The Dhammapada is one of the best known and best loved Buddhist texts, a sequence of verses traditionally said to have been spoken by the Buddha himself to help people on the path to liberation. In her version for Penguin Classics, Valerie J Roebuck seeks to translate the Pali into modern English verse that will keep the beauty and clarity of the original.

Like a beautiful flower…

Posted on: July 10th, 2013 by admin No Comments


Red Rose

Like a beautiful flower,
Colourful but scentless,
The well-taught word is fruitless
For one who does not practise.

Like a beautiful flower,
Colourful and fragrant,
The well-taught word is fruitful
For one who practises.

Dhammapada 51-52

Today, walking to the shops on a hot sunny morning, I saw a beautiful rose-bush in a garden. The owner of the garden saw me enjoying the scent, and we both agreed that we liked the old, sweet-scented varieties of roses the best. And those verses from the ‘Flowers’ chapter of the Dhammapada came to mind.

I discovered afterwards that I had my camera with me, so on the way home I took some photographs. Here is one of those wonderful flowers, to remind us what the ‘well-taught word’ of the Buddha’s teaching will be like if we don’t just study it, but put it into practice. – Valerie

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