Published in Malaysia 1988 by Sasana Abhiwurdhi Society
By K. Sri Dhammananda


The Dhammapada (the words of Truth) consists of 423 verses in Pali uttered by the Buddha on some 305 occasions for the benefit of a wide range of human beings. These sayings were selected and complied into one book as being worthy of special note on account of their beauty and relevance for moulding the lives of future generations of Buddhists.  It is generally believed that most of these stories had been handed down orally for generations since the days of the Buddha.

This edition of the Dhammapada has been revised primarily for the benefit of modern readers who have not had the opportunity to read the original Pali version. The original stories have been re-written to avoid lengthy repetition and obscure references. Many unnecessary details have been deleted while some remarks have been added to clarity certain point that may not be immediately clear to modern readers.  Care has been taken to retain the original meaning of this valuable collection which has reached us from the time of the Enlightened One himself.

These interesting and edifying anecdotes clearly depict the greatness of the Buddha as an energetic, compassion and wise Teacher, ever ready to serve all. All these noble utterances can be cultivated with the right effort and put into actual practice in the course of one's daily life. The Dhammapada is not a book to be read superficially like a noble and shelved aside.  It should be read and re-read so that it may serve as a constant companion for edification, inspiration and solace in times of need.



YAMAKA VAGGA - The Twin Verses

1 An Arahant who had lost his eyesight - Cakkhupala
2 Why cry for the moon? - Mattha Kundali
3 The old man who retaliated - Tissa
4 The bitter feud through various existences - Kala Yakkhini
5 The quarrelsome bhikkhus of Kosambi
6 The fate of Mahakala and Culakala who became monks
7 Who is worthy to receive the yellow robe? - Devadatta
8 It is difficult to realise the truth - Upatissa and Kolita
9 Meditating for the sake of a girl Nanda
10 A butcher who suffered here and hereafter - Cunda
11 Happiness here and happiness hereafter - Dhammika
12 The miserable fate of Devadatta
13 The fate of a young girl - Sumana Devi
14 Knowledge is not realisation


APPAMADA VAGGA - Heedfulness

1 Magandiya’s plot against Queen Samavati
2 The voice of a rich man - Kumbha Ghosaka
3 How a dullard attained Sainthood - Cula Panthaka
4 Childish behaviour at a festival.
5 Kassapa wants to know the number of births and deaths
6 The goal of the religious life
7 How Magha became Sakka
8 The fire of knowledge
9 The monk who developed contentment - Tissa



1 Meghiya who could not control his mind
2 The lady mind reader - Matika Mata
3 A wise man should guard his thoughts
4 The mind can wander afar - Sangha Rakkhita
5 The fickle-minded monk - Citta Hatta
6 The spirits which disturbed the monks
7 The monk with a stinking body - Putigatta Tissa
8 Nanda,the herdsman
9 A mother of two and a father of two - Soreyya



1 Concentrate on your body
2 The bhikkhu who contemplated on the body as a mirage
3 Vidudabha seeks vengeance on the Sakyans
4 The lady who was born in Tavatimsa heaven - Pati Pujika Kumari
5 The miserly rich man - Kosiya
6 Pay no attention to curses
7 To whom should one pay respect? - Chattapani
8 The most devout lady - Visakha
9 The question raised by the Venerable Ananda
10 Sakka gives alms to Venerable Kassapa
11 Godhika attains Sainthood while attempting suicide
12 Giving alms to test the wise - Sirigutta and Garahadinna



1 The king who craved for another man’s wife - Pasenadi
2 A disobedient novice monk
3 The fate of a stingy rich man - Ananda
4 How to differentiate the fools
5 Fools cannot realise the Dhamma - Udayi
6 The wise can realise the Dhamma
7 The leper s confidence in the Triple Gem - Suppabuddha
8 How the Buddha saved an innocent farmer
9 The strong devotion of a florist - Sumana
10 The young man who molested a nun - Uppala Vanna
11 The ascetic who deceived others - Jambuka
12 A ghost with a human head and snake’s body
13 Be careful in actions
14 A lay disciple and a stubborn monk - Citta and Sudhamma
15 A novice monk who won all hearts - Tissa



1 A poor man wins spiritual release - Radha
2 Monks not observing the rules of Holy Order
3 The stubbornness of Venerable Channa
4 A king and his ministers attain Sainthood - Maha Kappina
5 A young samanera’s achievement - Pandita
6 Unshaken as a rock - Lakuntaka Bhaddiya
7 The lady who abused the bhikkhus - Kana
8 The wise are unaffected by gain or loss
9 One must work for his own liberation - Dhammika
10 Very few in this world can attain the final goal
11 From darkness to brightness



1 The Buddha and his physician - Jivaka
2 An Arahant has no attachment -Maha Kassapa
3 The monk who stored rice - Bellatthi Sisa
4 The monk and the goddess - Anuruddha
5 Sakka pays respects to Venerable Maha Kaccayana
6 The monk who accused Venerable Sariputta
7 The loss of an eye
8 Faith alone cannot make one realise Nibbana
9 The youngest brother of Sariputta - Revata
10 A courtesan tempts a monk



