its colours or scent, flies away,
collecting only the honey,
even so should the sage wander in the village.
(Stop and smell the flowers, but don't pick them
so others can one day smell)
Not the faults of others,
nor what others have done or left undone,
but one's own deeds, done and left undone,
should one consider.
(mind your own business)
As a flower beautiful and brilliant of hue,
but without fragrance,
even so fruitless is the well-spoken word
of one who does not practise it.
(You talk the talk... but do you walk the walk?)
Sandalwood, tagara, lotus, jasmine:
above all these kinds of fragrance,
the perfume of virtue is by far the best.
(the sweetest thing)
Associate not with evil friends,
associate not with mean men;
associate with good friends,
associate with noble men.
Irrigators lead the water;
fletchers fashion the shaft;
carpenters carve the wood;
the wise discipline themselves.
(but don't beat yourself up too much)
As a solid rock is not shaken by the wind,
even so the wise remain unshaken amidst blame and praise
(don't let stuff get to your head)
Few among men are they who cross to the further shore.
The other folk only run up and down the bank on this side.
(Usually cursing the people on the other side)