Khema the Deva’s Son
Khema Sutta  (SN 2:22)

Standing to one side, Khema the deva’s son recited these verses in the Blessed One’s presence.

“Foolish people, lacking wisdom,

behave like enemies to themselves.

They do1 evil deeds

that bear bitter fruit.

It’s not good,

the doing of the deed

that,           once it’s done,

you regret,

whose result you reap crying,

your face in tears.

It’s good,

the doing of the deed

that,           once it’s done,

you don’t regret,

whose result you reap gratified,

happy at heart.2

You should do prudently, right away,

what you know is for your own benefit.

A thinker, enlightened, you shouldn’t strive

for the sake of the cart driver’s thinking.

Just as a cart driver who—having left

the smoothed,3 even highway,

and climbed onto an uneven path—

his axle broken, broods;

in the same way,

a fool—having departed from Dhamma

to follow non-Dhamma,

having fallen into the mouth of death—

his axle broken, broods.”


1. Reading karonti with the Thai edition.

2. These two verses = Dhp 67–68.

3. Reading maṭṭhaṁ with the Burmese edition. The Thai has pasatthaṁ, “recommended,” which makes sense, but pasatthaṁ doesn’t fit the meter. The PTS edition has panthaṁ, “road.”