Translated and with an introduction by Ānandajoti Bhikkhu
It is a great pleasure to have prepared a new edition of the Dhammapada, one of the most central texts of Theravāda Buddhism. In particular it is pleasant to do so in a bilingual edition, convenient for students of Pāḷi, which I first encountered as a post-graduate student in Los Angeles many years ago. It has likewise been a pleasure communicating with Ānananda Bhikkhu as the edition was being prepared. He was generous with his encourage ment and responsive to my queries. Of his two translations of the Dhammapada, I have favoured the more scholarly of the two, though I appreciate the aesthetic of the metrical qualities of the more popular translation.
I have made a very few alterations to Ānandajoti’s translation, with his consent and approval. Firstly, I have preferred the Sanskrit terms arhat, Dharma, gandharva, and Nirvana since these have long been accepted loanwords in English while arahat, Dhamma, gandhabba, and Nibbana are (rightly or wrongly) not; I prefer the accented form Nirvāṇa and Nibbāna in a book such as this though. Secondly, I have preferred to use the definite article when the text refers to “the Dharma” since this seems to be the most conventional for Buddhist discourse in English. Thirdly, I replaced the superscript ᵃ and ⁱ used by Ānandajoti for reduced vowels with a̯ and i̯ because it seems to me to be more legible in a print publication (see the discussion on page xi). Lastly, I have favoured Oxford spelling and the Oxford comma where applicable. Like Ānandajoti, I trust that this edition will find favour with students of the Dharma, as well as with students of Pāḷi, a rich and subtle language.
Dundee, November 2019
Dhammapada, The Sayings of the Buddha