The Dhammapada
TheDhammapadais the most widely read Buddhist scripture in existence, enjoyed by bothBuddhists and non-Buddhists. This classic text of teaching verses from theearliest period of Buddhism in India conveys the philosophical and practicalfoundations of the Buddhist tradition. The text presents two distinct goals forleading a spiritual life: the first is attaining happiness in this life (or infuture lives); the second goal is the achievement of spiritual liberation,freedom, absolute peace. Many of the key themes of the verses are presented indichotomies or pairs, for example, grief and suffering versus joy; developingthe mind instead of being negligent about one's mental attitude and conduct;virtuous action versus misconduct; and being truthful versus being deceitful.The purpose of these contrasts is, very simply, to describe the differencebetween what leads to desirable outcomes and what does not.Forcenturies, this text has been studied in its original Pali, the canonicallanguage of Buddhism in Southeast Asia. This fresh new translation from InsightMediation teacher and Pail translator Gil Fronsdal is both highly readable andscholarly authoritative. With extensive explanatory notes, this editioncombines a rigorous attention to detail in bringing forth the original textwith the translator's personal knowledge of the Buddhist path. It is the firsttruly accurate and highly readable translation of this text to be published inEnglish.

The Dhammapada Details

TitleThe Dhammapada
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseDec 5th, 2006
PublisherShambhala
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Spirituality, Religion, Classics, Buddhism, Philosophy, Literature, Ancient, Self Help, Asian Literature, Indian Literature

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The Dhammapada Review

  • Bookdragon Sean
    January 1, 1970
    This really is the ultimate guide to optimism, positive thinking and, in a sense, idealistic happiness. Some of the ideas in here speak with clarity and wisdom, the logic behind them is clear and strong; however, I know that practising them is not an easy thing. I tried some of them for a time, a few were easy. Simple things like forgiveness and proactive thinking aren’t too complex or difficult to put into practice, but others require a great deal of willpower and perhaps a deep understanding o This really is the ultimate guide to optimism, positive thinking and, in a sense, idealistic happiness. Some of the ideas in here speak with clarity and wisdom, the logic behind them is clear and strong; however, I know that practising them is not an easy thing. I tried some of them for a time, a few were easy. Simple things like forgiveness and proactive thinking aren’t too complex or difficult to put into practice, but others require a great deal of willpower and perhaps a deep understanding of the concepts themselves. I have to be careful what I say here, these are religious matters after all. I don’t wish to offend in my ramblings. Some of the teachings in here feel vague and a little unobtainable. The section on transient pleasure was particularly so. It suggests that being free of things such as passion, pleasure and lust will subsequently prevent fear and sorrow. Isn’t passion a good thing? Can one not be passionate about something and use it to do kindness? Can pleasure then not be derived from such an act? Could this not create lust, a drive of further perusal, in such a passionate thing? Would this not make one happy as well as kind? I don’t understand the logic behind the offered argument. It doesn’t make a great deal of sense to me, so I need to read more about this subject. This wasn’t all negative for me, far from it. There are a lot of inspirational passages in here; there are a lot of inspirational things in the Buddhist ethos. Such as these:“The one who has conquered himself is a far greater hero than he who has defeated a thousand times a thousand men.”“You are what you think. All that you are arises from your thoughts. With your thoughts you make your world.”These words are very powerful, indeed. I find many of the ideas attractive and convincing, those on the treatment of animals especially so. But, there were several I found hard to grasp. Perhaps this isn’t the best introductory text; perhaps I should try something else. I’m thinking of reading a book on modern Buddhism because I may find that more directly accessible. This may help clear up some of the issues I had with this it; it may allow me to understand the way of thought more clearly. It may also be the way this has been edited down. I’ve had problems with a few of these issues in the past; it may be that some vital information has been taken out so, along with a contemporary guide, I’m going to buy a full version of this which may make me reconsider some of my thoughts.Penguin Little Black Classic- 80The Little Black Classic Collection by penguin looks like it contains lots of hidden gems. I couldn’t help it; they looked so good that I went and bought them all. I shall post a short review after reading each one. No doubt it will take me several months to get through all of them! Hopefully I will find some classic authors, from across the ages, that I may not have come across had I not bought this collection.
