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evaṃ mano-dhāraṇayā krameṇa vyapohya kiṁ-cit samupohya kiṁ-cit /

Thus, by methodically taking possession of the mind, getting rid of something and gathering something together,

dhyānāni catvāry-adhigamya yogī prāpnoty-abhijñā niyamena pañca // 16.1 //

The practitioner makes the four dhyānas1 his own, and duly acquires the five powers of knowing:


ṛddhi-pravekaṃ ca bahu-prakāraṃ parasya cetaś-caritāvabodham /

The principal transcendent power, taking many forms; then being awake to what others are thinking;

atīta-janma-smaraṇaṃ ca dīrghaṃ divye viśuddhe śruti-cakṣuṣī ca // 16.2 //

And remembering past lives from long ago; and divine lucidity of ear; and of eye.


ataḥ paraṃ tattva-parikṣaṇena mano dadhāty-āsrava-saṃkṣayāya /

From then on, through investigation of what is, he applies his mind to destroying the polluting influences,

tato hi duḥkha-prabhṛtīni samyak catvāri satyāni padāny-avaiti // 16.3 //

For on this basis he fully understands suffering and the rest, the four true standpoints:


bādhātmakaṃ duḥkham-idaṃ prasaktaṃ duḥkhasya hetuḥ prabhavātmako 'yam /

This is suffering, which is constant and akin to trouble; this is the cause of suffering, akin to starting it;

duḥkha-kṣayo niḥsaraṇātmako 'yaṃ trāṇātmako 'yaṃ praśamāya mārgaḥ // 16.4 //
This is cessation of suffering, akin to walking away. And this, akin to a refuge, is a peaceable path.


ity-ārya-satyāny-avabudhya buddhyā catvāri samyak pratividhya caiva /

Understanding these noble truths, by a process of reasoning, while getting to know the four as one,

sarvāsravān bhāvanayābhibhūya na jāyate śāntimavāpya bhūyaḥ // 16.5 //

He prevails over all pollutants, by the means of mental development, and, on finding peace, is no longer subject to becoming.


abodhato hy-aprativedhataś-ca tattvātmakasyāsya catuṣṭasya /

For by failing to wake up and come round to this four, whose substance is the reality of what is,

bhavād bhavaṃ yāti na śantim-eti saṃsāra-dolām-adhiruhya lokaḥ // 16.6 //

Humankind goes from existence to existence without finding peace, hoisted in the swing of saṁsāra.


tasmāj-jarāder-vyasanasya mūlaṃ samāsato duḥkham-avaihi janma /

Therefore, at the root of a tragedy like growing old, see, in short, that birth is suffering.

sarvauṣadhīnām-iva bhūr-bhavāya sarvāpadāṃ kṣetram-idaṃ hi janma // 16.7 //

For, as the earth supports the life of all plants, this birth is the field of all troubles.


yaj-janma-rūpasya hi sendriyasya duḥkhasya tan-naika-vidhasya janma /

The birth of a sentient bodily form, again, is the birth of suffering in all its varieties;

yaḥ saṃbhavaś-cāsya samucchrayasya mṛtyoś-ca rogasya ca saṃbhavaḥ saḥ // 16.8 //

And he who begets such an outgrowth is the begetter of death and of disease.


sad-vāpy-asadvā viṣa-miśram-annaṃ yathā vināśāya na dhāraṇāya /

Good food or bad food, if mixed with poison, makes for ruin and not for sustenance.

loke tathā tiryag-upary-adho vā duḥkhāya sarvaṃ na sukhāya janma // 16.9 //
Likewise, whether in a world on the flat or above or below, all birth makes for hardship and not for ease.


jarādayo naika-vidhāḥ prajānāṃ satyāṃ pravṛttau prabhavanty-anarthāḥ /

The many and various disappointments of men, like old age, occur as long as their doing goes on.

pravātsu ghoreṣv-api māruteṣu na hy-aprasūtās-taravaś-calanti // 16.10 //

(For, even when violent winds blow, trees do not shake that never sprouted.)


ākāśa-yoniḥ pavano yathā hi yathā śamī-garbha-śayo hutāśaḥ /

As wind is born from the air, as fire sleeps in the womb of śamī wood,

āpo yathāntar-vasudhā-śayāś-ca duḥkhaṃ tathā citta-śarīra-yoni // 16.11 //

And as water gestates inside the earth, so does suffering spring from an expectant mind-and-body.


apāṃ dravatvaṃ kaṭhinatvam-urvyā vāyoś-calatvaṃ dhruvam-auṣṇyam-agneḥ /

The fluidity of water, the solidity of earth, the motion of wind, and the constant heat of fire

yathā sva-bhāvo hi tathā sva-bhāvo duḥkhaṃ śarīrasya ca cetasaś-ca // 16.12 //
Are innate in them; as also it is in the nature of both the body and the mind to suffer.


kāye sati vyādhi-jarādi duḥkhaṃ kṣut-tarṣa-varṣoṣṇa-himādi caiva /

Insofar as there is a body, there is the suffering of sickness, aging and so on; and also of hunger and thirst, and of the rains, and summer heat and winter cold.

rūpāśrite cetasi sānubandhe śok-ārati-krodha-bhayādi duḥkham // 16.13 //

Insofar as a mind is bonded, tied to phenomena, there is the suffering of grief, discontent, anger, fear and so on.


pratyakṣam-ālokya ca janma-duḥkhaṃ duḥkhaṃ tathātītam-apīti viddhi /

Seeing now before your eyes that birth is suffering, recognise that likewise in the past it was suffering.

yathā ca tad-duḥkham-idaṃ ca duḥkhaṃ duḥkhaṃ tathānāgatam-apy-avehi // 16.14 //
And just as that was suffering and this is suffering, know that likewise in the future it will be suffering.


