Dhammapada
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Dhammapada

The Dhammapada (P?li; Sinhala; Prakrit: Dhammapada;[1] Chinese: traditional Chinese: ; simplified Chinese: ; pinyin: f?jù j?ng. Japanese?. Korean: / beobgugyeong Vietnamese : 'Kinh Pháp Cú'.) is a collection of sayings of the Buddha in verse form and one of the most widely read and best known Buddhist scriptures.[2] The original version of the Dhammapada is in the Khuddaka Nikaya, a division of the Pali Canon of Theravada Buddhism.

The Buddhist scholar and commentator Buddhaghosa explains that each saying recorded in the collection was made on a different occasion in response to a unique situation that had arisen in the life of the Buddha and his monastic community. His translation of the commentary, the Dhammapada Atthakatha, presents the details of these events and is a rich source of legend for the life and times of the Buddha.[3]

Etymology

The title, "Dhammapada," is a compound term composed of dhamma and pada, each word having a number of denotations and connotations. Generally, dhamma can refer to the Buddha's "doctrine" or an "eternal truth" or "righteousness" or all "phenomena";[4] and, at its root, pada means "foot" and thus by extension, especially in this context, means either "path" or "verse" (cf. "prosodic foot") or both,[5] English translations of this text's title have used various combinations of these and related words.[6][7]

History

According to tradition, the Dhammapada's verses were spoken by the Buddha on various occasions.[8] "By distilling the complex models, theories, rhetorical style and sheer volume of the Buddha's teachings into concise, crystalline verses, the Dhammapada makes the Buddhist way of life available to anyone...In fact, it is possible that the very source of the Dhammapada in the third century B.C.E. is traceable to the need of the early Buddhist communities in India to laicize the ascetic impetus of the Buddha's original words."[9] 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.[10] A 4th or 5th century CE commentary attributed to Buddhaghosa includes 305 stories which give context to the verses.

Although the P?li edition is the best-known, a number of other versions are known:[11]

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.[20]

The Dhammapada is considered one of the most popular pieces of Theravada literature.[2] A critical edition of the Dhammapada was produced by Danish scholar Viggo Fausbøll in 1855, becoming the first Pali text to receive this kind of examination by the European academic community.[21]

Organization

The Pali Dhammapada contains 423 verses in 26 chapters (listed below in Pali and English).[22][23][24]

Sr. No. Chapter Title in Pali Chapter Title Transliteration Chapter Title in English
I. Yamaka-vaggo The Twin-Verses (see excerpt below)
II. Appam?da-vaggo On Earnestness
III. ? Citta-vaggo Thought
IV. ? Puppha-vaggo Flowers
V. B?la-vaggo The Fool
VI. Paita-vaggo The Wise Man
VII. Arahanta-vaggo The Venerable
VIII. ? Sahassa-vaggo The Thousands
IX. P?pa-vaggo Evil
X. Daa-vaggo Punishment (see excerpt below)
XI. Jar?-vaggo Old Age
XII. Atta-vaggo Self
XIII. Loka-vaggo The World
XIV. ? Buddha-vaggo The Buddha -- The Awakened (see excerpt below)
XV. Sukha-vaggo Happiness
XVI. Piya-vaggo Pleasure
XVII. Kodha-vaggo Anger
XVIII. ? Mala-vaggo Impurity
XIX. Dhammaha-vaggo The Just
XX. Magga-vaggo The Way (see excerpt below)
XXI. Pakiaka-vaggo Miscellaneous
XXII. Niraya-vaggo The Downward Course
XXIII. N?ga-vaggo The Elephant
XXIV. ? Ta?h?-vaggo Thirst (see excerpt below)
XXV. Bhikkhu-vaggo The Mendicant
XXVI. ? Br?hma?a-vaggo The Br?hmana

Excerpts

The following English translations are from Müller (1881). The Pali text is from the Sri Lanka Tripitaka Project (SLTP) edition.[23]

Ch. I. Twin Verses (Yamaka-vaggo)

1. 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. Manopubba?gam? dhamm? manoseh? manomay?
Manas? ce paduhena bh?sati v? karoti v?
Tato na? dukkhamanveti cakka?'va vahato pada?.
2. 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. Manopubba?gam? dhamm? manoseh? manomay?
Manas? ce pasannena bh?sati v? karoti v?
Tato na? sukhamanveti ch?y?'va anap?yin?.
5. For hatred does not cease by hatred at any time: hatred ceases by love, this is an eternal rule. Na hi verena ver?ni sammant?dha kud?cana?
Averena ca sammanti esa dhammo sanantano.

