Dhammapada: The Sayings of Buddha

ISBN: 0553373765
ISBN 13: 9780553373769
By: Gautama Buddha Thomas Cleary

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Reader's Thoughts

Roumissette

Definitely a good read - the translation is really pure, and the message of the Buddha feels very powerful and inspiring, and still applicable to today's world. I really appreciate this book, and find a lot of inspiration from reading a chapter or even a certain passage.The Dhammapada talks a lot about mastering the mind - but one thing against it, is that though it describes beautifully what is and what is not a truly concentrated mind, it does not tell me how to reach such a state, nor does it explain about how to understand the mind, which in my eyes is so important and a critical step to achieve enlightenment. For example, it talks about meditation but does not actually teaches how to meditate, it describes very poetically virtues and sins, but not how to understand the self. But this book can be very inspiring to read and reflect upon.

Luis

Todo aspirante a budista debería leer esto, incluso quienes no, obviando ciertos dogmatismos, e intentando aplicar "el camino de la rectitud" en la vida diaria, a mi me ha servido mucho leer este pequeño manual. Lo recomiendo

Yasiru (reviews will soon be removed and linked to blog)

A wide-ranging and systematic sampling of Buddhist teachings, particularly in Theravada Buddhism, coming as it does from the Khuddaka Nikaya of the Pali Canon (see the external links section for valuable resources, including the Access to Insight collection of translated material). Highly economical and eminently accessible, these verses are indispensible in addressing the myriad misapprehensions and misrepresentations of concepts like karma, detachment, emptiness, et al. often made in casual lay discourse. From the beginning 'Twin Verses' (or 'Yamaka Vagga') the issues at hand are accorded an epistemic treatment in tandem with the traditional ontological and metaphysical concerns of similar religious sources.The text is not as strong at forwarding the ethical complexities in Buddhist thinking, but establishes the basic tenets very well. That said, not many religions, especially monolithic dogmas, speak of morality as an abstract, likely so as to make the empathy approach they often forward all the stronger, but adherence to general guidelines fashioned on what others take to and are repelled by so as to minimise their suffering doesn't require an emotional attachment at all, this in only one possible motivation- it might as well be accomplished through discipline and the ability to see beyond the trappings of self and its gratification (which is really what emotional attachment comes down to, be it even for 'good' ends; as Freud once put it: "Religion is an illusion and it derives its strength from the fact that it falls in with our instinctual desires."), thus achieving true compassion in worldly intent. Like the Tao Te Ching, the Dhammapada suggests this view of morality, but without setting up and speaking of it in terms of a divine absolute (the Tao in the former).A broader contemporary overview like the Ven. Walpola Rahula thera's What the Buddha Taught is a worthy follow-up for those who would have more detail and elaboration (freely available online).A series of lectures on the Buddha's teaching is found athttp://bodhimonastery.org/the-buddhas...Also see-http://bodhimonastery.org/a-systemati...http://bodhimonastery.org/a-course-in... (a Pali course)The following essay on the teaching of Dependent Origination may be a good starting point if the reader wishes to delve deeper:www.metta.lk/english/cause-effect.htmWhile the Dhammapada is far more precise and clear compared to the Tao Te Ching (reviewed here) and can thus survive many of the turmoils of translation, of those I've encountered in English (being familiar with the original Pali and its Sinhala renderings) the careful effort of John Ross Carter and Mahinda Palihawadana (for Oxford World's Classics; they also have an expanded, commentary-laden version here), as well as those of the Ven. Narada Mahathera and the Ven. Balangoda Ananda Maitreya thera have much to commend them to the newcomer (who does well to keep in mind that Eastern teachings tend to be about degrees and measures rather than absolutes).Take care to avoid editions which offer commentary but are too free in their interpretations or attempt to restrict the work's purview to a context of other popular or extant philosophical (eg- Plato- (view spoiler)[ I think it's noteworthy that Plato might be considered an answers man, at times with too easy and (further) reason-numbing answers like those from religious figures from Christ (who tends to pop in when 'Western thought' is mentioned to take credit for modes of thought owed the Greeks) to Muhammad to whatever other 'One Path' prophet- well, that's not entirely fair, but I think he's only a rung or two better in reasoning, though not asking for submission to dogma and open to criticism. Socrates is the more cautious one, almost evasive on the points we desire answers the most, the man we need to find through the facade of Plato's generous offerings- like the Comedian must be found in Alan Moore's Watchmen, with apologies for the jarring, but still moral philosophy related reference, having just reread it (except Socrates doesn't deny agency- that might be Tolstoy). This same Socrates on the other hand has much in common with the Buddha I think, especially for his views on desire and its bleak ends. (hide spoiler)], Kant (not an unreasonable case- see http://www.patheos.com/blogs/american...), phenomenology) or religious (eg- Hinduism and its Upanishads- which try before the Buddha to address (differently) some of the questions he does, but after him seems to have attempted to subsume into Hinduism proper the challenge to the status quo Buddhist thought presented; at least more subtle than Hinduism's portrayal of the Buddha as an avatar of Vishnu come to test the faithful by leading them astray) schools, or attempt to supply the text with fashionable mysticism (for instance, Easwaran's assimilative rendering), often thereby (unwittingly) expurgating the work's psychological depth and its invitation to a revolutionary and rational philosophy. And of course, the Dhammapada is only that- an invitation, a primer; to have the teaching elucidated on further one must attempt hereafter to tackle denser discourses in the Pali Canon.The aforementioned translation by the Ven. Narada Mahathera, though slightly aged, is freely available at http://www.metta.lk/english/Narada/in... and includes the framing stories often omitted elsewhere (though these are unfortunately only summarised, sometimes in a none too illuminating way) and excellent notes (files for offline reading may be found here).A few other online versions are linked here, of which the Acharya Buddharakkhita translation is perhaps the best balanced.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

Chris Corbell

This is my favorite little book in the world.

Cassandra Kay Silva

Very good edition. The text is beautiful. The message is good. This is the kind of thing that can be read and reread throughout your lifetime and will bring different meanings at different places in your life. I got a copy at the library. I will be looking for a personal copy to keep for my own. So beautiful. I really appreciated the accompanying notes.

Roxana Saberi

Just reread this. Little and big gems of wisdom throughout.

Surgat

It's mostly just an assortment of platitudes. Examples: Ch. VI, 78.>>"Let one not associate With low persons, bad friends.But let one associate With noble persons, worthy friends."Ch. VIII, stanza 100.>>"Though a thousand the the statements, With words of no avail, Better is a single word of welfare, Having heard which, one is pacified."Ch. XXI, stanza 290.>>"If by sacrificing a limited pleasure An extensive pleasure one would see,Let the wise one beholding extensive pleasure, A limited pleasure forsake."Thanks, I couldn't figure that out for myself.Some of the passages are pretty cool though. Example: Ch. XI, stanza 153-154."I ran through samsara, with its many births, Searching for, but not finding, the house-builder. Misery is birth again and again. House-builder, you are seen!The house you shall not build again! Broken are your rafters, all,Your roof beam destroyed.Freedom from the samkharas has the mind attained.To the end of cravings has it come."The main theme, that since feelings of attachment and holding things dear (ch. XVI) are conditions necessary to create suffering, and that since unlike things' tendencies to decay and end it's possible to eliminate these conditions, you should not hold things dear or get attached to anything, is somewhat interesting. It also doesn't require a belief in a cycle of soul transmigration. This might be problematic in a way, since the degree to which one is successful at this may reduce motivations or reasons for being good. For example, someone who holds their reputation dear will have more reason to avoid acting wrongly than one who doesn't, since "severe slander" (the book itself includes this as a reason for being good at ch. X, stanza 139) will affect them more strongly. The introduction/commentary/historical criticism is very general and short, but otherwise okay. The annotations were helpful in explaining metaphors, connotations lost in translation, the religious tradition's take on some verses, a few of the assumptions common to the compilers, and untranslated terms.

Abailart

To read forever.

Warun

this was a spiritually fulfilling book.it helped me understand the life of the Buddha and the reasoning behind his actions and spiritual life decisions.Siddhartha is the son of a Brahmin's sun who ventures of because he wanted to live the life of samana who are wondering monks who live their life with our possessions and try to find eternal peace.he romeos the earth and ends up running into this man they called the Buddha ,which means enlightened one .he has lived for centuries and will finally be one with the universe.as every other samana so did Siddhartha.on the path of enlightenment Siddhartha faces life's many deadly sines such as lust, gluttony, greed, sloth , wrath , envy ,pride.and he over came them all and at the end of the book he sees that all these adventures took him in a complete circle and he finally reaches enlightenment.my favorite quote is "knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom".p.124because it makes you really think about and you finally see that its is true and very wise.i that this was a very wise and spiritually satisfying. I would want to spend the rest of my life listening to the teachings of the Buddha.

Steve Woods

This is the primary text of the Buddhas teachings. A good translation with a very thorough introduction by the author that taught me a lot I didn't know. The texts can often be a bit meaning less for westerners who have no context within which to place them This one is pretty profound, I use it by simply reading one chapter everyday, it helps keep me pointed in the right direction and it's great to have enough familiarity to be able to source the teachings of others on the path whose books I read. Gotta get it if Buddhism has any appeal for you

Naliniprasad

Very good translation of original pali version by Eknath aswaran.Full of wisdom for leading our everyday life painlessly.One of the simplest interpretations of the Buddhist classic.Planning to read it again.Includes exvcellent introduction and commentary by the author.

Paul

It's not up for review.

tighe

Very reflective and wholesome moral truths for living, quite a fresh read in the world of inconsequential candy reads. While one might not agree with every Buddhist principle for living, as I myself don't, the general truths that you pick up and contemplate throughout the day are hard to escape. Easy and quick, yet full of substance and worthy of review time and again.

Bad Tim

this is a nice little edition. easy to carry around, but the print is still easy to read even when the lighting is not ideal.i've found that i enjoy the hindu texts better than other eastern texts i've read, because they haven't been stripped down to the one-horse show of non-attachment.

Jesse Dixon

This edition of the Dhammapada contains a lot of extra information, the Dhammapada verses take up less than a third of the book. It contains an 86 page introduction by Eknath Easwaran which provides interesting background information to Buddhism. There are also chapter introductions by Stephen Ruppenthal for each chapter, or a pair of two chapters, which has insightful information for understanding the verses. This was an easy to read and inspiring introduction to Buddhism and the Dhammapada.There are 423 numbered verses in 26 chapters that provide spiritual guidance and inspiration. There are verses that encourage meditiation, some that show karma, cause and effect, and showing compassion and patience. Here is a small sample:1 Our life is shaped by our mind; we become what we think. Suffering follows an evil thought as the wheels of a cart follow the oxen that draw it.2 Our life is shaped by our mind; we become what we think. Joy follows a pure thought like a shadow that never leaves.125 If you harm a pure and innocent person, you harm yourself, as dust thrown against the wind comes back to the thrower.223 Conquer anger through gentleness, unkindness through kindness, greed through generosity, and falsehood by truth.

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