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  • Diamond Cowboy
    January 1, 1970
    The Dhammapada is a collection of Budist writings. These explain their chor beliefs. I found this a very intreaguing read. I am a Christian but I find it very informative to study other people's belief system. The Budist's beliefs are based primarily on love but it has a very practical side of how to conduct one's life here on earth. It does not speak to much of the life her-after. I plan to study further into the Budist religion to gain a more informative opinion. I would recommend every one st The Dhammapada is a collection of Budist writings. These explain their chor beliefs. I found this a very intreaguing read. I am a Christian but I find it very informative to study other people's belief system. The Budist's beliefs are based primarily on love but it has a very practical side of how to conduct one's life here on earth. It does not speak to much of the life her-after. I plan to study further into the Budist religion to gain a more informative opinion. I would recommend every one study the major religeons to come to their own beliefs.Be Blessed.Diamond
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  • Foad
    January 1, 1970
    بر خلاف انتظارم خيلى معمولى بود. همچين تجربه اى رو با جملات كنفوسيوس هم داشتم.
  • Ahmed Oraby
    January 1, 1970
    من اجتنب الخطأ، سمّي طاهرًا،من عاش متطامنًا، سمي متقشفًا،ومن تخلص من أوضاره، سمّي حاجّا
  • Tiffany Reisz
    January 1, 1970
    Read every word! Now I’m wise AF!
  • Roxana Saberi
    January 1, 1970
    Just reread this. Little and big gems of wisdom throughout.
  • Caroline
    January 1, 1970
    So this happened to be the just-in-case-I-get-stuck-waiting-somewhere book I had thrown in my purse on the day my car, later, wouldn’t start as the temperature marched toward 100 degrees (F). I had plenty of time standing in the parking lot to consider Buddha’s message since the tow truck got stuck in Senior Open golf tournament traffic and took three hours to arrive. Did the advice to let go of sensory impressions, perceptions, anger and conditioned reactions help? Yes, I think it did, although So this happened to be the just-in-case-I-get-stuck-waiting-somewhere book I had thrown in my purse on the day my car, later, wouldn’t start as the temperature marched toward 100 degrees (F). I had plenty of time standing in the parking lot to consider Buddha’s message since the tow truck got stuck in Senior Open golf tournament traffic and took three hours to arrive. Did the advice to let go of sensory impressions, perceptions, anger and conditioned reactions help? Yes, I think it did, although I’ve gotten there myself over the decades as well.Easwaran’s overview of the Buddha’s life and the general tenets of Buddhism in the introduction are quite helpful, as are the introductions to each chapter. I am still confused by what the self atman that persists through multiple incarnations is, once the disparate components of form, personality, etc of a particular life are removed,but it seems as if I have plenty of company. I am also somewhat put off by all the numbered things: the Eightfold path, the four dhyanas, the four Noble sights, the four stages of enlightenment, the Four Noble Truths, the three Refuges. I was given just the trinity, which is enough to twist your mind up for a lifetime by itself. As in most religions, it seems as if the subsequent legions of disciples have created libraries of volumes of exigesis, and multiple strands of practice, but this is reputedly the simple version for the masses, as the Buddha himself said it.At any rate, it is a useful introduction for someone who wants an understanding of Buddhism to inform his or her reading of the history and literature of Asia.
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  • Noor Sabah
    January 1, 1970
    بوذا الرائع، اين انت عنا؟!
  • Surgat
    January 1, 1970
    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, 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.
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  • 7jane
    January 1, 1970
    A re-read, this time in English translation. I got the Oxford version, because its form looked good in Amazon review (also its introduction is very clear and interesting; its explanatory notes are very useful too, very clear).I think I got more out of this this time, maybe a few years really changed things. I'm not a Buddhist, not believing in reincarnation for example, but even so I got a lot of enjoyment and inspiration out of this. It's a slim volume, so it can be read quickly, but it can als A re-read, this time in English translation. I got the Oxford version, because its form looked good in Amazon review (also its introduction is very clear and interesting; its explanatory notes are very useful too, very clear).I think I got more out of this this time, maybe a few years really changed things. I'm not a Buddhist, not believing in reincarnation for example, but even so I got a lot of enjoyment and inspiration out of this. It's a slim volume, so it can be read quickly, but it can also be savoured by reading slowly.One can see clearly how it can be such a classic, and a good starting place for anyone practicing Buddhism or just having an interest in it. Clear and simple yet also deep and visual, beautiful. Enjoyable and recommended. :)
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  • tighe
    January 1, 1970
    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.
