The Buddhist Tradition - The Dhammapada

19. The Righteous

One is not righteous if one decides a case without due consideration, but the wise man who takes into account both for and against, and comes to his decision about others with due consideration - such a man of discrimination who keeps to the truth, he is to be called righteous. 256, 257 

 One is not a learned man by virtue of much speaking. He who is patient, without anger and fearless, he is to be called learned. 258 

 One is not a bearer of the teaching by virtue of much speaking, but he who, even if he has only studied a little, has experienced the truth in person, he is indeed a bearer of the teaching, who has not forgotten the teaching. 259 

 One is not an elder by virtue of having white hair. One is just advanced in years, and called "grown old in vain". He in whom there is truthfulness, non violence, restraint and self control, however - that wise and faultless sage is to be called an elder. 260, 261 

 It is not just by fine speech or by flower-like beauty that one is admirable, if one is envious, mean and deceitful, but when that sort of behaviour has been eliminated, rooted out and destroyed, that faultless sage is said to be admirable. 262, 263 

 A shaven head does not make one a man of religion, if one is irreligious and untruthful. How could a man full of desires and greed be a man of religion? But when a man has put aside all evil deeds, both great and small, by that putting away of evil deeds he is indeed called a man of religion. 264, 265 

 One is not a bhikkhu by virtue of taking alms from others. By taking up any old teaching, one is not a bhikkhu on that account. But he who has here and now ejected both good and evil, and in leading the holy life lives in accordance with reason - he is indeed called a bhikkhu. 266, 267 

 Silence does not make a sage if he is stupid and ignorant, but when a man avoids evil as if he were choosing something of value on the scales - he is a sage. That indeed makes him a sage. He who discriminates in both worlds is for that reason called a sage. 268, 269 

 One is not noble if one harms other living creatures. It is by non violence to all forms of life that one is called noble. 270 

 It is not just by means of morality and religious observances, not by great learning nor by attainments in meditation, nor by living alone, nor by thinking,"I am enjoying a spiritual happiness which ordinary people do not know" that a bhikkhu achieves peace if he has not achieved the elimination of inflowing thoughts. 271, 272