The Dhammapada: The Path of Perfection

ISBN: 0140442847
ISBN 13: 9780140442847
By: Anonymous Juan Mascaró

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About this book

The Dhammapada is a versified Buddhist scripture traditionally ascribed to the Buddha himself. The Dhammapada consists of 423 verses in Pali uttered by the Buddha on some 305 occasions for the benefit of a wide range of human beings. These sayings were selected and compiled into one book as being worthy of special note on account of their beauty and relevance for moulding the lives of future generations of Buddhists. They are divided into 26 chapters and the stanzas are arranged according to subject matter.

Reader's Thoughts

Roxana Saberi

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

Nashwa Nasreldeen

مش حابة اقيمة بس هو يستحق القراءة

Brian Johnson

Eknath Easwaran is AMAZING. This translation rocks. Get it. :)

Rachel Cotterill

This is one of the world's most influential philosophical texts, and lies at the heart of Buddhism, so it's not surprising that it was an interesting read with plenty to think about. The translation is quite old (hence being freely available online) and it isn't always perfectly clear. There are some ambiguities of language, for example in several places reaching Nirvana is defined as being above good and evil (amongst other things), and yet requiring the avoidance of evil (and sin) to achieve it. I fear I'm missing something here, and possibly the original text has subtly different words for different concepts, but my language skills aren't up to reading this in the original!

Paul

It's not up for review.

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

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.

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.

Chris Corbell

This is my favorite little book in the world.

Karey

There is always room for compassion.

Jake

This translation of the Dhammapada is wonderfully lyrical and easy to read. I've found that sometimes reading English language Buddhist books can become a little routine- many are long on exegesis and short on poetry or memorable stories. A nice antidote is to switch up your reading by finding direct translations of important Buddhist sources. The problem, of course, is that the quality of translations varies widely, and a bad translation with no explanation can be difficult to read. That isn't the case here- Rose Kramer, the translator, did a wonderful job, working closely with Ananda Maitreya to preserve the spirit of the words. Take a few of my favorite passages:"Animosity does not eradicate animosity.Only by loving kindness is animosity dissolved.This law is ancient and eternal.""Even a single day of life lived virtuously and meditatively,is worth more than a hundred years lived wantonly andWithout discipline.""Whoever is beyond clinging, For past, present, or future, Who possesses nothing,Is released from the world."These verses are simple, beautiful, and profound- like all good teaching. Read this book- and may it be a help to you!

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.

abanob

الكتاب مختصر .. حلو جدا اسلوبه لذيذ يشدك انك تخلصه وتقراه ف قعده واحده زي معملت :D الكتاب عميق .. حلو اكيد هتستفيد بيه .. اتمني يبقي عندي وقت اقراه كل اسبوع (هوا صغير بالمناسبه) بيتكون من 22 سوره كل سوره من4 :9 ايات تقريبا حسب النص .. بس خلاص :))

حمدي

" لن تقتلعَ الريحُ ، الجبلَ.والإغواءُلن يلمُسَ مَن كان قوياً ، يَقِظاً ، وحَـيِـيّــاًلن يلمُسَ مَنْ يتحكّمُ بالنفسِ ، ويَتَّبِعُ الدرب. " " لِنَعِشْ فرِحينَ ، لانكرهُ مَنْ يكرهوننــا.وبينَ مَن يكرهوننــا ، نعيشُ أحراراً من الكُرْهِ . " " إن لقي أحمقُ ، امرءا حكيما، طيلة حياةفلن يدرك الحقيـــقة تماما ، كما لا تدرك الملعقة طعــم الحساء "" أبصــر العالم فقاعة . أبصـــره ســـرابا . من رأى العالم هــكذا خَفِيَ ، فلن يراه ملك الموت . "" أفرغ القــارب ، أيها الســائل . إن أنت أفرغـــته ، إنطلق سريعا . تخلص من الرغبة والكره . تنل الحرية . "

Greg

I really appreciate the accuracy of S. Radhakrishnan's translations. His translation of the Upanishads is excellent as is his translation of the Gita. This particular volume is an excellent rendition of the Dhammapada. As a philosopher, he wrote a lengthy introduction to the doctrines of Therevada Buddhism. He also deals with some of the problems related to the historical Buddha. This volume also provides not just an accurate translation, but also the transliterated Pali text. It is helpful for the advanced student of buddhism for checking up on some of the key concepts.

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