bīja-svabhāvo hi yatheha dṛṣṭo bhūto 'pi bhavyo 'pi tathānumeyaḥ /

For just as it is evident to us now what kind of thing a seed is, we can infer that it was so in the past and that it will be so in the future.

praty-akṣataś-ca jvalano yathoṣṇo bhūto 'pi bhavyo 'pi tathoṣṇa eva // 16.15 //
And just as fire burning before us is hot, so was it hot and so will it be hot.


tan-nāma-rūpasya guṇānurūpaṃ yatraiva nirvṛttir-udāra-vṛtta /

In conformity with its kind, then, a distinguishable bodily form develops, wherein, O man of noble conduct,

tatraiva duḥkhaṃ na hi tad-vimuktaṃ duḥkhaṃ bhaviṣyaty-abhavad bhaved vā // 16.16 //

Suffering exists, right there -- for nowhere else will suffering exist or has it existed or could it exist.


pravṛtti-duḥkhasya ca tasya loke tṛṣṇādayo doṣa-gaṇā nimittam /

And this, the suffering of doing, in the world, has its cause2 in clusters of faults which start with thirsting --

naiveśvaro na prakṛtir na kālo nāpi svabhāvo na vidhir-yadṛcchā // 16.17 //

The cause is certainly not in God, nor in primordial matter, nor in time; nor even in one’s inherent constitution, nor in predestination or self-will.


jñātavyam-etena ca kāraṇena lokasya doṣebhya iti pravṛttiḥ /

Again, you must understand how, due to this cause, because of men's faults, the cycle of doing goes on,

yasmān-mriyante sa-rajas-tamaskā na jāyate vīta-rajas-tamaskaḥ // 16.18 //

So that they succumb to death who are afflicted by the dust of the passions and by darkness; but he is not reborn who is free of dust and darkness.


icchā-viśeṣe sati tatra tatra yānāsanāder-bhavati prayogaḥ /

Insofar as the specific desire exists to do this or that, an action like going or sitting happens;

yasmād-atas-tarṣa-vaśāt-tathaiva janma prajānām-iti veditavyam // 16.19 //

Hence, in just the same way, by the force of their thirsting living creatures are reborn -- as is to be observed:


sattvāny-abhiṣvaṅga-vaśāni dṛṣṭvā svajātiṣu prīti-parāṇy-atīva /

See sentient beings in the grip of attachment, dead set on pleasure among their own kind;

abhyāsa-yogād-upapāditāni tair-eva doṣair-iti tāni viddhi // 16.20 //
And, from their habitual practice of faults, observe them presenting with those very faults.


krodha-praharṣādibhir-āśrayāṇām-utpadyate ceha yathā viśeṣaḥ /

Just as the anger, lust, and so on of sufferers of those afflictions give rise in the present to a personality trait,

tathaiva janmasv-api naika-rūpo nirvartate kleśa-kṛto viśeṣaḥ // 16.21 //

So too in new lives, in various manifestations, does the affliction-created trait develop:


roṣādhike janmani tīvra-roṣa utpadyate rāgiṇi tīvra-rāgaḥ /

In a life dominated by anger arises violent anger, in the lover of passion arises burning passion,

mohādhike moha-balādhikaś-ca tad-alpa-doṣe ca tad-alpa-doṣaḥ // 16.22 //

And in one dominated by ignorance arises overwhelming ignorance. In one who has a lesser fault, again, the lesser fault develops.


phalaṃ hi yādṛk samavaiti sākṣāt tad-āgamād bījam-avaity-atītam /

Seeing what fruit is before one's eyes, one knows, from past knowledge of that fruit, the seed it was in the past.

avetya bīja-prakṛtiṃ ca sākṣād-anāgataṃ tat-phalam-abhyupaiti // 16.23 //
And having identified a seed before one's eyes, one knows the fruit it may be in the future.3


doṣa-kṣayo jātiṣu yāsu yasya vairāgyatas-tāsu na jāyate saḥ /

In whichever realms of existence a man has ended faults, thanks to that dispassion he is not born in those realms.

doṣāśayas-tiṣṭhati yasya yatra tasyopapattir-vivaśasya tatra // 16.24 //
Wherever he remains susceptible to a fault, that is where he makes his appearance, whether he likes it or not.


taj-janmano naika-vidhasya saumya tṛṣṇādayo hetava ity-avetya /

So my friend, with regard to the many forms of becoming, know their causes to be [the faults] that start with thirsting

tāṃś-chindhi duḥkhād yadi nirmumukṣā kārya-kṣayaḥ kāraṇa-saṃkṣayādd hi // 16.25 //

And cut out those [faults], if you wish to be freed from suffering; for ending of the effect follows from eradication of the cause.


duḥkha-kṣayo hetu-parikṣayāc-ca śāntaṃ śivaṃ sākṣi-kuruṣva dharmaṃ /

Again, the ending of suffering follows from the disappearance of its cause. Experience that reality for yourself as peace and well-being,

tṛṣṇā-virāgaṃ layanaṃ nirodhaṃ sanātanaṃ trāṇam-ahāryam-āryam // 16.26 //

A place of rest, a cessation, an absence of the red taint of thirsting, a primeval refuge which is irremovable and noble,


yasmin-na jātir-na jarā na mṛtyur-na vyādhayo nāpriya-saṃprayogaḥ /

In which there is no becoming, no aging, no dying, no illness, no being touched by unpleasantness,

necchā-vipanna priya-viprayogaḥ kṣemaṃ padaṃ naiṣṭhikam-acyutaṃ tat // 16.27 //
No disappointment, and no separation from what is pleasant: It is an ultimate and indestructible step, in which to dwell at ease.


dīpo yathā nirvṛtim-abhyupeto naivāvaniṃ gacchati nāntarikṣam /

A lamp that has gone out reaches neither to the earth nor to the sky,

diśaṃ na kāṃ-cid vidiśaṃ na kāṃ-cit sneha-kṣayāt kevalam-eti śāntim // 16.28 //

Nor to any cardinal nor to any intermediate point: Because its oil is spent it reaches nothing but extinction.


