19, The Just
Not by passing arbitrary judgments does a man become just; a
wise man is he who investigates both right and wrong.
He who does not judge others arbitrarily, but passes judgment
impartially according to the truth, that sagacious man is a
guardian of law and is called just.
One is not wise because one speaks much. He who is peaceable,
friendly and fearless is called wise.
A man is not versed in Dhamma because he speaks much. He who,
after hearing a little Dhamma, realizes its truth directly and
is not heedless of it, is truly versed in the Dhamma.
A monk is not Elder because his head is gray. He is but ripe
in age, and he is called one grown old in vain.
One in whom there is truthfulness, virtue, inoffensiveness,
restraint and self-mastery, who is free from defilements and
is wise he is truly called an Elder.
Not by mere eloquence nor by beauty of form does a man become
accomplished, if he is jealous, selfish and deceitful.
But he in whom these are wholly destroyed, uprooted and extinct,
and who has cast out hatred -- that wise man is truly accomplished.
Not by shaven head does a man who is indisciplined and untruthful
become a monk. How can he who is full of desire and greed be
He who wholly subdues evil both small and great is called a
monk, because he has overcome all evil.
He is not a monk just because he lives on others' alms. Not
by adopting outward form does one become a true monk.
Whoever here (in the Dispensation) lives a holy life, transcending
both merit and demerit, and walks with understanding in this
world he is truly called a monk.
Not by observing silence does one become a sage, if he be foolish
and ignorant. But that man is wise who, as if holding a balance-scale
accepts only the good.
The sage (thus) rejecting the evil, is truly a sage. Since he
comprehends both (present and future) worlds, he is called a
He is not noble who injures living beings. He is called
noble because he is harmless towards all living beings.
Not by rules and observances, not even by much learning, nor
by gain of absorption, nor by a life of seclusion, nor by thinking,
"I enjoy the bliss of renunciation, which is not experienced
by the worldling" should you, O monks, rest content, until
the utter destruction of cankers (Arahatship) is reached.