The Dhammapada – Translated by Thomas Byrom
14. The Man Who Is Awake
He is awake.
The victory is his.
He has conquered the world.
How can he lose the way
Who is beyond the way?
His eye is open
His foot is free.
Who can follow after him?
The world cannot reclaim him
Or lead him astray,
Nor can the poisoned net of desire hold him.
He is awake!
The gods watch over him.
He is awake
And finds joy in the stillness of meditation
And in the sweetness of surrender.
Hard it is to be born,
Hard it is to live,
Harder still to hear of the way,
And hard to rise, follow, and awake.
Yet the reaching is simple.
Do what is right.
At the end of the way is freedom.
Till then, patience.
If you wound or grieve another,
You have not learned detachment.
Offend in neither word nor deed.
Eat with moderation.
Live in your heart.
Seek the highest consciousness.
Master yourself according to the Dharma.
This is the simple teaching of the awakened.
The rain could turn to gold
And still your thirst would not be slaked.
Desire is unquenchable
Or it ends in tears, even in heaven.
He who wishes to awake
Consumes his desires
In his fear a man may shelter
In mountains or in forests,
In groves of sacred trees or in shrines.
But how can he hide there from his sorrow?
He who shelters in the way
And travels with those who follow it
Comes to see the four great truths.
The beginning of sorrow,
The eightfold way
And the end of sorrow.
Then at last he is safe.
He has shaken off sorrow.
He is free.
The awakened are few and hard to find.
Happy is the house where a man awakes.
Blessed is his birth.
Blessed is the teaching of the way.
Blessed is the understanding among those who follow it,
And blessed is their determination.
And blessed are those who revere
The man who awakes and follows the way.
They are free from fear.
They are free.
They have crossed over the river of sorrow.