evaṃ kṛtī nirvṛtim-abhyupeto naivāvaniṃ gacchati nāntarikṣam /

In the same way, a man of action who has come to quiet reaches neither to the earth nor to the sky,

diśaṃ na kāṃ-cid vidiśaṃ na kāṃ-cit kleśa-kṣayāt kevalam-eti śāntim // 16.29 //

Nor to any cardinal nor to any intermediate point: From the ending of his afflictions he attains nothing but extinction.


asyābhyupāyo 'dhigamāya mārgaḥ prajñā-trikalpaḥ praśama-dvikalpaḥ /

A means for gaining that end is the path of threefold wisdom and twofold tranquillity.

sa bhāvanīyo vidhivad budhena śīle śucau tripramukhe sthitena // 16.30 //
It is to be cultivated by a wakeful person working to principle -- abiding in untainted threefold integrity.


vāk-karma samyak saha-kāya-karma yathāvad-ājīva-nayaś-ca śuddhaḥ /

Using the voice well and the body well in tandem, and making a clean living in a suitable manner:

idaṃ trayaṃ vṛtta-vidhau pravṛttaṃ śīlāśrayaṃ dharma-parigrahāya // 16.31 //

These three, pertaining to conduct, are for the mastery, based on integrity, of one's dharma-duty.4


satyeṣu duḥkhādiṣu dṛṣṭir-āryā samyag-vitarkaś-ca parākramaś-ca /

Noble insight into suffering and the other truths, along with thinking straight, and initiative:

idaṃ trayaṃ jñāna-vidhau pravṛttaṃ prajñāśrayaṃ kleśa-parikṣayāya // 16.32 //
These three, pertaining to know-how, are for dissolution, based on wisdom, of the afflictions.


nyāyena satyābhigamāya yuktā samyak smṛtiḥ samyag-atho samādhiḥ /

True mindfulness, properly harnessed so as to bring one close to the truths; and true balance:

idaṃ dvayaṃ yoga-vidhau pravṛttaṃ śamāśrayaṃ citta-parigrahāya // 16.33 //

These two, pertaining to practice, are for mastery, based on tranquillity, of the mind.


kleśāṅkurān-na pratanoti śīlaṃ bījāṅkurān kāla ivātivṛttaḥ /

Integrity no more propagates the shoots of affliction than a bygone spring propagates shoots from seeds.

śucau hi śīle puruṣasya doṣā manaḥ sa-lajjā iva dharṣayanti // 16.34 //
The faults, as long as a man's integrity is untainted, venture only timidly to attack his mind.


kleśāṃs-tu viṣkambhayate samādhir-vegān-ivādrir-mahato nadīnām /

But balance casts off the afflictions like a mountain casts off the mighty torrents of rivers.

sthitaṁ samādhau hi na dharṣayanti doṣā bhujaṃgā iva mantra-baddhāḥ // 16.35 //

The faults do not attack a man who is standing firm in balanced stillness: like charmed snakes, they are spellbound.


prajñā tv-aśeṣeṇa nihanti doṣāṃs-tīra-drumān prāvṛṣi nimnageva /

And wisdom destroys the faults without trace, as a mountain stream in the monsoon destroys the trees on its banks.

dagdhā yayā na prabhavanti doṣā vajrāgninevānusṛtena vṛkṣāḥ // 16.36 //

Faults consumed by it do not stand a chance, like trees in the fiery wake of a thunderbolt.


triskandham-etaṃ pravigāhya mārgaṃ praspaṣṭam-aṣṭāṅgam-ahāryam-āryam /

Giving oneself to this path with its three divisions and eight branches -- this straightforward, irremovable, noble path --

duḥkhasya hetūn prajahāti doṣān prāpnoti cātyanta-śivaṃ padaṃ tat // 16.37 /

One abandons the faults, which are the causes of suffering, and comes to that step which is total well-being.


asyopacāre dhṛtir-ārjavaṃ ca hrīr-apramādaḥ praviviktatā ca /

Attendant on it are constancy and straightness; modesty, attentiveness, and reclusiveness;

alpecchatā tuṣṭir-asaṃgatā ca loka-pravṛttāv-aratiḥ kṣamā ca // 16.38 //
Wanting little, contentment, and freedom from forming attachments; no fondness for worldly activity, and forbearance.


yāthātmyato vindati yo hi duḥkhaṃ tasyodbhavaṃ tasya ca yo nirodham /

For he who knows suffering as it really is, who knows its starting and its stopping:

āryeṇa mārgeṇa sa śāntim-eti kalyāṇa-mitraiḥ saha vartamānaḥ // 16.39 //
It is he who reaches peace by the noble path -- going along with friends in the good.


yo vyādhito vyādhim-avaiti samyag vyādher-nidānaṃ ca tad-auṣadhaṃ ca /

He who fully appreciates his illness, as the illness it is, who sees the cause of the illness and its remedy:

ārogyam-āpnoti hi so 'cireṇa mitrair-abhijñair-upacaryamāṇaḥ // 16.40 //

It is he who wins, before long, freedom from disease -- attended by friends in the know.


tad-vyādhi-saṃjñāṃ kuru duḥkha-satye doṣeṣv-api vyādhi-nidāna-saṃjñām /

So with regard to the truth of suffering, see suffering as an illness; with regard to the faults, see the faults as the cause of the illness;

ārogya-saṃjñāṃ ca nirodha-satye bhaiṣajya-saṃjñām-api mārga-satye // 16.41 //

With regard to the truth of stopping, see stopping as freedom from disease; and with regard to the truth of a path, see a path as a remedy.


tasmāt pravṛttiṃ-parigaccha duḥkhaṃ pravartakān-apy-avagaccha doṣān /

Comprehend, therefore, that suffering is doing; witness the faults impelling it forward;

nivṛttim-āgaccha ca tan-nirodhaṃ nivartakaṃ cāpy-avagaccha mārgam // 16.42 //

Realise its stopping as non-doing; and know the path as a turning back.


