21. Earnestness is the path of immortality (Nir- vâna), thoughtlessness the path of death. Those who are in earnest do not die, those who are thoughtless are as if dead already.
22. Those who are advanced in earnestness, having understood this clearly, delight in earnest- ness, and rejoice in the knowledge of the Ayiyas (the elect).
23. These wise people, meditative, steady, always possessed of strong powers, attain to Nirvâna, the highest happiness.
1 There is nothing in the tenth section of the Dhammapada, as translated by Beal, corresponding to the verses of this chapter. . Apram^da, which FausboU translates by *vigilantia,' Gogerly by ' religion,' Childers by * diligence,' expresses literally the absence of that giddiness or thoughtlessness which characterizes the state of mind of worldly people. It is the first entering into oneself, and hence all virtues are said to have their root in apramdda. (Ye ke^i kusali dhammd sabbe te appamddamftlakS.) I have translated it by * earnestness,' sometimes by ' reflection.' * Immortality,' amnta, is explained by Buddhaghosa as Nirvdwa. Amn'ta is used, no doubt, as a synonym of Nirvdwa, but this very fact shows how many different conceptions entered from the very first into the Nirvdwa of the Buddhists. See Childers, s. v. nibbdna, p. 269. This verse, as recited to Ajoka, occurs in the Dipava^^sa VI, 53, and in the Mah^va/wsa, p. 25. See also Sanatsu^Mya, translated by Telang, Sacred Books of the East, vol. viii. p. 1 38. . The Ariyas, the noble or elect, are those who have entered on the path that leads to Nirv^wa ; see Koppen, p. 396. Their knowledge and general status is minutely described ; see Koppen, p. 436. . Childers, s.v. nibbdna, thinks that nibbdna here and in many other places means Arhatship.  e