Dhammapada, Stanza 8

Version 1:

Whoever dwells seeing the non-pleasurable, in senses well restrained,
And moderate in food, faithful, resolute in enterprise,
Over [them], indeed, Māra prevails not,
Like the wind over a rocky crag.

Version 2:

One who stays focused on the foul,
is restrained with regard to the senses,
knowing moderation in food,
full of conviction and energy:
Māra does not overcome [them]
as the wind, a mountain of rock.

Version 3:

Just as a storm cannot prevail against a rocky mountain, so Māra can never overpower the [one] who lives meditating on the impurities, who is controlled in his senses, moderate in eating, and filled with faith and earnest effort.(1)


(1) The impurities (asubha): subjects of meditation which focus on the inherent repulsiveness of the body, recommended especially as powerful antidotes to lust.


See the previous post entitled “When Words Bring Unexpected Fruits” and the discussion there.

(Note: Version 1 is from the John Ross Carter and Mahinda Palihawadana translation. Version 2 is from the Thanissaro Bhikkhu translation. Version 3 is from the Acharya Buddharakkhita translation. All footnotes are from the original versions. I have switched gendered pronouns for non-gendered pronouns. This is indicated with brackets.)

2 thoughts on “Dhammapada, Stanza 8”

  1. I love this phrase, “One who stays focused on the foul” – although I think it could be taken (out of context) as someone whose life centers around impurity or unwholesomeness.

    I really appreciate seeing the side-by-side versions of these verses. Thanks, Kusa!

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