Dhammapada : 24. Craving


The craving of a thoughtless person grows like a creeper.
That one runs from life to life,
like a monkey seeking fruit in the forest. 

Whoever is overcome by this fierce poisonous craving
in this world has one's sufferings increase
like the spreading birana grass. 

Whoever overcomes this fierce craving,
difficult to control in this world,
sufferings fall off, like water drops from a lotus leaf. 

This beneficial word I tell you, 
"Do you, as many as are gathered here, dig up the root of craving,
as one digs up the birana grass to find the usira root,
so that Mara may not destroy you again and again,
just as the river crushes the reeds." 

As a tree, even though it has been cut down,
grows again if its root is strong and undamaged,
similarly if the roots of craving are not destroyed,
this suffering returns again and again. 

The one whose thirty-six streams
are flowing strongly towards pleasures of sense,
whose thoughts are set on desires,
the waves carry away that misguided person. 

The streams flow everywhere;
the creeper of craving keeps springing up.
If you see that creeper springing up,
cut its root by means of wisdom. 

The pleasures of creatures
are wide-ranging and extravagant.
Embracing those pleasures and holding on to them,
they undergo birth and decay again and again. 

Driven by lust, people run around like a hunted hare;
bound in chains they suffer for a long time again and again. 

Driven by lust, people run around like a hunted hare;
therefore let the mendicant wishing to conquer lust
shake off one's own craving. 

Whoever having got rid of the forest of desires,
gives oneself over to that forest-life,
and who, when free from the forest runs back into the forest,
look at that person, though free, running back into bondage. 

Wise people do not call that a strong chain
which is made of iron, wood, or rope,
stronger is the attachment to jewelry, sons, and a wife.

Wise people call strong this chain
which drags down, yields, and is difficult to undo;
after having cut this, people renounce the world,
free from cares, leaving pleasures of sense behind.

Those who are slaves to desires follow the stream,
as a spider the web it has made for itself.
Wise people when they have cut this,
go on free from care leaving all sorrow behind. 

Give up what is in front; give up what is behind;
give up what is in the middle,
passing to the farther shore of existence.
When your mind is completely free,
you will not again return to birth and old age. 

If a person is disturbed by doubts,
full of strong desires,
and yearning for what is pleasurable,
craving will grow more and more,
and one makes one's chains stronger. 

Whoever finds joy in quieting one's thoughts,
always reflecting, dwelling on what is not pleasurable,
will certainly remove and cut the chains of death.
Whoever has reached the goal, who is fearless,
who is without craving and without wrong,
has broken the thorns of existence;
this body will be their last. 

Whoever is without craving, without greed,
who understands the words and their meanings,
who knows the order of letters
is called a great sage, a great person.
This is their last body. 

"I have conquered all; I know all;
in all conditions of life, I am free from impurity.
I have renounced all,
and with the destruction of craving, I am free.
Having learned myself, whom shall I indicate as teacher?"

The gift of truth surpasses all gifts;
the sweetness of the truth surpasses all sweetness;
joy in the truth surpasses all pleasures;
the destruction of craving overcomes all sorrows.
Riches destroy the foolish, not those who seek beyond.
By craving for riches the fool destroys oneself,
as one destroys others. 

Weeds harm the fields; lusts harm humanity;
offerings given to those free from lusts bring great reward. 
Weeds harm the fields; hate harms humanity;
offerings given to those free from hate bring great reward. 

Weeds harm the fields; vanity harms humanity;
offerings given to those free from vanity bring great reward. 
Weeds harm the fields; desire harms humanity;
offerings given to those free from desire bring great reward.


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