The book represents the quintessence of Buddhism, embodied in stanzas that represent the words of the Buddha. The wisdom implicit in these sacred verses is timeless and is universally applicable. This encompasses both spiritual and worldly situations. The book classified into 23 chapters is arranged to give the reader the original Pali in Roman characters and the translation of each stanza at two levels. The prose order of each stanza is provided, with the meaning of each word explained.
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Each verse in Dhammapada was originally spoken by the blessed one in response to a particular incident. The first 5 files for CD1 etc. This is an eternal law. He who is purged of all stain, is well-established in morals and endowed with self-control and truthfulness, is indeed worthy of the yellow robe Even as rain penetrates as ill-thatched house, so does lust penetrate an undeveloped mind.
He grieves, he is afflicted, perceiving the impurity of his own deeds. He rejoices, exceedingly rejoices, perceiving the purity of his own deeds.
Here he suffers, hereafter he suffers. In both states the evil-doer suffers. Furthermore, he suffers, having gone to a woeful state Here he is happy, hereafter he is happy. In both states the well-doer is happy. Furthermore, he is happy, having gone to a blissful state Though little he recites the Sacred Texts, but acts in accordance with the teaching, forsaking lust, hatred and ignorance, truly knowing, with mind well freed, clinging to naught here and hereafter, he shares the fruits of the Holy Life.
The former never stands at the end, but is always followed by a consonant of its group. Buddhism appeals both to the masses and to the intelligentsia. It offers milk for the babe and meat for the strong. It presents one way of life to the members of the Holy Order and another to the laity. Above all, it expounds a unique Path of Enlightenment. Any truth-seeker irrespective of his religious beliefs, can read this book of Wisdom with interest and profit. The Dhammapada is not a book to be read superficially like a novel and shelved aside.
It should be read and re-read so that it may serve as a constant companion for inspiration, solace, and edification in times of need. The Dhammapada was not preached by the Buddha in the present form. Three months after the Passing Away of the Buddha, the Arahants, who assembled at the First Convocation to rehearse the Teachings of the Buddha, collected some of the poetic utterances of the Buddha, which He expounded on different occasions, arranged and classified the treatise in its present form, naming it the Dhammapada.
It has to be understood according to the context. Here it is used in the sense of Sayings or Teachings of the Buddha. Pada implies sections, portions, parts, or way.
It is somewhat difficult to offer a graceful English equivalent according to its literal meaning. The Dhammapada consists of melodious Pali verses, uttered by the Buddha on about occasions, to suit the temperaments of the listener in the course of His preaching tours during His ministry of forty-five years. Circumstances that led to these noble utterances are presented in the form of long or short stories together with traditional interpretations of the Pali verses and technical terms, in the voluminous commentary written by Buddhaghosa.
This valuable commentary has been ably translated by E. Burlinghame for the Harvard Oriental Series. It may be remarked that most of these verses are better understood when read with the context.
The gems of truth embodied in these texts aptly illustrate the moral and philosophical Teachings of the Buddha. The very first two stanzas briefly represent the ethico-philosophical system of the Buddha. The importance of the mind in assessing morality, the Buddhist law of moral causation Kamma , the problem of pain and happiness, self-responsibility, etc. The two relevant stories clarify the points at issue. Commentary gives a long interpretation. The two connected stories make the matter clear.
The verses dealing with hatred and its appeacement are of special significance in this atomic age. Force will certainly be met with force. Bombs will be met with bombs. Vengeance will be met with vengeance. Retaliation never leads to peace. The high ethical standard the Buddha expects from his ideal followers are depicted in some verses. The Dhamma is to be studied with the object of practising it.
The very last verse is alone sufficient for an ideal Bhikkhu for his whole life time. How the Buddha exercises His psychic powers to transform a lust-ridden, mentally sick Bhikkhu to a pure, spiritually healthy individual is evident from the story of prince Nanda, His step-brother, and the verses uttered concerning him.
In obedience to the Buddha, though with reluctance, prince Nanda entered the Order on his wedding day. As he was constantly thinking of his bride-elect without being intent on the Holy life, the Buddha, instead of adopting the usual direct method of instruction devised an effective practical way to divert his attention to a seemingly more desirable similar object and succeeded in making him an Arahant.
See vv. The first two chapters mainly deal with the ethics of Buddhism and are of equal importance to both Bhikkhus and laymen. It was the first verse on heedfulness occurring in this chapter that completely transformed the character of King Asoka the Righteous, who was originally stigmatised — Asoka the Wicked — owing to his atrocities perpetrated before his conversion to Buddhism.
