Maggavagga – The Path (verses 273-289)

The best of all paths is the Eightfold Path. The best of all truths are the Four Noble Truths. Non-attachment is the best of all states. The best of all men is the Seeing One (the Buddha).

This is the only Way. There is none other for the purity of vision. Do you follow this path. This is the bewilderment of Mara.

Entering upon that path you will make an end of pain. Having learnt the removal of thorns, have I taught you the path.

Striving should be done by yourselves; the Tathagatas are only teachers. The meditative ones who enter the way are delivered from the bonds of Mara.

“Transient are all conditioned things”: when this, with wisdom, one discerns, then is one disgusted with ill; this is the path to purity.

“Sorrowful are all conditioned things”: when this, with wisdom, one discerns, then is one disgusted with ill; this is the path to purity.

“All Dhammas are without a soul”: when this, with wisdom, one discerns, then is one disgusted with ill; this is the path to purity.

Who strives not when it is time to strive, who though young and strong is indolent, who is low in mind and thought and lazy, that idler never finds the way to wisdom.

Watchful of speech, and well controlled in mind, let him do no evil with the body; let him do no evil with the body; let him purify these three ways of action and attain the path attained by the Sages.

Verily, from meditation arises wisdom. Without meditation wisdom wanes. Knowing this twofold path of gain and loss, let one so conduct oneself that wisdom may increase.

Cut down the forest (of the passions), but not real trees. From the forest (of the passions) springs fear. Cutting down both forest and brush wood (of the passions), be forestless, O Bhikkhus.

For as long as the slightest brushwood (of the passions) of man towards women is not cut down, so long is his mind in bondage, like the calf to its mother-cow.

Cut off your affection as though it were an autumn lily, with the hand. Cultivate the very path of peace. Nibbana has been expounded by the Auspicious One.

Here will I live in the rainy season, here in the autumn and in the summer: thus muses the fool. He realizes not the danger (of death).

The doting man with mind set on children and herds, death seizes and carries away, as a great flood (sweeps away) a slumbering village.

There are no sons for one’s protection, neither father nor even kinsmen; for one who is overcome by death, no protection is to be found among kinsmen.

Realizing this fact, let the virtuous and wise person swiftly clear the way that leads to Nibbana.