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The Dhammapada

The Path to the Truth


  1. Yamakavaggo — Twin Verses
  2. Appamādavaggo — Heedfulness
  3. Cittavaggo — The Mind
  4. Pupphavaggo — Flowers
  5. Bālavaggo — The Foolish
  6. Paṇḍitavaggo — The Wise
  7. Arahantavaggo — The Worthy
  8. Sahassavaggo — Thousands
  9. Pāpavaggo — Evil
  10. Daṇḍavaggo — Punishment
  11. Jarāvaggo — Old Age
  12. Attavaggo — The Self
  13. Lokavaggo — The World
  14. Buddhavaggo — The Buddha
  15. Sukhavaggo — Happiness
  16. Piyavaggo — Affection
  17. Kodhavaggo — Anger
  18. Malavaggo — Stains
  19. Dhammaṭṭhavaggo — The Righteous
  20. Maggavaggo — The Path
  21. Pakiṇṇakavaggo — Miscellaneous
  22. Nirayavaggo — Hell
  23. Nāgavaggo — The Tusker
  24. Taṇhāvaggo — Craving
  25. Bhikkhuvaggo — The Monk
  26. Brāhmaṇavaggo — The Saint


A Devout Monk Illumines the World 382

A Fool Cannot Appreciate the Dhamma 64

A Fool Desires Undue Fame 73-74

A Fool Does Not Think of Death 286

A Moment’s Honour to the Worthy is Best 106

A Monk Has No Attachment 367

A Monk is Fully Controlled 362

A Monk is Peaceful 378

A Monk Radiates Loving-Kindness 368-376

A Monk Should Not Stop Halfway 271-272

A Saint Clings to Nothing 414

A Saint Does Not Enjoy Sensual Pleasures 401

A Saint Does Not Retaliate 390

A Saint Does Not Steal 409

A Saint Gives Offence to None 408

A Saint Goes Ungrieving 294-295

A Saint Has Broken the Straps 398

A Saint Has Destroyed All Fetters 397

A Saint Has Discarded All Bonds 417

A Saint Has Discarded All Evil 388

A Saint Has Discarded All Passions 407

A Saint Has Given Up Craving 416

A Saint Has Given Up Likes and Dislikes 418

A Saint Has Given Up Sense-desires 415

A Saint Has Laid Aside the Burden 402

A Saint Has No Desires 410

A Saint Has No Intimacy with Any 404

A Saint Has No Longing 411

A Saint Has Perfected Himself 423

A Saint Has Reached the Goal 403

A Saint Has Transcended Good and Evil 412

A Saint is Enlightened 422

A Saint is Fearless and Liberated 385

A Saint is Friendly Among the Hostile 406

A Saint is Harmless 405

A Saint is Meditative and Stainless 386

A Saint is Not Attached 419-420

A Saint is Not Wrathful 400

A Saint is Patient 399

A Saint is Pure 413

A Saint is Truthful and Righteous 393

A Saint is Unattached 396

A Saint is Well-restrained 391

A Saint Knows the Uncreated 383

A Saint Meditates Alone in the Forest 395

A Saint Yearns For Nothing 421

A Shameless Life is Easy 244-245

A Shaven Head Does Not Make A Monk 264-265

A Well-directed Mind is of Great Benefit 43

Act As You Instruct Others 159

Adultery Leads to Hell 309-310

Advisers Are Pleasing to the Good 77

Advisers Should Set A Good Example 158

All Conditions Are Impermanent 277

All Conditions Are Unsatisfactory 278

All Phenomena Are Not-self 279

Among the Hateful Be Without Hate 197

Among the Passionate Be Without Passion 199

Among the Sick Be in Good Health 198

An Elephant Longs for the Forest 324

An Evil Deed is Better Not Done 314

An Excellent Man is Not Credulous 97

An Ill-Directed Mind Can Do Great Harm 42

Apply Oneself to the Holy Life 209

Arahants Cannot Be Traced 57

Associate with the Wise or Stay Alone 328-330

Associate with the Wise 208

Associate with the Wise 76

Association with Fools is Sorrowful 207

Attachment is Stronger Than Chains 345-346

Avoid Companionship with the Foolish 61

Avoid the Evil Way 327


Be Contented 365-366

Be Heedful 26-27

Be Moderate in Eating 325

Be Ashamed of What is Shameful 316-317

Be Pure in Body, Speech, and Mind 231-234

Be Pure Within 394

Be Truthful, Patient, and Generous 224

Be Vigilant 157

