The Dhammapada  – Translated by Thomas Byrom

20. The Way

The way is eightfold.
There are four truths.
All virtue lies in detachment.
The master has an open eye.

This is the only way,
The only way to the opening of the eye.
Follow it.
Outwit desire.

Follow it to the end of sorrow.
When I pulled out sorrow’s shaft
I showed you the way.

It is you who must make the effort.
The masters only point the way.

But if you meditate
And follow the Dharma
You will free yourself from desire.

“Everything arises and passes away.”
When you see this, you are above sorrow.
This is the shining way.

“Existence is sorrow.”
Understand, and go beyond sorrow.
This is the way of brightness.

“Existence is illusion.”
Understand, and go beyond.
This is the way of clarity.

You are strong, you are young.
It is time to arise.
So arise!
Lest through irresolution and idleness
You lose the way.

Master your words.
Master your thoughts.
Never allow your body to do harm.
Follow these three roads with purity
And you will find yourself upon the one way,
The way of wisdom.

Sit in the world, sit in the dark.
Sit in meditation, sit in light.
Choose your seat.
Let wisdom grow.

Cut down the forest.
Not the tree.
For out of the forest comes danger.

Cut down the forest.
Fell desire.
And set yourself free.

While a man desires a woman,
His mind is bound
As closely as a calf to its mother.

As you would pluck an autumn lily,
Pluck the arrow of desire.

For he who is awake
Has shown you the way of peace.
Give yourself to the journey.

“Here shall I make my dwelling,
In the summer and the winter, And in the rainy season.”
So the fool makes his plans,
Sparing not a thought for his death.

Death overtakes the man
Who, giddy and distracted by the world,
Cares only for his flocks and his children,
Death fetches him away
As a flood carries off a sleeping village.

His family cannot save him,
Not his father nor his sons.
Know this.
Seek wisdom, and purity.
Quickly clear the way.