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  • Abo Ahmad
    January 1, 1970
    تعرفت على الكتاب مصادفة أثناء حضوري لمساق على كورسيرا بعنوان [ البوذية ] :)لا يزول عجبي حين اطّلع على ما سطّره الحكماء قديماً وكيف أن ( نبع الحكمة واحد)وكيف أن شرائع الأخلاق الحسنة تتشابه في جوهرها وإن اختلف التعبير عنهاهذا الكتاب يجمع ما نُسب للحكيم بوذا في القرن الثالث قبل الميلاد.بعض الباحثين يقولون إن بوذا قد يكون نبياً في تلك العصور ( ولا أرى مانعاً عقلياً لذلك) فالأنبياء كما أخبرنا الهادي ﷺ كُثر ولا يعلم عددهم الحقيقي إلا الله تبارك وتعالى.في هذه الخلاصة تجد نفائس الحكمة التي لو وضعتها مع تعرفت على الكتاب مصادفة أثناء حضوري لمساق على كورسيرا بعنوان [ البوذية ] :)لا يزول عجبي حين اطّلع على ما سطّره الحكماء قديماً وكيف أن ( نبع الحكمة واحد)وكيف أن شرائع الأخلاق الحسنة تتشابه في جوهرها وإن اختلف التعبير عنهاهذا الكتاب يجمع ما نُسب للحكيم بوذا في القرن الثالث قبل الميلاد.بعض الباحثين يقولون إن بوذا قد يكون نبياً في تلك العصور ( ولا أرى مانعاً عقلياً لذلك) فالأنبياء كما أخبرنا الهادي ‏⁧ ﷺ كُثر ولا يعلم عددهم الحقيقي إلا الله تبارك وتعالى.في هذه الخلاصة تجد نفائس الحكمة التي لو وضعتها مع مقولات علماء المسلمين السابقين أو حكماء الهند لما وجدتَ فيها فروقات جوهرية فكلها تسعى لتحرير الإنسان من شهواته والتحريض على الخلق الحسن مع العباد والبعد عن قاذورات النفس كالشهوة والطمع والحقد والغضب والحسد.قسم المترجم الكتاب إلى ٢٣ سورة وأسماه ( قرآن بوذا)وفيه بعض الحكم التي تتشابه مع تراثنا الإسلامي بشكل دقيق مثل "ما نفع تلاوتك الآيات إن لم تأخذ أنتَ بها "يشبهه قوله تعالى :﴿أتأمرون الناس بالبر وتنسون أنفسكم وأنتم تتلون الكتاب أفلا تعقلون﴾ [البقرة: ٤٤]"لا في السماء ولا في البحر المحيط ولا في كهوف الجبال ليس في الأرض كلها مأمن من الموت "يشبهه قوله تعالى :﴿أينما تكونوا يدرككم الموت ولو كنتم في بروج مشيدة﴾ [النساء: ٧٨]"كل مخلوق فان"ومثله قوله تعالى :﴿كل من عليها فان﴾ [الرحمن: ٢٦]وغيرها كثير.مما أعجبني في الكتاب الترجمة الجيدة بعض الاقتباسات "مثل قلعة حدودية محروسة جيدا من الداخل والخارج عليك أن تحرس نفسك ""من استطاع أن يجلس وحيدا ويرتاح وحيدا ويدبر أمره وحيدا فلسوف يلقى السعادة في طرف الغابة "الكتاب لطيف وصغير (١٤٠) صفحة وتفرغ منه في جلسة واحدة.بقي أن أشير إلى أنّ معنى كلمة [ داما] أي الشرع او العدل أو الحكمةو[ بادا ] تعني السبيل|
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    Thou shalt not live combined with no soup for you. I feel compelled to say more inane things, but restraint is foremost in my mind after reading the Dhammapada. It gets a low rating because I didn't learn anything new. My favourite verses:#50: One should not have regard for the bad deeds of others, nor the things done and left undone by others, but only for the things done and left undone by oneself. #204: He who does not exert himself at the time of exertion, who though young and strong has com Thou shalt not live combined with no soup for you. I feel compelled to say more inane things, but restraint is foremost in my mind after reading the Dhammapada. It gets a low rating because I didn't learn anything new. My favourite verses:#50: One should not have regard for the bad deeds of others, nor the things done and left undone by others, but only for the things done and left undone by oneself. #204: He who does not exert himself at the time of exertion, who though young and strong has come to sloth, whose thoughts and mind are depressed, indolent, that lazy [bastard] does not find the road by wisdom. #302: It is hard to go forth; it is hard to be delighted; houses are hard to live in and miserable; living with those who are different is difficult; a traveller is beset with misery. Therefore one should not be a traveller and one would not be beset with misery. #305: Sitting alone, sleeping alone, wandering alone unwearied, alone taming the self, one would be delighted in the forest.
