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The Pairs of Verses

Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
For free distribution only.


II.13 -- Hera˝˝akani

Days & nights fly past.
Life comes to an end.
The span of mortals runs out,
like the water of a piddling stream.
But the fool doing evil deeds,
doesn't realize that later it's bitter for him:
evil for him the result.


II.16 -- Mahakala

This swarthy woman [preparing a corpse for cremation]
crow-like, enormous breaking a thigh & then the other thigh,
breaking an arm & then the other arm,
cracking open the head, like a pot of curds,
she sits with them heaped up beside her.

Whoever, unknowing, makes acquisitions,
the fool returns over & over to suffering & stress.
So, discerning, don't make acquisitions.
May I never lie with my head cracked open again.


II.24 -- Valliya

What needs to be done with firm persistence,
what needs to be done by someone who hopes for Awakening,
that I will do.
I will not fail.
See: persistence & striving!

You show me the path:
the straight,
the plunge into Deathlessness.
I, through sagacity,
will reach it, know it,
as the stream of the Ganges,
the sea.

II.26 -- Punnamasa

Shedding five hindrances
so as to reach the unexcelled rest
from the yoke,
taking the Dhamma as mirror
for knowing & seeing myself,
I reflected on this body
the whole thing,
inside & out,
my own & others'.
How vain & empty it looked!


II.27 -- Nandaka

Just as a fine thoroughbred steed
stumbling, regains its stance,
feeling all the more urgency,
& draws its burden undaunted.

In the same way, remember me:
consummate in vision,
a disciple of the Rightly
Self-awakened One,
the Awakened One's thoroughbred child,
his son.


II.30 -- Kanhadinna

Men of integrity have been attended to,
the Dhamma repeatedly listened to.
Having listened,
I followed the straight way,
the plunge into Deathlessness.

Passion for becoming,
having been killed by me,
no further such passion is found in me.
It neither was nor will be
nor is found in me even now.


II.37 -- Sona Potiriyaputta

It's not for sleeping,
the night garlanded with zodiac stars.
The night, for one who knows,
is for staying awake.

If I were to fall from my elephant's shoulder,
and a tusker trampled me,
death in battle would be better for me,
than that I, defeated, survive.

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