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The Dhammapada: The Sayings Of The Buddha

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4.29  ·  Rating details ·  20,421 ratings  ·  778 reviews
The Dhammapada is one of the most popular and accessible books in all of Buddhist literature. In it are the words of the Buddha, teaching that all suffering stems from desire and that the way to attain freedom is to purify the heart and follow the way of truth. Thomas Byrom's verse rendering of the Dhammapada uniquely captures the Buddha's original teachings with simplicit ...more
Hardcover, 165 pages
Published by Wildwood House (first published -400)
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Frrazz The Byrom rendering has some beautiful lines (it's my favorite), but has been criticized for bending some original meanings. The edition by Acharya…moreThe Byrom rendering has some beautiful lines (it's my favorite), but has been criticized for bending some original meanings. The edition by Acharya Buddharakkhita strikes more of a balance between being free but inacurate, and being literal but dry and pedantic. Free dowloads are available at Reading Faithfully (https://readingfaithfully.org/canonic...)(less)
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4.29  · 
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 ·  20,421 ratings  ·  778 reviews


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Sean Barrs the Bookdragon
This really is the ultimate guide to optimism, positive thinking and, in a sense, idealistic happiness. Some of the ideas in here speak with clarity and wisdom, the logic behind them is clear and strong; however, I know that practising them is not an easy thing. I tried some of them for a time, a few were easy. Simple things like forgiveness and proactive thinking aren’t too complex or difficult to put into practice, but others require a great deal of willpower and perhaps a deep understanding o ...more
Steven Walle
Jun 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Dhammapada is a collection of Budist writings. These explain their chor beliefs. I found this a very intreaguing read. I am a Christian but I find it very informative to study other people's belief system. The Budist's beliefs are based primarily on love but it has a very practical side of how to conduct one's life here on earth. It does not speak to much of the life her-after. I plan to study further into the Budist religion to gain a more informative opinion. I would recommend every one st ...more
Roxana Saberi
Jul 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just reread this. Little and big gems of wisdom throughout.
Surgat
Sep 23, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion, tradition
It's mostly just an assortment of platitudes.

Examples:

Ch. VI, 78.

>>"Let one not associate
With low persons, bad friends.
But let one associate
With noble persons, worthy friends."

Ch. VIII, stanza 100.

>>"Though a thousand the the statements,
With words of no avail,
Better is a single word of welfare,
Having heard which, one is pacified."

Ch. XXI, stanza 290.

>>"If by sacrificing a limited pleasure
An extensive pleasure one would see,
Let the wise one beholding extensive pleasure,
...more
Caroline
So this happened to be the just-in-case-I-get-stuck-waiting-somewhere book I had thrown in my purse on the day my car, later, wouldn’t start as the temperature marched toward 100 degrees (F). I had plenty of time standing in the parking lot to consider Buddha’s message since the tow truck got stuck in Senior Open golf tournament traffic and took three hours to arrive. Did the advice to let go of sensory impressions, perceptions, anger and conditioned reactions help? Yes, I think it did, although ...more
7jane
Mar 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion-other
A re-read, this time in English translation. I got the Oxford version, because its form looked good in Amazon review (also its introduction is very clear and interesting; its explanatory notes are very useful too, very clear).

I think I got more out of this this time, maybe a few years really changed things. I'm not a Buddhist, not believing in reincarnation for example, but even so I got a lot of enjoyment and inspiration out of this. It's a slim volume, so it can be read quickly, but it can als
...more
tighe
Mar 29, 2007 added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Very reflective and wholesome moral truths for living, quite a fresh read in the world of inconsequential candy reads. While one might not agree with every Buddhist principle for living, as I myself don't, the general truths that you pick up and contemplate throughout the day are hard to escape. Easy and quick, yet full of substance and worthy of review time and again.
Karan Bajaj
Jan 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant. The Buddha is the closest figure I've had as a role model in my life and this elegantly translated compendium of his teachings rings very true to his word. Excellent work.
Arun Divakar
Sep 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
There are books to be read and books to be comprehended. The second class is like learning to ride a bike : you climb on it to fall down & you keep repeating the gesture until at least shakily you can move forth a few feet unaided. What is contained in this book while at a first read is absurdly simple in its spartan-ness is a very difficult set of guidelines to live with.

