The Dhammapada is one of the smallest books in the Khuddaka Nikaya, the fifth part of the Sutta Pitaka, which is the first division of the Tipitaka, the sacred scriptures of Buddhism. The Itivuttaka contains 112 verses, the Udana with 80 verses and the Khuddakapatha with only 9 short passages are all shorter than the Dhammapada. The name Dhammapada means ‘Words of Dhamma’ and this work consists of 423 verses arranged into twenty six chapters. The verses deal with a range of subjects, such as simplicity, evil, honesty, death, happiness, the monk’s life, virtue and liberation. Because of its convenient size and the inspiring way it deals with the Buddha’s teaching, the Dhammapada is the most widely read and loved of all Buddhist scriptures. It has also been translated into most of the world’s major languages.
- The Dhammapada, trans by Narada Thera, 1963.