Cittavagga – The Mind (verses 33-43)

The fickle, unsteady mind, so hard to guard, so hard to control, the wise man straightens, as the fletcher straightens the arrow.

Like a fish that is drawn from its watery abode and thrown upon land, even so does this mind flutter. Hence should the realm of the passions be shunned.

The mind is hard to check. It is swift and wanders at will. To control it is good. A controlled mind is conducive to happiness.

The mind is very hard to perceive, extremely subtle and wanders at will. Let the wise person guard it; a guarded mind is conducive to happiness.

Faring far, wandering alone, bodiless, lying in a cave, is the mind. Those who subdue it are freed from the bond of Mara.

He whose mind is not steadfast, he who knows not true doctrine, he whose confidence wavers – the wisdom of such a one will never be perfect.

He whose mind is not soaked (by lust), he who is not affected (by haunt), he who has transcended both good and evil – for such a vigilant one there is no fear.

Realising that this body is (as fragile) as a jar, establishing this mind (as firm) as a (fortified) city, he should attack Mara with the weapon of wisdom. He should guard his conquest and be without attachment.

Before long, alas! This body will lie upon the ground, cast aside, devoid of consciousness, even as a useless charred log.

Whatever (harm) a foe may do to a foe, or a hater to a hater, an ill-directed mind can do one far greater (harm).

What neither mother, nor father, nor any other relative can do, a well-directed mind does and thereby elevates one.