Dhp XII : Self

If you hold yourself dear

then guard, guard yourself well.

The wise person would stay awake

nursing himself

in any of the three watches of the night,

the three stages of life.



he’d settle himself

in what is correct,

only then

teach others.

He wouldn’t stain his name

: he is wise.


If you’d mold yourself

the way you teach others,

then, well-trained,

go ahead & tame–

for, as they say,

what’s hard to tame is you



Your own self is

your own mainstay,

for who else could your mainstay be?

With you yourself well-trained

you obtain the mainstay

hard to obtain.


The evil he himself has done

–self-born, self-created–

grinds down the dullard,

as a diamond, a precious stone.


When overspread by extreme vice–

like a sal tree by a vine–

you do to yourself

what an enemy would wish.


They’re easy to do–

things of no good

& no use to yourself.

What’s truly useful & good

is truly harder than hard to do.


The teaching of those who live the Dhamma,

worthy ones, noble:

whoever maligns it

–a dullard,

inspired by evil view–

bears fruit for his own destruction,

like the fruiting of the bamboo.


Evil is done

by oneself,

by oneself is one defiled.

Evil is left undone

by oneself,

by oneself is one cleansed.

Purity & impurity are one’s own doing.

No one purifies another.

No other purifies one.


Don’t sacrifice your own welfare

for that of another,

no matter how great.

Realizing your own true welfare,

be intent on just that.