Dhammapada – Sayings of the Buddha – Chapter 2 – Vigilance


Vigilance is the path to Life Eternal. Thoughtlessness is the path to death. The reflecting vigilant die not. The heedless are already dead. (21)

The wise distinctly understand this. Therefore they delight in wakeful watching. They graze in the pastures of the Aryas, the Noble Ones. (22)

Meditative, persevering, ever strenuous in endeavour, the tranquil ones attain Nirvana, the highest freedom and happiness.  (23)

Continually grows the glory of that person who is wakeful and mindful, whose deeds are pure, whose acts are deliberate, who is self-controlled and who lives according to Law.   (24)

By endeavour, by vigilance, by discipline and self-control, let the wise persons make for themselves an island which no flood can overwhelm. (25)

Fools and witless persons give themselves to sloth. The wise value vigilance as their best treasure. (26)

Be not a sluggard. Have no dalliance with lust and sense delights. They who meditate with earnestness attains great joy. (27)

When the prudent persons overcome sloth by vigilance, they ascend to the terrace of wisdom. Sorrowless they survey the sorrowful crowd. These wise persons regard the foolish as the mountaineers from their high peak look at those who are dwelling on the plains.     (28)

Vigilant among the heedless, awake among the sleepy, the wise one forges ahead even as a charger outdistances a weak horse. (29)

By vigilance did Indra rise to the lord ship of the gods. Vigilance is always praised, heedlessness ever deprecated. (30)

A Monastic who delights in vigilance, who sees the danger of heedlessness, advances like a fire consuming fetters, small or large. (31)

 Monastics who delight in vigilance, who see the danger of heedlessness, will not fall; they are close upon Nirvana. (32)

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