; Sanskrit Dharmapada
; sometimes translated into English as Path of the Dharma
) is a versified Buddhist scripture
traditionally ascribed to the Buddha
himself. It is one of the best-known texts from the Theravada canon
The Dhammapada, from the Pāli Tipitaka
, is considered one of the most popular pieces of Theravada literature
According to tradition, the Dhammapada's verses were spoken by the Buddha on various occasions. Most verses deal with ethics. The text is part of the Khuddaka Nikaya of the Sutta Pitaka, although over half of the verses exist in other parts of the Pali Canon. A 4th or 5th century CE commentary attributed to Buddhaghosa includes 305 stories which give context to the verses.
Although the Pāli edition is the best-known, a number of other versions are known:
- a version possibly of Dharmaguptaka or Kāśyapīya origin in Gandhari written in Kharosthi script
- sections of a Lokottaravada version (contained in the Mahāvastu).
- a version in Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit, known as the Patna Dharmapada, most likely Sammatiya
- a seemingly related Mula-Sarvastivada or Sarvastivada text known as the Udānavarga in
- 3 Sanskrit versions
- a Tibetan translation, which is popular in traditional Tibetan Buddhism
- 4 Chinese works entitled Fajiu jing; one of these appears to be an expanded translation of the Pali version; this has not traditionally been very popular.
Comparing the Pali Dhammapada, the Gandhari Dharmapada and the Udanavarga, Brough (2001) identifies that the texts have in common 330 to 340 verses, 16 chapter headings and an underlying structure. He suggests that the three texts have a "common ancestor" but underlines that there is no evidence that any one of these three texts might have been the "primitive Dharmapada" from which the other two evolved.
The Pali Dhammapada contains 423 verses
in 26 chapters (listed below in English and, in parentheses, Pali).
||The Twin-Verses (Yamaka-vaggo) (see excerpt below)|
||On Earnestness (Appamda-vaggo)
||The Fool (Bla-vaggo)
||The Wise Man (Paita-vaggo)
||The Venerable (Arahanta-vaggo)
||The Thousands (Sahassa-vaggo)
||Punishment (Daa-vaggo) (see excerpt below)
||Old Age (Jar-vaggo)
||The World (Loka-vaggo)
||The Buddha — The Awakened (Buddha-vaggo) (see _The_Buddha_.28The_Awakened.29_.28Buddha-vaggo.29 below)|
||The Just (Dhammaha-vaggo)
||The Way (Magga-vaggo) (see _The_Way_.28Magga-vaggo.29 below)
||The Downward Course (Niraya-vaggo)
||The Elephant (Nga-vaggo)
||Thirst (-vaggo) (see _Thirst_.28Ta.E1.B9.87h.C4.81-vaggo.29 below)
||The Mendicant (Bhikkhu-vaggo)
||The Brāhmana (-vaggo)
The following English translations are from Müller (1881). The Pali text is from the Sri Lanka Tripitaka Project (SLTP) edition.
Ch. I. Twin Verses (Yamaka-vaggo)
||All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him, as the wheel follows the foot of the ox that draws the carriage.
||Manopubbagamā dhammā manosehā manomayā
Manasā ce paduhena bhāsati vā karoti vā
Tato na dukkhamanveti cakka'va vahato pada.
||All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him.
||Manopubbagamā dhammā manosehā manomayā
Manasā ce pasannena bhāsati vā karoti vā
Tato na sukhamanveti chāyā'va anapāyinī.
||For hatred does not cease by hatred at any time: hatred ceases by love, this is an old rule.
||Na hi verena verāni sammantīdha kudācana
Averena ca sammanti esa dhammo sanantano.
Ch. X. Punishment (Daa-vaggo)
||He who seeking his own happiness punishes or kills beings who also long for happiness, will not find happiness after death.
||Sukhakāmāni bhūtāni yodaena vihisati
Attano sukhamesāno pecca so na labhate sukha.
||He who seeking his own happiness does not punish or kill beings who also long for happiness, will find happiness after death.
||Sukhakāmāni bhūtāni yodaḍena na hisati
Attano sukhamesāno pecca so labhate sukha.
||Do not speak harshly to anybody; those who are spoken to will answer thee in the same way. Angry speech is painful, blows for blows will touch thee.
||Mā'voca pharusa kañci vuttā paivadeyyu ta
Dukkhā hi sārambhakathā paṭidaā phuseyyu ta.
