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Sutta Nipata I.3

Khaggavisana Sutta

A Rhinoceros Horn


Translator's note: The Indian rhinoceros, unlike the African, has only one horn. Hence the recurrent image here. As noted under I.1, there is evidence suggesting that the verses here were originally separate poems, composed on separate occasions, and that they have been gathered together because of their common refrain.]
Renouncing violence
for all living beings,
harming not even a one,
you would not wish for offspring,
    so how a companion?
Wander alone, a rhinoceros horn.

For a sociable person
there are allurements;
on the heels of allurement, this pain.
Seeing allurement's drawback,
wander alone, a rhinoceros horn.

One whose mind
is enmeshed in sympathy
for friends & companions,
neglects the true goal.
Seeing this danger in intimacy,
wander alone, a rhinoceros horn.

Like spreading bamboo,
    entwined,
is concern for offspring & spouses.
Like a bamboo sprout,
    unentangling,
wander alone, a rhinoceros horn.

As a deer in the wilds,
    unfettered,
goes for forage wherever it wants:
the wise person, valuing freedom,
wanders alone, a rhinoceros horn.

In the midst of companions
-- when staying at home,
    when going out wandering --
you are prey to requests.
Valuing the freedom
that no one else covets,
wander alone, a rhinoceros horn.

There is sporting & love
in the midst of companions,
& abundant fondness for offspring.
    Feeling disgust
at the prospect of parting
from those who'd be dear,
wander alone, a rhinoceros horn.

Without irritation in all four directions,
content with whatever you get,
enduring troubles with no dismay,
wander alone, a rhinoceros horn.

They are hard to please,
some of those gone forth,
as well as those living the household life.
Shedding concern
for these offspring of others,
wander alone, a rhinoceros horn.

Cutting off the householder's marks,[1]
    like a kovilara tree
    that has shed its leaves,
the prudent one, cutting all household ties,
wanders alone, a rhinoceros horn.

If you gain a mature companion,
a fellow traveler, right-living & wise,
overcoming all dangers
    go with him, gratified,
    mindful.

If you don't gain a mature companion,
a fellow traveler, right-living & wise,
    go alone
like a king renouncing his kingdom,
like the elephant in the Matanga wilds,
    his herd.

We praise companionship
    -- yes!
Those on a par, or better,
should be chosen as friends.
If they're not to be found,
    living faultlessly,
wander alone, a rhinoceros horn.

Seeing radiant bracelets of gold,
well-made by a smith,
    clinking, clashing,
    two on an arm,
wander alone, a rhinoceros horn,

[Thinking:]
"In the same way,
if I were to live with another,
there would be careless talk or abusive."
Seeing this future danger,
wander alone, a rhinoceros horn.

Because sensual pleasures,
elegant, honeyed, & charming,
bewitch the mind with their manifold forms --
seeing this drawback in sensual strands --
wander alone, a rhinoceros horn.

"Calamity, tumor, misfortune,
disease, an arrow, a danger for me."
Seeing this danger in sensual strands,
wander alone, a rhinoceros horn.

Cold & heat, hunger & thirst,
wind & sun, horseflies & snakes:
enduring all these, without exception,
wander alone, a rhinoceros horn.

As a great white elephant,
with massive shoulders,
renouncing his herd,
lives in the wilds wherever he wants,
wander alone, a rhinoceros horn.

"There's no way
that one delighting in company
can touch even momentary release."
Heeding the Solar Kinsman's words,
wander alone, a rhinoceros horn.

Transcending the contortion of views,
    the sure way attained,
    the path gained,
[realizing:]
"Unled by others,
I have knowledge arisen,"
wander alone, a rhinoceros horn.

With no greed, no deceit,
no thirst, no hypocrisy --
    delusion & blemishes
        blown away --
with no inclinations for all the world,
            every world,
wander alone, a rhinoceros horn.

Avoid the evil companion
    disregarding the goal,
    intent on the out-of-tune way.
Don't take as a friend
someone heedless & hankering.
Wander alone, a rhinoceros horn.

Consort with one who is learned,
    who maintains the Dhamma,
    a great & quick-witted friend.
Knowing the meanings,
subdue your perplexity,
[then] wander alone, a rhinoceros horn.

Free from longing, finding no pleasure
in the world's sport, love, or sensual bliss,
abstaining from adornment,
speaking the truth,
wander alone, a rhinoceros horn.

Abandoning offspring, spouse,
father, mother,
riches, grain, relatives,
& sensual pleasures
    altogether,
wander alone, a rhinoceros horn.

"This is a bondage, a baited hook.
There's little happiness here,
next to no satisfaction,
all the more suffering & pain."
Knowing this, circumspect,
wander alone, a rhinoceros horn.

Shattering fetters,
like a fish in the water tearing a net,
like a fire not coming back to what's burnt,
wander alone, a rhinoceros horn.

Eyes downcast, not footloose,
senses guarded, with protected mind,
not oozing -- not burning -- with lust,
wander alone, a rhinoceros horn.

Taking off the householder's marks,[2]
    like a coral tree
    that has shed its leaves,
going forth in the ochre robe,
wander alone, a rhinoceros horn.

Showing no greed for flavors, not careless,
going from house to house for alms,
with mind unenmeshed in this family or that,
wander alone, a rhinoceros horn.

Abandoning barriers to awareness,
expelling all defilements -- all --
non-dependent, cutting aversion,
            allurement,
wander alone, a rhinoceros horn.

Turning your back on pleasure & pain,
as earlier with sorrow & joy,
attaining pure equanimity,
            tranquillity,
wander alone, a rhinoceros horn.

With persistence aroused
for the highest goal's attainment,
with mind unsmeared, not lazy in action,
firm in effort, with steadfastness & strength arisen,
wander alone, a rhinoceros horn.

Not neglecting seclusion, absorption,
constantly living the Dhamma
    in line with the Dhamma,
comprehending the danger
in states of becoming,
wander alone, a rhinoceros horn.

Intent on the ending of craving & heedful,
learned, mindful, not muddled,
certain -- having reckoned the Dhamma --
    & striving,
wander alone, a rhinoceros horn.

Unstartled,     like a lion at sounds.
Unsnared,     like the wind in a net.
Unsmeared, like a lotus in water:
wander alone, a rhinoceros horn.

Like a lion -- forceful, strong in fang,
living as a conqueror, the king of beasts --
resort to a solitary dwelling.
Wander alone, a rhinoceros horn.

At the right time consorting
with the release through good will,
            compassion,
            appreciation,
            equanimity,
unobstructed by all the world,
        any world,
wander alone, a rhinoceros horn.

Having let go of     passion,
            aversion,
            delusion;
having shattered the fetters;
undisturbed at the ending of life,
wander alone, a rhinoceros horn.

People follow & associate
    for a motive.
Friends without a motive these days
    are rare.
They're shrewd for their own ends, & impure.
Wander alone, a rhinoceros horn.


Notes

1. Hair and beard. [Go back]

2. Lay clothing. [Go back]

Source: ATI - For Free Distribution Only, as a Gift of Dhamma.

Dhamma Essay:
Renunciation by Ayya Khema


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