śirasy-atho vāsasi saṃpradīpte satyāvabodhāya matir-vicāryā /

Though your head and clothes be on fire direct your mind so as to be awake to the truths.

dagdhaṃ jagat satya-nayaṃ hy-adṛṣṭvā pradahyate saṃprati dhakṣyate ca // 16.43 //

For in failing to see the purport of the truths, the world has burned, it is burning now, and it will burn.


yadaiva yaḥ paśyati nāma-rūpaṃ kṣayīti tad-darśanam-asya samyak /

When a man sees a separate bodily form as decrepit, that insight of his is accurate;

samyak ca nirvedam-upaiti paśyan nandī-kṣayāc-ca kṣayam-eti rāgaḥ // 16.44 //

In seeing accurately he is disenchanted, and from the ending of exuberance ends the red taint of passion.


tayoś-ca nandī-rajasoḥ kṣayeṇa samyag-vimuktaṃ pravadāmi cetaḥ /

By the ending of the duality which is exuberance and gloom, I submit, his mind is fully set free.

samyag-vimuktir-manasaś-ca tābhyāṃ na cāsya bhūyaḥ karaṇīyam-asti // 16.45 //

And when his mind is fully liberated from that duality, there is nothing further for him to do.


yathā-svabhāvena hi nāma-rūpaṃ tadd-hetum-evāsta-gamaṃ ca tasya /

For in him who sees a separate bodily form as it is, and who sees its origin and passing away,

vijānataḥ pasyata eva cāhaṃ bravīmi samyak kṣayam-āsravāṇām // 16.46 //

From the very fact of his knowing and seeing, I predict the complete eradication of the pollutants.


tasmāt paraṃ saumya vidhāya vīryaṃ śīghraṃ ghaṭasv-āsrava-saṃkṣayāya /

So my friend garner your energy greatly and strive quickly to put an end to polluting influences,

duḥkhān-anityāṃś-ca nirātmakāṃś-ca dhātūn viśeṣeṇa parīkṣamāṇaḥ // 16.47 //

Examining in particular the elements -- as suffering, as impermanent and as devoid of self.


dhātūn hi ṣaḍ bhū-salilānalādīn sāmānyataḥ svena ca lakṣaṇena /

For in knowing the six elements of earth, water, fire and the rest, generically, and each as specific to itself,5

avaiti yo nānyam-avaiti tebhyaḥ so 'tyantikaṃ mokṣam-avaiti tebhyaḥ // 16.48 //

He who knows nothing else but those elements, knows total release from those elements.


kleśa-prahāṇāya ca niścitena kālo 'bhyupāyaś-ca parīkṣitavyaḥ /

One set on abandoning the afflictions, then, should attend to timing and method;

yogo 'py-akāle hy-anupāyataś-ca bhavaty-anarthāya na tad-guṇāya // 16.49 //
For even practice itself, done at the wrong time and relying on wrong means, makes for disappointment and not for the desired end.


ajāta-vatsāṃ yadi gāṃ duhīta naivāpnuyāt kṣīram-akāla-dohī /

If a cow is milked before her calf is born, milking at the wrong time will yield no milk.

kāle 'pi vā syān-na payo labheta mohena śṛṅgād yadi gāṃ duhīta // 16.50 //

Or even at the right time no milk will be got if, through ignorance, a cow is milked by the horn.


ārdrāc-ca kāṣṭhāj-jvalan-ābhikāmo naiva prayatnād-api vanhim-ṛcchet /

Again, one who wants fire from damp wood, try as he might, will not get fire.

kāṣṭhāc-ca śuṣkād-api pātanena naivāgnim-āpnoty-anupāya-pūrvam // 16.51 //

And even if he lays down dry wood, he won't get fire from that, with bad bushcraft.


tad-deśa-kālau vidhivat parīkṣya yogasya mātrām-api cābhyupāyam /

Having given due consideration to the time and place as well as to the extent and method of one's practice,

balābale cātmani saṃpradhārya kāryaḥ prayatno na tu tad-viruddhaḥ // 16.52 //

One should, reflecting on one's own strength and weakness, persist in an effort that is not inconsistent with them.


pragrāhakaṃ yat-tu nimittam-uktam-uddhanyamāne hṛdi tan-na sevyam /

That factor6 said to be "garnering" does not serve when the emotions are inflamed,

evaṃ hi cittaṃ praśamaṁ na yāti [viś]vāyunā vahnir-iveryamāṇaḥ // 16.53 //

For thus the mind does not come to quiet, like a fire being fanned by the wind.


śamāya yat syān-niyataṃ nimittaṃ jātoddhave cetasi tasya kālaḥ /

A factor ascertained to be calming has its time when one's mind is excited;

evaṃ hi cittaṃ praśamaṃ niyacchet pradīpyamāno 'gnir-ivodakena // 16.54 //

For thus the mind subsides into quietness, like a blazing fire doused with water.