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  • Ahmad Sharabiani
    January 1, 1970
    The Dhammapada, Anonymousعنوان: راه آیین ذمه پده، یا، سحنان بودا: با مقدمه ای در باره زندگی بودا و توضیح اشعار متن؛ داماپادا؛ عنوان قراردادی: دهاماپادا؛ نویسنده: ناشناس؛ مترجم: عسکری پاشایی؛ تهران، انجمن فلسفه ایران، 1357؛ در هفت و 326 ص؛ عنوان دیگر: دمه پده؛ موضوع: کتابهای مقدس بودیسم قرن 20 م
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  • Abailart
    January 1, 1970
    To read forever.
  • Arun Divakar
    January 1, 1970
    There are books to be read and books to be comprehended. The second class is like learning to ride a bike : you climb on it to fall down & you keep repeating the gesture until at least shakily you can move forth a few feet unaided. What is contained in this book while at a first read is absurdly simple in its spartan-ness is a very difficult set of guidelines to live with.The inspiration to know more about the Buddha was an unlikely source, a little trinket I bought. It was a resemblance of There are books to be read and books to be comprehended. The second class is like learning to ride a bike : you climb on it to fall down & you keep repeating the gesture until at least shakily you can move forth a few feet unaided. What is contained in this book while at a first read is absurdly simple in its spartan-ness is a very difficult set of guidelines to live with.The inspiration to know more about the Buddha was an unlikely source, a little trinket I bought. It was a resemblance of the Ashoka Pillar. After glancing at it for long minutes during which it refused to do anything at all, I started checking the internet for the Buddhist Emperor and found it very amusing. A wildly passionate follower even drew a comparison saying that Alexander would have been but a Thug against the leadership practices of Ashoka. Everywhere resounded but one principle behind this legend of a man : Buddhism. Scouring this water body of information named the internet, I came up with the name of this book. There is but one foundation that underlies Buddhism that I could comprehend even with what little reading I have on this topic. This is about suffering (in Buddhist terms Dukha ). The identification of pain or suffering, the cessation of pain and the path to the cessation of pain is what this entire belief system seems to be based out of. It is very easy to read a book that speaks to you on letting go of your desires but to implement that in practice would need more steel than even an army training camp can instill in you. There are many parallels here to the Hindu & Eastern Mysticism schools of thought. For eg : There is mention of life lived without an eye to victory or loss for a life of tranquility. With a few modifications here and there, Krishna suggests the same to Arjuna during the discourse of the Bhagavad Gita. If memory serves me right, it was about the need to perform one's duties without a thought of victory or loss for it is such thoughts that lead one to sorrow. Then again many a teaching here are akin to the ten commandments in that all time bestseller as well.The translation as offered by Glenn Wallis is interesting and insightful to read. I in fact spent more time going through his notes than reading through the core text. The next time around I would want to stick to the core text and take it in little sips as a hot brew on an extremely cold and wretched day. In short : It is an energizer !Something from the text which bears an uncanny resemblance to the society we belong to now as it was centuries ago : Atula, this is from long ago, it is not recent: they find fault with one who sits silently, they find fault with one who speaks much, they find fault with one who speaks but little. There is no one in this world who is not faulted.
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  • Karan Bajaj
    January 1, 1970
    Brilliant. The Buddha is the closest figure I've had as a role model in my life and this elegantly translated compendium of his teachings rings very true to his word. Excellent work.
  • حسين آل دهيم
    January 1, 1970
    الكتاب حسب ترجمة المترجم (الشاعر العراقي سعدي يوسف) هي أقوال سيدارتا غوتوما (بوذا) تم جمعها في القرن الثالث قبل الميلاد في شمالي الهند وتم تدوينها في سيلان (سريلانكا) في القرن الأول قبل الميلاد أي بعد ما يقرب من على أربعمائة سنة من موت بوذا الذي كان في العام ٤٨٣ قبل الميلاد، هذه النصوص التي ترجمها المترجم هي معظم ماجاء في كتاب بوذا حسب ما أشار وقد رتبها في ١٨٦ آية تتوزع على ٢٢ سورة، وفي رأيي لم يكن المترجم أميناً في تعاطيه مع هذا الأمر حيث يقول في الترجمة " كنت أنتقي (مايريد ترجمته من كتاب الدام الكتاب حسب ترجمة المترجم (الشاعر العراقي سعدي يوسف) هي أقوال سيدارتا غوتوما (بوذا) تم جمعها في القرن الثالث قبل الميلاد في شمالي الهند وتم تدوينها في سيلان (سريلانكا) في القرن الأول قبل الميلاد أي بعد ما يقرب من على أربعمائة سنة من موت بوذا الذي كان في العام ٤٨٣ قبل الميلاد، هذه النصوص التي ترجمها المترجم هي معظم ماجاء في كتاب بوذا حسب ما أشار وقد رتبها في ١٨٦ آية تتوزع على ٢٢ سورة، وفي رأيي لم يكن المترجم أميناً في تعاطيه مع هذا الأمر حيث يقول في الترجمة " كنت أنتقي (مايريد ترجمته من كتاب الدامابادا)،معتبراً حساسية لغتي وقومي العرب، وما يعتقدون" وهو لم ينقل كامل الكتاب إنما ما اتسق مع طمأنينته حول لغة ومعتقدات قومه!في الكتاب بعض الحكم التي تتقاطع مع المنظومة الأخلاقية الإنسانية لكن تعتريه بعض التناقضات (حسب فهمي) فمثلاً يقول بوذا : "القديس يظل بمنأى عن الأذىحتى لو كان قتل أباً وأماًوملكين نبيلينو دمر مملكة بكل أهلها *القديس يظل بمنأىً عن الأذىحتى لو قتل أباً وأماً وملكين، وامرءاً شهيراً أيضاً.*تابعوا غوتاما يقظون دوماًوهم يجدون متعتهم في التأمل، ليل نهار."ليعود في موضع آخر ليفند هذه الأقوال بقوله :"المرء الذي أسميه طاهراً هو من لا يؤذي مخلوقاً، ضعيفاً كان أو قوياً.هو من لا يقتل أبداًولا يتسبب في موت".إلا إن كان المقصد بأن أصحاب القداسة هم فقط لا يلامون على قتل الأباء والأمهات والملوك والمشاهير!.
