Filed in Theravada

From the Canon: Thirst

Acharya Buddharakkhita

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The craving of one given to heedless living grows like a creeper. Like the monkey seeking fruits in the forest, he leaps from life to life (tasting the fruit of his kamma).

Whoever is overcome by this wretched and sticky craving, his sorrows grow like grass after the rains.

But whoever overcomes this wretched craving, so difficult to overcome, from him sorrows fall away like water from a lotus leaf.

This I say to you: Good luck to all assembled here! Dig up the root of craving, like one in search of the fragrant root of the birana grass. Let not Mara crush you again and again, as a flood crushes a reed.

Just as a tree, though cut down, sprouts up again if its roots remain uncut and firm, even so, until the craving that lies dormant is rooted out, suffering springs up again and again.

The misguided man in whom the thirty-six currents of craving strongly rush toward pleasurable objects, is swept away by the flood of his passionate thoughts.

Everywhere these currents flow, and the creeper (of craving) sprouts and grows. Seeing that the creeper has sprung up, cut off its root with wisdom.

—The Buddha

The Dhammapada, verses 334-340, trans. from the Pali by Acharya Buddharakkhita; full text available at

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heartjewel's picture

"Essentially the resistance to being here now is the fear of dying and losing all that we know about ourselves—our whole history. So can one work with this fear directly, listening openly, vulnerably, dying to ideas as they come up about myself and the world?"

Toni Packer

John Haspel's picture

This is a very skillful translation and points to the heart of the Buddha’s direct teaching. Everything the Buddha taught for the last forty-five years of his life was taught in the context of the Four Noble Truths. He taught a simple and direct path that develops cessation of delusion, confusion, and ongoing suffering by understanding dukkha and ending ego-rooted craving and clinging through the Eightfold Path.

Free of mystical, magical, and and esoteric teachings, the Eightfold Path cuts through all delusion at the root, at ignorance of the Four Noble Truths, through a path that develops heightened virtue, heightened concentration, and profound wisdom.

John Haspel

joliminor's picture

"Self-indulgence causes illness, loneliness, grief, And loss of physical control. It disturbs the breath and Causes the soul to drift from its vital center and stillpoint." from "The whole heart of yoga" by John Bright-Fey