10. The Chapter about the Stick

Sabbe tasanti daṇḍassa, sabbe bhāyanti maccuno,
Everyone trembles at the stick, everyone is in fear of death,

attānaṁ upamaṁ katvā, na haneyya na ghātaye. [129]
comparing oneself (with others), one should not hurt or have (them) hurt.


Sabbe tasanti daṇḍassa, sabbesaṁ jīvitaṁ piyaṁ,
Everyone trembles at the stick, for all of them life is dear,

attānaṁ upamaṁ katvā, na haneyya na ghātaye. [130]
comparing oneself (with others), one should not hurt or have (them) hurt.


Sukhakāmāni bhūtāni yo daṇḍena vihiṁsati,
One who harms with a stick beings who desire happiness,

attano sukham-esāno, pecca so na labhate sukhaṁ. [131]
while seeking happiness for himself, won’t find happiness after death.


Sukhakāmāni bhūtāni yo daṇḍena na hiṁsati,
One who harms not with a stick beings who desire happiness,

attano sukham-esāno, pecca so labhate sukhaṁ. [132]
while seeking happiness for himself, will find happiness after death.


Māvoca pharusaṁ kañci, vuttā paṭivadeyyu’ taṁ,
Do not say anything harsh, spoken to they might answer back to you,

dukkhā hi sārambhakathā, paṭidaṇḍā phuseyyu’ taṁ. [133]
for arrogant talk entails misery, and they might strike you back with a stick.


Sace neresi attānaṁ kaṁso upahato yathā,
If you make no sound like a gong that is broken,

esa pattosi Nibbānaṁ, sārambho te na vijjati. [134]
you are (like) one who has attained Nibbāna, contention is not found in you.


Yathā daṇḍena gopālo gāvo pāceti gocaraṁ,
Like a cowherd with a stick drives cattle to pasture,

evaṁ jarā ca maccu ca āyuṁ pācenti pāṇinaṁ. [135]
so do old age and death drive life out of beings.


Atha pāpāni kammāni karaṁ bālo na bujjhati,
The fool does not understand the wicked deeds he is doing,

sehi kammehi dummedho aggidaḍḍho va tappati. [136]
the stupid one is consumed by his deeds as (by) a burning fire.


Yo daṇḍena adaṇḍesu appaduṭṭhesu dussati
Whoever offends with a stick those who are inoffensive and harmless

dasannam-aññataraṁ ṭhānaṁ khippam-eva nigacchati: [137]
will quickly fall into one of ten states:

vedanaṁ pharusaṁ, jāniṁ, sarīrassa ca bhedanaṁ,
harsh feelings, loss (of his wealth), and the break up of the body,

garukaṁ vā pi ābādhaṁ, cittakkhepaṁ va pāpuṇe, [138]
or even heavy affliction, or surely he will lose his mind,

rājato vā upassaggaṁ, abbhakkhānaṁ va dāruṇaṁ,
(there may be) danger from the King, or slander that is terrible,

parikkhayaṁ va ñātīnaṁ, bhogānaṁ va pabhaṅguraṁ, [139]
(he may suffer from) loss of kin, or (from) the destruction of wealth,

atha vāssa agārāni aggi ḍahati pāvako,
also his houses may be consumed by flames and fire,

kāyassa bhedā duppañño nirayaṁ so upapajjati. [140]
and at the break-up of the body that one lacking in wisdom will arise in the underworld.


Na naggacariyā na jaṭā na paṅkā,
Not going naked, nor matted hair, nor mud,

nānāsakā thaṇḍilasāyikā vā,
nor fasting or lying on stony ground,

rājo ca jallaṁ ukkuṭikappadhānaṁ,
dust and dirt, (or) striving while squatting,

sodhenti maccaṁ avitiṇṇakaṅkhaṁ. [141]
can purify a mortal who has not removed uncertainty. There seems to be no particular reason this is in the Chapter about the Stick.


Alaṅkato ce pi samaṁ careyya,
Even if he were to adorn himself,

santo danto niyato brahmacārī,
(but) is peaceful, trained, settled, spiritual,

sabbesu bhūtesu nidhāya daṇḍaṁ,
and has put aside the stick This could also be translated as has put aside violence towards all beings. towards all beings,

so brāhmaṇo so samaṇo sa bhikkhu. [142]
he is a brahmin, an ascetic, a monastic.


Hirīnisedho puriso koci lokasmi’ vijjati,
Whatever person in the world is found restrained by conscience,

yo nindaṁ appabodhati, asso bhadro kasām-iva. [143]
and is aware of his fault, is like a good horse that is (restrained) by a whip.


Asso yathā bhadro kasāniviṭṭho,
Like a good horse restrained by the whip,

ātāpino saṁvegino bhavātha.
you should be ardent and spiritually intense.

Saddhāya sīlena ca vīriyena ca,
Having faith, virtue and energy,

samādhinā Dhammavinicchayena ca.
concentration and investigation of the Dhamma.

Sampannavijjācaraṇā patissatā,
One who has understanding and good conduct, mindfulness,

pahassatha dukkham-idaṁ anappakaṁ. [144]
will abandon this not insignificant suffering. Again these two verses have no connection to a stick, but also do not fit in thematically with any other chapter either.


Udakaṁ hi nayanti nettikā,
Course-makers lead water,

usukārā namayanti tejanaṁ,
fletchers straighten arrows,

dāruṁ namayanti tacchakā,
carpenters straighten wood,

attānaṁ damayanti subbatā. [145]
the mild master themselves. For a variant of this verse, see verse 80 above.

Daṇḍavaggo Dasamo
The Chapter about the Stick, the Tenth


Related Verses from the Dhammapada

Apuññalābho ca gatī ca pāpikā,
Gaining demerit and a bad destiny,

bhītassa bhītāya ratī ca thokikā,
and (only) the small delight of a scared man with a scared woman,

rājā ca daṇḍaṁ garukaṁ paṇeti,
and kings who apply heavy punishment,

tasmā naro paradāraṁ na seve. [310]
a man therefore should not consort with another’s wife.


Nidhāya daṇḍaṁ bhūtesu tasesu thāvaresu ca,
* Whoever has laid down the stick (used) against fearful and fearless beings,

yo na hanti na ghāteti, tam-ahaṁ brūmi brāhmaṇaṁ. [405]
who neither hurts nor kills, that one I say is a brahmin.


Aviruddhaṁ viruddhesu, attadaṇḍesu nibbutaṁ,
Being friendly with the hostile, calm amongst those holding a stick,

sādānesu anādānaṁ, tam-ahaṁ brūmi brāhmaṇaṁ. [406]
not attached amongst those attached, that one I say is a brahmin.