Ch. V. Balavagga

70. Even though, month after month, the fool (living in austerity) takes his food sparingly with the tip of a grass blade, he is not worth even one-sixteenth part of those who have comprehended the Truth (i.e., the ariyas).[25]

Ch. X. Punishment (Daa-vaggo)

131. He who seeks his own happiness by hurting or killing beings, never finds happiness and will not escape from his sufferings . Sukhak?m?ni bh?t?ni yodaena vihi?sati
Attano sukhames?no pecca so na labhate sukha?.
132. He who seeks his own happiness not by hurting or killing beings but by purifying oneself; will find happiness and ends all sufferings. Sukhak?m?ni bh?t?ni yoda??ena na hi?sati
Attano sukhames?no pecca so labhate sukha?.
133. Do not speak harshly to anyone; those who are spoken to will answer you in the same way. Indeed, Angry speech is painful and retaliation may overtake you. M?'voca pharusa? kañci vutt? pa?ivadeyyu ta?
Dukkh? hi s?rambhakath? pa?ida? phuseyyu ta?.

Ch. XII: Self (Atta-vaggo)

157. If a man hold himself dear, let him watch himself carefully; during one at least out of the three watches a wise man should be watchful.
158. Let each man direct himself first to what is proper, then let him teach others; thus a wise man will not suffer.
159. If a man make himself as he teaches others to be, then, being himself well subdued, he may subdue (others); one's own self is indeed difficult to subdue.
160. One is one's own refuge, what other refuge can there be With self well subdued, a man finds a refuge such as few can find.
161. The evil done by oneself, self-begotten, self-bred, crushes the foolish, as a diamond breaks a precious stone.
162. He whose wickedness is very great brings himself down to that state where his enemy wishes him to be, as a creeper does with the tree which it surrounds.
163. Bad deeds, and deeds hurtful to ourselves, are easy to do; what is beneficial and good, that is very difficult to do.
164. The foolish man who scorns the rule of the venerable (Arahat), of the elect (Ariya), of the virtuous, and follows false doctrine, he bears fruit to his own destruction, like the fruits of the Katthaka reed.
165. By oneself the evil is done, by oneself one suffers; by oneself evil is left undone, by oneself one is purified. Purity and impurity belong to oneself, no one can purify another.
166. Let no one forget his own duty for the sake of another's, however great; let a man, after he has discerned his own duty, be always attentive to his duty.

Ch. XIII: World

167. Rouse yourself, be diligent, in Dhamma faring well. Who dwells in Dhamma's happy in this birth and the next.

Ch. XIV: The Buddha (The Awakened) (Buddha-vaggo)

183. Not to commit any sin, to do good, and governance of one's mind, that is the teaching of (all) the Awakened. Sabbap?passa akara?a? kusalassa upasampad?
Sacittapariyodapana? eta? buddh?na s?sana?.

Ch. XX: The Way (Magga-vaggo)

276. 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? ?tappa? akkh?t?ro tath?gat?
Pa?ipann? pamokkhanti jh?yino m?rabandhan?.
277. 'All created things perish,' he who knows and sees this becomes passive in pain; this is the way that leads to purity. Sabbe sa?kh?r? anicc?'ti yad? paññ?ya passati
Atha nibbindati dukkhe esa maggo visuddhiy?.
278. 'All created things are griefs and pains,' he who knows and sees this becomes passive in pain; this is the way that leads to purity. Sabbe sa?kh?r? dukkh?'ti yad? paññ?ya passati
Atha nibbindati dukkhe esa maggo visuddhiy?.
279. 'All forms are unreal,' he who knows and sees this becomes passive in pain; this is the way that leads to purity. Sabbe dhamm? anatt?'ti yad? paññ?ya passati
Atha nibbindati dukkhe esa maggo visuddhiy?.

Ch. XXIV: Thirst (Ta?h?-vaggo)

343. Men, driven on by thirst, run about like a snared hare; let therefore the mendicant drive out thirst, by striving after passionlessness for himself. Tasi??ya purakkhat? paj? parisappanti saso'va b?dhito
Tasm? tasi?a? vinodaye bhikkhu ?ka?kh? vir?gamattano.
350. 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? bh?vayati sad? sato
Esa kho vyantik?hiti esa checchati m?rabandhana?.

