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Dhammapada (Supplementary Notes)

Video Broadcast : #171
January 3, 2021

Introduction

  • Dhammapada is a collection of Pali verses (that refer to Buddha’s teachings).
  • It has been translated by several Pal Scholars.
  • Some Dhammapada books also cover short stories related to the verses.

Narada Thera’s Dhammapada

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  • The Dhammapada
  • Subtitle: Pali text & translation with stories & notes
  • Author : Narada Thera
  • Editions: 1st edition (1963), 4th Edition (1993)

Contents

  • The Pali alphabet
  • Preface

Chapters

  • The Twin Verses
  • Heedfulness
  • Mind
  • Flowers
  • Fools
  • The Wise
  • The Worthy
  • Thousands
  • Evil
  • The Rod or Punishment
  • Old Age
  • The Self
  • The World
  • The Buddha
  • Happiness
  • Affection
  • Anger
  • Impurities or Taints
  • The Just or Righteous
  • The Way or the Path
  • Miscellaneous
  • Woeful State
  • The Elephant
  • Craving
  • The Bhikkhu or the Mendicant
  • The Brahmana

Dhammapada (by Venerable Buddharakhitta)

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The following verses are from the book by Venerable Buddharakkhita.

Verse 182

Hard it is to be born a man;
hard is the life of mortals.
Hard is it to gain the opportunity
of hearing the Sublime Truth,
and hard to encounter
is the arising of the Buddhas.

Verse 183

To avoid all evil,
to cultivate good,
and to cleanse one’s mind —
this is the teaching of the Buddhas.

Verse 184

Enduring patience
is the highest austerity.
“Nibbana is supreme,” says the Buddhas.
He is not a true monk
who harms another,
nor a true renunciate
who oppresses others.

Dhammapada (in Myanmar and English)

  • Sayadaw U Thittila‘s Translation (in Myanmar / Burmese)
  • Venerable Buddharakkhita‘s Translation (in English)
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Frequently Quoted Verse

  • The following Dhammapada verse is frequently quoted by Sayadaws and writers.

Not to do any evil, to cultivate good, to purify one’s mind, – this is the Teaching of the Buddhas.”

  • It seems simple (at the basic level), but it also has a deeper meaning (at the metaphysical level).
  • The explanations may refer to Abhidhamma to expound what Kusala (wholesome deeds) and Akusula (unwholesome deeds) are.
  • References may also be made to the three Seikhas (Practices) : Sila (Morality), Sammadhi (Concentration), and Panna (wisdom).
  • Bhavana practices such as Samatha (Tranquility Meditation) and Vipassana (Insight Meditation) are needed to calm and purify the mind.

U Lokanatha – Italian Buddhist Monk (1897-1966)

  • Mr. Salvitore was a Chemical Analyst in the USA.
  • He received a book from his supervisor as a Christmas present.
  • The book had a chapter on Dhammapada.
    After reading the verses, a deep impulse (which resonated with his scientific inquiring mind) led him to pursue Buddhism and become a Buddhist monk.
  • He was from a devout Catholic family.
    His elder brother was a Priest.
  • Sayadaw U Lokanatha spent considerable time at the Bawdigone monastery (donated by my paternal grand mother) on Windermere Road, Rangoon, Burma.
  • Sayadaw practiced Dhutanga.
  • Sayadaw also preached and had Dhamma Dhuta missions to India and Ceylon.
    His Dhamma Duta work can be found in the articles in Wikipedia and some Buddhist web sites.
  • His booklet, “Why I became a Buddhist“, had considerable influence on the leader of the Untouchables in India.

Further Reading

  • The Teaching of All Buddhas
    by Dr. Khin Maung U

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