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.

Posts Tagged ‘Buddha’

The Buddha’s Teaching on Loving Kindness

Posted on: May 20th, 2016 by admin No Comments

Karaṇīya Metta Sutta

The Buddha’s Teaching on Loving Kindness

This is what to do if you know what is best for you
And seek to attain the place of peace:
Be able, upright—truly upright,
Easy to speak to, gentle, not arrogant,

Content, with needs easily met,
With few responsibilities, of simple livelihood,
With senses calmed, skilful,
Not proud, not possessive about families.

You should not do the slightest thing
For which other wise folk might reproach you.
Think: ‘Happy and at peace,
May all beings be happy-minded.

‘Whatever living things there are,
Without exception, weak or strong,
Tall, large, or medium-sized,
Small, atom-sized or huge,

‘Seen or unseen,
Living far or near,
Born or about to be born,
May all beings be happy-minded.

‘Let not one deceive another
Or despise another, anywhere;
Let not one wish evil on another,
Through anger or ill-will.’

Just as a mother would protect her own child,
Her only child, even with her life,
You should develop a limitless mind
Towards all beings.

You should develop a limitless mind,
Spread loving kindness to the whole world,
Above, below and across,
Without obstruction, enmity or hatred.

Standing, walking, sitting,
Or lying down, so long as you are awake,
You should maintain this awareness:
They call this Divine Abiding here.

So, not falling into wrong view,
Of good character, endowed with insight,
Giving up grasping for sense-pleasures,
You will not return to a womb again.

Verses for Vesakh

Posted on: May 4th, 2012 by admin 2 Comments


I wandered without respite
A journey of many births,
Seeking the house-builder.
Painful is birth again and again.

House-builder, I have seen you:
You shall not build a house again.
All your rafters are broken:
Your ridge-pole is destroyed.
The mind, freed from conditioned things,
Has reached the end of cravings.

Dhammapada 153-4

On May 5th or 6th this year (depending on which day the full moon falls in their particular part of the world), many Buddhists will be celebrating the festival of Vesākha (Vesakh, Vaiśākha), which marks three great events in the life of the Buddha: his birth; his attainment of Buddhahood; and his Parinibbāna (when he passed away, never to be born again).

These Dhammapada verses are said to have been spoken by the Buddha on his attainment of Enlightenment under the Bodhi Tree. They are addressed to Māra, who embodies the forces that seek to keep us bound to the conditioned realm, saṃsāra. Māra is the house-builder, who has built all the bodies in which the Buddha-to-be has travelled in his ‘journey of many births’. Now the Buddha has recognised him, and Māra will no longer have any hold over him.

When the Buddha saw this, and decided to teach others, he showed the way for any of us who wish to make an end of that painful journey, and become free from conditioned things. However overwhelmed we may sometimes feel by the difficulties of our lives, and the obstacles in the way of our practice, we should never forget that freedom is possible, and that there is a way to reach it.

Wishing you a joyful Vesākha 2012/2555 BE. May it remind us all of the reasons for which we try to live a spiritual life. – Valerie

People Can Change

Posted on: September 8th, 2011 by admin 6 Comments


A Dhammapada thought for a time when we are inclined to dismiss those who have made mistakes, and deny the value of second chances!

What All Enlightened Ones Teach

Posted on: June 4th, 2011 by admin No Comments

Not to do any evil;

To undertake what is good;

To purify your own mind:

This is the teaching of the Buddhas.

(v. 183)