The Dhammapada-Verses That Bring Peace and Wisdom

This Dhammapada palm leaf manuscript (44.5 * 6.5 cm) in Sinhalese characters, of which the first and last pages are shown, is believed to be the oldest extant copy of the scripture. Photo: Courtesy of K. D. Paranavitana, Assistant Archivist, Department of National Archives, Colombo, Sri Lanka.

The Dhammapada comes from the earliest period of Buddhism in India and is loved by Buddhists of all traditions. These teachings, originally put in verse form for easy memorization for those who could not read, expound many of the philosophical and practical foundations of the Buddha’s teaching.

Every day I open up one of my copies of the Dhammapada and with a receptive heart and mind, try to hear the Buddha’s original voice from 2,500 years ago. On most days, I find something that really hits home, sticks with me—or challenges me!

There are many fine translations of the Dhammapada available in book form—my present favorite is the translation by Insight Meditation teacher and Pali scholar Gil Frondsal, which I highly recommend. But if you don’t have a copy, I would like to offer here in PDF format a wonderful translation by Theravadan monk and Pali scholar Thanissaro Bhikkhu. The advantage of the electronic form is, of course, portability, and the ability to do searches in the document with a PDF reader program like Adobe Reader or Apple’s Preview program.

May this teaching be of benefit and help to you in your life and your dharma practice!

Better
than if there were thousands
of meaningless words is
one
meaningful
word
that on hearing
brings peace.

Better
than if there were thousands
of meaningless verses is
one
meaningful
verse
that on hearing
brings peace.

And better than chanting hundreds
of meaningless verses is
one
Dhamma-saying
that on hearing
brings peace.

From the Preface to Thanissaro Bhikkhu’s translation of the Dhammapada:

Another translation of the Dhammapada.

Many other English translations are already available—the fingers of at least five people would be needed to count them—so I suppose that a new translation has to be justified, to prove that it’s not “just” another one. In doing so, though, I’d rather not criticize the efforts of earlier translators, for I owe them a great debt. Instead, I’ll ask you to read the Introduction and Historical Notes, to gain an idea of what is distinctive about the approach I have taken, and the translation itself, which I hope will stand on its own merits. The original impulse for making the translation came from my conviction that the text deserved to be offered freely as a gift of Dhamma. As I knew of no existing translations available as gifts, I made my own.

Click this link to download this gift PDF version of the Dhammapada by Thanissaro Bhikkhu:

The Dhammapada as translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

♥♥♥

Advertisements

About Steven Goodheart

"I have made a ceaseless effort not to ridicule, not to bewail, not to scorn human actions, but to understand them." Spinoza

No comments yet... Be the first to leave a reply!

Please Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: