The Dhammapada: The Sayings of the Buddha

ISBN: 0609608886
ISBN 13: 9780609608883
By: Gautama Buddha Thomas Byrom

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About this book

The Dhammapada is one of the most popular and accessible books of Buddhist scripture. Undoubtedly one of the greatest teachers in history, the Buddha has had an immeasurable influence on the human race. He taught that our suffering stems from desire and that the only way to remove desire is to purify the heart. Dhamma means law, discipline, justice, virtue, truth -- that which holds things together. Pada means way, path, step, foot. So, The Dhammapada is the path of virtue, or the way of truth. Thomas Byrom’s lyrical and aphoristic rendering of the Buddha’s teaching reveals its practical and timeless simplicity.Bell Tower’s Sacred Teachings series offers essential spiritual classics from all traditions. May each book become a trusted companion on the way of truth, encouraging readers to study the wisdom of the ages and put it into practice each day.

Reader's Thoughts

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.

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.

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!

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.

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'"

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.

Karey

There is always room for compassion.

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 . "

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

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.

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.

Abailart

To read forever.

Kally Sheng

The Dhammapada, A Collection of Verses Being One of the Canonical Books of the Buddhists, Translated from Pali by F. Max Muller: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/2017From: The Sacred Books of the East Translated by Various Oriental Scholars Edited by F. Max Muller Volume X Part I [Note: The introduction, notes and index have been omitted.]CONTENTSChapter I. The Twin-VersesChapter II. On EarnestnessChapter III. ThoughtChapter IV. FlowersChapter V. The FoolChapter VI. The Wise Man (Pandita)Chapter VII. The Venerable (Arhat).Chapter VIII. The ThousandsChapter IX. EvilChapter X. PunishmentChapter XI. Old AgeChapter XII. SelfChapter XIII. The WorldChapter XIV. The Buddha (The Awakened)Chapter XV. HappinessChapter XVI. PleasureChapter XVII. AngerChapter XVIII. ImpurityChapter XIX. The JustChapter XX. The WayChapter XXI. MiscellaneousChapter XXII. The Downward CourseChapter XXIII. The ElephantChapter XXIV. ThirstChapter XXV. The Bhikshu (Mendicant)Chapter XXVI. The Brahmana (Arhat)

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

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