English translations

Musical Settings

Notes

  1. ^ See, e.g., the G?ndh?r? Dharmapada (GDhp), verses 301, 302, in: Brough (1962/2001), p. 166; and, ?nandajoti (2007), ch. 4, "Pupphavagga" (retrieved 25 November 2008 from "Ancient Buddhist Texts" at http://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/Buddhist-Texts/C3-Comparative-Dhammapada/CD-04-Puppha.htm).
  2. ^ a b See, for instance, Buswell (2003): "rank[s] among the best known Buddhist texts" (p. 11); and, "one of the most popular texts with Buddhist monks and laypersons" (p. 627). Harvey (2007), p. 322, writes: "Its popularity is reflected in the many times it has been translated into Western languages"; Brough (2001), p. xvii, writes: "The collection of Pali ethical verses entitled "Dhammapada" is one of the most widely known of early Buddhist texts."
  3. ^ This commentary is translated into English as Buddhist Legends by E W Burlingame.
  4. ^ See, e.g., Rhys Davids & Stede (1921-25), pp. 335-39, entry "Dhamma," retrieved 25 November 2008 from "U. Chicago" at http://dsal.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/philologic/getobject.pl?c.1:1:2654.pali[permanent dead link].
  5. ^ See, e.g., Rhys Davids & Stede (1921-25), p. 408, entry "Pada," retrieved 25 November 2008 from "U. Chicago" at http://dsal.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/philologic/getobject.pl?c.2:1:1516.pali[permanent dead link].
  6. ^ See, for instance, C.A.F Rhys David's "Verses on Dhamma," Kalupahana's "The Path of Righteousness," Norman's "The Word of the Doctrine," Woodward's "The Buddha's Path of Virtue," and other titles identified below at "English translations".
  7. ^ See also Fronsdal (2005), pp. xiii-xiv. Fronsdal, p. xiv, further comments: "... If we translate the title based on how the term dhammapada is used in the verses [see Dhp verses 44, 45, 102], it should probably be translated 'Sayings of the Dharma,' 'Verses of the Dharma,' or 'Teachings of the Dharma.' However, if we construe pada as 'path,' as in verse 21 ..., the title could be 'The Path of the Dharma.' Ultimately, as many translators clearly concur, it may be best not to translate the title at all."
  8. ^ Pertinent episodes allegedly involving the historic Buddha are found in the commentary (Buddharakkhita & Bodhi, 1985, p. 4). In addition, a number of the Dhammapada's verses are identical with text from other parts of the Pali tipitaka that are directly attributed to the Buddha in the latter texts. For instance, Dhammapada verses 3, 5, 6, 328-330 can also be found in MN 128 (Ñ??amoli & Bodhi, 2001, pp. 1009-1010, 1339 n. 1187).
  9. ^ Wallis (2004), p. xi.
  10. ^ Geiger (2004), p. 19, para. 11.2 writes:

    More than half the verses may be found also in other canonical texts. The compiler of the [Dhammapada] however certainly did not depend solely on these canonical texts but also made use of the great mass of pithy sayings which formed a vast floating literature in India.

