Chapter VIII - SAHASSA VAGGA - Thousands

BE RATHER A VICTOR OF YOURSELF THAN A VICTOR OF OTHERS NONE CAN TURN SELF-VICTORY INTO DEFEAT

BE RATHER A VICTOR OF YOURSELF THAN A VICTOR OF OTHERS NONE CAN TURN SELF-VICTORY INTO DEFEAT

Atta have jitam seyyo ya cayam itara paja
Attadantassa posassa niccam sannatacarino. [104]
N'eva devo na gandhabbo na maro saha brahmuna Jitam apajitam kayira tatharupassa jantuno. [105]


Should one recite a hundred verses, comprising useless words, better is one single word of the Dhamma, by hearing which one is pacified. [104-105]
Self-conquestis, indeed, far greater than the conquest of all other folk; neither agod nor a gandhabba,norMara,norBrahma,can win back the victory of such a person who is self-subdued and ever lives in restraint.



VIII:04 Gain and loss in gambling

On one occasion, a brahmin told the Buddha, 'Venerable Sir, I think you know only the practices that are beneficial and not the practices that are unbeneficial.' The Buddha replied that he also knew the practices which were unbeneficial and harmful. Then the Buddha enumerated six practices which cause dissipation of wealth. They are: sleeping until the sun has arisen, habitual idleness, cruelty, indulgence in intoxicants which cause drunkenness and negligence, wandering alone in streets at suspicious hours, and sexual misconduct.


Further, the Buddha asked the brahmin how he earned his living, and the brahmin replied that he earned his living by playing dice, i.e. bygambling.* Next, the Buddha asked him whether he had won or lost. When the brahmin answered that he sometimes lost and sometimes won, the Buddha said to him, 'To win in a game of dice is nothing compared to a victory over moral defilements.'

Notes:

  1. Atta- The Buddha often uses this term in the sense of oneself or mind but not in the sense of a soul or special self.
  2. A class of beings who are supposed to be heavenly musicians.
  3. Here Mara is used in the sense of a god.
  4. Another class of beings, even superior to the gods in heaven, who have developed theJhanas(ecstasies).

*In the Parabhava Sutta the Buddha says that gambling is one of the causes of a man's downfall.