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A Comparative Edition of the Dhammapada
with parallels from Sanskritised Prakrit
edited together with
A Study of the Dhammapada Collection
An edition of the Pāli Dhammapada with parallels from other Indian language traditions, together with a study, and a complete word index. Includes texts from the Patna Dharmapada, Gāndhārī Dharmapada, Udānavarga, Divyāvadāna, Mahāvastu and other texts.
(4th revised edition, April, 2020 - 2564)
Html Table of Contents
The present work gathers together all the Middle Indo-Aryan (MIA) parallels to the Pāḷi Dhammapada found in the surviving remains of the various Buddhist traditions, and studies the principles underlying the way the collection has been organised and assembled.
Part 1 of this book presents an abstract of the parallels to give a clear overview of how the various versions relate to each other. There are detailed notes discussing such matters as the titles of the chapters, the content and sequence of the verses, and the way the material has been collected and organised.
Part 2 is the main portion of the book and contains the text of the Pāḷi Dhammapada itself, along with all the parallels that have been collected here. When presented in this way the complex relationships between the various texts becomes evident.
The Appendix presents a study and all the parallels to the Uraga Verses, a collection of material that found its way into the three main parallel texts, but which in the Pāḷi is found in a different book altogether.
There is also a complete Comparative Index to the Dhammapada verses presented here, which acts as a kind of comparative vocabulary of the texts, showing the morphology of the words in the various recensions of the verses.
This work was originally published on this website in 2004. For the printed edition a new Introduction has been written; and the Studies have been somewhat revised in the light of various comments I have received from readers and scholars. The electronic edition of this text has also been updated.
I am very grateful to Professor R. S. Bucknell, who read through the Introductions and Studies of both the main text and the Appendix, which helped me clarify the text. I am also indebted to Dr. Andrew Glass and Ven. Anālayo who read through the Introduction and whose scholarship helped me correct a number of oversights, and generally improve the text.
I would also like to thank the Head of the Department of Pali and Buddhist Studies at the University of Peradeniya, Dr. G. Somaratne, for being so supportive of the publication of this work; and I am grateful to Mr. Kulatunga of Neptune Connections Private Limited for undertaking to publish this work.
In compiling this work I have been greatly assisted by the labours of previous scholars, amongst whom I should mention J. Brough (The Gāndhārī Dharmapada), F. Bernhard (Udānavarga), M. Cone (Patna Dharmapada), O. von Hinüber and K.R. Norman (Dhammapada), K.L. Dhammajoti (The Chinese Version of Dhammapada), and the unknown author of an article on The Origin of Dhammapada Verses (Buddhist Studies Review 6, 2 - 1989), all of whom gave parallels to the various texts. During the course of research for this work I was also able to find some other parallels that had not previously been listed.
In preparing the main work I have had to prepare 4 major texts, and extracts from 4 others, and then compile it all. Although every care has been taken to ensure accuracy, it is quite possible that there are still some mistakes in this edition. If anyone has any corrections or additions that they could pass on, I could include them in any future edition. Kindly write to .
3rd Edition. Between 2011 and 2020 I added seven new parallels from Buddhist Sanskritised Prakrit to this work. Then in early 2020 I added five parallels from Jaina texts. The discovery of the latter is mainly down to the work of Prof. W.B. Bollée. The verses that are still lacking are the parallels found in the Mahābhārata, Manusmti and other Sanskrit works belonging to the Hindu tradition.
4th Edition. After writing the above I contacted Ayyā Vimalā who is a developer working on suttacentral.net, and was just working on the Buddha Nexus website, which is still in development at this stage, and will not be released publicly till around summer 2020. Because of this I am unable to give an address for the site at this stage.
My main concern was to find the parallels in Sanskrit works in the Hindu tradition. When Ayyā got back to me she had collected an astonishing list of around 90 new parallels from later Sanskrit works, mainly from the Mahāyāna tradition, as well as from Hindu works.
Working with this list, and by careful reading of the texts concerned, and searching again on Buddha Nexus, I managed to find another 20 or so parallels that had been overlooked. Most of the additions we see in this edition are down to Ayyā’s work on this in one way or another. Of course any mistakes or omissions remaining are my own fault.
last updated: April 2020