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Sanskrit Quote : Category Self-Control

उदकान् हि नयन्ति नेत्तिका

उसुकार नमयन्ति तेजनम्।

दारुं नमयन्ति तच्चका

अत्तानं दमयन्ति पण्डिता॥

English Translation of Sanskrit Quote:

Irrigators direct the water,Fletchers fashion the shaft, Carpenters bend the wood,
The wise control themselves.

Commentary on Sanskrit Quote:-

This time I have sought to translate a pali couplet taken from "Dhammapada". Dhammapada is said to be a compilation of the Buddha's words spoken on various occasions. I am always moved by the simplicity of the language of the Buddha. He concerned himself with the wellbeing of the masses. Always simple and direct in his teachings, he addresses, both your intellect and your heart. The heart seems to converse with this sage who left us thousands of year ago. No one has ever spoken so clearly, succinctly and directly as Him.

Just look at this simple but potent message for example. The mere juxtaposition of the last line with the other three simple ones in the above couplet, makes it all the more significant and forceful.

It is the profession of the irrigators to see that the water flows in the right direction for the farmers to do cultivation. In the same way the duty of the fletchers is to shape arrows, so they shoot easily and pierces the target successfully. The carpenters are the ones who can bend the wood as they like to fashion furniture. Likewise, the Buddha says it is the work of a wise man to control himself.

Humans behave as if they are programmed to perform. They are conditioned to act in a certain way like the robots. Unless they observe themselves and know the truth about the world, they are bound to suffer untold miseries infinitely. In his view, controlling oneself is the highest achievement that can adorn a human being. An unawakened man is a bundle of negativities. These negativities replicate themselves at the first opportunity that presents itself.

It is the Buddha's crowning glory that he not only awakened himself, but paved the way for the liberation (Nibbana) of millions and millions of souls bound by the laws of karma. He perfected the "Insight meditation" or "Vipassana" and through the lineage of ordained monks, made it freely available for whosoever wishes to be liberated.

Through the couplet mentioned above, the Buddha means to say that for a wise man, controlling himself must be a prime concern and not a hobby. Taking refuge in the triad of Jewels, the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha is the first step in the right direction.

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