The Dhammapada is an anthology of sayings of the Buddha. The verses are selected so that they represent the core of the teaching of the Buddha. It is one of the most famous texts of this doctrine and finds its widest distribution in southern Buddhism. There accompanied the disciples of the Buddha from the beginning to the end of their path. Moreover, it is a masterpiece of both the early Buddhist literature as well as the Indian tradition of Kavya ( Belle Lettre ). The Dhammapada was well received on the 2nd Buddhist Council in the year 383 BC in the Pali Canon among the Short texts ( Khuddaka Nikaya ). It contains 423 verses.


Following the tradition of Kavya it comes to convey the contents through poetic means on an emotional level. The individual verses are grouped loosely under various headings such as: mindfulness, the mind, blossoms, age, fools, elephants, etc. This will make the reading varied and entertaining.


The aim of the Buddha's teaching is the attainment of happiness and joy in this life, and beyond this life. According to behavioral advice are given in Dhammapada. In the very first verse it is said that happiness and suffering depend on our mind:

" The things precedes the spirit; the mind decides: Comes from turbid mind your word and your behavior. So follow you harm, such as the draft animal follows the car. "

The following is the valuing method is then compared in many ways the clumsy fool who causes his own misfortune.

Buddha has only taught orally. Therefore, the sayings of the Dhammapada are very different and depend on who he was talking straight. His Rätschläge a great monk assembly were more general than the one he gave concrete advice to a single layman, which. Many verses are therefore directly understood, others carry a deeper meaning, only the practitioner will recognize, others may be difficult to understand without comment. The great commentary on the Dhammapada by Buddhaghosa in the 5th century is found in the translation of Nyanatiloka Mahathera.