śamāvahaṃ yan-niyataṃ nimittaṃ sevyaṃ na tac-cetasi līyamāne /

A factor ascertained to bring calm does not serve when one's mind is dormant;

evaṃ hi bhūyo layam-eti cittam-anīryamāṇo 'gnir-ivālpa-sāraḥ // 16.55 //

For thus the mind sinks further into lifelessness, like a feeble fire left unfanned.


pragrāhakaṃ yan-niyataṃ nimittaṃ layaṃ gate cetasi tasya kālaḥ /

A factor determined to be garnering, has its time when one's mind is lifeless,

kriyā-samarthaṃ hi manas-tathā syān-mandāyamāno 'gnir-ivendhanena // 16.56 //

For thus the mind becomes fit for work, like a feebly-burning fire plied with fuel.


aupekṣikaṃ nāpi nimittam-iṣṭaṃ layaṃ gate cetasi soddhave vā /

Nor is equanimity7 a valid factor when one's mind is either lifeless or excited.

evaṃ hi tīvraṃ janayed-anartham-upekṣito vyādhir-ivāturasya // 16.57 //

For that might engender severe adversity, like the neglected illness of a sick man.


yat-syād-upekṣā-niyataṃ nimittaṃ sāmyaṃ gate cetasi tasya kālaḥ /

A factor ascertained to conduce to equanimity has its time when one's mind is in its normal state;

evaṃ hi kṛtyāya bhavet-prayogo ratho vidheyāśva iva prayātaḥ // 16.58 //

For thus one may set about work to be done, like a wagon setting off with well-trained horses.


rāg-oddhava-vyākulite 'pi citte maitropasaṃhāra-vidhir-na kāryaḥ /

Again, when the mind is filled with the red joys of passion, direction towards oneself of loving-kindness is not to be practised;

rāgātmako muhyati maitrayā hi snehaṃ kapha-kṣobha ivopayujya // 16.59 //

For a passionate type is stupefied by love, like a sufferer from phlegm taking oil.


rāgoddhate cetasi dhairyam-etya niṣevitavyaṃ tv-aśubhaṃ nimittam /

Steadiness lies, when the mind is excited by ardour, in resorting to an unpleasant factor;8

rāgātmako hy-evam-upaiti śarma kaphātmako rūkṣam-ivopayujya // 16.60 //

For thus a passionate type obtains relief, like a phlegmatic type taking an astringent.


vyāpāda-doṣeṇa manasy-udīrṇe na sevitavyaṃ tv-aśubhaṃ nimittam /

When the mind is wound up, however, with the fault of malice, unpleasantness is not the factor to be deployed;

dveṣātmakasya hy-aśubhā vadhāya pittātmanas-tīkṣṇa ivopacāraḥ // 16.61 //
For unpleasantness is destructive to a hating type, as acid treatment is to a man of bilious nature.


vyāpāda-doṣa-kṣubhite tu citte sevyā sva-pakṣopanayena maitrī /

When the mind is agitated by the fault of malice, loving-kindness should be cultivated, by directing it towards oneself.

dveṣātmano hi praśamāya maitrī pittātmanaḥ śīta ivopacāraḥ // 16.62 //

For loving-kindness is calming to a hate-afflicted soul, as cooling treatment is to the man of bilious nature.


mohānubaddhe manasaḥ pracāre maitrāśubhā caiva bhavaty-ayogaḥ /

When there is wandering of the mind, tied to delusion, both loving-kindness and unpleasantness are unsuitable,

tābhyāṃ hi saṃmoham-upaiti bhūyo vāyv-ātmako rūkṣam-ivopanīya // 16.63 //

For a deluded man is further deluded by these two, like a windy type given an astringent.


mohātmikāyāṃ manasaḥ pravṛttau sevyas-tv-idam-pratyayatā-vihāraḥ /

When working of the mind is delusory, one should appreciate the causality therein;

mūḍhe manasy-eṣa hi śānti-mārgo vāyv-ātmake snigdha ivopacāraḥ // 16.64 //

For this is a path to peace when the mind is bewildered, like treating a wind condition with oil.


ulkā-mukha-sthaṃ hi yathā suvarṇaṃ suvarṇa-kāro dhamatīha kāle /

Holding gold in the mouth of a furnace, a goldsmith in this world blows it at the proper time,

kāle pariprokṣayate jalena krameṇa kāle samupekṣate ca // 16.65 //

Douses it with water at the proper time, and gradually, at the proper time, he leaves it be.


dahet suvarṇaṃ hi dhamann-akāle jale kṣipan saṃśameyed-akāle /

For he might burn the gold by blowing at the wrong time, he might make it unworkable by plunging it into water at the wrong time,

na cāpi samyak paripākam-enaṃ nayed-akāle samupekṣamāṇaḥ // 16.66 //

And he would not bring it to full perfection if at the wrong time he were just to leave it be.


saṃpragrahasya praśamasya caiva tathaiva kāle samupekṣaṇasya /

Likewise, for garnering as also for calming, as also when appropriate for leaving well alone,

samyaṅ nimittaṃ manasā tv-avekṣyaṃ nāśo hi yatno 'py-anupāya-pūrvaḥ // 16.67 //

One should readily attend to the appropriate factor; because even diligence is destructive when accompanied by a wrong approach."


ity-evam-anyāya-nivartanaṃ ca nyāyaṃ ca tasmai sugato babhāṣe /

Thus, on retreat from muddling through, and on the principle to come back to, the One Who Went Well spoke to Nanda;

bhūyaś-ca tat-tac-caritaṃ viditvā vitarka-hānāya vidhīn-uvāca // 16.68 //
And knowing the varieties of behaviour, he detailed further the directions for abandoning ideas.


yathā bhiṣak pitta-kaphānilānāṃ ya eva kopaṃ samupaiti doṣaḥ /

Just as, for a disorder of bile, phlegm, or wind -- for whatever disorder of the humours has manifested the symptoms of disease --

śamāya tasyaiva vidhiṃ vidhatte vyadhatta doṣeṣu tathaiva buddhaḥ // 16.69 //

A doctor prescribes a course of treatment to cure that very disorder; so did the Buddha prescribe for the faults:


ekena kalpena sacen-na hanyāt sv-abhyasta-bhāvād-asubhān vitarkān /

It may not be possible, following a single method, to kill off bad ideas that habit has so deeply entrenched;

tato dvitīyaṃ kramam-ārabheta na tv-eva heyo guṇavān prayogaḥ // 16.70 //

In that case, one should commit to a second course but never give up the good work.


