Dhammapada, Stanza 23

Version 1:

Those meditators, persevering,
Forever firm of enterprise,
Those steadfast ones touch Nibbana,
Incomparable release from bonds.

Version 2:

The enlightened, constantly
absorbed in jhana,
firm in their effort:
they touch Unbinding,
the unexcelled rest
from the yoke.

Version 3:

The wise ones, ever meditative and steadfastly persevering, alone experience Nibbana, the incomparable freedom from bondage.

(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.)

2 thoughts on “Dhammapada, Stanza 23”

  1. The 2nd version stands out in its assumption that it’s the “enlightened” that are firm in their effort. Version 1 includes folks like me: “meditators.” Version 3, “wise ones” – I’m not sure. Don’t think I’m in that group.

    1. Yes, I was going to point this out – not where you fit in, of course (although I wouldn’t rule out version 3 just yet), but the different translations in this respect.

      In this case, the difference in meaning is dramatic – it seems to pick out three different groups as those that touch Nibbana.

      Anyways, here’s to practicing in the spaces between the meanings!

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