The Mauryas

Inscriptions of Ashoka

Pillar Edict (PE) III

Original text by Meena Talim

1. देवानंपिये पियदसि लाज हेवं आहा | कंयानंमेव देखति |  इयं मे
2. कंयाने कटे ति | नो मिन पापं देखति | इयं मे पापे कटे ति इयं वा आसिनवे |
3. नामा ति | दुपटिवेखे  चु खो एता |  हेवं चु खो एस देखिये | इमानि
4. आसिनवगामानि नाम अथा चंडिये निठलिये कोधे माने इस्स |
5. कालेनन व हकं मा पलिभाययिसं | एस बाढ देखिये | इयं मे
6. हिदतिकाये इयंमन मे पलितिकाये |

English translation by Meena Talim

1. Piyadassi, the beloved of God said thus: Men only see metric. I have
2. performed merit. We do not see the sin (demerit). This sin I have done. All these are (culmination of) desires (wishes).
3. It is very difficult to realize (consider). This, indeed should be observed.
4. These desires are like a headman of a village, lead us to; such, as cruelty, harshness, anger, pride and jealousy – This is the reason.
5. These I see as hindrances; let me not see them grown. This is to me (what I feel).
6. For this world and the next world.

English translation by V A Smith

Thus saith His Sacred and Gracious Majesty the King :
A man sees only his good deed and says, ” This good deed has been done by me.”  In no wise does he see his ill deed (or “sin”) and say, ” This ill deed have I done, this act called impiety.” Difficult,  however, is self-examination of this kind. Nevertheless, a man should see to this that brutality, cruelty, anger, pride, jealousy, are the things leading to impiety, [and should say], ” By reason of these may
I not fall.” This is chiefly to be seen to “The one course avails me for the present world, the other course avails me also for the world to come “.

English translation by D R Bhandarkar

Thus saith king Priyadarsin, Beloved of the gods : “ (A person) seeth his good deed only, (saying unto himself :) ‘this good deed has been done by me.’ In no wise doth he see (his) sin, (saying unto himself :) ‘this sin have I committed,’ or ‘ this, indeed, is a defilement.’ This, however, is (something) where self-examination is difficult. Nevertheless, (a person) should see this, (and say unto himself) : ‘such as impetuosity, cruelty, anger, pride, malice, and by reason (of them) I may cause my fall.’ This should certainly be seen to – ‘this conduces to my good here below, and this also to my good in the world to come.’

English translation of the Girnar text by R K Mookerji

Thus saith His Sacred and Gracious Majesty the King : one sees only his good deed, thinking, “this good deed has been done by me.” But he sees in no wise his sin, thinking, “this sin has been committed by me, or this indulgence of passions, as it is called.”
Difficult, indeed, it is to see it fully. But it has be seen thus: ”These are called the incentives to indulgence, namely, ferocity, cruelty, anger, arrogance, jealousy; and by these reasons let me not ruin (myself).” The following ought to be specially regarded :”thus is for me for this world, that other for me for the next.”

English  translation by D C Sircar

Thus saith king Priyadarshi, Beloved of the Gods.
A person has an eye on his good deed only and says to himself: ”This good  deed have I done.” Not in the least does he notice his sin, saying to himself: “This sinful act have I perpetrated,” or “This indeed is what is called sin.” But this is certainly difficult to scrutinize. Nevertheless, one should verily look into the matter thus : ”These passions surely lead to sin, such as violence, cruelty, anger, vanity and jealousy. Let me not ruin myself by reason of these very passions.” One should seriously reflect on the following: “This one is for my good only in this world and the other one is for my good also in the next world.”

English translation by S Dhammika

Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, speaks thus: People see only their good deeds saying, “I have done this good deed.” But they do not see their evil deeds saying, “I have done this evil deed” or “This is called evil.” But this (tendency) is difficult to see. One should think like this: “It is these things that lead to evil, to violence, to cruelty, anger, pride and jealousy. Let me not ruin myself with these things.” And further, one should think: “This leads to happiness in this world and the next.”

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