Photo: Mongolian Lama and Tibetan laymen in Lhasa; Tibet, 1920.
Our life is shaped by our mind; we become what we think. Suffering follows an evil thought as the wheels of a cart follow the oxen that draw it.
Our life is shaped by our mind; we become what we think. Joy follows a pure thought like a shadow that never leaves.
“He was angry with me, he attacked me, he defeated me, he robbed me” – those who dwell on such thoughts will never be free from hatred.
“He was angry with me, he attacked me, he defeated me, he robbed me” –those who do not dwell on such thoughts will surely become free from hatred.
For hatred can never put an end to hatred; love alone can. This is an unalterable law.
People forget that their lives will end soon. For those who remember, quarrels come to an end.
By Eknath Easwaran (Translator, Introduction)
Dhammapada means "the path of dharma," the path of truth, harmony, and righteousness. Eknath Easwaran's best-selling translation of this essential Buddhist text, based on the oldest version, consists of 423 short verses gathered by the Buddha's direct disciples after his death and organized by theme: anger, thought, joy, pleasure, and others. The Buddha's timeless teachings take the form of vivid metaphors from everyday life and are well served by Easwaran's lucid translation. An authoritative introduction and chapter notes offer helpful context for modern readers.
'No one in modern times is more qualified - no, make that 'as qualified' - to translate the epochal Classics of Indian Spirituality than Eknath Easwaran.'
(Huston Smith, author of "The World's Religions")
'According to Eknath Easwaran, if all of the Buddhist sutras had been lost except the Dhammapada, it alone would be enough for readers to understand and appreciate the wisdom of the Buddha. Easwaran's version of the Dhammapada goes a long way toward proving this. In a lengthy introduction, Easwaran summarizes the life of the Buddha and the main tenets of his thought, including key concepts such as dharma, karma, and nirvana. The language of the Dhammapada is as lucid and flowing as the Psalms or the Sermon on the Mount, and this is why it is one of the most loved and remembered of all Buddhist sutras. Its subject matter, succinctly, is about training the mind, which leads to kind thoughts and deeds, which bring peace and freedom from suffering. If you are interested in reading one of the gems of Buddhist literature, this is a good place to start; and if you are looking for a great version of this beloved scripture, you can't do better. Like all great world scripture, the verses here reward rereading and reflection, prompting you to "strive for wisdom always.'