1 An executioner and his fate - Tambadathika
2 The fastest way to attain Arahanthood - Bahiya
3 The rich girl who married a thief - Kundala Kesi
4 Gain and loss in gambling
5 The way to the Brahma world
6 Fire worshipping is not the way
7 The brahmin who sacrificed animals
8 How the Buddha protected a child - Ayu Waddhana
9 The miracle of a young novice monk - Samkicca
10 Venerable Kodanna and the robbers
11 Attaining Sainthood while attempting suicide - Sappadasa
12 Patacara is bereft of all her family
13 The cure for death - Kisa Gotami
14 The children who neglected their mother - Bahu Puttika



1 The great offering of a poor brahmin
2 Refrain from sexual abuse - Seyyasaka
3 A female deva attends to Maha Kassapa
4 Anatha Pindika and the guardian spirit
5 The careless bhikkhu
6 The rich man who gave little -Bilala Padaka
7 A journey beset with danger - Maha Dhana
8 Kukkuta Mitta the hunter and his family comprehend the Dhamma
9 A hunter who was attacked by his own dogs - Koka
10 The gem polisher who beat an innocent monk
11 Nobody can escape from the effects of evil kamma
12 King Suppabuddha blocks the Buddha's path


DANDA VAGGA - The Rod or Punishment

1 The bhikkus who quarrelled over a temple
2 The second quarrel
3 The youths who beat a snake
4 The monk and the phantom woman - Kundadhana
5 The ladies who observed precepts for different purposes
6 Paying for his evil deeds - Lakkhana
7 Untimely death of Venerable Monggallana
8 The monk with many possessions
9 Attaining Nibbana in the dress of a layman - Santati
10 The monk and ragged clothes - Pilotika
11 Sukha the novice monk



1 Visakha and her drunken companions
2 How the Buddha auctioned Sirima's corpse
3 How the Buddha console an elderly nun - Uttara
4 The over-confident monks
5 Arahanthood through reflection on the impermanence of beauty - Rupananda
6 The queen who regretted over a minor mistake - Mallika
7 The monk who always said the wrong thing - Laludayi
8 The paean of bliss uttered by the Buddha
9 How Mahadhana squandered away his wealth



1 The prince who has no offspring - Bodhiraja Kumara
2 The greedy monk - Upananda
3 The monk who preached without practicing - Padhanika Tissa
4 The son of a bhikkhuni - Kumara Kassapa
5 The untimely death of a devotee - Mahakala
6 The story of Devadatta, the opponent of the Buddha
7 The story of schism in the Order
8 The jealous monk - Kala
9 A devotee protected by courtesans - Culakala
10 The story of a diligent monk - Attadatta


LOKA VAGGA  - The world

1 A bhikkhu who quarrelled with a young girl
2 The Buddha visits Kapilavatthu
3 Meditation on a mirage
4 How the Buddha consoled a sad prince - Abhaya
5 The monk with a broom - Sammunjjani
6 A murderer who attained Sainthood - Angulimala
7 The weaver-girl who realised the nature of Life
8 Thirty bhikkhus who suddenly disappeared
9 Cinca Manavika falsely accuses the Buddha
10 The almsgiving competition
11 The story of Kala, son of Anatha Pindika



1 The marriage proposal to the Buddha - Magandiya
2 The Buddha’s return from the Tavatimsa Deva Loka
3 The king of Nagas and his daughter - Erakapatta
4 The teaching of the Buddha
5 A discontented young bhikkhu
6 Seek refuge in the Triple Gem - Aggidatta
7 The noblest of men
8 What is happiness?
9 Honour those worthy of honour


SUKHA VAGGA - Happiness

1 The dispute over water
2 Mara influences the villagers against the Buddha
3 Victory produces hatred - King Kosala
4 The fire of lust
5 The Buddha and a hungry man
6 Be moderate in eating
7 The way to honour the Buddha - Tissa
8 Sakka nurses the Buddha


PIYA VAGGA - Affection

1 Attachment hinders spiritual development
2 The Buddha comforts the afflicted
3 The Buddha comforts Visakha
4 The princes who fought over a courtesan
5 Anitthi Gandha Kumara loses his bride
6 From craving springs sorrow
7 Kassapa receives baskets of cakes
8 The elderly monk who was reborn in the pure abode
9 Nandiya attains heavenly glory



1 The lady who was cured of her skin disease - Rohini
2 A monk and the tree spirit
3 Metta protects Lady Uttara from boiling oil
4 The way to heaven
5 A brahmin greets the Buddha as his son
6 It is the giver that makes the gift - Punna
7 Nothing too much and too little - Atula
8 A group of bhikkhus who wore wooden sandals


MALA VAGGA - Impurities or Taints

1 The fate of a butcher and his son
2 A brahmin attends to the needs of holy men
3 A monk who was born as an insect - Tissa
4 The monk who made false claims - Laludayi
5 A man whose wife committed adultery
6 The monk who practised medicine - Cula Sari
7 It is not easy to observe precepts
8 The envious are not at peace - Tissa
9 The inattentive lay-disciples
10 The rich man - Mendaka
11 The fault-finding monk - Ujjhana Sanni
12 The wandering ascetic - Subhadda


