Skip to main content

Dhammapada, A Practical Guide to Right Living

Original Title in Pali
Translated by Venerable Acharya Buddharakkhita
Reprinted by Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery (Singapore)
Publised for Free Distribution by Sukhihotu (Malaysia) : The free publication has been made possible trhough the contributions of generous donors.Email:

This book is offered with the humble wish that it may be a guide to your life. 
May you read it then - again and again; reflect and ponder over the words of the Buddha; investigate and put His principles into practice and see if it works.

"As the wise lest gold by burning, cutting and rubbing it on a piece of touchstone, so are you to accept my words after examining them and not merely out of regard for me" - the Buddha.

Backcover by Venerable Acharya Buddharakkhita

"Hatred never ceases through hatred. Only through love does it cease". This and many other beautiful teachings of the Buddha can be found in the Dhammapada.

"The way to end sufferings it not to increase cravings and desires but to reduce and eliminate them".

"The worst of all taints is the taint of ignorance".

"Purify the mind".

Profound wisdom and messages for a confused world, the Dhammapada, which enshrines the spirit of the Buddha's teachings, is a book for all time, a book to be cherished and loved. 

May it be a light to your life!

The Translator Venerable Acharya Buddharakkhita is an Indian monk, meditation teacher and scholar, who is firmly committed to walking the Buddha's path.

Preface by Venerable Acharya Buddharakkhita

The Dhammapada, an anthology of four hundred and twenty-three verses, compiled approximately six hundred hundred years before Christ, belongs to the Khuddaka Nikaya ("Compact Collection") of the sacred Buddhist scripture, the Tipitaka. Handed down in the Pali language, in which the Buddha spoke, the Tipitaka (lit., "Three Baskets" has preserved the original teachings of the Englightened One.

The Buddha enunciated his Dhamma (Teachings) in two different forms. Though distinct, they ultimately converge in the unfolding of insight into the realities of existence and the Beyond. One approach was in philosophical terms, incisive and analytical. The other took the form of discourses in simple, direct language intelligible to the masses, and often precipitated by a specific question or incident. It is from this body of material that the Dhammapada was compiled. Each verse was prompted by a particular episode, accounts of which are preserved in the Dhammapada Atthakatha, one of the commentaries of the Pali canon.

What the Gita is to Hindus, the Bible to Christendom and the Koran to Islamic people, the Dhammapada is to the Buddhist world. For the simple and unsophisticated, it is a sympathetic counsellor; for the intellectually overburdened its clear and direct teachings inspire humility and relfection; for the earnest seeker, it is a perennial source of inspiration. 

Insights that flashed into the heart of the Buddha have crystallized into these luminous verses of pure wisdom. As profound expressions of practical spirituality, each verse is a guideline to right living. The Buddha unambiguously pointed out that whoever earnestly practices the verses of the Dhammapada would taste the bliss of emancipation.

In preparing this volume, I have had access to numerous editions and translations in various languages, including Sanskrit, Hindi, Bengali, Sinhalese, Burmese and Nepali. While consulting a number of English editions, it was observed that the renderings were often either too free and inaccurate or too pedantic. It was therefore felt that a new edition of the Dhammapada, avoiding these too extremes, would be beneficial to readers.

There are editions of the Dhammapada by noted scholars such as Max Muller and Dr S Radhakrishnan. However, the teachings of the Buddha inevitably suffer some distortion when presented from a non Buddhist frame of reference. Erroneous ideas have sometimes resulted from an unfortunate selection of words in translation, and foot-notes have at times been judgmental. The present translation by a praciticing follower of the Buddha is a humble effort to transmit the spirit and content as well as the language and style of the original teachings.

Where a few of the verses are conundrums or contain analogies not immediately evident to the reader, the meanings are provided either in parenthesis or notes. For interpretation, I have relied on the classic 5th century A.D. commentary by Bhadantacariya Buddhaghosa, the great Buddhist savant.

The Pali literature is a veritable storehouse of knowledge. It includes not only the Buddhist scriptures but also commentarial literature and independent treatises containing rich material on the science of mind, medicine, the history and geography of ancient India and surrounding countries, literature, poetics, prosody, the prevalent technology and civics, sports, martial arts, etc.

Students of psychology, sociology, anthropology and cosmology will find the Pali literature a mine of source-material for their disciplines. It is to be noted that much of Asia, particularly Burma, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam, built distinctive civilizations inspired by the Pali tradition.

I am grateful to Upasika Karunamma, an esteemed American pupil, for the most devoted service and help in going through the manuscript and suggesting improvements. Without her unreserved help, this edition would never have materialized.
In grateful memory of my teachers, parents and relatives, departed and living, I humbly make an offering of the Punya (spiritual merit) accruing from the effort of preparing this work. May they attain Nibbana!

May all beings be happy!

Ven. Acharya Buddharakkhita
Maha Bodhi Ashram, Bangalore, India
16 October, 1986.