anādi-kālopacitātmakatvād balīyasaḥ kleśa-gaṇasya caiva /

Because of the instinct-led accumulation, from time without beginning, of the powerful mass of afflictions,

samyak prayogasya ca duṣkaratvāc-chettuṃ na śakyāḥ sahasā hi doṣāḥ // 16.71 //

And because true practice is so difficult to do, the faults cannot be cut off all at once.


aṇvyā yathāṇyā vipulāṇir-anyā nirvāhyate tad-viduṣā nareṇa /

Just as a deep splinter, by means of the point of another sharp object, is removed by a man skilled in that task,

tadvat-tad-evākuśalaṃ nimittaṃ kṣipen-nimittāntara-sevanena // 16.72 //

Likewise an unpromising stimulus may be dispensed with through deployment of a different stimulus.9


tavātha-vādhyātma-nava-grahatvān-naivopaśāmyed-aśubho vitarkaḥ /

There again, because of your personal inexperience, a bad idea might not give way.

heyaḥ sa tad-doṣa-parīkṣaṇena sa-śvāpado mārga ivādhvagena // 16.73 //

You should abandon it by observing the fault in it, as a traveller abandons a path on which there is a wild beast.


yathā kṣudh-ārto 'pi viśeṇa pṛktaṃ jijīviṣur-necchati bhoktum-annam /

A man who wishes to live, even when starving, declines to eat poisoned food.

tathaiva doṣāvaham-ity-avetya jahāti vidvān-aśubhaṃ nimittam // 16.74 //

Likewise, observing that it brings with it a fault, a wise person leaves alone an unpleasant stimulus.10


na doṣataḥ paśyati yo hi doṣaṃ kas-taṃ tato vārayituṃ samarthaḥ /

When a man does not see a fault as a fault, who is able to restrain him from it?

guṇaṃ guṇe paśyati yaś-ca yatra sa vāryamāṇo 'pi tataḥ prayāti // 16.75 //

But when a man sees the good in what is good, he goes towards it despite being restrained.


vyapatrapante hi kula-prasūtā manaḥ-pracārair-aśubhaiḥ pravṛtaiḥ /

For those brought up well are ashamed of unpleasant occurrences going on in the mind,

kaṇṭhe manasvīva yuvā vapuṣmān-acākṣuṣair-aprayatair-viṣaktaiḥ // 16.76 //
As one who is bright, young and good-looking is ashamed of unsightly, ill-arranged objects hanging around his neck.


nirdhūyamānās-tv-atha leśato 'pi tiṣṭheyur-evākuśalā vitarkāḥ /

If, though they are being shaken off, a trace persists of unhelpful thoughts,

kāryāntarair-adhyayana-kriyādyaiḥ sevyo vidhir-vismaraṇāya teṣām // 16.77 //

One should resort to different tasks, such as study or physical work, as a means of consigning those thoughts to oblivion.


svaptavyam-apy-eva vicakṣaṇena kāya-klamo vāpi niṣevitavyaḥ /

A clear-sighted person should even sleep or resort to physical exhaustion,

na tv-eva saṃcintyam-asan-nimittaṃ yatrāvasaktasya bhaved-anarthaḥ // 16.78 //

But should never dwell on a bad stimulus, pending on which might be an adverse reaction.


yathā hi bhīto niśi taskarebhyo dvāraṃ priyebhyo 'pi na dātum-icchet /

For just as a man afraid of thieves in the night would not open his door even to friends,

prājñas-tathā saṃharati prayogaṃ samaṃ śubhasyāpy-aśubhasya doṣaiḥ // 16.79 //

So does a wise man withhold consent equally to the doing of anything bad or anything good that involves the faults.


evaṃ prakārair-api yady-upāyair-nivāryamāṇā na parāṅmukhāḥ syuḥ /

If, though fended off by such means, faults do not turn back,

tato yathā-śthūla-nibarhaṇena suvarṇa-doṣā iva te praheyāḥ // 16.80 //

Then, eliminated in order of their grossness, they must be driven out like impurities from gold.


druta-prayāṇa-prabhṛtīṃś-ca tīkṣṇāt kāma-prayogāt parikhidyamānaḥ /

Just as a man who feels depressed following a torrid love affair

yathā naraḥ saṃśrayate tathaiva prājñena doṣeṣv-api vartitavyam // 16.81 //

Takes refuge in activities like quick marching, so should a wise person proceed with regard to the faults.


te ced-alabdha-pratipakṣa-bhāvān naivopaśāmyeyur-asad-vitarkāḥ /

If their counteragent cannot be found and unreal fancies do not subside,

muhūrtam-apy-aprativadhyamānā gṛhe bhujaṃgā iva nādhivāsyāḥ // 16.82 //
They must not for a moment be left unchecked: no whiff of them should be tolerated, as if they were snakes in the house.


dante 'pi dantaṃ praṇidhāya kāmaṃ tālv-agram-utpīḍya ca jivhayāpi /

Grit tooth against tooth, if you will, press the tongue forward and up against the palate,

cittena cittaṃ parigṛhya cāpi kāryaḥ prayatno na tu te 'nuvartyāḥ // 16.83 //

And grip the mind with the mind -- make an effort, but do not yield to them.


kim-atra citraṃ yadi vīta-moho vanaṃ gataḥ svastha-manā na muhyet /

Is it any wonder that a man without any delusions should not become deluded when he has contentedly repaired to the forest?

