy man, stands upon high ground.
Having relinquished everything
He truly is said to be “at peace.”

13. He truly is an experienced one; he is one who has realized;
Having understood the Way he is not dependent.
Rightly he is conducting himself through the world;
He does not envy anyone here.

14. Whoever here has got beyond objects of desire,
An attachment in the world hard to get over,
He does not sorrow, he does not brood.
He has cut off the stream; he is without bonds.

15. Whatever was before, make it wither away;
After, let there not be anything for yourself.
If in the present you will not grab hold
You will live your life at peace.

16. For whom there is nothing considered to be “mine”
In any respect among name and form,
And who does not sorrow over what is not there,
He truly does not suffer loss in the world.

17. For whom there is no thought of “this is for me,”
Or anything for others either,
He, not feeling any sense of “mine”ness,
In thinking “it is not for me” does not sorrow.

18. Not being harsh, not being greedy,
Being undisturbed by passion, being everywhere equanimous—
I tell you of this advantage
When asked of the one who is without vacillation.

19. For the undisturbed, understanding one
There is not any resultant.
He has refrained from endeavor.
He sees sanctuary everywhere.

20. Not as among equals, not as among inferiors,
Nor as among superiors does a sage put forth a claim.
He is at peace, without any fear of loss;
He does not acquire, he does not discard.

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