If one, though reciting much of texts,
Is not a doer thereof, a heedless person;
That one, like a cowherd counting others’ cows,
Is not a partaker in the religious quest.
If they recite many teachings, but
— heedless people —
don’t do what they say,
like a cowherd counting the cattle of
they have no share in the contemplative life.
Much though they recite the sacred texts, but act not accordingly, those heedless persons are like cowherds who only count the cows of others — they do not partake of the blessings of the holy life.
(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. I have made significant changes throughout in both pronouns and verbs for a neutral gender reading.)