Conditions are important for all human beings to enjoy the improved quality of life, happiness, peace, prosperity and wellness. Homage to him, the Blessed One, the Holy One, the Fully Enlightened One, perfectly enlightened by Himself. Thus have I heard: On one occasion the Blessed One was residing at Ana-tha-pin-di-ka’s monastery in Zeta Forest, near Savatthi. Then in the forenoon, the Exalted One having put on His robes, carrying His bowl and outer robe, went into Savatthi for alms. Now at that time, in the house of the Brahmin Aggikabharadvaja, a fire was burning, and an offering was being prepared. Then the Awakened One, while on His alms round, came to the Brahmin Bharadvaja’s residence.
Opportunity is important for all human beings to beneficially use their abilities and capabilities for their utmost achievement and ultimate happiness. Let’s continue the story, the Brahmin seeing, the Fully Enlightened One approaching from afar, went to Him and said this: “Stay there, you shaving. Stay there, you wretched monk. Stay there, you vasala (wicked). When he spoke thus, the Holy One (Tathagata) said to the Brahmin: “Do you know, Brahmin, who a wicked (person) is and what are the conditions that make one a wicked?” “No, indeed, Venerable Gautama, I do neither know who a wicked is nor the conditions that make a wicked (person).
Not the sweet smell of flowers, not even the fragrance of sandal, tagara or jasmine blows against the wind. But the fragrance of the virtuous blows against the wind. Truly, the virtuous man/woman pervades all directions with the fragrance of his/her virtue. The Brahmin Bharadvaja continued to say that it would be good if Venerable Gautama could explain the Dhamma to me so that I may know who a wicked is and what the conditions are that make one a wicked.” “Listen then, Brahmin, and bear it well in mind. I shall speak.”“Yes, Venerable Master,” replied the Brahmin in assent to the Awakened One. Thereupon He (Tathagata) said: Do not associate with evil companions; do not seek the fellowship of the vile. Associate with good friends; seek the fellowship of noble men. “Whosoever is angry, harbours hatred, discredits the good of others and is reluctant to speak well of others, wrong in views, deceitful. Know him/her as a wicked.” Hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world. By non-hatred alone is hatred appeased. This is a Law Eternal. Speak not harshly to any one, for those thus spoken to might retort. Indeed, angry speech hurts, and retaliation may overtake you.
The evil-doer suffers here and hereafter; he suffers in both the worlds. The thought, “Evil have I done,” torments him, and he suffers even more when gone to realms of woe. “Whosoever besieges and destroys villages and market towns and becomes notorious as an oppressor. Know him/her as a wicked.” Ill done is that action doing which one repents later, and the fruit of which one, weeping, reaps and with tears. One who, while himself seeking happiness, oppresses with violence other beings who also desire happiness, will not attain happiness hereafter.
It may be well with the evil-doer as long as the evil ripens not. But when it does ripen, the evil-doer sees (the painful results of) his evil deeds. “Be it in the community, or in the forest, whosoever steals what belongs to others, takes what is not given to him. Know him/her as a wicked.” So long as an evil deed as not ripened, the fool thinks it as sweet as honey. But when the evil deed ripens, the fool comes to grief. He who in this world takes nothing that is not given to him, be it long or short, small or big, good or bad— him do I (Blessed One) call a holy man.
Overcome the angry by non-anger; overcome the wicked by goodness; overcome the misery by generosity; overcome the liar by truth. “Whosoever having incurred a debt runs away when he is pressed to pay, saying, “I owe no debt to you”. Those who imaging evil where there is none, and do not see evil where it is—upholding false views, they go to states of woe. Know him/her as a wicked.” Well done is that action doing which one repents not later, and the fruit of which one reaps with delight and happiness.
“Opportunity is important for all human beings to beneficially use their abilities and capabilities for their utmost achievement and ultimate happiness.”
Nothing is better for a holy man than when he holds his mind back from what is endearing. To the extent the intent to harm wears away, to that extent does suffering subside. “Whosoever coveting anything, kills a person going along the road, and grabs whatever that person has. Know him/her as a wicked.” He who has renounced violence towards all living beings, weak or strong, who neither kills nor causes others to kill—him do I (Awakened One) call a holy man. Truly an evil deed committed does not immediately bear fruit, like milk that does not turn sour all at once. But smouldering, it follows the fool like fire covered by ashes.
Speak the truth; yield not to anger; when asked, give even if you only have a little. By these three means can one reach the presence of the Devas. “Whosoever for his own sake or for the sake of others or for the sake of wealth, utters lies when questioned as a witness. Know him/her as a wicked.” He who utters gentle, instructive and truthful words, who imprecates none—him do I (Fully Enlightened One) call a holy man. Easy to do are things that are bad and harmful to oneself. But exceedingly difficult to do are things that are good and beneficial.