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  • Cassandra Kay Silva
    January 1, 1970
    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.
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  • Yasiru (reviews will soon be removed and linked to blog)
    January 1, 1970
    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 la 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.
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  • Craig Shoemake
    January 1, 1970
    The first two pages of the preface to Gil Fronsdal's translation say it all: Fronsdal lays out the challenges a translator of an ancient text faces. He talks about the Dhammapada's history in English, about how "a translation mirrors the viewpoint of the translator" (pp. xi-xii)-something Easwaran never did. Most pointedly, he notes that "Hindu concepts appear in English translations done in India" (p. xii)-or by a Hindu, I might add. (Hint: think Easwaran.) He goes on to say (p. xii) "In this t The first two pages of the preface to Gil Fronsdal's translation say it all: Fronsdal lays out the challenges a translator of an ancient text faces. He talks about the Dhammapada's history in English, about how "a translation mirrors the viewpoint of the translator" (pp. xi-xii)-something Easwaran never did. Most pointedly, he notes that "Hindu concepts appear in English translations done in India" (p. xii)-or by a Hindu, I might add. (Hint: think Easwaran.) He goes on to say (p. xii) "In this translation, I have tried to put aside my own interpretations and preferences, insofar as possible, in favor of accuracy." I believe he has done exactly this. Fronsdal's introduction (the preface discusses the translation issues) is not so far ranging as Easwaran's, and certainly not as lengthy, but I found it more insightful and refreshingly accurate. (Readers of my May 15, 2011 review of Easwaran's Dhammapada will understand my relief.) For example, I thought he hit the nail on the head with this pointed remark (p. xx): "The Dhammapada originated in a time, culture, and spiritual tradition very different from what is familiar to most Western readers today. We might be alerted to this difference if we compare the beginning of the Dhammapada with the opening lines of the Bible, which emphasize God's role as Creator and, by extension, our reliance on God's power. In contrast, the first two verses of the Dhammapada emphasize the power of the human mind in shaping our lives, and the importance and effectiveness of a person's own actions and choices... Ethical and mental purity [he goes on to say]...cannot be achieved through the intervention of others: `By oneself alone is one purified' (verse 165)." How different this is from Easwaran's constant-and fatuous-comparisons to Jesus and, even, Albert Einstein. The remainder of Fronsdal's introduction looks at its contrasting emotional moods-"energy and peace"-its themes, and the effects reading it have had on him. Fronsdal again demonstrates his penetration of basic Buddhist teachings when he writes on page xxix "[I]t is not the world that is negated in the Dhammapada, but rather attachment to the world (as in verse 171)." In the margin of my copy I scribbled YES! In other words, Fronsdal gets it-which is not so surprising when you consider the man has trained in both the Soto Zen and Theravadan traditions, has a Ph.D. in Buddhist Studies from Stanford, and is a teacher at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. In other words, he has every qualification needed to interpret the Buddha's teaching, qualifications Easwaran seemed to have but in fact was sorely lacking. Anyway, on to the text proper. Despite my above praise, Fronsdal does make some interpretations I thought odd, though this is not to say I didn't understand his reasoning. For example, the title of the Dhammapada's first chapter, usually rendered as "Twin Verses" or "Paired Verses," Fronsdal names "Dichotomies." Fortunately, he explains this and other such choices-which he (much to his credit) acknowledges as controversial-in detailed endnotes signified by asterisks. (This was another problem I had with Easwaran's text-I could not tell which verses his endnotes pertained to unless I went to the back of the book.) This is much appreciated; one important characteristic of any good translator is candor and clarity as to what sort of interpretive choices s/he makes and why. Fronsdal maintains high standards in this regard; he explains his choices in detail in the endnotes, and having done so the reader can then appreciate that while some of his word choices are unorthodox, they are not without merit or insight. I realize not every reader will be interested in such linguistic and terminological details, but they need to be discussed somewhere if the translator is to maintain legitimacy. As for the reading experience of Fronsdal's Dhammapada: it has the spare, poetic feel I am familiar with from other translations of Pali Buddhist texts. Also, as previously noted, he does seem to fulfill the aspiration he stated in the preface-that of producing a relatively literal translation, one reflecting its original time and place as opposed to the layers of (mis)interpretation later commentators and cultures have often imposed on the text. As a result, Fronsdal's translation feels definitively like a Buddhist text, one that should be instructive to any newcomers to the Buddha's Dhamma. I hope they will leave it wanting more.