Be Without Attachment 283-284

Be Without Impediments 200

Begging Does Not Make A Monk 266-267

Better Than A Century of Fire-sacrifice 107

Better Than A Century of Laziness 112

Better Than A Hundred Years 111

Better Than A Hundred Years 110

Better Than A Thousand Useless Sayings 100

Better Than A Thousand Useless Verses 101

Better Than Sacrificial Slaughter 108

Birth Depends on Actions 126

Bitter is the Fruit of Evil 66

Blemishes of Mankind 356-359

Blessed Are They Who Honour the Elders 109

Blessed is the Sight of the Noble Ones 206

Blind is this World 174

Buddhas Are Dear to All 181

By Harmlessness One Becomes A Noble One 270

By Immorality the Fool Ruins Himself 246-248

By Oneself is Evil Done 161


Calm Are the Peaceful 96

Cast Off Lust and Hatred 377

Cause No Inconvenience to Anyone 49

Causes of Stains 241

Conquer Anger by Love 223

Conquer Heedlessness by Heedfulness 28

Control the Mind Well 35

Control Your Thoughts 326

Corrupt Lives Entail Suffering 311-313

Corrupt Monks Suffer in Hell 307

Craving Grows in the Heedless 334-337

Craving Grows in the Passionate 349-350

Craving is the Builder of this House 153-154

Craving is the Root of Suffering 338-343

Cultivate Concentration and Insight 384

Cultivate Good Friendship 78

Cultivate this Path of Peace 285

Cultivate Wisdom 282


Death Cannot Be Overcome 128

Death is Near to You 235-236

Death Seizes the Doting Man 287

Decay and Death Are Universal 135

Defilements Multiply in the Conceited 292-293

Defilements Multiply in Fault-finders 253

Delight in Solitude 305

Disregard the Faults of Others 50

Do Good Again and Again 118

Do Not Be Immoral 308

Do Not Disregard Evil 121

Do Not Disregard Merit 122

Do Not Do Evil Repeatedly 117

Do Not Harm A Saint 389-390

Do Not Kill Nor Cause to Kill 129

Do Not Return Hatred with Hatred 291

Do Not Scorn the Noble 164


Easy to See Are Others’ Faults 252

Eloquence Does Not Make A Gentleman 262-263

Embrace Right Views 318-319

Equanimous Like the Earth 95

Evil Can Be Erased by Good 173

Evil Deeds Lead to Remorse 67

Evil Deeds Take Effect When Ripe 71-72

Evil is Easy to Do 163

Evil Ruins Oneself 240

Evil-doers Come to Grief 69

Evil-doers Grieve Here and Hereafter 15

Evil-doers Lament Here and Hereafter 17


Few Go Beyond 85-86

Forests Are Delightful to the Passionless 99

Fortify the Mind and Be Non-attached 40

Freedom From Māra 37

From Affection Springs Grief 213

From Craving Springs Grief 216

From Endearment Springs Grief 212

From Lust Springs Grief 215

From Passion Springs Grief 214


Give Up Affection 210

Give Up Anger 221

Give Up Base Desires 167

Give Up Lesser Happiness for Greater Bliss 290

Good and Evil Are Known by Their Effects 119-120

Good Deeds Cause No Repentance 68

Grey Hair Does Not Make An Elder 260-261

Guard the Mind Well 36

Guard the Senses 360-361

Guard Yourself Like A Fortified City 315


Happiness is Mind-made 2

Hatred is Conquered by Love 5

Hatred is Never Appeased By Hatred 3

Health is Paramount 204

Heedfulness Leads to Sovereignty 30

Hold Nothing Dear 211

Honour the Worthy 392

Honour the Worthy 195-196

Hunger is the Greatest Disease 203


Ignorance is the Greatest Stain 242-243

Insatiate Are Sensual Pleasures 186-187


Learning Without Practice is No Use 19-20

Let Go! 348

Liars Suffer in Hell 306

Life Ends in Death 148

Life is Dear to All 130

Like A Bubble is this World 170

Like A Mirage is this Body 46

Long is Saṃsāra for the Foolish 60

Lust is A Fire Like No Other 202

Lust Penetrates an Undeveloped Mind 13-14


Make Haste in Doing Good 116

Many People Are Immoral 320-322

Meditate, O monk! Be not heedless (371-376)

