Should one a man of wisdom meet
who points out faults and gives reproof,
who lays a hidden treasure bare,
with such a sage should one consort.
Consorting so is one enriched
and never in decline.
Explanation: If one discovers a wise person who points out one’s errors and sternly corrects one, he should be looked upon as a benign revealer of a treasure. His company should be sought. Such association would make better persons of men.
Let him exhort, let him instruct,
and check one from abasement.
Dear indeed is he to the true,
not dear is he to the false.
Explanation: The wise and good person who reproaches and warns, and prevents a person from getting into anti-social behaviour, is liked by virtuous individuals – and disliked by those who are evil.
Don’t go around with evil friends,
with rogues do not resort.
Spend your time with noble friends,
and worthy ones consort.
Explanation: Do not associate with people who have evil ways. Avoid the company of wicked, evil people who are mean and bad. Associate with worthy friends. Keep the company of noble persons who are superior in quality and virtue and who will be able to elevate you.
Happy is he who Dhamma drinks
with heart that’s clear and cool.
One so wise e’er delights
in Dhamma declared by the Noble.
Explanation: One who delights in “The Teaching” lives happily with a pure mind. The experience of the “Sublime Ones” the wise always enjoy.
Irrigators govern waters,
fletchers fashion shafts,
as joiners shape their timber
those who are wise tame themselves.
Explanation: The irrigator who manages water is skilled in directing water to whatever place he wants. The fletcher skilfully shapes a very straight arrow-shaft out of a piece of wood by working skilfully on it. The carpenter selects a block of wood and constructs whatever he wants out of it, depending on his need. In the same way, the wise person works upon their mind, restraining it the way they desire.
Just as a mighty boulder
stirs not with the wind,
so the wise are never moved
either by praise or blame.
Explanation: The wise remain unmoved and unruffled both by praise and humiliation. The wise remain unshaken under all vicissitudes of life, like the solid rock that withstands the buffetings of wind, unmoved.
Even as a fathomless lake,
a lake so calm and clear,
so dhammas having heard
serene the wise become.
Explanation: The exceedingly deep oceans are tranquil, calm and are not agitated. In the same way whose wise ones who listen to the word of the Buddha acquire deep awareness and are extremely calm and tranquil.
Everything the good renounce,
the peaceful chatter not of fond delights,
and whether touched by pleasure or pain
nor joy or woe in the wise is seen.
Explanation: The noble and wise persons are not attached to anything whatsoever in the world. The disciplined persons do not talk desiring worldly things, material benefits or sensual delights. Whatever fortune or ill-fortune may touch them, they remain calm, neither depressed or elated.
Neither for one’s own, nor for another’s sake
one should wish for children, wealth, estate,
nor success desire by means unjust,
thus virtuous, and wise, righteous one would be.
Explanation: Not for one’s own benefit nor for that of others, does he desire children, wealth or kingdom. Nor does he desire self-glory. Thus he is realistic, penetrative and well behaved.
Among folk they are few
who go to the Further Shore,
most among humanity
scurry on this hither shore.
Explanation: Of those who wish to cross over to the other side only a handful are successful. Those others who are left behind keep running along this shore. Those masses who have not been able to reach liberation continue to be caught up in Samsara.
But they who practise Dhamma
according to Dhamma well-told,
from Death’s Domain hard to leave
they’ll cross to the Further Shore.
Explanation: The realms over which Mara has sway, are difficult to be crossed. Only those who quite righteously follow the way indicated in the well-articulated Teachings of the Buddha, will be able to cross these realms that are so difficult to cross.
Abandoning the dhammas dark
the wise should cultivate the bright,
having from home to homeless gone
in solitude unsettling.
Explanation:The wise person abandons fully and totally those tainted views and questionable ways of behaviour and moves away from the known comforts of lay life into the unfamiliar way of life of the renunciate. He practises virtue conducive to the achievement of liberation.
Let them desire that rare delight
renouncing pleasures, owing nought,
those wise ones should cleanse themselves
from all defilements of the mind.
Explanation: He takes interest in liberation. He gives up all preferences for sensualities. This way, he is without any possessions. The wise person proceeds to cleanse his mind from those defilements that blemish the mind.
Those who come to Wakening
with mind full-cultivated,
delight, no longer clinging,
in relinquishing attachment:
they, without pollution, radiant,
in this world have reach Nibbana.
Explanation: There are those wise individuals who have practiced extremely well the factors conducive to the attainment of liberation. They do not cling to anything emotionally or mentally. They are opposed to the tendency to be greedy and grasping, They take delight in non-grasping. They, the shining ones, who are totally bereft of blemishes, have attained liberation in this world itself.