4. Flowers

Who will master this world and the world of Death with its devas? Who will gather well taught aphorisms (dhammapadas), like an connoisseur picking a flower? 44

A disciple will master this world and the world of Death with its devas. A disciple will gather well taught aphorisms (dhammapadas), like a connoisseur picking a flower. 45

Seeing the foam-like nature of the body, and awakening to its mirage-like quality, one can escape the sight of the King of Death, snapping Mara's flowery bonds. 46

Death carries off a man busy picking flowers with an besotted mind, like a great flood does a sleeping village. 47

Death, the end-maker, will exercise his will on a man busy picking flowers with a besotted mind, before he has even found satisfaction. 48

A holy man should behave in the village like a bee which takes its food from a flower without hurting its appearance or its scent. 49

It is no the shortcomings of others, nor what others have done or not done that one should think about, but what one has done or not done oneself. 50

Like a fine flower, beautiful to look at but without scent, fine words are fruitless in a man who does not act in accordance with them. 51

Like a fine flower, beautiful to look at and scented too, fine words bear fruit in a man who acts well in accordance with them. 52

Just as one can make a lot of garlands from a heap of flowers, so man, subject to birth and death as he is, should make himself a lot of good karma. 53

The scent of flowers cannot travel against the wind, and nor can that of sandalwood or jasmine, but the fragrance of the good does travel against the wind, and a good man perfumes the four quarters of the earth. 54

Sandalwood, tagara, lotus, jasmine - the fragrance of virtue is unrivalled by such kinds of perfume. 55

The perfume of tagara and sandalwood is of little enough power, while the supreme fragrance, that of the virtuous, reaches even up to the devas. 56

Perfect of virtue, always acting with recollection, and liberated by final realisation - Mara does not know the path such people travel. 57

Like a beautiful, fragrant lotus, springing up on a pile of rubbish thrown out on the highway, so a disciple of the Enlightened One stands out among rubbish-like and blinded ordinary people by virtue of his wisdom. 58, 59