Dhammapada

Sahassavaggo
8. The Chapter about the Thousands

Sahassam-api ce vācā anatthapadasaṁhitā,
Though there are a thousand sayings consisting of useless words,

ekaṁ atthapadaṁ seyyo yaṁ sutvā upasammati. [100]
better is one useful word hearing which one is brought to peace.

 

Sahassam-api ce gāthā anatthapadasaṁhitā,
Though there are a thousand verses consisting of useless words,

ekaṁ gāthāpadaṁ seyyo yaṁ sutvā upasammati. [101]
better is one word of a verse hearing which one is brought to peace.

 

Yo ce gāthāsataṁ bhāse anatthapadasaṁhitā,
One may speak a hundred verses consisting of useless words,

ekaṁ Dhammapadaṁ seyyo, yaṁ sutvā upasammati. [102]
better is one verse of Dhamma, hearing which one is brought to peace.

 

Yo sahassaṁ sahassena saṅgāme mānuse jine,
One may conquer a thousand men a thousand times in a battle,

ekañ-ca jeyya attānaṁ, sa ve saṅgāmajuttamo. [103]
but having conquered one’s own self, one would surely be supreme in battle.

 

Attā have jitaṁ seyyo yā cāyaṁ itarā pajā,
Conquest over self is better than that over other people,

attadantassa posassa, niccaṁ saññatacārino, [104]
for the person who conquers himself, who lives constantly well-restrained,

neva devo na gandhabbo, na Māro saha Brahmunā,
neither gods, nor gandhabbas, nor Māra together with Brahmās,

jitaṁ apajitaṁ kayirā tathārūpassa jantuno. [105]
can turn conquest into defeat for a person who is like this.

 

Māse māse sahassena yo yajetha sataṁ samaṁ;
One might give alms impartially Other translations seem to take samaṁ as meaning year, perhaps following the paraphrase in the commentary; however, it doesn’t seem to be attested in that meaning, and the singular number would be wrong, both of which are against it. Rather is seems we should take it as an adjective with the meaning, equally, indifferently, impartially. with a thousand (coins of money) month by month for a hundred (years);

ekañ-ca bhāvitattānaṁ muhuttam-api pūjaye –
and one might worship someone with developed self The commentary says it means anyone who is a Noble Person or one who has attained any of the four stages of Awakening. for a second –

sā yeva pūjanā seyyo yañ-ce vassasataṁ hutaṁ. [106]
that worship is surely better than the hundred-year sacrifice.

 

Yo ca vassasataṁ jantu aggiṁ paricare vane;
One person might care for the fire in the woods for a hundred years;

ekañ-ca bhāvitattānaṁ muhuttam-api pūjaye –
and one might worship someone with developed self for a second –

sā yeva pūjanā seyyo yañ-ce vassasataṁ hutaṁ. [107]
that worship is surely better than the hundred-year sacrifice.

 

Yaṁ kiñci yiṭṭhaṁ ca hutaṁ ca loke
Whatever the alms or the sacrifice in the world

saṁvaccharaṁ yajetha puññapekkho,
the one seeking merit may give for a year,

sabbam-pi taṁ na catubhāgam-eti –
all that comes not to a quarter (of the merit) –

abhivādanā ujjugatesu seyyo. [108]
better is the worship of the upright.

 

Abhivādanasīlissa niccaṁ vaddhāpacāyino,
For the one who is constantly worshipping honourable elders,

cattāro dhammā vaḍḍhanti: āyu vaṇṇo sukhaṁ balaṁ. [109]
four things increase: the length of life, beauty, happiness, and strength.

 

Yo ca vassasataṁ jīve, dussīlo asamāhito,
One might live for a hundred years, unvirtuous and uncomposed,

ekāhaṁ jīvitaṁ seyyo, sīlavantassa jhāyino. [110]
(but) a life of one day is better, for one with virtue and meditation.

 

Yo ca vassasataṁ jīve, duppañño asamāhito,
One might live for a hundred years, lacking in wisdom, uncomposed,

ekāhaṁ jīvitaṁ seyyo, paññavantassa jhāyino. [111]
(but) a life of one day is better, for one endowed with wisdom and meditation.

 

Yo ca vassasataṁ jīve, kusīto hīnavīriyo,
One might live for a hundred years, indolent, with less energy,

ekāhaṁ jīvitaṁ seyyo, viriyam-ārabhato daḷhaṁ. [112]
(but) a life of one day is better, for one with energy set up and firm.

 

Yo ca vassasataṁ jīve apassaṁ udayabbayaṁ,
One might live for a hundred years without seeing rise and fall,

ekāhaṁ jīvitaṁ seyyo passato udayabbayaṁ. [113]
(but) a life of one day is better (for the one) seeing rise and fall.

 

Yo ca vassasataṁ jīve apassaṁ amataṁ padaṁ,
One might live for a hundred years without seeing the deathless state,

ekāhaṁ jīvitaṁ seyyo passato amataṁ padaṁ. [114]
(but) a life of one day is better (for one) seeing the deathless state.

 

Yo ca vassasataṁ jīve apassaṁ dhammam-uttamaṁ,
One might live for a hundred years without seeing the supreme state,

ekāhaṁ jīvitaṁ seyyo passato dhammam-uttamaṁ. [115]
(but) a life of one day is better (for one) seeing the supreme state.