The first two verses emphasize that the mind is the chief factor in determining whether one experiences suffering or happiness, depending on whether the mind is impure or pure.
The third and fourth verses highlight the consequences of holding onto thoughts of hatred and anger towards others. Those who continue to harbor such thoughts will continue to experience hatred, while those who let go of such thoughts will find their hatred diminish.
The fifth verse emphasizes the importance of non-hatred in resolving conflicts, suggesting that hatred only begets more hatred, while non-hatred can help bring about peace.
The sixth verse reminds us of the inevitability of death and the importance of settling one’s quarrels before it’s too late.
The seventh and eighth verses use the metaphor of a storm to illustrate the power of Mara (the Buddhist equivalent of Satan) over those who indulge in sensual pleasures versus those who focus on meditation and spiritual development.
The ninth and tenth verses emphasize the importance of moral character in spiritual practice, suggesting that those who lack self-control and truthfulness are unworthy of the monk’s robe, while those who possess these qualities are worthy.
The eleventh and twelfth verses highlight the importance of discerning what is truly essential in life and letting go of that which is not.
The thirteenth and fourteenth verses use the metaphor of rain and a thatched roof to illustrate how passion can penetrate an undeveloped mind but not a well-developed one.
The fifteenth through eighteenth verses contrast the experiences of the evil-doer versus the doer of good, suggesting that those who do good will experience joy and delight while those who do evil will suffer.
The nineteenth and twentieth verses emphasize the importance of putting the teachings into practice rather than merely reciting them, suggesting that true spiritual progress requires action rather than words alone.
Verse 21: “Heedfulness is the path to the Deathless. Heedlessness is the path to death. The heedful die not. The heedless are as if dead already.”
This verse emphasizes the importance of mindfulness, or heedfulness, in achieving spiritual liberation. It suggests that those who are heedful will not die, while those who are heedless are as if dead already.
Verse 22: “Clearly understanding this excellence of heedfulness, the wise exult therein and enjoy the resort of the Noble Ones.”
This verse suggests that those who understand the importance of heedfulness will enjoy the benefits of spiritual liberation and will be seen as wise by others who share their beliefs.
Verse 23: “The wise ones, ever meditative and steadfastly persevering, alone experience Nibbana, the incomparable freedom from bondage.”
This verse highlights the qualities of the wise, who are ever-meditative and steadfastly persevering, and suggests that they alone can experience Nibbana, the ultimate freedom from suffering.
Verse 24: “Ever grows the glory of him who is energetic, mindful and pure in conduct, discerning and self-controlled, righteous and heedful.”
This verse suggests that those who possess the qualities of energy, mindfulness, purity, discernment, self-control, righteousness, and heedfulness will experience increasing glory and spiritual progress.
Verse 25: “By effort and heedfulness, discipline and self-mastery, let the wise one make for himself an island which no flood can overwhelm.”
This verse emphasizes the importance of effort and discipline in achieving spiritual progress and suggests that those who are wise can create a safe haven for themselves that is impervious to the floods of suffering.
Verse 26: “The foolish and ignorant indulge in heedlessness, but the wise one keeps his heedfulness as his best treasure.”
This verse suggests that those who are foolish and ignorant indulge in heedlessness, while those who are wise treasure their mindfulness and use it to avoid suffering.
Verse 27: “Do not give way to heedlessness. Do not indulge in sensual pleasures. Only the heedful and meditative attain great happiness.”
This verse emphasizes the importance of avoiding heedlessness and sensual pleasures, and suggests that only those who are heedful and meditative can attain great happiness.
Verse 28: “Just as one upon the summit of a mountain beholds the groundlings, even so when the wise man casts away heedlessness by heedfulness and ascends the high tower of wisdom, this sorrowless sage beholds the sorrowing and foolish multitude.”
This verse suggests that those who are wise and heedful can rise above the suffering of the world and gain a higher perspective on the suffering of others.
Verse 29: “Heedful among the heedless, wide-awake among the sleepy, the wise man advances like a swift horse leaving behind a weak jade.”
This verse suggests that those who are wise and heedful stand out among those who are heedless and sleepy, and that they can advance rapidly towards spiritual liberation.
Verse 30: “By Heedfulness did Indra become the overlord of the gods. Heedfulness is ever praised, and heedlessness ever despised.”
This verse suggests that even the gods achieved their power through mindfulness, and that mindfulness is always praised while heedlessness is always despised.
Verse 31: “The monk who delights in heedfulness and looks with fear at heedlessness advances like fire, burning all fetters, small and large.”
This verse suggests that monks who delight in mindfulness and fear heedlessness can quickly overcome all obstacles to spiritual liberation.
Verse 32: “The monk who delights in heedfulness and looks with fear at heedlessness will not fall. He is close to Nibbana.”
This verse emphasizes once again the importance of mindfulness for monks seeking spiritual liberation, suggesting that those who are heedful will not fall and are close to achieving Nibbana.
Cittavagga: The Mind
Balavagga: The Fool
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