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  • Jake
    January 1, 1970
    I am giving this book three stars because, if I have learned anything by reading it, it is that giving a rating of either 5 stars or 1 would be too extreme and passionate. Okay, had to get that tacky wisecrack out of the way. Now, previously I have read The Holy Bible , The Koran , and The Book of Mormon , among religious texts I would classify as major. For some time, I've wanted to read Buddhist scripture as well. My major response is that I felt healthier for having read The Dhammapada. So I am giving this book three stars because, if I have learned anything by reading it, it is that giving a rating of either 5 stars or 1 would be too extreme and passionate. Okay, had to get that tacky wisecrack out of the way. Now, previously I have read The Holy Bible , The Koran , and The Book of Mormon , among religious texts I would classify as major. For some time, I've wanted to read Buddhist scripture as well. My major response is that I felt healthier for having read The Dhammapada. So many of its passages steer me away from extremes. Yet, this book doesn't encourage lethargy or apathy, not as I understand them anyway. Here is an entire gospel built, as best I can tell, upon stopping to smell the roses--but also the dung that fertilizes them. What am I most inspired by? These teachings imply that the power to achieve a true healthiness and peace of mind is within me. If I become a student of myself, I can find the ability within me to scrub away those things I find unhealthy. I like that notion a lot. On the flip side, I'm not a 100% convert to what I read. I think these writings, geared toward a monastic lifestyle, have their limitations and are sometimes archaic. That is a small criticism though, given the wealth of wisdom contained in these writings.The real reason I give this particular edition 3 stars is that it lacks an index or glossary. There are many helpful endnotes; however, whenever I needed to review the meaning of a given term, I had trouble finding the endnote that included a definition. This detracted from my reading experience. Nevertheless, I recommend this book, or any other vetted translation of The Dhammapada. There is good fruit here.
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  • Marjolein
    January 1, 1970
    Read all my reviews on http://urlphantomhive.booklikes.com Over the summer I've collected Penguin's Little Black Classics, a collection of 80 little booklets from all parts of world literature. Now, I'm reading them in a random order.This booklet contains 'Captivating aphorisms illustrating the Buddhist dhamma, or moral system. 'I must admit that I read and rated it purely based on reading it as a piece of literature, rather than spiritual. And, to be quite frank, it was not an easy read. It wa Read all my reviews on http://urlphantomhive.booklikes.com Over the summer I've collected Penguin's Little Black Classics, a collection of 80 little booklets from all parts of world literature. Now, I'm reading them in a random order.This booklet contains 'Captivating aphorisms illustrating the Buddhist dhamma, or moral system. 'I must admit that I read and rated it purely based on reading it as a piece of literature, rather than spiritual. And, to be quite frank, it was not an easy read. It was not even a nice read. The aphorisms (at least the ones collected) are often almost the same and just stated slightly different, or one is stating it positively and another one negatively. This made it so far my least favourite of the Little Black Classics even though I thought it was interesting to read something for a change that I perhaps wouldn't have picked up on my own.