Ch. XIV: The Buddha (The Awakened) (Buddha-vaggo)
||Not to commit any sin, to do good, and to purify one's mind, that is the teaching of (all) the Awakened.
||Sabbapāpassa akara kusalassa upasampadā
Sacittapariyodapana buddhāna sāsana.
Ch. XX: The Way (Magga-vaggo)
||You yourself must make an effort. The Tathagatas (Buddhas) are only preachers. The thoughtful who enter the way are freed from the bondage of Mara.
||Tumhehi kicca akkhātāro tathāgatā
Paṭipannā pamokkhanti jhāyino mārabandhanā.
||'All created things perish,' he who knows and sees this becomes passive in pain; this is the way to purity.
||Sabbe sakhārā aniccā'ti yadā paññāya passati
Atha nibbindati dukkhe esa maggo visuddhiyā.
||'All created things are grief and pain,' he who knows and sees this becomes passive in pain; this is the way that leads to purity.
||Sabbe sakhārā dukkhā'ti yadā paññāya passati
Atha nibbindati dukkhe esa maggo visuddhiyā.
||'All forms are unreal,' he who knows and sees this becomes passive in pain; this is the way that leads to purity.
||Sabbe dhammā anattā'ti yadā paññāya passati
Atha nibbindati dukkhe esa maggo visuddhiyā.
Ch. XXIV: Thirst (Tahā-vaggo)
||Men, driven on by thirst, run about like a snared hare; let therefore the mendicant drive out thirst, by striving after passionlessness for himself.
||Tasiāya purakkhatā pajā parisappanti saso'va bādhito
Tasmā tasi vinodaye bhikkhu ākakhī virāgamattano.
||If a man delights in quieting doubts, and, always reflecting, dwells on what is not delightful (the impurity of the body, &c.), he certainly will remove, nay, he will cut the fetter of Mara.
||Vitakkupasame ca yo rato asubha bhāvayati sadā sato
Esa kho vyantikāhiti esa checchati mārabandhana.
Chapter XXII: Self
157 If you hold yourself dear guard yourself
diligently. Keep vigil during one of the three
watches of the night.
158 Learn what is right; then teach others. as
the wise do
159 Before trying to guide others, be your own
guide first. It is hard to learn to guide oneself.
160 Your own self is your master; who else could
be? With your own self controlled, your gain a
master very hard to find.
161 The evil done by the selfish crushes them as a
162 diamond breaks a hard gem. As a vine over-
powers a tree, evil over-powers the evil doer,
trapping him in a situation only his enemies
163 would wish him to be in. Evil deeds, which
harm oneself, are easy to do; good deeds are
not so easy.
164 Foolish people who scoff at teachings of
the wise, the noble, and the good, following
false doctrines bring about their own down-
fall like the khattaka tree, which dies after
165 By oneself is evil done; by oneself one is in-
jured. Do not do evil, and suffering will not
come. Everyone has the choice to be pure or
impure. No one can purify another.
166 Don’t neglect you own duty for another,
however great. Know your own duty and
Translated by Eknath Easwaran
Its literary merits are a matter of disagreement.
- Tr F. Max Müller, in Buddhist Parables, by E. W. Burlinghame, 1869; reprinted in Sacred Books of the East, volume X, Clarendon/Oxford, 1881; reprinted in Buddhism, by Clarence Hamilton; reprinted separately by Watkins, 2006; reprinted 2008 by Red and Black Publishers, St Petersburg, Florida, ISBN 978-1-934941-03-4; the first English translation (a Latin translation had appeared in 1855)
- Tr J. Gray, American Mission Press, Rangoon, 1881
- Tr J. P. Cooke & O. G. Pettis, Boston (Massachusetts?), 1898
- Hymns of Faith, tr Albert J. Edmunds, Open Court, Chicago, & Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co., London, 1902
- Tr Norton T. W. Hazeldine, Denver, Colorado, 1902
- The Buddha's Way of Virtue, tr W. D. C. Wagiswara & K. J. Saunders, John Murray, London, 1912
- Tr Silacara, Buddhist Society, London, 1915
- Tr Suriyagoda Sumangala, in Ceylon Antiquary, 1915
- Tr A. P. Buddhadatta, Colombo Apothecaries, 1920?
