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Words of Wisdom

Selections from The Dhammapada: Way of Truth – Chapters 1 to 4, Part 1 of 2

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Buddha or Gautama Buddha, also known as Shakyamuni Buddha, was a great extraordinary spiritual Master from ancient India. Born as Prince Siddhārtha Gautama in the 5th century BC, He would have naturally inherited the vast wealth of a kingdom. However, the Prince left the palace life in search of spiritual knowledge. After years of contemplative seeking, the Buddha attained great enlightenment under the Bodhi tree. The rich treasury of Buddha’s spiritual doctrine on universal truths is studied and revered to this day for its deep wisdom and compassion.

Dhammapada is an anthology of verses spoken by the Buddha on various occasions in response to a certain unique situation. It is one of the most popular and widely read Buddhist scriptures enjoyed by both Buddhists and non-Buddhists. Its original version is in the Khuddaka Nikaya, a Pali Canon division of Theravada Buddhism. In total there are 423 verses in the 26 chapters of the Dhammapada that convey the philosophical and practical foundations of the Buddhist tradition. The verses are mainly presented in pairs, like for example, grief and suffering against joy; developing the mind instead of ignoring the mental attitude and conduct; virtuousness versus misconduct; and being truthful, not deceitful. The whole purpose is to illustrate the desirable and non-desirable outcomes due to our actions, speech and thoughts.

We will now share with you “Selections from The Dhammapada: Way of Truth – Chapters 1 to 2.” Chapter 1: Verses 19 – 20 “If he recites many teachings, but —heedless man— doesn’t do what they say, like a cowherd counting the cattle of others, he has no share in the contemplative life. If he recites next to nothing but follows the Dhamma in line with the Dhamma; abandoning passion, aversion, delusion; alert, his mind well-released, not clinging either here or hereafter: he has his share in the contemplative life.”

Chapter 2: Heedfulness Verses 21 – 24 “Heedfulness: the path to Nirvana. Heedlessness: the path to death. The heedful do not die. The heedless are as if already dead. Knowing this as a true distinction, those wise in heedfulness rejoice in heedfulness, enjoying the range of the noble ones. The enlightened, constantly absorbed in jhana, persevering, firm in their effort: they touch unbinding, the unexcelled rest from the yoke. Those with initiative, mindful, clean in action, acting with due consideration, heedful, restrained, living the Dhamma: their glory grows.”

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