holding it sacred, rise early and, leaving Rajagaha, worship in this
'But in the Discipline of the Arya (Noble One), young house-
holder, the six quarters should not be worshipped in this way.'
'How then, sir, in the Discipline of the Arya, should the six
quarters be worshipped ? It would be an excellent thing, if the
Blessed One would so teach me the way in which according to
the Discipline of the Arya, the six quarters should be worshipped.'
'Hear then, young householder, reflect carefully and I will
'Yes , sir,' responded young Sigala. An d the Blessed One said:
'Just as, young householder, the Aryan disciple has put away
the four vices in conduct; just as he does no evil actions from the
four motives; just as he does not make towards the six doors of
dissipating wealth; avoiding these fourteen evil things, he is a
guardian of the six quarters, is on his way to conquer both worlds,
is successful both in this world and in the next. At the dissolution
of the body, after death, he is reborn to a happy destiny in heaven.
'What are the four vices of conduct that he has put away?
The destruction of life, stealing, adultery, and lying. These
are the four vices of conduct that he has put away.
'By which four motives does he do no evil actions? Evil
actions are done from motives of partiality, enmity, stupidity
and fear. But as the Aryan disciple is not led away by these motives
he does no evil actions through them.
'An d which are the six doors of dissipating wealth? Drink;
frequenting the streets at unseemly hours; haunting fairs;
gambling; associating with evil friends; idleness.
'There are, young householder, these six dangers of drink:
the actual loss of wealth; increase of quarrels; susceptibility to
disease; an evil reputation; indecent exposure; ruining one's
'Six, young householder, are the perils a man runs through
frequenting the streets at unseemly hours: he himself is un-
guarded or unprotected and so too are his wife and children;
so also is his property (wealth); in addition he falls under the
suspicion of being responsible for undetected crimes; false
rumours are attached to his name; he goes out to meet many
'There are six perils in haunting fairs: A man keeps looking
about to see where is there dancing? where is there singing?
music ? recitation ? cymbal playing ? the beating of tam-tams ?
'Six, young householder, are the perils of gambling: if the man
wins, he is hated; if he loses, he mourns his lost wealth; waste
of wealth; his word has no weight in an assembly (a court of law);
he is despised by his friends and companions; he is not sought
in marriage, for people will say that a man who is a gambler
will never make a good husband.
'There are six perils of associating with evil friends: any
gambler, any libertine, any tippler, any cheat, any swindler,
any man of violence becomes his friend and companion.
'There are six perils in idleness: A man says, it is too cold,
and does no work. He says, it is too hot, and does no work;
he says, it is too early . . . too late, and does no work. He says,
I am too hungry, and does no wo rk . . . too full, and does no work.
And while all that he should do remains undone, he makes no
money, and such wealth as he has dwindles away.
'Four persons should be reckoned as foes in the likeness of
friends: the rapacious person; the man wh o pays lip-service only
to a friend; the flatterer; the wastrel.
'Of these the first is to be reckoned as a foe in the likeness of a
friend on four grounds: he is rapacious; he gives little and
expects much; he does what he has to do out of fear; he pursues
his own interests.
'O n four grounds the man who pays lip-service only to a friend
is to be reckoned as a foe in the likeness of a friend: he makes
friendly professions as regards the past; he makes friendly
professions as regards the future; the only service he renders is
by his empty sayings; when the opportunity for service arises
he shows his unreliability.
'On four grounds the flatterer is to be reckoned as a foe
in the likeness of a friend: he approves your bad deeds, as well
as your good deeds; he praises you to your face, and in your
absence he speaks ill of you.
'On four grounds the wastrel is to be reckoned as a foe in the
likeness of a friend: he is your companion when you go drinking;
when you frequent the streets at untimely hours; when you
haunt shows and fairs; when you gamble.
'The friends who should be reckoned as good-hearted (friends)
are four: the helper; the friend who is constant in happiness and
adversity; the friend of good counsel; the sympathetic friend.
'The friend wh o is a helper is to be reckoned as good-hearted
on four grounds: he protects you when you are taken unawares;
he protects your property when you are not there to protect it;
he is a refuge to you when you are afraid; when you have tasks
to perform he provides twice as much help as you may need.
'The friend wh o is constant in happiness and adversity is to
be reckoned as good-hearted on four grounds: he tells you his
secrets; he does not betray your secrets; in your troubles he does
not forsake you; for your sake he will even lay down his life.
'The friend of good counsel is . . . good-hearted on four
grounds: he restrains you from doing wron g; he enjoins you to
(do what is) right; from him you learn what you had not learnt
before; he shows you the way to heaven.
