The Dhammapada

Buddhist Wheel of LifeThe Dhammapada is a collection of aphorisms (pithy observations which contain general truths) that illustrate the Buddhist dhamma or moral system. “In the Dhammapada we can hear the voice of Buddha,” writes Juan Mascaró. “This gospel of light and love is amongst the greatest spiritual works of man. Each verse is like a small star and the whole has the radiance of eternity.”

The following verses from The Dhammapada may be downloaded for your use.

  • Dhammapada, Verse 1 – Life is the creation of the mind
  • Dhammapada, Verses 3-5 – Avoid imaginary reality through habitual mental talk
  • Dhammapada, Verses 15-20 – A Dhammapada contemplation
  • Dhammapada, Verses 21-22 – Mindfulness is the path to the Deathless
  • Dhammapada, Verse 42 – How much we can harm ourselves through our own mind!
  • Dhammapada, Verses 58-59 – The Lotus Flower

Quotations (verses 1, 3-5, 42) are taken from Juan Mascaró’s translation of the The Dhammapada. All other verses (unless otherwise noted) are used with permission from Acharya Buddharakkhita’s translation of the The Dhammapada.


  1. Mascaró, Juan, trans. The Dhammapada: The Path of Perfection. London: Penguin Books, 1973.
  2. The Dhammapada: The Buddha’s Path of Wisdom, translated from the Pali by Acharya Buddharakkhita, with an Introduction by Bhikkhu Bodhi (Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society, 1985).

Note: Transcribed from the print edition in 1996 by a volunteer under the auspices of the DharmaNet Transcription Project, with the kind permission of the BPS. Last revised on 23 April 2012. Permission is granted to copy, reformat, reprint, republish, and redistribute this work in any medium whatsoever, provided that: (1) one only makes such copies, etc. available free of charge and, in the case of reprinting, only in quantities of no more than 50 copies; (2) one clearly indicates that any derivatives of this work (including translations) are derived from this source document; and (3) one includes the full text of this license in any copies or derivatives of this work. Otherwise, all rights reserved. ©1985 Buddhist Publication Society.

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