The Dhammapada

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  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 4/13/2007
  • Publisher: Nilgiri Press

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Dhammapada means "the path of dharma," the path of harmony and righteousness that anyone can follow to reach the highest good. Easwaran's translation of this classic Buddhist text is based on the oldest, best-known version in Pali. Easwaran's introduction to the Dhammapada gives an overview of the Buddha's teachings that is reliable, penetrating, and clear - accessible for readers new to Buddhism, but also with fresh insights and practical applications for readers familiar with this text. Chapter introductions place individual verses into the context of the broader Buddhist canon.

Author Biography

Eknath Easwaran (1910-1999) brings to this volume a rare combination of credentials. He was trained from an early age in Sanskrit, of which Pali, the language of the Buddha, is a simplified version. Later he studied English literature and was chairman of the English department at a major Indian university when he came to the United States on a Fulbright fellowship in 1959. Huston Smith writes, “His Indian heritage, literary gifts, and spiritual sensibilities here produce a sublime rendering of the words of the Buddha. Verse after verse shimmers with quiet, confident authority.”

In 1961 Easwaran founded the Blue Mountain Center of Meditation in California, and in 1967, at the University of California, Berkeley, he taught the first academic course on meditation ever offered for credit at a major American university. He continued to teach passage meditation and his Eight Point Program for spiritual living to an American and international audience for almost forty years. His twenty-seven books on meditation and the classics of world mysticism are translated into twenty-five languages.

From the mid 1970s onwards, Easwaran held classes on the Dhammapada for a primarily American audience. A gifted teacher, he was able to anticipate the problems that Western readers may have with the concepts underlying the classics of Indian spirituality, and to explain them in fresh and profoundly simple ways.

But for Easwaran the Dhammapada was not just of intellectual interest. His main qualification for interpreting the Dhammapada, he said, was that he knew from his own experience that these verses could truly transform our lives.

Through the Blue Mountain Center of Meditation and its publishing arm, Nilgiri Press, Easwaran continues to reach an ever-growing audience around the world through publications and retreats.

Chapter introductions and notes are by S. Ruppenthal, who has a PhD in Comparative Literature and Chinese from the University of California, Berkeley. He has taught college courses in Buddhism and is the author of Path of Direct Awakening: Passages for Meditation.

Table of Contents

Forewordp. 7
Introductionp. 13
Twin Versesp. 101
Vigilancep. 109
Mindp. 111
Flowersp. 117
The Immaturep. 119
The Wisep. 126
The Saintp. 129
Thousandsp. 135
Evilp. 137
Punishmentp. 143
Agep. 147
Selfp. 153
The Worldp. 159
The Awakened Onep. 163
Joyp. 173
Pleasurep. 179
Angerp. 185
Impurityp. 191
Established in Dharmap. 197
The Pathp. 203
Varied Versesp. 209
The Downward Coursep. 215
The Elephantp. 221
Thirstp. 227
The Bhikshup. 239
The Brahminp. 247
Glossaryp. 255
Notesp. 259
Indexp. 271
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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