The DhammapadaTranslated by Thomas Byrom

26. The True Master

Wanting nothing
With all your heart
Stop the stream.

When the world dissolves
Everything becomes clear.

Go beyond
This way or that way,
To the farther shore
Where the world dissolves
And everything becomes clear.

Beyond this shore
And the father shore,
Beyond the beyond,
Where there is no beginning,
No end.

Without fear, go.

Live purely.
Be quiet.
Do your work, with mastery.

By day the sun shines,
And the warrior in his armor shines.
By night the moon shines,
And the master shines in meditation.

But this day and night
The man who is awake
Shines in the radiance of the spirit.

A master gives up mischief.
He is serene.
He leaves everything behind him
He does not take offence
And he does not give it.
He never returns evil for evil.

Alas for the man
Who raises his hand against another,
And even more for him
Who returns the blow.

Resist the pleasures of life
And the desire to hurt –
Till sorrows vanish.

Never offend
By what you think or say or do.

Honor the man who is awake
And shows you the way.
Honor the fire of his sacrifice.

Matted hair or family or caste
Do not make a master
But the truth and goodness
With which he is blessed.

Your hair is tangled
And you sit on a deerskin.
What folly!
When inside you are ragged with lust.

The master’s clothes are in tatters.
His veins stand out,
He is wasting away.
Alone in the forest
He sits and meditates.

A man is not born to mastery.
A master is never proud.
He does not talk down to others.
Owning nothing, he misses nothing.

He is not afraid.
He does not tremble.
Nothing binds him.
He is infinitely free.

So cut through
The strap and the thong and the rope.
Loosen the fastenings.
Unbolt the doors of sleep
And awake.

The master endures
Insults and ill treatment
Without reacting.
For his spirit is an army.

He is never angry.
He keeps his promises.
He never strays, he is determined.
This body is my last, he says!

Like water on the leaf of a lotus flower
Or a mustard seed on the point of a needle,
He does not cling.

For he has reached the end of sorrow
And has laid down his burden.

He looks deeply into things
And sees their nature.
He discriminates
And reaches the end of the way.

He does not linger
With those who have a home
Nor with those who stray.
Wanting nothing,
He travels on alone.

He hurts nothing.
He never kills.

He moves with love among the unloving,
With peace and detachment
Among the hungry and querulous.

Like a mustard seed from the point of a needle
Hatred has fallen from him,
And lust, hypocrisy and pride.

He offends no one.
Yet he speaks the truth.
His words are clear
But never harsh.

Whatever is not his
He refuses,
Good or bad, great or small.

He wants nothing from this world
And nothing from the next.
He is free.

Desiring nothing, doubting nothing,
Beyond judgement and sorrow
And the pleasures of the senses,
He had moved beyond time.
He is pure and free.

How clear he is.
He is the moon.
He is serene.
He shines.

For he has travelled
Life after life
The muddy and treacherous road of illusion.

He does not tremble
Or grasp or hesitate.
He has found peace.

He lets go of life,
Or home and pleasure and desire.

Nothing of men can hold him.
Nothing of the gods can hold him.
Nothing in all creation can hold him.

Desire has left him,
Never to return.
Sorrow has left him,
Never to return.

He is calm.
In him the seed of renewing life
Had been consumed.
He has conquered all the inner worlds.

With dispassionate eye
He sees everywhere
The falling and the uprising.

And with great gladness
He knows that he has finished.
He has woken from his sleep.

And the way he has taken
Is hidden from men,
Even from spirits and gods,
By virtue of his purity.

In him there in no yesterday,
No tomorrow,
No today.

Possessing nothing,
Wanting nothing.

He is full of power.
Fearless, wise, exalted.
He has vanquished all things.
He sees by virtue of his purity.

He has come to the end of the way,
Over the river of his many lives,
His many deaths.

Beyond the sorrow of hell,
Beyond the great joy of heaven,
By virtue of his purity.

He has come to the end of the way.

All that he had to do; he has done.

And now he is one.