The misguided man in whom the thirty-six currents of craving strongly rush toward pleasurable objects, is swept away by the flood of his passionate thoughts. “Whosoever by force or with consent, associates with the wives of relatives or friends. Know him/her as a wicked.” Four misfortunes befall the reckless man who consorts with another’s wife: acquisition of demerit, disturbed sleep, ill-repute and (rebirth in) states of woe. Such a man acquires demerit and an unhappy birth in the future. Brief is the pleasure of the frightened man and woman, and the king imposes heavy punishment. Hence, let no man consort with another’s wife.
Arise! Do not be heedless! Lead a righteous life. The righteous live happily both in this world and the next. “Whosoever strikes and annoys by harsh speech to his mother, father, brother, sister, mother-in-law or father-in-law. Know him/her as a wicked.” Lead a righteous life; lead not a base life. The righteous live happily both in this world and the next. Hasten to do good; restrain your mind from evil. He who is slow in doing good, his mind delights in evil.
The man of little learning grows old like a bull. He grows only in bulk, but, his wisdom does not grow. “Whosoever when questioned about what is good, says what is detrimental, and talks in an evasive manner. Know him/her as a wicked.” Follow not the vulgar way; live not in heedlessness; hold not false views; linger not long in worldly existence. Should a person commit evil, let him not do it again and again. Let him not find pleasure therein, for painful is the accumulation of evil.
Mind precedes all mental states, Mind is their chief; they are all mind-wrought. If with an impure mind a person speaks or acts, suffering follows him/her like the wheel that follows the foot of ox. “Whosoever having committed an evil deed, wishes that it may not be known to others. Know him/her as a wicked.” Fools of little wit are enemies unto themselves as they move about doing evil deeds, the fruits of which are bitter. Think not lightly of evil, saying; “It will not come to me.” Drop by drop is the water pot filled. Likewise, the fool, gathering it little by little, fills himself with evil.
A worse taint than these is ignorance, the worst of all taints. Destroy this one taint and become taintless, O monks! “Whosoever commits evil in secret. Know him/her as a wicked.” Unchastity is the taint in a woman; niggardliness is the taint in a giver. Taints, indeed, are all evil things, both in this world and the next. The cankers only increase for those who are arrogant and heedless, who leave undone what should be done and do what should not be done.
Entangled by the bonds of hate, he who seeks his own happiness by inflicting pain on others, is never delivered from hatred. “Whosoever, a Brahmin or an ascetic, or any other mendicant he deceives by uttering lies. Know him/her as a wicked.” One who destroys life, utter lies, takes what is not given, goes to another man’s wife, and is addicted to intoxicating drinks—such a man digs up his own root even in this very world. For a liar who has violated the one law (of truthfulness), who holds in scorn the hereafter, there is no evil that he cannot do. The liar goes to the state of woe; also he who, having done (wrong), says, “I did not do it.” Men of base actions both, on departing they share the same destiny in the other world.
One should give up anger, renounce pride, and overcome all fetters. Suffering never befalls him who clings not to mind and body and is detached. “Whosoever when a Brahmin or ascetic appears during mealtime, angers him by harsh speech, and does not offer him any alms. Know him/her as a wicked.” By oneself is evil done; by oneself is one defiled. By oneself is evil left undone; by oneself is one made pure. Purity and impurity depend on oneself; no one can purify another. Just as rust arising from iron eats away the base from which it arises, even so, their own deeds lead transgression to states of woe.
Neither in the sky nor in mid-ocean, nor by entering into mountain clefts, nowhere in the world is there a place where one may escape from the results of evil deeds. “Whosoever in this world, shrouded in ignorance, speaks harsh words and expecting to gain something. Know him/her as a wicked.” The evil doer suffers here and hereafter; he suffers in both the worlds. The thought, “Evil have I done,” torments him, and he suffers even more when gone to realms of woe.
Easily seen is the fault of others, but one’s own is difficult to see. Like chaff one winnows another’s faults, but hides one’s own, even as a crafty fowler hides behind sham branches. “Whosoever debased by his pride, praises himself highly and belittles others. Know him/her as a wicked.” Weeds are the bane of fields, lust, hatred, delusion and desire are the bane of mankind. Therefore, what is offered to those free of lust, hatred, delusion and desire yields abundant of fruit. He who seeks another’s faults who is ever censorious—his cankers grow. He is far from destruction of the cankers.
An evil deed is better left undone, for such a deed torments one afterwards. But a good deed is better done, doing which one repents not later. “Whosoever is given to anger, is miserly, has base desires, and is selfish, deceitful, shameless and fearless in doing evil. Know him/her as a wicked.” The good shine even from afar, like the Himalayan Mountain. But the wicked are unseen, like arrows shot in the night. Those who are ashamed of what they should not be ashamed of, and are not ashamed of what they should be ashamed of—upholding false views, they go to states of woe.
Walking upon this path you will make an end of suffering. Having discovered how to pull out the thorn of lust, I make known the path. “Whosoever reviles the Enlightened One, or a disciple of the Buddha, a recluse or a householder. Know him/her as a wicked.” He who knows his former births, who sees heaven and hell, who has reached the end of births and attained to the perfection of insight, the sage who has reached the summit of spiritual excellence — him do I (Blessed One) call a holy man.