Posted by: Upāsaka Subhavi | 03/06/2021

Dhammapada Memorization: Verse 18

18. The doer of good delights here and hereafter; he delights in both the worlds. The thought, “Good have I done,” delights him, and he delights even more when gone to realms of bliss.

Please find the audio recording of this verse below. Please take the time to recite the following three times before reading the words of Lord Buddha:

Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammā Sambudhassa (3 times).

Homage to the blessed One, the Perfected One, the Fully Awakened One (3 times).

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1qbWH5SCXE2ypMFqCBhz34WEkPEGjEl2b/view?usp=sharing

Be sure to repeat the verse, with the verse number at least ten times out loud. It helps if you can do this multiple times a day and use as many different techniques (writing, repetition, listening) as possible.

Dhammapada verses 17 & 18

Posted on January 29, 2020 by lynnjkelly

One who does evil is tormented in this life,
Tormented in the next,
Is tormented in both worlds.
Here he is tormented, knowing, “I have done evil.”
Reborn in realms of woe, he is tormented all the more.

One who makes merit is delighted in this life,
Delighted in the next,
Is delighted in both worlds.
Here she is delighted, knowing, “I have made merit.”
Reborn in realms of bliss, she delights all the more.
(translated by Gil Fronsdal)

These verses are almost the same as verses 15 & 16, with the more intense “being tormented” rather than “grieving” and substituting “is delighted” for “rejoices”. They also make explicit that the conscience of one who has “done evil” troubles her, and the knowledge that she has made merit brings delight. So the self-reflective activity is highlighted.

The Buddha points to two mental qualities as the underlying safeguards of morality, thus as the protectors of both the individual and society as a whole. These two qualities are called in Pali hiri and ottappa. Hiri is an innate sense of shame over moral transgression; ottappa is moral dread, fear of the results of wrongdoing. The Buddha calls these two states the bright guardians of the world (sukka lokapala).  …

In the present-day world, with its secularization of all values, such notions as shame and fear of wrong are bound to appear antiquated, relics from a puritanical past when superstition and dogma manacled our rights to uninhibited self-expression. Yet the Buddha’s stress on the importance of hiri and ottappa was based on a deep insight into the different potentialities of human nature. He saw that the path to deliverance is a struggle against the current, and that if we are to unfold the mind’s capacities for wisdom, purity and peace, then we need to keep the powderkeg of the defilements under the watchful eyes of diligent sentinels. (Bhikkhu Bodhi, from https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/bodhi/bps-essay_23.html)

We could say that hiri is our conscience, the internal snag we hit when we know we’ve done the wrong thing, and ottappa is our fear of others knowing and reacting to an immoral deed we’ve done. All of us have these qualities in some degree. It might be useful to consider whether either hiri or ottappa or both act as “guardians” of our actions. No one else is charged with evaluating our behavior – it’s up to us to be our own monitors and teachers.

The verses refer to the lasting effects of both good and bad deeds. Each of us has sufficient inner wisdom to know that we are constantly rubbing up against each other with either kindly or hostile (or defensive) intent. Which face do we bring to others when we meet them? What tone of voice do we use internally? It is likely that we are similarly friendly or unfriendly to others as we are to ourselves. Can we soften our approach? Can we follow our more generous and forgiving instincts and set aside our combative ones, at least some (or more) of the time?


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