Dhp XXIV : Craving

When a person lives heedlessly,

his craving grows like a creeping vine.

He runs now here

& now         there,

as if looking for fruit:

a monkey in the forest.


If this sticky, uncouth craving

overcomes you in the world,

your sorrows grow like wild grass

after rain.

If, in the world, you overcome

this uncouth craving, hard to escape,

sorrows roll off you,

like water beads off

a lotus.


To all of you gathered here

I say: Good fortune.

Dig up craving

–as when seeking medicinal roots, wild grass–

by the root.

Don’t let Mara cut you down

–as a raging river, a reed–

over & over again.


If its root remains

undamaged & strong,

a tree, even if cut,

will grow back.

So too if craving-obsession

is not rooted out,

this suffering returns





He whose 36 streams,

flowing to what is appealing, are strong:

the currents–resolves based on passion–

carry him, of base views, away.

They flow every which way, the streams,

but the sprouted creeper stays

in place.

Now, seeing that the creeper’s arisen,

cut through its root

with discernment.


Loosened & oiled

are the joys of a person.

People, bound by enticement,

looking for ease:

to birth & aging they go.


Encircled with craving,

people hop round & around

like a rabbit caught in a snare.

Tied with fetters & bonds

they go on to suffering,

again & again, for long.

Encircled with craving,

people hop round & around

like a rabbit caught in a snare.

So a monk

should dispel      craving,

should aspire      to dispassion

for himself.


Cleared of the underbrush

but obsessed with the forest,

set free from the forest,

right back to the forest he runs.

Come, see the person set free

who runs right back to the same old chains!


That’s not a strong bond

–so say the enlightened–

the one made of iron, of wood, or of grass.

To be smitten, enthralled,

with jewels & ornaments,

longing for children & wives:

that’s the strong bond,

–so say the enlightened–

one that’s constraining,


hard to untie.

But having cut it, they

–the enlightened–go forth,

free of longing, abandoning

sensual ease.

Those smitten with passion

fall back

into a self-made stream,

like a spider snared in its web.

But, having cut it, the enlightened set forth,

free of longing, abandoning

all suffering & stress.


Gone to the beyond of becoming,

you let go of in front,

let go of behind,

let go of between.

With a heart everywhere released,

you don’t come again to birth

& aging.


For a person

forced on by his thinking,

fierce in his passion,

focused on beauty,

craving grows all the more.

He’s the one

who tightens the bond.

But one who delights

in the stilling of thinking,




a focus on the foul:

He’s the one

who will make an end,

the one who will cut Mara’s bond.


Arrived at the finish,

unfrightened, unblemished, free

of craving, he has cut away

the arrows of becoming.

This physical heap is his last.

Free from craving,


astute in expression,

knowing the combination of sounds–

which comes first & which after.

He’s called a


greatly discerning

great man.



all-knowing am I,

with regard to all things,



released in the ending of craving:

having fully known on my own,

to whom should I point as my teacher?


A gift of Dhamma conquers

all gifts;

the taste of Dhamma,

all tastes;

a delight in Dhamma,

all delights;

the ending of craving,

all suffering

& stress.


Riches ruin the man

weak in discernment,

but not those who seek

the beyond.

Through craving for riches

the man weak in discernment

ruins   himself

as he would   others.


Fields are spoiled by weeds;

people, by passion.

So what’s given to those

free of passion

bears great fruit.

Fields are spoiled by weeds;

people, by aversion.

So what’s given to those

free of aversion

bears great fruit.

Fields are spoiled by weeds;

people, by delusion.

So what’s given to those

free of delusion

bears great fruit.

Fields are spoiled by weeds;

people, by longing.

So what’s given to those

free of longing

bears great fruit.