Podcasts on Dhammapada, translated version by Gil Frondal can be downloaded under With many thanks to Gil Frondal, my spiritual guide to re-discover Buddhism for many years. Anh Tho Andres

French translation by Anh Tho Andres 
Vietnamese translation by Cuong Phan, Kim Hoang, Bich Hong, Bao Han 
German translation by Han Dang-Klein 
Italian translation by Phan Cong Danh 
Japanese translation by Hong Anh 

YourVietBooks is a collection of books on Vietnam for Readers who are interested in Vietnam's History, Culture, Language, Economy, or Business. Most titles are in English, but some are only available in French or Vietnamese. We can provide interested parties an accurate translation of some parts of the books for your research purposes. Translations are done by YourVietnamExpert's qualified and experienced translators.

Popular posts from this blog

GT sách nói: Hồ sơ mật Dinh Độc Lập

Bản nguyên thủy bằng tiếng Anh: Nguyễn Tiến Hưng, The Palace File, 1986
Bản dịch: Nguyễn Tiến Hưng, Hồ sơ mật Dinh Độc Lập 

Về tác giả: Nguyễn Tiến Hưng (sinh 1935), tiến sĩ kinh tế, nguyên Tổng trưởng Kế hoạch và Phát triển của Chính phủ Việt Nam Cộng hòa, hiện là giáo sư tại Đại học Harvard. Ông cũng là tác giả hai cuốn sách thuộc loại bán chạy nhất (best seller) là Hồ sơ mật Dinh Độc Lập (The Palace File, 1986) và Khi đồng minh tháo chạy (2005).

Là người nắm hồ sơ, văn thư mật liên quan đến cam kết giữa hai tổng thống Mỹ-Việt, tác giả đã công bố những hồ sơ nầy để minh chứng sự phản bội của Hoa Kỳ (qua những nhân sự cầm quyền) đối với “đồng minh” Nam Việt Nam, dẫn tới kết thúc của Việt Nam Cộng hoà qua biến cố 1975.

Năm 1986, ông cùng với ông Jerrold L. Schecter (cựu chủ biên ngoại giao Tuần báo Time và nguyên Phụ tá Giám đốc Báo chí Nhà Trắng, và Phát ngôn viên của Hội đồng An ninh Quốc gia Hoa Kỳ) viết và xuất bản cuốn The Palace File do Harper & Row Publishers phát hành, và sau…

GT sách hay: 100 cuốn sách cần đọc

Chính trị – Xã hội 1. Chính trị luận – Aristotle ( Alpha Book) 2. Tinh thần pháp luật – Montes Quieu (NXB Đà Nẵng) 3. Bàn về Khế ước xã hội – Jean Jacques Rousseau (Alpha Book) 4. Khảo luận thứ hai về chính quyền – John Locke (NXB Tri Thức) 5. Tâm lý học đám đông – Gustave Le Bon (NXB Tri Thức) 6. Khổng học đăng – Phan Bội Châu (NXB Văn học) 7. Hàn Phi Tử – Hàn Phi – Phan Ngọc dịch (NXB Văn học) 8. Các mô hình quản lý nhà nước hiện đại – David Held (NXB Tri Thức) 9. Sao biển và nhện: Cơ cấu phân quyền - Ori Brafman & Rod A. Beckstrom (NXB Tri Thức) Các cuốn từ 1-4 là những cuốn sách nền tảng về nền chính trị phương Tây và các giá trị vẫn còn ảnh hưởng đến thế giới hiện đại. Cuốn số 5 là một tập tiểu luận phân tích cách các chính trị gia, các thủ lĩnh phương Tây mê hoặc đám đông bằng cách nào và sự tàn phá của đám đông. Cuốn 6 là tác phẩm tổng hợp lại các giá trị cốt lõi của Khổng giáo do cụ Phan Bội Châu viết. Cuốn 7 là tác phẩm của Hàn Phi trong thời Chiến Quốc, xây dựng những ý …

Radio Saigon

Hi All,

I just discover this radio station, broadcasting from Houston in Vietnamese. Here are some highlights of their news.

Radio Saigon is a broadcasting center that distributes programs to multiple stations in the Vietnamese community including Houston, Dallas, Northern California, and Southern California.
RSH 900AM KREH, the first station of Radio Saigon, is the leading Vietnamese radio station in Houston, TX since 1999. Radio Saigon provides original and informative programs covering issues on all aspects of life; diverse daily and weekend hosts; guest experts and celebrities appealing to all age groups; veteran journalists with established reputation; and traditional values combined with modern vision. News and Information Good morning, Houston!SportsFinanceScienceMedicineEntertainment Headline NewsTraffic & WeatherTalk Shows Youth TalkLaw & LifeHeath & LifeUs WOMENVoters' ForumThe Car & YouBusiness ForumPolitics and YouLove and FamilyHome ImprovementSafety & th…