DHAMMATTHA VAGGA - The Just or Righteous

1 The judges who took bribes
2 Those who disturb others are not wise
3 Knowledge is not realisation - Ekudana
4 Age is not the criterion
5 Pretending to be what they are not
6 The monk who liked to argue - Hatthaka
7 Who is a bhikkhu?
8 Silence is not wisdom
9 Live up to the name - Ariya
10 It is not easy to become an Arahant


MAGGA VAGGA - The Way or The Path

1 The path to perfection
2 Meditation on anicca
3 Meditation on dukkha
4 Meditation on anatta
5 Be vigilant and do not be idle
6 Guard your word, thought and deed
7 Knowledge without realisation is useless - Pothila
8 The old monks and the old woman
9 Meditation on a lotus flower
10 A wealthy merchant’s impending death - Mahadhana
11 Death comes to all beings - Kisa Gotami
12 Sons and daughters are no refuge - Patacara


PAKINNAKA VAGGA - Miscellaneous

1 The power of the Ratana Sutta
2 Hatred is only appeased by love
3 Monks who decorated their slippers
4 Lakuntaka Bhaddiya killed his ‘parents’
5 The boy and the spirits
6 No satisfaction in life
7 A virtuous one is showered with riches - Citta
8 Distance is not the problem - Cula Subhadda
9 It is better to stay alone - Ekavihari


NIRAYA VAGGA - Woeful state

1 An evil plot against the Buddha - Sundari
2 Those who suffered for their evil deeds
3 Bhikkhus pretending to have attained perfection
4 The man whom women loved
5 The obstinate bhikkhu
6 The jealous woman who tortured her maid
7 The bhikkhus who had to fend for themselves
8 The misguided naked ascetics
9 Children visit the Buddha


NAGA VAGGA - The Elephant

1 How the Buddha endured abuses - Magandiya
2 One must train oneself
3 The father and his ungrateful sons
4 On moderation in eating
5 The novice monk and the mother spirit - Sanu
6 An old elephant responds to battle-drums
7 An elephant waits upon the Buddha
8 Mara tries to tempt the Buddha



1 The golden fish with stinking breath - Kapila
2 Effect of good and bad deeds
3 A rnan who faced death bravely
4 The bonds of craving
5 Beauty is but skin deep -Khema
6 An acrobat who became a Saint - Uggasena
7 How a young woman influenced a bhikkhu
8 How Mara tried to frighten young Rahula
9 It is not easy to appreciate the Dhamma - Upaka
10 Sakka’s request
11 Riches destroy the fool
12 Seeds sown on fertile ground yield abundantly


BHIKKHU VAGGA - The Bhikkhu or The Mendicant

1 Bhikkhus should control their senses
2 The monk who killed a goose
3 A bhikkhu should control his tongue
4 The way to respect the Buddha - Dhammarama
5 A bhikkhu should be contented
6 All alms food is the same
7 A devout lady and the thieves
8 Meditation on jasmine flowers
9 A bhikkhu should be calm - Santakaya
10 Attachment to old clothes - Nangala Kula
11 Admiration of the Buddha - Vakkali
12 The novice monk who performed a miracle - Sumana



1 Not all bhikkhus are Arahants
2 Tranquillity and Insight
3 Where is the ‘Other Shore'?
4 Who is a real brahmana?
5 Glory of the Buddha
6 Not every recluse is a bhikkhu
7 No one should strike an Arahant
8 Maha Pajapati Gotami asks for ordination
9 Honour those worthy of honour
10 A brahmana is one who has realised the Dhamma
11 It is not easy to mislead the wise
12 The Buddha praises Kisa Gotami
13 One cannot become a brahmana by birth
14 One who has cut off, fetters has no fear - Uggasena
15 Cut the strap of craving
16 The Buddha subdues the abusive brothers
17 Venerable Sariputta is reviled by his mother
18 An Arahant does not cling to sensual pleasures
19 The bond-servant who became an Arahant
20 The Buddha praises Khema
21 Bhikkhu Tissa is accused of practising exorcism
22 A monk who was mistakenly beaten
23 The lady and four novices
24 Arahants have no mental defilements - Maha Panthaka
25 Force of habit - Pilinda Vaccha
26 A monk who was accused of theft
27 Bhikkhus misunderstand Sariputta
28 Bhikkhus misunderstand Moggallana
29 Go beyond good and evil - Revata
30 The youth with a shining body - Candabha
31 An unusually long pregnancy - Sivali
32 A courtesan tempts a monk - Sundara Samuddha
33 How bhikkhu Jatila attained Arahanthood
34 The celestial mansion of Jotika
35 The monk who was a dancer - Nata Puttaka
36 The monk who was a dancer
37 Vangisa the skull-tapper
38 The wife who became a bhikkhuni - Dhammadinna
39 Anguli Mala and the elephant
40 The offering of Devahita

Lumbini Park