Author: M G Chitkara
Publisher: APH Publishing Corporation
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8176481807
This inaugural volume of 21-volume series on Buddhism draws attention that Dhamma is discipline, law, religion; Pada is path, means (upaya), way (magga).
Dhammapada is thus the path of virtue. Pada also means the base; Dhammapada is then the base or the foundation of religion. Pada is taken as pa part of a verse, and Dhammapada are the utterances of religion.
The Dhammapada consists of 423 melodious Pali verses, uttered by the Buddha on or about three hundred occasions, to suit the temperaments of the listeners in the course of His preaching tours during forty-five years. Circumstances that led to these noble utterances are presented in the form of stories, together with traditional interpretations of the Pali verses.
The Dhammapada, the earliest portion of the Pali Scriptures give the words of the truth that is, of the Dhamma. The word is the body of Truth in the same as the psychosomatic organism is the body of life. And, as life passes away from the body, so also truth passes away from the Word. And, Then, ever-new creation goes on. The Whole doctrine taught by the All-Enlightened One.
Relaxing under a bodhi tree near Bodh Gaya by the side of a small river, Gautama on a full-moon night, become enlightened. He was not doing anything for enlightenment. It was the stage of desirelessness. The enlightenment came out of the blue. Those six years of tremendous effort did not produce enlightenment, but those six years produced so much relaxation that enlightenment became possible. Enlightenment is not cause by effort. By effort, relaxation is caused. Enlightenment is not an effect of six years effort, but, without those six years effort there would have been no enlightenment either.
Enlightenment can be attained by anyone irrespective of the status, but one is to be compassionate.
The Buddha does not claim the monopoly of Buddhahood, which, as a matter of fact, is not the perfection any person could aspire to, and without the closed first of teacher. He revealed the only path. According to the Teachings of the Buddha anybody may aspire to that supreme state of perfection if he makes the necessary exertion. The Dhammapada is the most popular and influential of Buddhist canonical literature. The central thesis of the Dhammapada is that human conduct, righteous behaviour, reflection, and meditation are more important than vain speculations about the transcendent that has an appeal to the modern mind. The greatness of the Buddha lies in his exposition of profound truths in plain terms. Throughout the Dhammapada there is not a single verse that can be dismissed as unintelligible. In the Dhammapada there are several instances to show that the Buddha not only preached to the intelligentsia and elderly folk, but also taught little children and the laymen in their language.
The Twin Verse
The Old Age
The Woeful State
Appraisal and Sum Up Appendices
Dhammapada in Pali
Dhammapada in Hindi
Dhammapada in Sanskrit
Dhammapada in Tibetan
Dhammapada in English