    In a similar vein, Hinüber (2000), p. 45, para. 90 remarks: "The contents of the [Dhammapada] are mainly gnomic verses, many of which have hardly any relation to Buddhism."
  11. ^ Buddhist Studies Review, 6, 2, 1989, page 153, reprinted in Norman, Collected Papers, volume VI, 1996, Pali Text Society, Bristol, page 156
  12. ^ Brough (2001), pp. 44-45, summarizes his findings and inferences as:
    "... We can with reasonable confidence say that the G?ndh?r? text did not belong to the schools responsible for the Pali Dhammapada, the Ud?navarga, and the Mah?vastu; and unless we are prepared to dispute the attribution of any of these, this excludes the Sarv?stiv?dins and the Lokottarav?da-Mah?s?nghikas, as well as the Therav?dins (and probably, in company with the last, the Mahsakas). Among possible claimants, the Dharmaguptakas and Kyap?yas must be considered as eligible, but still other possibilities cannot be ruled out."
  13. ^ Brough (2001). The original manuscript is believed to have been written in the first or second century CE.
  14. ^ See, e.g., Cone (1989).
  15. ^ Journal of the Pali Text Society, volume XXIII, pages 113f
  16. ^ Brough (2001), pp. 38-41, indicates that the Udanavarga is of Sarvastivadin origin.
  17. ^ Hinüber (2000), p. 45, para. 89, notes:
    More than half of [the Dhammapada verses] have parallels in corresponding collections in other Buddhist schools, frequently also in non-Buddhist texts. The interrelation of these different versions has been obscured by constant contamination in the course of the text transmission. This is particularly true in case of one of the Buddhist Sanskrit parallels. The Ud?navarga originally was a text corres[p]onding to the P?li Ud?na.... By adding verses from the Dhp [Dhammapada] it was transformed into a Dhp parallel in course of time, which is a rare event in the evolution of Buddhist literature.
  18. ^ Rockhill, William Woodville (trans.): Ud?navarga : a collection of verses from the Buddhist canon compiled by Dharmatr?ta being the Northern Buddhist version of Dhammapada / transl. from the Tibetan of the Bkah-hgyur, with notes and extracts from the commentary of Pradjn?varman. London: Trübner 1883 PDF (9.1 MB)
  19. ^ ?nandajoti (2007), "Introduction," "Sahassavagga" and "Bhikkhuvagga."
  20. ^ Brough (2001), pp. 23-30. After considering the hypothesis that these texts might lack a "common ancestor," Brough (2001), p. 27, conjectures:
    On the evidence of the texts themselves it is much more likely that the schools, in some manner or other, had inherited from the period before the schisms which separated them, a definite tradition of a Dharmapada-text which ought to be included in the canon, however fluctuating the contents of this text might have been, and however imprecise the concept even of a 'canon' at such an early period. The differing developments and rearrangements of the inherited material would have proceeded along similar lines to those which, in the Brahmanical schools, produced divergent but related collections of texts in the different Yajur-veda traditions.
    He then continues:
    ... [When] only the common material [is] considered, a comparison of the Pali Dhammapada, the Gandhari text, and the Udanavarga, has produced no evidence whatsoever that any one of these has any superior claim to represent a 'primitive Dharmapada' more faithfully than the others. Since the contrary appears to have been assumed from time to time, it is desirable to say with emphasis that the Pali text is not the primitive Dharmapada. The assumption that it was would make its relationship to the other texts altogether incomprehensible.
  21. ^ v. Hinüber, Oskar (2006). "Dhammapada". In Buswell, Jr., Robert E. (ed.). Macmillan Encyclopedia of Buddhism. USA: Macmillan Reference USA. pp. 216-17. ISBN 0-02-865910-4.
  22. ^ English chapter titles based on Müller (1881).
  23. ^ a b Pali retrieved 2008-03-28 from "Bodhgaya News" (formerly, La Trobe U.) starting at http://www.bodhgayanews.net/tipitaka.php?s=&record=7150 Archived 2011-07-19 at the Wayback Machine, and from "MettaNet - Lanka" at https://web.archive.org/web/20130720003936/http://www.metta.lk/tipitaka/2Sutta-Pitaka/5Khuddaka-Nikaya/02Dhammapada/index.html.
  24. ^ Brough (2001) orders the chapters of the Gandhari Dharmapada as follows: I. Br?hma?a; II. Bhik?u; III. T?; IV. P?pa; V. Arhant; VI. M?rga; VII. Apram?da; VIII. Citta; IX. B?la; X. Jar?; XI. Sukha; XII. Sthavira; XIII. Yamaka; XIV. Paita; XV. Bahu?ruta; XVI. Prak?r?aka (?); XVII. Krodha; XVIII. Pru?pa; XIX. Sahasra; XX. la (?); XXI. K?tya (?); XXII. N?ga, or A?va (?); XXIII. - XVI. [Lost]. [Parenthesized question marks are part of Brough's titles.] Cone (1989) orders the chapters of the Patna Dharmapada as follows: 1. Jama; 2. Apram?da; 3. Br?hma?a; 4. Bhik?u; 5. Attha; 6. ?oka; 7. Kaly; 8. Pu?pa; 9. Tahna; 10. Mala; 11. B?la; 12. Daa; 13. ?ara?a; 14. Kh?nti; 15. ?sava; 16. V?c?; 17. ?tta; 18. Dadant?; 19. Citta; 20. M?gga; 21. Sahasra; [22. Uraga].
  25. ^ "The Dhammapada: Verses and Stories". www.tipitaka.net. Retrieved .
  26. ^ Trainor, Kevin (1997). Relics, Ritual, and Representation in Buddhism: Rematerializing the Sri Lankan Theravada Tradition - Volume 10 of Cambridge Studies in Religious Traditions. Cambridge University Press. p. 6. ISBN 9780521582803.

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