ākṣipyamāṇo hṛdi tan-nimittair-na kṣobhyate yaḥ sa kṛtī sa dhīraḥ // 16.84 //

[But] a man who is not shaken when challenged to the core by the stimuli of the aforementioned [ideas, thoughts, and fancies]:11 he is a man of action; he is a steadfast man.


tad-ārya-satyādhigamāya pūrvaṃ viśodhayānena nayena mārgam /

So, in order to make the noble truths your own, first clear a path according to this plan of action,

yātrā-gataḥ śatru-vinigrahārthaṃ rājeva lakṣmīm-ajitāṃ jigīṣan // 16.85 //

Like a king going on campaign to subdue his foes, wishing to conquer unconquered dominions.


etāny-araṇyāny-abhitaḥ śivāni yogānukūlāny-ajaneritāni /

These salubrious wilds that surround us are suited to practice and not thronged with people.

kāyasya kṛtvā praviveka-mātraṃ kleśa-prahāṇāya bhajasva mārgam // 16.86 //

Furnishing the body with ample solitude, cut a path for abandoning the afflictions.


kauṇḍinya-nanda-kṛmilāniruddhās-tiṣyopasenau vimalo 'tha rādhaḥ /

Kauṇḍinya, Nanda, Kṛmila, Aniruddha, Tiṣya, Upasena, Vimala, Rādha,

bāṣpottarau dhautaki-moharājau kātyāyana-dravya-pilindavatsāḥ // 16.87 //

Vāśpa, Uttara, Dhautaki, Moha-rāja, Kātyāyana, Dravya, Pilinda-vatsa,12


bhaddāli-bhadrāyaṇa-sarpadāsa-subhūti-godatta-sujāta-vatsāḥ /

Bhaddāli, Bhadrāyaṇa, Sarpa-dāsa, Subhūti, Go-datta, Sujāta, Vatsa,

saṃgrāmajid bhadrajid-aśvajic-ca śroṇaś-ca śoṇaś-ca sa-koṭikarṇaḥ // 16.88 //

Saṁgrāmajit, Bhadrajit, Aśvajit, Śrona and Sona Koṭikarna,13


kṣemājito nandaka-nanda-mātāv-upāli-vāgīśa-yaśo-yaśodāḥ /

Kṣemā, Ajita, the mothers of Nandaka and Nanda, Upāli, Vāgīśa, Yaśas, Yaśoda,

mahāhvayo valkali-rāṣṭrapālau sudarśana-svāgata-meghikāś-ca // 16.89 //
Mahāhvaya, Valkalin, Rāṣṭra-pāla, Sudarśana, Svāgata and Meghika,14


sa kapphinaḥ kāśyapa auruvilvo mahā-mahākāśyapa-tiṣya-nandāḥ /

Kapphina, Kāśyapa of Uruvilvā, the great Mahā-kāśyapa, Tiṣya, Nanda,

pūrṇaś-ca pūrṇaś-ca sa pūrṇakaś-ca śonāparāntaś-ca sa pūrṇa eva // 16.90 //

Pūrṇa and Pūrṇa as well as Pūrṇaka and Pūrṇa Śonāparānta,15


śāradvatī-putra-subāhu-cundāḥ kondeya-kāpya-bhṛgu-kuṇṭhadhānāḥ /

The son of Śāradvatī, Subāhu, Cunda, Kondeya, Kāpya, Bhṛgu, Kuṇṭha-dhāna,

sa-śaivalau revata-kauṣṭhilau ca maudgalya-gotraś-ca gavāṃpatiś-ca // 16.91 //

Plus Śaivala, Revata and Kauṣṭhila, and he of the Maudgalya clan16 and Gavām-pati--


yaṃ vikramaṃ yoga-vidhāv-akurvaṃs-tam-eva śīghraṃ vidhivat kuruṣva /

Be quick to show the courage that they have shown in their practice, working to principle.

tataḥ padaṃ prāpsyasi tair-avāptaṃ sukhāvṛtais-tvaṃ niyataṃ yaśaś-ca // 16.92 // 
Then you will assuredly take the step that they took and will realise the splendour that they realised.


dravyaṃ yathā syat kaṭukaṃ rasena tac-copayuktaṃ madhuraṃ vipāke /

Just as a fruit may have flesh that is bitter to the taste and yet is sweet when eaten ripe,

tathaiva vīryaṃ kaṭukaṃ śrameṇa tasyārtha-siddhau madhuro vipākaḥ // 16.93 //

So heroic effort, through the struggle it involves, is bitter and yet, in accomplishment of the aim, its mature fruit is sweet.


vīryaṃ paraṃ kārya-kṛtau hi mūlaṃ vīryād-ṛte kācana nāsti siddhiḥ /

Directed energy is paramount: for, in doing what needs to be done, it is the foundation; without directed energy there is no accomplishment at all;

udeti vīryād-iha sarva-saṃpan-nirvīryatā cet sakalaś-ca pāpmā // 16.94 //

All success in this world arises from directed energy -- and in the absence of directed energy wrongdoing is rampant.


alabdhasyālābho niyatam-upalabdhasya vigamaḥ

No gaining of what is yet to be gained, and certain loss of what has been gained,

tathaivātmāvajñā kṛpaṇam-adhikebhyaḥ paribhavaḥ /

Along with low self-esteem, wretchedness, the scorn of superiors,

tamo nis-tejastvaṃ śruti-niyama-tuṣṭi-vyuparamo

Darkness, lack of spirit, and the breakdown of learning, restraint and contentment:

nṛṇāṃ nir-vīryāṇāṃ bhavati vinipātaś-ca bhavati // 16.95 //

For men without directed energy a great fall awaits.


nayaṃ śrutvā śakto yad-ayam-abhivṛddhiṃ na labhate

When a capable person hears the guiding principle but realises no growth,

paraṃ dharmaṃ jñātvā yad-upari nivāsaṃ na labhate /

When he knows the most excellent method but realises no upward repose,

gṛhaṃ tyaktvā muktau yad-ayam-upaśāntiṃ na labhate /

When he leaves home but in freedom realises no peace:

nimittaṃ kausīdyaṃ bhavati puruṣasyātra na ripuḥ // 16.96 //

The cause is the laziness in him and not an enemy.


