who shows what is to be avoided,
follow that wise person
as you would one who reveals hidden treasures;
you will be better not worse for following that one.
Let one admonish; let one teach; let one forbid the wrong;
and one will be loved by the good and hated by the bad.
Do not have wrong-doers for friends;
do not have despicable people for friends;
have virtuous people for friends;
have for friends the best people.
Whoever drinks in the truth
lives happily with a serene mind.
The wise are joyful in the truth
revealed by the noble ones.
Engineers of canals guide the water;
fletchers make the arrow straight;
carpenters shape the wood;
the wise mould themselves.
As a solid rock is not shaken by the wind,
so the wise are not shaken by blame and praise.
As a deep lake is clear and calm,
so the wise become tranquil after they listened to the truth.
Good people walk on regardless of what happens to them.
Good people do not babble on about their desires.
Whether touched by happiness or by sorrow,
the wise never appear elated or depressed.
Whoever for one’s sake or for another’s,
does not wish for a son or wealth or power,
and if one does not wish for success by unfair means,
that one certainly is virtuous, wise, and holy.
Few are those people who reach the farther shore;
the other people here run along this shore.
But those who, when the truth has been taught to them,
follow the truth, will pass over the dominion of death,
however difficult to cross.
Leaving behind the path of darkness
and following the path of light,
let the wise person go from home to a homeless state,
in retirement looking for enjoyment
where enjoyment seemed difficult.
Letting go of all pleasures, calling nothing one’s own,
let the wise cleanse oneself
from all the troubles of the mind.
Those whose minds are well grounded
in the elements of enlightenment,
who without clinging to anything
find joy in freedom from attachment,
whose appetites have been conquered,
and who are full of light,
they are free in this world.