Flowers

44) Who shall examine this earth (i.e., this body), the world of Yama (i.e., the four Apayas) and the world of man together with the world of devas? Who shall examine the well-taught Path of Virtue (Dhammapada) as an expert florist picks and chooses flowers?

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45) The Ariya Sekha2 shall examine this earth (i.e., the body), the world of Yama (i.e., the four Apayas) and the world of man together with the world of devas. The Ariya Sekha shall examine the well-taught Path of Virtue (Dhammapada) as an expert florist picks and chooses flowers.

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46) One who knows that this body is impermanent like froth, and comprehends that it is insubstantial like a mirage, will cut the flowers of Mara (i.e., the three kinds of vatta or rounds), and pass out of sight of the King of Death.

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47) Like one who picks and chooses flowers, a man who has his mind attached to sensual pleasures is carried away by Death, just as a great flood sweeps away a sleeping village.

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48) Like one who picks and chooses flowers, a man who has his mind attached to sensual pleasures and is insatiate in them is over powered by Death.

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49) As the bee collects nectar and flies away without damaging the flower or its colour or its scent, so also, let the bhikkhu dwell and act in the village (without affecting the faith and generosity or the wealth of the villagers).

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50) One should not consider the faults of others, nor their doing or not doing good or bad deeds. One should consider only whether one has done or not done good or bad deeds.

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51) Just as a beautiful flower, lacking in scent, cannot give the wearer the benefit of its scent, so also, the well-preached words of the Buddha cannot benefit one who does not practise the Dhamma.

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52) Just as a flower, beautiful as well as fragrant, will give the wearer the benefit of its scent, so also, the well-preached words of the Buddha will benefit one who practises the Dhamma.

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53) As from a collection of flowers many a garland can be made by an expert florist, so also, much good can be done (with wealth, out of faith and generosity) by one subject to birth and death.

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54) The scent of flowers cannot go against the wind; nor the scent of sandalwood, nor of rhododendron (tagara), nor of jasmin (mallika); only the reputation of good people can go against the wind. The reputation of the virtuous ones (sappurisa) is wafted abroad in all directions.

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55) There are the scents of sandalwood, rhododendron, lotus and jasmin (vassika); but the scent of virtue surpasses all scents.

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56) The scents of rhododendron and of sandal wood are very faint; but the scent (reputation) of the virtuous is the strongest; it spreads even to the abodes of the deva.

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57) Mara cannot find the path taken by those who are endowed with virtue, who live mindfully and have been freed from moral defilements by Right Knowledge.

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58) Upon a heap of rubbish in the road-side ditch blooms a lotus, fragrant and pleasing.

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59) Even so, on the rubbish heap of blinded mortals the disciple of the Supremely Enlightened One shines resplendent in wisdom.

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