anikṣiptotsāho yadi khanati gāṃ vāri labhate /

A man obtains water if he digs the ground with unflagging exertion,

prasaktaṃ vyāmathnan jvalanam-araṇibhyāṃ janayati /

And produces fire from fire-sticks by continuous twirling.

prayuktā yoge tu dhruvam-upalabhante śrama-phalaṃ

But those are sure to reap the fruit of their effort whose energies are harnessed to practice,

drutaṃ nityaṃ yāntyo girim-api hi bhindanti saritaḥ // 16.97 //
For rivers that flow swiftly and constantly cut through even a mountain.


kṛṣṭvā gāṃ paripālya ca śrama-śatair-aśnoti sasya-śriyaṃ

After ploughing and protecting the soil with great pains, a farmer gains a bounteous crop of corn;

yatnena pravigāhya sāgara-jalaṃ ratna-śriyā krīḍati /

After striving to plumb the ocean's waters, a diver revels in a bounty of coral and pearls;

śatrūṇām-avadhūya vīryam-iṣubhir-bhuṅkte narendra-śriyaṃ

After seeing off with arrows the endeavour of rival kings, a king enjoys royal dominion.

tad-vīryaṃ kuru śāntaye viniyataṃ vīrye hi sarva-rddhayaḥ // 16.98 //

So direct your energy in pursuit of peace, for in directed energy, undoubtedly, lies all growth."



saundaranande mahākāvya ārya-satya-vākhyāno nāma ṣoḍaśaḥ sargaḥ /

The 16th Canto in the epic poem Handsome Nanda, titled "Exposition of the Noble Truths."






1 The four stages of sitting-meditation, described from 17.42 to 17.55.

2 Here (as also in 12.39-40) nimittam is identified with kāraṇa, and means cause.

3 Rather than discuss the principle of cause and effect in the abstract, here the Buddha speaks of seed and fruit.

4 Or, according to the variant preferred by EHJ, “for the mastery of one's karma-conduct.”

5 The sense of realizing elements “all together, and one after another,” echoes 16.5, as well as 10.19.

6 Paradoxically, nimittam means both (a) mark, target, object (see 13.41 “objectified image”), and (b) cause (see 16.17, 16.96), causal factor or stimulus (see 16.72, 16.84). It also means sign (see 1.32; 5.10). In the series of verses from 16.53 to 16.67 apparently dealing with the practice of mental development (bhāvanā), whose aim is the removal of polluting influences, primarily through the use of antidotes, nimitta might be understood as meaning (a) a target/area/subject [for development/ cultivation], or (b) a stimulus used in such practice (as in resort to a disagreeable or unpleasant stimulus; see 16.60), or indeed as both (a) and (b) together – insofar as a target is itself a kind of stimulus. Up to this point, Aśvaghoṣa has used nimitta in various distinct meanings; from here he seems to use nimitta in such a way that it cannot be definitively understood in any of these meanings -- say, as cause/stimulus, or as target/object. When we are short of energy, for example, what is an appropriate nimitta? To eat a bowl of porridge, and have a lie down? Sometimes, yes. To think a motivating thought? Sometimes, yes. To attend to causes? Sometimes, yes. On the contrary, to keep one's eyes o the prize, the desired effect? Sometimes, yes. Amid this ambiguity and uncertainty, "factor" has been selected as a translation of nimitta, in the hope that the meaning of “factor” might be broad enough not to rule anything definitively in or out.

7As a noun from upa-√īkṣ, which means “to look on, overlook, disregard, neglect, leave be,” aupekṣika can be understood (a) as the practice of not interfering (16.65), or (b) as the state of mind associated with such practice, that is “indifference,” or (as it is usually translated in the context of meditation) “equanimity” (17.54).

8 Aśubhaṃ nimittam, “an unpleasant factor,” is generally understood to refer to the so-called impurity meditation, in which some unattractive object is conjured up in the mind and contemplated. If we take nimittam to mean “cause,” however, an aśubhaṃ nimittam need not be anything as imaginative as an impurity meditation: it might mean, for example, getting on with some disagreeable job.

9 Or “a different factor.” In this particular context nimitta seems to invite the translation “stimulus.” “Stimulus” might also work in the series of verses from 16.53, though that translation might be far from conventional understanding of what nimitta means in the context of bhāvanā practice.

10 Aśubhaṃ nimittam is conventionally understood to mean “impurity meditation” – the kind of contemplation that some celibate monastics practice as an antidote to sexual desire. This kind of contemplation seems to be described in 17.38. But aśubhaṃ nimittam doesn't seem to indicate such practice, here. Or does it? Was Aśvaghoṣa circumspectly calling into question the purity of the so-called “impurity meditation,” which tends to involve the kind of pessimistic thinking in which the striver engages, during his tirade against women in Canto 8?

11 Again Aśvaghoṣa seems to be playing with the multiplicity of possible meanings of nimitta, which cannot mean the same here as in the series of verses from 16.53. The evident difficulty of dealing with the ambiguity of nimitta caused LC to amend tan-nimittair to tad-vitarkaiḥ (“by such thoughts”). EHJ retained tan-nimittair but translated as “before the onslaught of such ideas.”

12 Kauṇḍinya (mentioned in 3.13) was celebrated as one of the Buddha's ten great disciples, as were Aniruddha and Kātyāyana. The non-handsome-Nanda of this verse was formerly a cowherd.

13 Subhūti was another of the Buddha's ten great disciples. A record of the Buddha's teaching addressed to Baddhāli is preserved in Pali in the Baddhāli Sutta.

14 Upāli was another of the Buddha's ten great disciples.

15 Two of these nine individuals are included in the list of the Buddha's ten great disciples; namely, one of the Pūrṇas, and Mahā-kāśyapa.

16 Maudgalyāyana (he of the Maudgalya clan) was another of the Buddha's ten great disciples. The two of the ten great disciples not mentioned on this list of 62 excellent individuals are Śāriputra and Ānanda.






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