- The Buddha's Path of Virtue, tr F. L. Woodward, Theosophical Publishing House, London & Madras, 1921
- In Buddhist Legends, tr E. W. Burlinghame, Harvard Oriental Series, 1921, 3 volumes; reprinted by Pali Text Society , Bristol; translation of the stories from the commentary, with the Dhammapada verses embedded
- Tr R. D. Shrikhande and/or P. L. Vaidya (according to different bibliographies; or did one publisher issue two translations in the same year?), Oriental Book Agency, Poona, 1923; includes Pali text
- "Verses on Dhamma", in Minor Anthologies of the Pali Canon, volume I, tr C. A. F. Rhys Davids, 1931, Pali Text Society, Bristol; verse translation; includes Pali text
- Tr N. K. Bhag(w?)at, Buddha Society, Bombay, 1931/5; includes Pali text
- The Way of Truth, tr S. W. Wijayatilake, Madras, 1934
- Tr Irving Babbitt, Oxford University Press, New York & London, 1936; revision of Max Müller
- Tr K. Gunaratana, Penang, Malaya, 1937
- The Path of the Eternal Law, tr Swami Premananda, Self-Realization Fellowship, Washington DC, 1942
- Tr Dhammajoti, Maha Bodhi Society, Benares, 1944
- Tr Jack Austin, Buddhist Society, London, 1945
- Stories of Buddhist India, tr Piyadassi, 2 volumes, Moratuwa, Ceylon, 1949 & 1953; includes stories from the commentary
- Tr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, Oxford University Press, London, 1950; includes Pali text
- Collection of Verses on the Doctrine of the Buddha, comp Bhadragaka, Bangkok, 1952
- Tr T. Latter, Moulmein, Burma, 1950?
- Tr W. Somalokatissa, Colombo, 1953
- Tr Narada, John Murray, London, 1954
- Tr E. W. Adikaram, Colombo, 1954
- Tr A. P. Buddhadatta, Colombo, 1954; includes Pali text
- Tr Siri Sivali, Colombo, 1954
- Tr ?, Cunningham Press, Alhambra, California, 1955
- Tr C. Kunhan Raja, Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar/Madras, 1956; includes Pali text
- Free rendering and interpretation by Wesley La Violette, Los Angeles, 1956
- Tr Buddharakkhita, Maha Bodhi Society, Bangalore, 1959; 4th edn, Buddhist Publication Society, Kandy, Sri Lanka, 1996; includes Pali text
- Tr Suzanne Karpelès?, serialized in Advent (Pondicherry, India), 1960-65; reprinted in Questions and Answers, Collected Works of the Mother, 3, Pondicherry, 1977
- Growing the Bodhi Tree in the Garden of the Heart, tr Khantipalo, Buddhist Association of Thailand, Bangkok, 1966; reprinted as The Path of Truth, Bangkok, 1977
- Tr P. Lal, New York, 1967/70
- Tr Juan Mascaró, Penguin Classics, 1973
- Tr Thomas Byrom, Shambhala, Boston, Massachusetts, & Wildwood House, London, 1976 (ISBN 0-87773-966-8)
- Tr Ananda Maitreya, serialized in Pali Buddhist Review, 1 & 2, 1976/7; offprinted under the title Law Verses, Colombo, 1978; revised by Rose Kramer (under the Pali title), originally published by Lotsawa Publications in 1988, reprinted by Parallax Press in 1995
- The Buddha's Words, tr Sathienpong Wannapok, Bangkok, 1979
- Wisdom of the Buddha, tr Harischandra Kaviratna, Pasadena, 1980; includes Pali text
- The Eternal Message of Lord Buddha, tr Silananda, Calcutta, 1982; includes Pali text
- Tr Chhi Med Rig Dzin Lama, Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies, Sarnath, India, 1982; tr from the modern Tibetan translation by dGe-'dun Chos-'phel; includes Pali & Tibetan texts
