The Dhammapada

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About this book

The Dhammapada (Pāli; Prakrit: धम्मपद Dhammapada; Sanskrit: धर्मपद Dharmapada) is a collection of sayings of the Buddha in verse form and one of the most widely read and best known Buddhist scriptures. The original version of the Dhammapada is in the Khuddaka Nikaya, a division of the Pali Canon of Theravada Buddhism.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 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.

Reader's Thoughts

Abailart

To read forever.

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.

Coyle

Interesting to read from a Christian/Western perspective. As an amateur reading his first Buddhist text, this is fairly interesting. I've heard it said that Eastern thought is basically asking the same questions that pre-Socratic Greek thinkers were asking, but is lacking a Plato or a Christ to give answers to those questions. I didn't see anything in this text that disproved that claim, but this is also pretty short and only representative of one Eastern tradition. These seem to be some of the key points: -aristocratic: Particularly offensive to a modern American, the Dhammapada is unashamedly aristocratic. Only the select "few" are raised above the mob. To be fair, the picture of the aristocrat (or "Brahman") is much more generous than we're used to when we think of something like the Hindu caste system- "Brahmanism" is achieved only by hard work and virtue, not simply by being born into the right family. -pacifism: "A man is not one of the Noble (Ariya) because he injures living creatures; he is so called because he refrains from injuring all living creatures." (#270) -achieving Nirvana: This is the goal of the ethical life as laid down in the Dhammapada. The way to achieve Nirvana (though I may not have gotten all of the steps down) are 1) study 2) discipline 3) the mortification of desires This last one seems to be the most at odds with Christian and Western values. The Dhammapada teaches that desire leads to suffering, and that to avoid suffering desire must be eliminated. This includes all kinds of desires: love (including for family), hunger, thirst, guilt, etc. So, #284 says "So long as the love, even the smallest, of man towards woman is not destroyed, so long is his mind in bondage..." And #294 "A (true) Brahman goes scatheless, is free from sorrow and remorse though he have killed father and mother, and two kings of the warrior caste, though he has destroyed a kingdom with all its subjects." This elimination of desires leads to the true delight of Nirvana (though, presumably, one is not permitted to desire this delight). To its credit, the Dhammapada recognizes the problem of evil and the desperate need for change in the individual, but the solution it offers does not actually solve the human dilemma, as it mistakes the symptom (wrongly-focused desires) for the disease (evil). Desires are not inherently bad, they merely reflect the evil within us. As evil beings, we either desire the wrong things, or the right things in the wrong way. The way to correct this is not to eliminate desire (which would do nothing to remove the evil), but to fix the broken person. What we need is not to not feel guilt over the terrible things we have done, but to be forgiven for them, to know that justice has been satisfied. What we need is not the elimination of desires, but the re-setting them upon Him for whom they were intended. What we need, in other words, is the redemptive work of Christ.

Paul

It's not up for review.

David Withun

The Dhammapada, a collection of sayings of the Buddha, is certainly a book filled with wisdom from a very wise man. It was great to read it and, as a Christian, to be able to appreciate his insights into human nature and into the nature of reality. Buddhist spirituality has always deeply impressed me and I was certainly not disappointed by reading this book. Easwaran's notes are generally very helpful, though his constant need to compare Christianity and Christ, neither of which he seems to understand very well, with Buddhism and the Buddha was a bit annoying at times. Overall, I think this is a book from which much insight can be gained and I recommend it to others as well.

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.

Janie Cakes

This is a book filled with Buddhist quotes, and only quotes. These quotes are meant to inspire, and to teach a person morals. Some of these quotes were religiously biased, and some quotes were too repetitive. Pretty much, you'd have the same quote for a whole page, or up to 2 pages i.e. "'He abused me, he beat me, he defeated me, he robbed me' -- in those who harbor such thoughts hatred will never cease." "'He abused me, he beat me, he defeated me, he robbed me' -- in those who do not harbor such thoughts hatred will cease."...notice how only a few words change? There are plenty of quotes that do that in this book. There are even a few quotes that are just too old for this time period, very old fashioned. Despite all that, every 6 quotes i could find 1 or 2 really amazing quotes. Those quotes are enough to make you keep on reading and hoping to stumble upon the next one. I recommend this if you are trying to be a better Buddhist [FYI I'm not Buddhist], but you could read it just to gain some insight to life.here's a couple of my favorite quotes,"let the wise man guard his thoughts, for they are difficult to perceive, very artful, and they rush wherever they list: thoughts well guarded bring happiness""a man is not an elder because his head is gray; his age may be ripe, but he is called 'Old-in-vain'"

Karey

There is always room for compassion.

Nashwa Nasreldeen

مش حابة اقيمة بس هو يستحق القراءة

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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