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  • Ibrahim Saad
    January 1, 1970
    كان عندي حب إستطلاع إني أعرف اللي بداخل الكتاب ده .. خصوصاً إن عنوان الكتاب "الدامابادا كتاب بوذا المقدس" جذّاب جداً واني قرأت بعض مقولات منسوبة لبوذا .. لكن الكتاب برأيي .. سطحي او أن عنوانه كبير اوي على الكلمات اللي فيه عن النرفانا وتطهير النفس والبعد عن الدنيا بشهواتها و زينتها ، والحكمة والاتزان والتخلص من الآلام والمعاناة .. الخ مما هو معروف عن البوذية وتعاليم الدامابادا .. لكن لم اشعر بعمق او لم أشعر أي كلمة فيه -_- وان كان بعض الكلمات ممكن تنال اعجاب اي حد يعني !كتاب تبدأه وتخلصه وبس :'Dم كان عندي حب إستطلاع إني أعرف اللي بداخل الكتاب ده .. خصوصاً إن عنوان الكتاب "الدامابادا كتاب بوذا المقدس" جذّاب جداً واني قرأت بعض مقولات منسوبة لبوذا .. لكن الكتاب برأيي .. سطحي او أن عنوانه كبير اوي على الكلمات اللي فيه عن النرفانا وتطهير النفس والبعد عن الدنيا بشهواتها و زينتها ، والحكمة والاتزان والتخلص من الآلام والمعاناة .. الخ مما هو معروف عن البوذية وتعاليم الدامابادا .. لكن لم اشعر بعمق او لم أشعر أي كلمة فيه -_- وان كان بعض الكلمات ممكن تنال اعجاب اي حد يعني !كتاب تبدأه وتخلصه وبس :'Dمش عارف بقى هل العيب من عندي ولا من المترجمين ولا ايه بالضبط :D :D
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  • ahmed Eid
    January 1, 1970
    ياللهول
  • Sarah Monreau
    January 1, 1970
    Die Verse bzw. Lehren/Reden der Dhammapada sind unglaublich lesenswert für jedermann. Ich bezweifle, dass jeder dafür offen ist und bereit, aber wer sich darauf einlassen möchte, wird hier nur gewinnen. Buddhismus ist keine Religion und hat auch keine Gott. Buddha ist ein Zustand, nach dem man strebt und den jeder erreichen kann. Es ist eine Lebensweise, eine gute, moralische. Man lässt das Leiden los, die Sehnsüchte, etc. und begibt sich auf den Weg in ein losgelöstes, glückliches Leben. Die Ve Die Verse bzw. Lehren/Reden der Dhammapada sind unglaublich lesenswert für jedermann. Ich bezweifle, dass jeder dafür offen ist und bereit, aber wer sich darauf einlassen möchte, wird hier nur gewinnen. Buddhismus ist keine Religion und hat auch keine Gott. Buddha ist ein Zustand, nach dem man strebt und den jeder erreichen kann. Es ist eine Lebensweise, eine gute, moralische. Man lässt das Leiden los, die Sehnsüchte, etc. und begibt sich auf den Weg in ein losgelöstes, glückliches Leben. Die Verse in diesem Buch zeigen uns auf, wie wir diesen Weg einschlagen, wie wir unser Leben und unser Dasein und auch unser Miteinander verbessern können. Es ist ein tolles zusammengefasstes Werk von den Reden Buddhas und lehrt so unglaublich viele wertvolle Dinge. Ich kann es nur empfehlen, die Dhammapada zu lesen, zu genießen und zu verinnerlichen. Wenn jeder nur ein Stück in diese Richtung geht, könnte die Welt schon so viel schöner sein.
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  • Barnaby Thieme
    January 1, 1970
    This wonderful collection of versified sayings from the Pali record of Buddha's teaching is traditionally held to be close to the actual words of the historical teacher. Whether this is so or not, it is a beautiful, profound collection that is worth lingering over and contemplating. Juan Mascaró has done a superb job of rendering it into English that is vibrant and lyrical. Take for example the opening few verses: What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts b This wonderful collection of versified sayings from the Pali record of Buddha's teaching is traditionally held to be close to the actual words of the historical teacher. Whether this is so or not, it is a beautiful, profound collection that is worth lingering over and contemplating. Juan Mascaró has done a superb job of rendering it into English that is vibrant and lyrical. Take for example the opening few verses: What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow: our life is the creation of the mind.If a man speaks or acts with an impure mind, suffering will follow him as the wheel of the cart follows the beast that draws the cart. What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow: our life is the creation of the mind.If a man speaks or acts with a pure mind, joy follows him as his own shadow. "He insulted me, he hurt me, he defeated me, he robbed me." Those who think such thoughts will not be free from hate."He insulted me, he hurt me, he defeated me, he robbed me." Those who think not such thoughts will be free from hate.For hate is not conquered by hate: hate is conquered by love. This is a law eternal.In my opinion, the entire essence of the Buddha's teachings can be found in these words.