The inspiration to know more about the Buddha was an unlikely source, a little trinket I bought. It was a resemblance of
...more
Sarah
Jun 18, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Thou shalt not live combined with no soup for you. I feel compelled to say more inane things, but restraint is foremost in my mind after reading the Dhammapada. It gets a low rating because I didn't learn anything new.

My favourite verses:

#50: One should not have regard for the bad deeds of others, nor the things done and left undone by others, but only for the things done and left undone by oneself.

#204: He who does not exert himself at the time of exertion, who though young and strong has com
...more
Sean
May 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Forget religion for a second, lets just focus on philosophy, because as a philosophy on how to live your life, this book is a pretty damn good one.

This book speaks of peace, love, harmony, wisdom and self-improvement through realising you aren't always perfect, but you can always try to do better. It does not go in to what happens after death or any of that nonsense, just how a Buddhist goes about life in simple verse.

I'm already too far down the rabbit hole of being an insensitive, sarcastic,
...more
Marjolein
Read all my reviews on http://urlphantomhive.booklikes.com

Over the summer I've collected Penguin's Little Black Classics, a collection of 80 little booklets from all parts of world literature. Now, I'm reading them in a random order.

This booklet contains 'Captivating aphorisms illustrating the Buddhist dhamma, or moral system. '

I must admit that I read and rated it purely based on reading it as a piece of literature, rather than spiritual. And, to be quite frank, it was not an easy read. It wa
...more
Cassandra Kay Silva
Sep 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
Very good edition. The text is beautiful. The message is good. This is the kind of thing that can be read and reread throughout your lifetime and will bring different meanings at different places in your life. I got a copy at the library. I will be looking for a personal copy to keep for my own. So beautiful. I really appreciated the accompanying notes.
Hadrian
Good clear poetic translation. Buddhism has always been interesting to me , as sometimes it approaches the level of philosophy so much as a religion - at least it does to my understanding. Good thoughts for living well.
Yasiru (reviews will soon be removed and linked to blog)
A wide-ranging and systematic sampling of Buddhist teachings, particularly in Theravada Buddhism, coming as it does from the Khuddaka Nikaya of the Pali Canon (see the external links section for valuable resources, including the Access to Insight collection of translated material). Highly economical and eminently accessible, these verses are indispensible in addressing the myriad misapprehensions and misrepresentations of concepts like karma, detachment, emptiness, et al. often made in casual la ...more
Craig Shoemake
The first two pages of the preface to Gil Fronsdal's translation say it all: Fronsdal lays out the challenges a translator of an ancient text faces. He talks about the Dhammapada's history in English, about how "a translation mirrors the viewpoint of the translator" (pp. xi-xii)-something Easwaran never did. Most pointedly, he notes that "Hindu concepts appear in English translations done in India" (p. xii)-or by a Hindu, I might add. (Hint: think Easwaran.) He goes on to say (p. xii) "In this t ...more
Jake
Aug 17, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
I am giving this book three stars because, if I have learned anything by reading it, it is that giving a rating of either 5 stars or 1 would be too extreme and passionate.

Okay, had to get that tacky wisecrack out of the way. Now, previously I have read The Holy Bible , The Koran , and The Book of Mormon , among religious texts I would classify as major. For some time, I've wanted to read Buddhist scripture as well.

My major response is that I felt healthier for having read The Dhammapada. So
...more
Barnaby Thieme
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, buddhism
This wonderful collection of versified sayings from the Pali record of Buddha's teaching is traditionally held to be close to the actual words of the historical teacher. Whether this is so or not, it is a beautiful, profound collection that is worth lingering over and contemplating.

Juan Mascaró has done a superb job of rendering it into English that is vibrant and lyrical. Take for example the opening few verses:

What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts b
...more
Angie
Oct 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009, buddhism
After some anonymous person on the internet tried to school me on what "karma" is, and ended up telling me "sorry for your ignorance, go read a book," I realized that I hadn't read The Dhammapada this year.

I purposefully sought out a different translation than the one I own a copy of, and found a translation by "various Oriental scholars" edited by F. Max Muller. I still prefer the Byrom translation, although there are things in this translation that really came through for me.

Favorite passages:
...more
Jon(athan) Nakapalau
The sayings of Buddha as taken down by his followers. A beautiful and uplifting book.
Michelle Curie
Fascinating how much of our understanding of what it means to be a good person in Western society stems from concepts deeply incorporated into Buddhism beliefs. The Dhammapada is a collection of aphorisms illustrating the Buddhist moral system.



