An person who has become awakened as a human being,
Self-tamed, with samādhi,
Following the spiritual path,
Delights in peace of mind.
Revered by people,
Gone beyond all things,
Even the gods revere him;
So I’ve heard from the Arahant.
He has transcended all fetters,
And escaped from entanglements,
Delighting in the renunciation of sensual pleasures,
He is liberated like gold from stone.
That elephant outshines all,
As the Himālaya outshines other mountains.
Of all those named “elephant”,
He is truly named, and unsurpassed.
I’ll extol the elephant to you,
For he does nothing wrong.
The elephant’s front two feet
Are gentleness and harmlessness.
Mindfulness and awareness
Are the elephant’s other feet.
Faith is the great elephant’s trunk,
And equanimity is the white tusks.
Mindfulness is his neck, his head is understanding—
The investigation and reflection on phenomena—
His belly is the sacred hearth of the Dhamma,
His tail is seclusion.
Practicing jhāna, delighting in the breath,
Serene inside himself.
The elephant is serene when walking,
The elephant is serene when standing,
The elephant is serene when lying down,
And when sitting, the elephant is serene.
The elephant is restrained everywhere:
This is the accomplishment of the elephant.
He eats blameless things,
He doesn’t eat blameworthy things.
When he gets food and clothes,
He avoids storing them up.
Having cut off all bonds,
Fetters large and small,
Wherever he goes,
He goes without longing
Just as a white lotus,
Fragrant and delightful,
Is born in water and grows there,
But the water does not stick to it;
So the Buddha is born in the world,
And lives in the world,
But the world does not stick to him,
As the water does not stick to the lotus.
A great blazing fire
Dies down when the fuel runs out;
When the coals have gone out
It’s said to be “quenched”.
This simile is taught by the discerning
To express the meaning clearly.
Great elephants will understand
What the elephant taught the elephant.
Free of desire, free of hatred,
Free of delusion, without defilements,
The elephant, abandoning their body,
Realises nibbāna without defilements.