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  • Sean
    January 1, 1970
    Forget religion for a second, lets just focus on philosophy, because as a philosophy on how to live your life, this book is a pretty damn good one. This book speaks of peace, love, harmony, wisdom and self-improvement through realising you aren't always perfect, but you can always try to do better. It does not go in to what happens after death or any of that nonsense, just how a Buddhist goes about life in simple verse.I'm already too far down the rabbit hole of being an insensitive, sarcastic, Forget religion for a second, lets just focus on philosophy, because as a philosophy on how to live your life, this book is a pretty damn good one. This book speaks of peace, love, harmony, wisdom and self-improvement through realising you aren't always perfect, but you can always try to do better. It does not go in to what happens after death or any of that nonsense, just how a Buddhist goes about life in simple verse.I'm already too far down the rabbit hole of being an insensitive, sarcastic, cunt for it to become a way of life for me though, still, I agree with peace and harmony and I found this to be an enjoyable, optimistic and quick read... Surprisingly enjoyable in fact, like, it was fun to read in the same way the Art of War was, they just give you these infinitely quotable lines that make a whole damn heap of sense.
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  • Po Po
    January 1, 1970
    Interesting little book. It seems that Benjamin Franklin 'borrowed' many of these sentiments for Poor Richard's Almanack. There is an emphasis on hard work and restraint in activities of the tongue: eating and speech.This is organized by subject matter into tiny chapters of one to three pages long: " impurity" , "self" , "happiness" and "evil" are a few examples.Here is one overtly sexist idea I strongly oppose: "bad conduct is the taint of woman". And then there are some extremely obvious words Interesting little book. It seems that Benjamin Franklin 'borrowed' many of these sentiments for Poor Richard's Almanack. There is an emphasis on hard work and restraint in activities of the tongue: eating and speech.This is organized by subject matter into tiny chapters of one to three pages long: " impurity" , "self" , "happiness" and "evil" are a few examples.Here is one overtly sexist idea I strongly oppose: "bad conduct is the taint of woman". And then there are some extremely obvious words of wisdom which I didn't benefit from at all like this one: "do not have evil-doers for friends." Like, really?! It kind of goes without saying, don't ya think?Overall, this is pretty good and is especially relevant in this day and age when folks are obsessed with desire and are desirous of ever more ____ , and discontentment reigns. Solid 3 stars.* * *+ "Beset with lust, men run about like a snared hare; held in fetters and bonds, they undergo pain for a long time, again and again."+ "It is better to live alone, there is no companionship with a fool; let a man walk alone, let him commit no sin, with few wishes."+ "So long as the desire of man toward women, even the smallest, is not destroyed, so long his mind is in bondage."+ "He who has given up both victory and defeat, he, the contented, is happy."+ "Health is the greatest of gifts, contentedness the best riches."+ "Those who love nothing, and hate nothing, have no fetters."+ "From affection comes grief, from lust comes fear; he who is free from lust knows neither grief nor fear."+ "There is no satisfying lusts; he who knows that lusts have short tastes and cause pain, he is wise."+ "Danger comes out of the forest of desires."
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  • Angie
    January 1, 1970
    After some anonymous person on the internet tried to school me on what "karma" is, and ended up telling me "sorry for your ignorance, go read a book," I realized that I hadn't read The Dhammapada this year.I purposefully sought out a different translation than the one I own a copy of, and found a translation by "various Oriental scholars" edited by F. Max Muller. I still prefer the Byrom translation, although there are things in this translation that really came through for me.Favorite passages: After some anonymous person on the internet tried to school me on what "karma" is, and ended up telling me "sorry for your ignorance, go read a book," I realized that I hadn't read The Dhammapada this year.I purposefully sought out a different translation than the one I own a copy of, and found a translation by "various Oriental scholars" edited by F. Max Muller. I still prefer the Byrom translation, although there are things in this translation that really came through for me.Favorite passages:166. Let no one forget his own duty for the sake of another's, howevergreat; let a man, after he has discerned his own duty, be alwaysattentive to his duty.227. This is an old saying, O Atula, this is not only of to-day: `Theyblame him who sits silent, they blame him who speaks much, they alsoblame him who says little; there is no one on earth who is notblamed.'249. The world gives according to their faith or according to theirpleasure: if a man frets about the food and the drink given to others,he will find no rest either by day or by night.285. Cut out the love of self, like an autumn lotus, with thy hand! Cherish the road of peace. Nirvana has been shown by Sugata (Buddha).
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