- Tr & pub Dharma Publishing, Berkeley, California, 1985; tr from the modern Tibetan translation by dGe-'dun Chos-'phel
- Commentary, with text embedded, tr Department of Pali, University of Rangoon, published by Union Buddha Sasana Council, Rangoon (date uncertain; 1980s)
- Tr Daw Mya Tin, Burma Pitaka Association, Rangoon, 1986; probably currently published by the Department for the Promotion and Propagation of the Sasana, Rangoon, and/or Sri Satguru, Delhi
- Path of Enlightenment, tr David J. Kalupahana, Universities Press of America, Lanham, Maryland, c. 1986
- Tr Raghavan Iyer, Santa Barbara, 1986; includes Pali text
- Tr Eknath Easwaran, Arkana, London, 1986/7(ISBN 978-1-58638-019-9); reissued with new material Nilgiri Press 2007, Tomales, CA (ISBN 9781586380205)
- Tr John Ross Carter & Mahinda Palihawadana, Oxford University Press, New York, 1987; the original, expensive hardback edition also includes the Pali text and the commentary's explanations of the verses; the cheap paperback reprint in the World's Classics Series omits these
- Tr U. D. Jayasekera, Colombo, 1992
- Treasury of Truth, tr Weragoda Sarada, Taipei, 1993
- Tr Thomas Cleary, Thorsons, London, 1995
- The Word of the Doctrine, tr K. R. Norman, 1997, Pali Text Society, Bristol; the PTS's preferred translation
- Tr Anne Bancroft?, Element Books, Shaftesbury, Dorset, & Richport, Massachusetts, 1997
- Tr F. Max Müller (see above), revised Jack Maguire, SkyLight Pubns, Woodstock, Vermont, 2002
- Tr Glenn Wallis, Modern Library, New York, 2004 (ISBN 0-679-64397-9)
- Tr Gil Fronsdal, Shambhala, Boston, Massachusetts, 2005 (ISBN 1-59030-380-6)
- Tr Amitov Katz?, ed Rosemary Bryant, Astrolog Publishing House, Hod Hasharon, Israel, 2005
- Tr Bhikkhu Varado, Inward Path, Malaysia, 2007; Dhammapada in English Verse
See also online translations listed below.
- Brough, John (2001). The Gandhari Dharmapada. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Private Limited.
- Buswell, Robert E. (ed.) (2003). Encyclopedia of Buddhism. MacMillan Reference Books. ISBN 978-0028657189.
- Cone, Margaret (transcriber) (1989). "Patna Dharmapada" in the Journal of the Pali Text Society (Vol. XIII), pp. 101-217. Oxford: PTS. Retrieved 06-15-2008 from "Ancient Buddhist Texts" at http://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/Buddhist-Texts/C5-Patna/index.htm. [On-line text interspersed with Pali parallels compiled by Ānandajoti Bhikkhu (2007).]
- Geiger, Wilhelm (trans. by Batakrishna Ghosh) (1943, 2004). Pāli Literature and Language. New Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers. ISBN 81-215-0716-2.
- Harvey, Peter (1990, 2007). An Introduction to Buddhism: Teachings, History and Practices. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-31333-3.
- Hinüber, Oskar von (2000). A Handbook of Pāli Literature. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter. ISBN 3-11-016738-7.
- Müller, F. Max (1881). The Dhammapada (Sacred Books Of The East, Vol. X). Oxford University Press. Retrieved 2008-04-02 from "WikiSource" at http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Dhammapada_(Muller).
- Ñāamoli, Bhikkhu (trans.) & Bhikkhu Bodhi (ed.) (2001). The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Majjhima Nikāya. Boston: Wisdom Publications. ISBN 0-86171-072-X.