domenica 20 settembre 2015

The Supreme Refuge


By effort and heedfulness, 
discipline and self-mastery, 
let the wise one 
make for himself an island 
which no flood can overwhelm
(Dhammapada 25).*

Make an island for yourself! 
Strive hard and become wise! 
Rid of impurities and cleansed of stain, 
you shall enter the celestial abode 
of the Noble Ones
(Dhammapada 236).*

Make an island unto yourself! 
Strive hard and become wise! 
Rid of impurities and cleansed of stain, 
you shall not come again 
to birth and decay
(Dhammapada 238).*


Monks, be islands unto yourselves, be your own refuge, having no other; let the Dhamma be an island and a refuge to you, having no other. Those who are islands unto themselves [...] should investigate to the very heart of things: 'What is the source of sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair? How do they arise?' 

Here, monks, the uninstructed worldling with no regard for Noble Ones, unskilled and untrained in the Dhamma of the Noble Ones, [...] regards body as the self, the self as having body, body as being in the self, or the self as being in the body (SN 22.7). Change occurs in this man's body, and it becomes different. On account of this change and difference, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair arise. [Similarly with 'feelings,' 'perceptions,' 'mental formations,' 'consciousness'].

But seeing the body's impermanence, its change-ability, its waning, its ceasing, he says 'formerly as now, all bodies were impermanent and unsatisfactory, and subject to change.' Thus, seeing this as it really is, with perfect insight, he abandons all sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair. He is not worried at their abandonment, but unworried lives at ease, and thus living at ease he is said to be 'assuredly delivered.'" [Similarly with 'feelings,' 'perceptions,' 'mental formations,' 'consciousness'](Attadīpā Sutta, Saṃyutta Nikāya, 22.43. Cfr. Cakkavatti Sīhanāda Sutta, Dīgha Nikāya 26; Mahāparinibbāna Sutta, Dīgha Nikāya 16, 2.33-35).**

* Translated by Acharya Buddharakkhita (The Dhammapada: The Buddha’s Path of Wisdom).
** Translated by Maurice O'Connell Walshe (Attadiipaa Sutta: An Island to Oneself).