Meditate Constantly 296-301

Merit Welcomes the Doers of Good 219-220

Misers Are Not Happy 177

Modesty is Rare 143-144

Molest None 131-132

Morality Blows Against the Wind 54-55

Morality is the Best Fragrance 56

Much Good Should Be Done 53


No Evil Without Bad Intention 124

No One Avoids Blame in this World 227-230

No Protection At the Moment of Death 288-289

No Saints Outside of the Buddhadhamma 254-255

No Suffering for the Emancipated 90

Nobody Can Escape the Effects of Kamma 127

Not by Appearance Alone is One A Monk 142


One is Not One’s Own 62

One is Not Wise Because of Speaking Much 258

One Versed in Dhamma Does Not Speak Much 259

One Who Imbibes the Dhamma is Happy 79

One with Little Learning Lacks Wisdom 152


Penances Cannot Purify Anyone 141

Practice is Better Than Teaching 51-52

Purify Thoughts, Words, and Deeds 281

Purify Yourself Gradually 239

Purity and Impurity Depend on Oneself 165


Quarrels Destroy Both Parties 6


Realisation is Superior to Fasting 70

Realising Impermanence is Best 113

Realising the Dhamma is Best 115

Reflect Well Over Food 92

Renunciation is Difficult 302

Returning to Lay Life is Foolish 344

Riches Ruin the Fool 355

Right Thought Leads to Realisation 11-12

Righteousness Does Not Decay 151


Seeing the Deathless is Best 114

Seek Happiness in Solitude 87-89

Seek Refuge in the Triple Gem 188-192

Seek the Light 146

Self is One’s Refuge 160

Self-conquest is Best 104-105

Self-conquest is the Best Victory 102-103

Self-control Leads to the Goal 323

Self-guarded One Lives Happily 379-380

Sensualists Are Swept Away by Death 47

Sensualists Die Unsatiated 48

Shun Evil Like A Perilous Road 123

Silence Alone Does Not Make A Sage 268-269

Speak Not Harshly 133-134

Straighten the Fickle Mind 33-34

Stream-winning is Better Than Sovereignty 178

Strive for Your Spiritual Welfare 166

Strive with Joy and Faith 381

Success Should Not Be Sought Unjustly 84

Suffering is Mind-made 1

Sweet is His Speech Who Controls His Mouth 363


The Best Kind of Happiness 194

The Body Will Soon Be Cast Aside 41

The Buddha Cannot Be Fathomed 179-180

The Buddha Shines by Day and Night 387

The Causes of Bliss 331-333

The Corrupt Ruin Themselves 162

The Devout Are Respected Everywhere 303

The Diligent Destroy the Defilements 226

The Eightfold Path is Best 273-276

The Energetic Prosper 24

The Envious Are Not At Peace 249-250

The Evil-doer Destroys Himself 136

The Gift of Truth Excels All Gifts 354

The Good Are Happy Here and Hereafter 18

The Good Are Rare 182

The Good Can Be Seen From Afar 304

The Good Control Themselves 145

The Good Rejoice Here and Hereafter 16

The Harmless Attain the Deathless 225

The Heedful Are Close to Nibbāna 32

The Heedful Far Outstrip the Lazy 29

The Heedful Illuminate the World 172

The Heedful Progress Quickly 31

The Heedless Are Like the Dead 21-23

The Impure Are Not Worthy of the Robe 9-10

The Just Make A Proper Investigation 256-257

The Lustful Are Caught in Their Own Web 347

The Mindful Exert Themselves 91

The Negligent Are Later Remorseful 155-156

The Noble Are Rare 193

The Omniscient One Has No Teacher 353

The Path to Nibbāna 75

The Righteous Are Happy 168-169

The Sense-Controlled Are Dear to All 94

The Slothful Do Not Realise the Path 280

The Teaching of the Buddhas 183-185

The True Charioteer 222

The Unattached Are Bound Upstream 218

The Undefiled Ones Are Free 93

The Vigilant Have No Fear 38-39

The Virtuous Are Dear to All 217

The Weak Succumb to Temptation 7-8

The Wise Appreciate the Dhamma 65

The Wise Are Neither Elated Nor Depressed 83

The Wise Are Not Attached to the World 171

The Wise Are Peaceful 82

The Wise Are Unshaken Like A Rock 81

The Wise Control Themselves 80

The Wise Escape From this World 175

The Wise Fool 63

The Wise Outshine Blind Worldlings 58-59

The Wise Protect Themselves 25

There is No Evil A Liar Cannot Do 176

There is No Fire Like Lust 251

This Body is Made of Flesh and Blood 150

This Decorated Body is Foul 147


Victory Breeds Hatred 201


What Delight in Seeing White Bones? 149

Where the Worthy Dwell is Delightful 98

Who Delights in the Dhamma Does Not Fall 364

Who Harms the Innocent Comes to Grief 137-140

Who Harms the Innocent Comes to Grief 125

Who Has Reached the Goal is Fearless 351-352

Who Tastes the Dhamma is Sorrowless 205

Who Will Comprehend this Earth? 44-45

Editor’s Preface

Download an E-book in Kindle *.epub FormatThe Dhammapada is an excellent book to keep in one’s pocket and refer to at leisure. It contains 423 verses in 26 chapters, covering all kinds of topics.

Download PDF file (1.91 Mb)The translation is based on Venerable Nārada’s, but I have rephrased the English to bring it up to date, and added my own footnotes to explain some difficult translations. A few words cannot adequately be translated into English, so they have been left in the original Pāḷi.

The meaning of the verses is greatly clarified by stories from the Commentaries, which put them into context. I have relied heavily on this context to give the most appropriate translation. The long narrative of the commentary served to flesh out the characters, which is fine for story-telling, but it adds little for the modern reader, so I give just the essence of the story. The full translation of the commentary by Burlingame for the Pali Text Society runs to three volumes.

The PDF file contains bookmarks for convenient navigation to any chapter or verse. An index of verses gives the page number on which the verses appear. The page numbering of the PDF file does not match the page numbering of the index or contents, because page 1 of the book begins on page 15 of the PDF file. This is a limitation of PDF files. The index and contents are generated for a printed book. Add 14 to the page number given in the index or contents to find the relevant page of the PDF file. Order a hard copy from Motilal Banarsidass.

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