These aphorisms are considered Buddha's own teachings and they deal with endurance, self-control and perfect joy. Despite having been worded hundreds of years ago, most of them are extremely contemporary.

"What we are today comes from our thought of yest
...more
Igor Stojanov
Mar 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Small pieces of timeless wisdom. Here are my favourite...

-Long is the night to him who is awake; long is a mile to him who is tired; long is life to the foolish who do not know the true law.

-If a traveller does not meet with one who is his better, or his equal, let him firmly keep to his solitary journey; there is no companionship with a fool.

-If one man conquer in battle a thousand times thousand men, and if another conquer himself, he is the greatest of conquerors.

-Come, look at this glitterin
...more
Justin Evans
Jul 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
I'm not silly enough to review the Dhammapada; I'm reviewing this edition. So, just know that the Roebuck translation in Penguin Classics is probably not great if you don't know much about Buddhism, but is glorious if you do. The notes are mostly stories that have been used to explain individual verses, which are often very fun, and give you more insight into the religion than more sanitized, Western readings (in which Buddhism is mostly about stabilizing your brain-wave patterns).

Roebuck's int
...more
Darius
Nov 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a fine translation of a spiritually invigorating text. The Dhammapada contains incredibly challenging wisdom and exhortations toward “righteousness”, which in the Buddhist framework is almost wholly self-control and material detachment, rather than the Christian ideas of worshipping and “glorifying” God. That being said, both still have in common a foundational kernel of universal love, forgiveness, wisdom, and generosity.

I highly recommend the specific edition I’m reviewing, as the int
...more
Po Po
Apr 02, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting little book. It seems that Benjamin Franklin 'borrowed' many of these sentiments for Poor Richard's Almanack. There is an emphasis on hard work and restraint in activities of the tongue: eating and speech.

This is organized by subject matter into tiny chapters of one to three pages long: " impurity" , "self" , "happiness" and "evil" are a few examples.

Here is one overtly sexist idea I strongly oppose: "bad conduct is the taint of woman". And then there are some extremely obvious words
...more
Jake
Oct 23, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: buddhism
This translation of the Dhammapada is wonderfully lyrical and easy to read. I've found that sometimes reading English language Buddhist books can become a little routine- many are long on exegesis and short on poetry or memorable stories. A nice antidote is to switch up your reading by finding direct translations of important Buddhist sources. The problem, of course, is that the quality of translations varies widely, and a bad translation with no explanation can be difficult to read. That isn't ...more
Roumissette
Aug 06, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Beginners and Advanced Spiritualists :)
Recommended to Roumissette by: a friend
Definitely a good read - the translation is really pure, and the message of the Buddha feels very powerful and inspiring, and still applicable to today's world. I really appreciate this book, and find a lot of inspiration from reading a chapter or even a certain passage.

The Dhammapada talks a lot about mastering the mind - but one thing against it, is that though it describes beautifully what is and what is not a truly concentrated mind, it does not tell me how to reach such a state, nor does it
...more
Joey Woolfardis
Yes, it is full of wonder and I wholeheartedly agree with most of this, but it is very repetitive and as a result often dull. A hard slog to get through, you'd be wise to just find a summary list of the Buddha's teachings because this is just a broken record. Delightful, but only if you take it slow and, perhaps, ignore the fiction parts about god and hell. Still relevant today if only to stop people from being such idiots.


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Greg
Jun 22, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: buddhism, mysticism
I really appreciate the accuracy of S. Radhakrishnan's translations. His translation of the Upanishads is excellent as is his translation of the Gita. This particular volume is an excellent rendition of the Dhammapada. As a philosopher, he wrote a lengthy introduction to the doctrines of Therevada Buddhism. He also deals with some of the problems related to the historical Buddha.

This volume also provides not just an accurate translation, but also the transliterated Pali text. It is helpful for
...more
Vaishali
I would love to get my hands on the Gandhari or Patna versions, which according to Wikipedia are in Sanskrit. Being a crown prince, Siddharth would most likely have had some training in Sanskrit... and I often wonder if his more educated scribes followed through with the tradition, and what slight differences there are in the translations.
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“A man is not called wise because he talks and talks again; but if he is peaceful, loving and fearless then he is in truth called wise.” 680 likes
“Conquer the angry one by not getting angry; conquer the wicked by goodness; conquer the stingy by generosity, and the liar by speaking the truth.

[Verse 223]”
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