Ancient words of the Buddha ("awakened one") that can become a companion for your own spiritual journey.
The Dhammapada ("Path of the Buddha's Teachings") is a daily inspiration for millions of Buddhists all over the world and for people of all spiritual traditions who have been impressed by its beauty and power. These wordsbelieved to have been spoken by the Buddha himself over 2,500 years agocontain most of Buddhism's central teachings.
Originally composed in the ancient language of Pali, this timeless text concisely and inspirationally portrays the route a person travels as he or she advances toward enlightenment. With poetic sequence and rhythm, the Dhammapada describes the fundamental role of mental conditioning in making us who we are. It paints contrasting portraits of three levels of our human existencethe fool, the wise one and the enlightened oneand addresses specific aspects of experience, conduct and belief that characterize our transformation from one of these modes of being to another.
Now you can experience the Dhammapada with understanding even if you have no previous knowledge of Buddhism. This SkyLight Illuminations edition offers insightful yet unobtrusive commentary that explains references and philosophical terms, shares the inspiring interpretations of famous spiritual teachers, and gives you deeper insight into the text.
About the Author
Max Muller (1823–1900) was a professor at Oxford University and a pioneer in the study of comparative religion. He provided the earliest English translations of many of the Hindu and Buddhist scriptures.
Jack Maguire is a Zen student and author of more than twenty books. He lives in the town of Highland in New York's Hudson River Valley. His books include Essential Buddhism (Simon & Schuster) and Dhammapada: Annotated & Explained (SkyLight Paths).
Andrew Harvey is the author of many critically acclaimed books, including Son of Man. His memoir A Journey in Ladakh was praised as "one of the best books available on the Western experience of Tibetan spiritual life." His just-published memoir Sun at Midnight was praised by Deepak Chopra, who said, "for those who have gone through the dark night of the soul and for those seeking a genuine understanding of spirituality, this is a very inspiring story." Harvey is also the coauthor of the New York Times bestseller The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. Born in India, he was the youngest person ever awarded a fellowship to All Souls College, Oxford. He has devoted the past thirty years of his life to study and experiencing the world's spiritual traditions and is widely recognized as one of our greatest communicators of mysticism and contemplative living today.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Andrew Harvey ixAcknowledgments and Dedication xviiAbout the Dhammapada xix
1. The Twin Verses 32. Vigilance 93. The Mind 134. Flowers 175. The Fool 216. The Wise One 277. The Enlightened One 318. Better than a Thousand 359. Evil 3910. Punishment 4311. Old Age 4712. Self 5113. The World 5514. The Buddha 5915. Happiness 6316. Pleasure 6717. Anger 7118. Impurity 7519. The Just 8120. The Way 8521. Miscellany 9122. The Downward Course 9523. The Elephant 9924. Thirst 10325. The Monk 11126. The Brahman 117
Sources and Suggested Readings 126List of Special Terms 128