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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 16 November 1998
These basic and sacred Buddhist teachings will take you far, very far if you just read slowly. Read it when you are sad, lonely, when you are anxious, bored, or annoyed. It will calm you and it will center you, and take you back to your perfect self.
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on 18 March 2013
Every edition of the Dhammapada is different, because they are all translated from Pali or Sanskrit, so open to interpretation. Some are quite literal, others focus on the poetry of the words. This is a particularly nice translation which has something of both. Slips into your pocket so you can dip into it at odd moments or before meditation. The Dhammapada is without doubt, one of the most profound texts ever written, reputedly the words of the Buddha, recorded about 500 years after his death. In general, the Buddhist Dharma is the closest thing to a manual for life you will ever find. Poignant, moderate and profoundly human.
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on 7 July 2009
This is a great little pocket-sized book for both deep contemplation and dipping into briefly. Although it does touch on some of the basic tenants of Buddhist doctrine, it by no means should only be exclusive to Buddhists. The truth contained in this book is at the heart of every faith, but also transcends religion altogether.
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on 11 October 2008
Great book, full of sayings which are easy to read but took me a while to appreciate.
Pocket size book is ideal for some quick inspiration/encouragement
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on 30 December 2015
A rendition rather than a translation. Very handy for carrying around, as it is small pocket size. The verses are very sympathetically presented. Some people have issues with his choice of expression at times, but I find it inspiring.
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on 4 February 2016
Possibly the worst 'translation' of any text I have ever come across. Stay well away from this book if you want to know what the Buddha said. Here is a typical example:

Byrom writes:
"Hard it is to be born, Hard it is to live, Harder still to hear of the way, And hard to rise, follow, and awake. Yet the teaching is simple. Do what is right. Be pure. At the end of the way is freedom. Till then, patience."

This is absolutely not a translation. As you will see from reading two translations below, and the original P'li, Byrom has omitted mention of:
- the saddhamma (which can be translated as 'the true teachings', 'Sublime Truth' etc) he puts as 'teaching' and totally misses what it is saying about this.
- Buddhas (translated as 'awakened ones' below)
- The classic 3-fold sumary of the Buddha's teachings - avoid all evil; cultivate good(/that which is skillful); and purifying/cleanse ones mind. He puts these three into "Do what is right. Be pure." And he leaves out entirely the conclusion of that 3-fold statement which is "this is the teaching of the Buddhas".
- The whole of 184 he leaves out except to say "Till then, patience" - leaving out all mention of monks etc.

Please compare with some proper translations:

Here is Buddharakkhita's translation:
"182. Hard is it to be born a man; hard is the life of mortals. Hard is it to gain the opportunity of hearing the Sublime Truth, and hard to encounter is the arising of the Buddhas.
183. To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
184. Enduring patience is the highest austerity. "Nibbana is supreme," say the Buddhas. He is not a true monk who harms another, nor a true renunciate who oppresses others."

And here is Thanissaro Bhikkhu's translation:
"182 Hard the winning of a human birth.
Hard the life of mortals.
Hard the chance to hear the true Dhamma.
Hard the arising of Awakened Ones.
183-184 The non-doing of any evil,
the performance of what's skillful,
the cleansing of one's own mind:
this is the teaching
of the Awakened.

Patient endurance:
the foremost austerity.
Unbinding:
the foremost,
so say the Awakened.
He who injures another
is no contemplative.
He who mistreats another,
no monk.

Here is the original P'li:
182.
kiccho manussapa'il'bho, kiccha' macc'na j'vita'.
kiccha' saddhammassavana', kiccho buddh'namupp'do.

183.
sabbap'passa akara'a', kusalassa upasampad' VAR.
sacittapariyodapana' VAR, eta' buddh'na s'sana'.

184.
khant' parama' tapo titikkh', nibb'na' VAR parama' vadanti buddh'.
na hi pabbajito par'pagh't', na VAR sama'o hoti para' vihe'hayanto. "

Stick with Acharya Buddharakkhita's translation. There are certainly various ways of translating this text but Byrom's is not one of them.
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on 16 May 2015
great liitle book, easy to carry or leave on the kitchen table for dipping into. Full of words of wisdom, hope and inspiration by the Buddha, applicable to anyone of any faith or none. Worth having
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on 8 February 2015
A classic. Eternal wisdom and beauty.
It comes in a very practical and light format, which you can carry with you everywhere you go.
If you buy it, you won't regret it.
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on 20 October 2013
If you want to havesomething to read in the cafe, on the park bench, waiting at the doctors then this could be the answer. Steep yourself in Buddhist wisdom.
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on 4 March 2016
I can't fault the translation, it really is beautiful and terse, but I would prefer the verses to be numbered, as they are in other translations I've read.
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