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The Dhammapada: Buddhist philosophy Paperback – January 17, 1965


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 122 pages
  • Publisher: New Directions; 1ST edition (January 17, 1965)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811200043
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811200042
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #364,409 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By California Gal on June 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
The Dhammapada is basically about personal ethics. It states very concisely a viewpoint and a philosophy that can be applied right now just as well as in Buddha's time.
I have owned this book for decades. I like it very much because it's a thin little book that I was able to read in a short time --but the ideas in it have taken root and have grown in my mind over a period of many years.
This book "spoke to my condition" as the Quakers say. I knew he was talking to me.
This short book contains some powerful concepts that have stood the test of 2500 years.
The translation is very good, and I believe it is true to the spirit of the original.
For those interested in personal ethics, personal responsibility, or a concise introduction to some of Buddha's philosophy, this book is a great place to start, and may acquire a permanent home on your bookshelf for its directness and simplicity.
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8 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Branden Byers on February 15, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book was required reading for my Comparative Religions course in college. I found the teachings of the Dhammapada to be insightful, but the translation was dry and appeared to lack much of Buddha's essence. Out of curiosity, I looked at different translations that were offered online and realized that they were all drastically different and much of the Dhammapada's teachings are changed depending on who has translated the work.

I have found better translations than Irving Babbit's book. Out of all Dhammapada books that I have looked at (I am by no means an expert), I found Eknath Easwaran's translation to be much clearer and true to Buddha's teachings.

Overall, if you are looking for a good translation of the Dhammapada, this is not the book for you.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mark J. Galik on November 3, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Babbitt's translation of the Dhammapada is still luminous and inspiring, but his instroduction, unfortunately, is not only unenlightening about the nature of Buddhism, but is filled with topical references that are now hopelessly dated. I highly recommend Babbitt's translation of this key Buddhist text, but I would advise the reader to skip the introduction and read a more comprehensive history of Buddhism by a recognized authority such as Max Muller, T. W. Rhys Davids, Daisetz Suzuki or Christmas Humphries.
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6 of 12 people found the following review helpful By "gsibbery" on September 29, 2000
Format: Paperback
The Dhammapada is quite literally a manual for monks . . . it is for people who intend to leave the world altogether to seek enlightenment. This does not mean it is of no use to the rest of us, but all the same, its applicability is quite limited for someone who feels that the world is something that is not to be escaped from, but lived in. The basic ideas common to all Eastern philosophy are here . . . non-attachment, good conduct (chastity, non-stealing, non-lying and so forth), although the form of the book makes it a little duller to read than some other popular treatments of the subject. The Gita more or less says the same thing, but in a much livelier manner. Contrary to popular belief, the Dhammapada does not in any way deny the existence of the Vedic gods -- Indra is mentioned many times -- but nevertheless the emphasis is on inner self-development rather than ritualistic supplication to the gods. A very traditional heaven and hell are believed in -- quite literally it seems -- and the notion of "Mara", the tempter personified, seems the answer to the Christian devil. Still, unlike Christianity in general, the emphasis is on the inner person -- there is some very powerful material here in that sense. What one does and thinks determines one's character. The existence of the wicked is punishment in itself, and although hell is admitted to exist, it is not the primary reason to avoid sin. Preaching is looked down upon unless the person doing the preaching has mastered himself first. The mastery of the individual self and mind are the most important notions here, I think . . . the morality is mainly a means to an end.Read more ›
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