'The friend who is sympathetic is to be reckoned as good-
hearted on four grounds: he does not rejoice over your mis-
fortunes; he rejoices with you in your prosperity; he restrains
those who speak ill of you; he commends those who speak well of
'And how, young householder, does the Aryan disciple
protect (guard) the six quarters?
The following should be
looked upon as the six quarters: parents as the east; teachers
as the south; wife and children as the west; friends and com-
panions as the north; servants and employees as the nadir;
recluses and brahmins (the
as the zenith.
'A child should minister to his parents as the eastern quarter
Now the Buddha explains to Sigala what the six quarters are and how to 'worship'
them according to the 'Discipline of the Arya (Noble One)' by way of performing
one's duties and obligations towards them, instead of performing the ritual worship
according to the old Brahmanic tradition. If the 'six quarters' are 'protected' in this
way, they are made safe and secure, and no danger would come from there. Brahmins
too worshipped the quarters of the external world to prevent any danger coming
from the spirits or gods inhabiting them.
in five ways (saying to himself): Once I was supported by them,
now I will be their support; I will perform those dudes they have
to perform; I will maintain the lineage and tradition of my
family; I will look after my inheritance; and I will give alms
(perform religious rites) on behalf of them (when they are dead).
'Parents thus ministered to by their children as the eastern
quarter, show their love for them in five ways: they restrain
them from evil; they direct them towards the good; they train
them to a profession; they arrange suitable marriages for them;
and in due time, they hand over the inheritance to them.
'In this way the eastern quarter is protected and made safe and
secure for him.
'A pupil should minister to his teachers as the southern
quarter in five ways: by rising (from his seat, to salute them);
by waiting upon them; by his eagerness to learn; by personal
service; and by respectfully accepting their teaching.
Teachers, thus ministered to as the southern quarter by their
pupil, show their love for their pupil in five ways: they train him
well; they make him grasp what he has learnt; they instruct him
thoroughly in the lore of every art; they introduce him to their
friends and companions; they provide for his security everywhere.
'In this way the southern quarter is protected and made safe
and secure for him.
'A wife as western quarter should be ministered to by her
husband in five ways: by respecting her; by his courtesy; by
being faithful to her; by handing over authority to her; by
providing her with adornment (jewellery, etc.).
'The wife, ministered to by her husband as the western quarter,
loves him in these five ways: by doing her duty well; by hospitality
to attendants, etc.; by her fidelity; by looking after his earnings;
and by skill and industry in all her business dealings.
'In this way the western quarter is protected and made safe
and secure for him.
'In five ways a member of a family should minister to his
friends and companions as the northern quarter: by generosity;
by courtesy; by benevolence; by equality (treating them as he
treats himself); and by being true to his word.
'Thus ministered to as the northern quarter, his friends and
companions love him in these five ways: they protect him when he
is in need of protection; they look after his property when he is
unable to; they become a refuge in danger; they do not forsake
him in his troubles; and they respect even others related to him.
'In this way the northern quarter is protected and made safe
and secure for him.
'A master ministers to his servants and employees as the
nadir in five ways: by assigning them work according to their
capacity and strength; by supplying them with food and wages;
by tending them in sickness; by sharing with them unusual
delicacies; and by giving them leave and gifts at suitable times.
'In these ways ministered to by their master, servants and
employees love their master in five ways: they wake up before
him; they go to bed after him; they take what is given to them;
they do their work well; and they speak well of him and give
him a good reputation.
'In this way is the nadir protected and made safe and secure
'A member of a family (a layman) should minister to recluses
and brahmins (the
as the zenith in five ways: by affec-
tionate acts; by affectionate words; by affectionate thoughts;
by keeping open house for them; by supplying them with their
'In this wa y ministered to as the zenith, recluses and brahmins
show their love for the members of the family (laymen) in six
ways: they keep them from evil; they exhort them to do good;
they love them with kindly thoughts; they teach them what they
have not learnt; they correct and refine what they have learnt;
they reveal to them the way to heaven.
'In this way is the zenith protected and made safe and secure
When the Blessed One had thus spoken, Sigala the young
householder said this: 'Excellent, Sir, excellent! It is as if one
should set upright what had been turned upside down, or reveal
what had been hidden away, or show the way to a man gone
astray, or bring a lamp into darkness so that those with eyes
might see things there. In this manner the Dhamma is expounded
by the Blessed One in many ways. And I take refuge in the Blessed
One, in the Dhamma and in the Community of Bhikkhus.
May the Blessed One receive me as his lay-disciple, as one who
has taken his refuge in him from this day forth as long as life
(Digha-Nikaya, No. 31)
TH E W O R D S O F T R U T H
All (mental) states have mind as their forerunner, mind is their
chief, and they are mind-made. If one speaks or acts, with a
defiled mind, then suffering follows one even as the wheel
follows the hoof of the draught-ox.
