Back to The Dhammapada
Chapter Nineteen -- The Just
Not by passing arbitrary judgements does
a person become just; a wise person investigates
both right and wrong.
One who does not judge others arbitrarily,
but passes judgement impartially according
to truth, that sagacious person is a guardian
of law and is called just.
One is not versed in Dhamma because
one speaks much. One who, after hearing even a
little Dhamma, does not neglect it but personally
realises its truth, that person is truly versed
in the Dhamma.
A monk is not an Elder because his
head is gray; he is but ripe in age, and he is called
one grown old in vain.
One in whom there is truthfulness,
virtue, inoffensiveness, restraint and self-mastery,
who is free from defilements and wise--he is
truly called an Elder.
Not by mere eloquence nor by bodily
beauty does a person become accomplished, should
one be jealous, selfish and deceitful.
But one in whom these are wholly destroyed,
uprooted and extinct, and who has cast out
hatred--that wise person is truly accomplished.
Not by shaven head does a person who is
undisciplined and untruthful become a renunciate.
How can one who is full of desire and greed be
One who wholly subdues evil both small
and great is called a renunciate, because that
person has overcome all evil.
One is not a renunciate just because one lives
on other's alms. Not by adopting outward form
does one become a true renunciate.
One here who lives the holy life and
walks with understanding in this world,
transcending both merit and demerit--that
person is truly called a renunciate.
Not by observing silence does one
become a sage, if one be foolish and ignorant. But
that wise person who, as if holding a balance-scale,
accepts only the good and rejects the evil--that person
is truly a sage. Since both (the present and future)
worlds are comprehended, that person is called a sage.
One is not a Noble One who injures living
beings. One is called a Noble One because one is
harmless towards all living beings.
You should not rest content merely by
following rules and observances, nor even by
acquiring much learning; nor by gaining
absorption, nor by a life of seclusion;
Nor by thinking: "I enjoy the bliss of
renunciation that is not experienced by the
worldling." O renunciates, you should not rest content
until the utter destruction of the cankers
(Arahatship) is reached.