A Study of the Dhammapada Collection

1: Chapters

 

In the Pāḷi Dhammapada there are 26 chapters, having 423 verses.

In the Patna Dharmapada there are 22 chapters, with 414 verses.

In the Gāndhāri Dharmapada there are 26 chapters, of which a number are absent or fragmentary. Prof. Brough gives 344 extant verses, some of which are in afragmentary state, and estimates that the collection wo uld originally have stood at 540 verses or thereabouts.

In the Udānavarga there are 33 chapters, having 1050 verses in Dr. Bernhard's edition, but many of these have irreconcilable versions (here marked with a, b), or have been numbered A, B, C, D, etc., so that the number printed is actually considerably greater than that (approx. 1100).

The following table gives the chapter titles of the Pāḷi Dhammapada and the parallel chapter titles in the other collections:

Pāḷi

Patna

Gāndhārī

Udānavarga

 

1: Yamaka

1: Jama

13: Yamaka

29: Yuga

2: Appamāda

2: Apramāda

7: Apramadu

4: Apramāda

3: Citta

19: Citta

8: Cita

31: Citta

4: Puppha

8: Puṣpa

[18: Puṣpa]Brough gave titles to a number of chapters that lacked them, and put them in square brackets, in most cases the title seems certain.01

18: Puṣpa

5: Bāla

11: Bāla

9: Bala

 

6: Paṇḍita

 

[14: Paṇida]

 

7: Arahanta

 

5: Araha

 

8: Sahassa

21: Sahasra

[19: Sahasa]

 

9: Pāpa

 

4: Pavu

28: Pāpa

10: Daṇḍa

12: Daṇḍa

 

 

11: Jarā

 

10: Jara

 

12: Atta

17: Ātta

 

23: Ātma

13: Loka

 

 

 

14: Buddha

 

 

 

15: Sukha

 

11: Suha

30: Sukha

16: Piya

 

 

5: Priya

17: Kodha

 

[17: Kodha]

20: Krodha

18: Mala

10: Mala

 

 

19: Dhammaṭṭha

 

 

 

20: Magga

20: Māgga

6: Magu

12: Mārga

21: Pakiṇṇaka

 

[16: Prakiṇaka (?)] The naming of this chapter as Prakiṇakavaga is only a guess by Brough, as the remaining contents do not seem to suggest a theme.02

16: Prakirṇaka

22: Niraya

 

 

 

23: Nāga

 

[22: Naga, or Aśa (?)]

 

24: Taṇhā

9: Tahna

3: Tasiṇa

3: Tṣṇā

25: Bhikkhu

4: Bhikṣu

2: Bhikhu

32: Bhikṣu

26: Brāhmaṇa

3: Brāhmaṇa

1: Brammaṇa

33: Brāhmaṇa

 

The Patna Dharmapada has, besides those listed, the following 9 chapter titles that find no parallel in the Pāḷi: 5: Attha; 6: Śoka; 7: Kalyāṇī 13: Saraṇa; 14: Khānti; 15: Āsava; 16: Vācā 18: Dadantī & 22: Uraga.

The Gāndhārī Dharmapada has, besides those listed, the following 4 chapters titles: 12: Thera; [15: Bahoṣuda]; [20: Śila (?)]; [21: Kica (?)]; and Chapters 23 - 26 are lost along with their names.

The Udānavarga has, besides those listed, the following 19 chapters titles: 1: Anitya; 2: Kāma; 6: Śīla; 7: Sucarita; 8: Vāca; 9: Karma; 10: Śraddhā 11: Śramaṇa; 13: Satkāra; 14: Droha; 15: Smti; 17: Udaka; 19: Aśva; 21: Tathāgata; 22: Śruta; 24: Peyāla; 25: Mitra; 26: Nirvāṇa; & 27: Paśya.

We can see from this that there are parallel chapter titles to most of the Pāḷi chapters, and some of the categories seem very well established, such as 1: Yamaka; 2: Appamāda; 3: Citta; 4: Puppha; 5: Bāla; 8: Sahassa; 20: Magga; 24: Taṇhā 25: Bhikkhu; & 26: Brāhmaṇa.

However, there are no parallels to these 4 chapters titles: 13: Loka; 14: Buddha; 19: Dhammaṭṭha; & 22: Niraya; and 6: Paṇḍita & 23: Nāga may also not find parallels, as Brough's titles are only a guess, working from the extant contents of the work.

It is interesting to note that it is clearly the opening and end chapters in the Pāḷi that are paralleled; and the same can be said about the Patna Dharmapada, in which the first 4 chapters and 3 of the last 4 chapters find parallels in the Pāḷi. Again with the Gāndhārī Dharmapada, chapters 1-3; 5-11; 13-14; 16-19 all find parallels in the Pāḷi; in this case, however, we do not know how the collection closed because the material is lost. Udānavarga breaks from this pattern in the opening, but has the last 6 chapters paralleled.

The fact that there are parallels to most of the chapter titles, however, tells us only a little about what is collected within those chapters. We need therefore to look more closely at the contents of each chapter to gain a better overall view of the collection.