The verse 24, which deals with causes that tend to worldly progress, shows that Buddhism is not absolutely other-worldly as some hasty critics are apt to think. The third chapter is of special significance as it enables one to understand the Buddhist conception of the mind and the importance of mind control. The illusive nature of worldly happiness and the kind of life one should lead in such a deluded world are shown in these chapters.
They depict the moral attitude of really enlightened beings. One should not rest satisfied with a mere perusal of these golden sayings. They should be read, re-read, and pondered upon, together with the accompanying stories, drawing appropriate lessons therefrom.
These interesting and edifying anecdotes clearly depict the greatness of the Buddha as an energetic, compassionate and wise Teacher, ever ready to serve all.
Readers will note the simplicity of the similes employed by the Buddha, which are intelligible even to a child. The wisdom of the Buddha lies in His exposition of profound truths in such plain terms. There is not a single verse in the Dhammapada that can be dismissed as unintelligible to a lay reader. At times He exercises His psychic powers, not miracles, in order to enlighten His less intelligent hearers or to give an actual demonstration to a concrete truth.
The man realized his ignoble act and later became a Noble in the strictest sense of the term. See v. In the Dhammapada there are several instances to show that the Buddha preached not only to the intelligentsia but also to little children in their own language. He was accessible to all. In preparing this translation I have consulted with profit the learned articles on the Dhammapada written by my revered teacher, the Venerable P.
Special care was taken not to deviate from the traditional commentarial interpretations. My first translation of the Dhammapada appeared in , with a Foreword by Dr. Cassius A. Pereira later Kassapa Thera. Subsequently, the Mahabodhi Society of India published two revised pocket editions. Another revised edition was published in the Wisdom of the East Series in with a scholarly Introduction by Dr.
Thomas, followed by a reprint in In this present latest edition several improvements have been made, copious notes have been added mainly for the benefit of those who are not acquainted with the fundamentals of the Dhamma, and relevant stories are given in brief in order to make the texts more intelligible to the readers.
I am grateful to Mr. Wijayatilaka, ex-Principal of Ananda College, Colombo, for carefully revising my manuscript and offering many valued suggestions.
Chapter 26 1: Though a racial term here it is applied either to a Buddha or an Arahant — to one who has completed the Way and has won Enlightenment. Strive and cleave the stream. The monks in their modesty resented his form of address and discontinued their visits to his house. The devotee was sad and he went to the Buddha to inquire why the monks had ceased to accept his alms.
The monks explained the matter. The Buddha said that the devotee had used that form of address only out of respect and that they should try to become Arahants by cleaving the stream of craving. In reply the Buddha uttered this verse. The Buddha, recognising him, dismissed him saying that he had nothing to do with the farther shore and uttered this verse. He questioned the Buddha about the matter.
The sun shines by day; the moon is radiant by night. Armoured shines the warrior king. The Venerable Ananda perceived a king in all his glory, a meditative monk seated in the hall, and the setting sun and the rising moon. Then he beheld the Buddha outshining them all in glory.
When he mentioned his impressions of the different sights to the Buddha He uttered this verse. More shame on him who gives vent to his wrath! When the mind is weaned from things dear, whenever the intent to harm ceases, then and then only doth sorrow subside. The latter did not get angry. Instead of retaliating, he pardoned him and also ate food in his house.
The Buddha explained matters and remarked that no doubts should be entertained with regard to a Passionless One who is restrained in the three doors i. If from anybody one should understand the doctrine preached by the Fully Enlightened One, devoutly should one reverence him, as a brahmin reveres the sacrificial fire.
by Ven Nàrada
The Buddhist scholar and commentator Buddhaghosa explains that each saying recorded in the collection was made on a different occasion in response to a unique situation that had arisen in the life of the Buddha and his monastic community. His translation of the commentary, the Dhammapada Atthakatha , presents the details of these events and is a rich source of legend for the life and times of the Buddha. The title, "Dhammapada," is a compound term composed of dhamma and pada , each word having a number of denotations and connotations. Generally, dhamma can refer to the Buddha 's "doctrine" or an "eternal truth" or "righteousness" or all "phenomena";  and, at its root, pada means "foot" and thus by extension, especially in this context, means either "path" or "verse" cf. According to tradition, the Dhammapada's verses were spoken by the Buddha on various occasions. In fact, it is possible that the very source of the Dhammapada in the third century B. Comparing the Pali Dhammapada, the Gandhari Dharmapada and the Udanavarga, Brough identifies that the texts have in common to verses, 16 chapter headings and an underlying structure.
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