All (mental) states have mind as their forerunner, mind is
their chief, and they are mind-made. If one speaks or acts, with a
pure mind, happiness follows one as one's shadow that does not
'He abused me, he beat me, he defeated me, he robbed me':
the hatred of those who harbour such thoughts is not appeased.
Hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world; it is appeased
by love. This is an eternal Law.
Whosoever is energetic, mindful, pure in conduct, discriminat-
ing, self-restrained, right-living, vigilant, his fame steadily
By endeavour, diligence, discipline, and self-mastery, let the
wise man make (of himself) an island that no flood can overwhelm.
Fools, men of litde intelligence, give themselves over to
negligence, but the wise man protects his diligence as a supreme
Give not yourselves unto negligence; have no intimacy with
sense pleasures. The man w ho meditates with diligence attains
This fickle, unsteady mind, difficult to guard, difficult to
control, the wise man makes straight, as the fletcher the arrow.
Hard to restrain, unstable is this mind; it flits wherever it lists.
Good it is to control the mind. A controlled mind brings happi-
He whose mind is unsteady, he w ho knows not the Good
Teaching, he whose confidence wavers, the wisdom of such a
person does not attain fullness.
Whatever harm a foe may do to a foe, or a hater to another
hater, a wrongly-directed mind may do one harm far exceeding
Neither mother, nor father, nor any other relative can do a
man such good as is wrought by a rightly-directed mind.
The man w ho gathers only the flowers (of sense pleasures),
whose mind is entangled, death carries him away as a great flood a
One should not pry into the faults of others, into things done
and left undone by others. One should rather consider what by
oneself is done and left undone.
As a beautiful flower that is full of hue but lacks fragrance,
even so fruitless is the well-spoken word of one who does not
If, as one fares, one does not find a companion w ho is better or
equal, let one resolutely pursue the solitary course; there can be no
fellowship with the fool.
'I have sons, I have wealth': thinking thus the fool is troubled.
Indeed, he himself is not his own. How can sons or wealth be his ?
Even if all his life a fool associates with a wise man, he will not
understand the Truth, even as the spoon (does not understand)
the flavour of the soup.
That deed is not well done, which one regrets when it is done
and the result of which one experiences weeping with a tearful
The fool thinks an evil deed as sweet as honey, so long as it
does not ripen (does not produce results). But when it ripens,
the fool comes to grief.
Even as a solid rock is unshaken by the wind, so are the wise
unshaken by praise or blame.
Even as a lake, deep, extremely clear and tranquil, so do
the wise become tranquil having heard the Teaching.
Few among men are they who cross to the further shore. The
others merely run up and down the bank on this side.
For him, who has completed the journey, w ho is sorrowless,
wholly set free, and rid of all bonds, for such a one there is no
burning (of the passions).
He whose senses are mastered like horses well under the
charioteer's control, he w ho is purged of pride, free from passions,
such a steadfast one even the gods envy (hold dear).
Calm is the thought, calm the word and deed of him who,
rightly knowing, is wholly freed, perfectly peaceful and equi-
The man who is not credulous, who knows the 'uncreated',
who has severed all ties, who has put an end to the occasion
(of good and evil), who has vomited all desires, verily he is
supreme among men.
One may conquer in battle a thousand times a thousand men,
yet he is the best of conquerors who conquers himself.
Better is it truly to conquer oneself than to conquer others.
Neither a god, nor an 'angel'
, nor Mara, nor Brahma could turn
Gandhabba, freely rendered as 'angel', refers to a class of semi-divine beings:
into defeat the victory of a person such as this who is self-
mastered and ever restrained in conduct.
Though one may live a hundred years with no true insight
and self-control, yet better, indeed, is a life of one day for a man
who meditates in wisdom.
Make haste in doing good; restrain your mind from evil.
Whosoever is slow in doing good, his mind delights in evil.
It is well with the evil-doer until his evil (deed) ripens. But
when his evil (deed) bears fruit, he then sees its ill effects.
It is ill, perhaps, with the doer of good until his good deed
ripens. But when it bears fruit, then he sees the happy results.
Do not think lightly of evil, saying: 'It will not come to me'.
Even a water-pot is filled by the falling of drops. Likewise the
fool, gathering it drop by drop, fills himself with evil.
Do not think lightly of good, saying: 'It will not come to me'.
Even as a water-pot is filled by the falling of drops, so the wise
man, gathering it drop by drop, fills himself with good.
Whosoever offends an innocent person, pure and guiltless,
his evil comes back on that fool himself like fine dust thrown
against the wind.
All tremble at weapons; all fear death. Comparing others with
oneself, one should not slay, nor cause to slay.
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