HANDBOOK EXCERPT NUMBER 2 - HANDBOOK FOR BUDDHISTS-DHAMMAPADA

The Dhammapada, one of the most importance texts in the
‘Miscellaneous Collection’ teachings of the Buddha in the Sutta
Pitaka, is an anthology of the Buddha's teaching, which contains 423,
verses under 26 chapters. It is one of the greatest books of culture,
literature, religion, philosophy, psychology and sociology in the
World-book-catalogue. Significant and obvious is the part that it plays
the vital role in the life of human beings.

As we examine closely we see how this book works more
successfully and powerfully in the cultivation and formation of an ideal
life. It is filled with the message for humanity by awakening the
religious and philosophical consciousness that provides man with
peace, well being pertaining to psycho-physical moral implications
and lastly his salvation.

On account of its universality of thoughts on many different aspects of
human life, its dignified subject matters accomplished with adequate
aesthetic beauty and ethical contents, the Dhammapada has a
powerful appeal to a large majority of readers from the different and
distant parts of the world.

The great approaches to the study of the text have been made by
scholars and great authorities from the East and the West like Prof.
S. Radhakrishanan, Prof. M. Winternitz, S.S Barlingay, Amarasiri
Weeraratne, The Venerable Sri Acharya Buddharakkhita, Ven. Bodhi,
Ven Narada Maha Thera, Hermann Oldenberg, A.K.Warder, P.V.
Bapat, Harishchandra Kaviratna, F. Max Muller & V. Fausball,
Sathienpong Wanapoka and Eugene Watson Burlingame with their
attempts on the assessments and translations of the text. However,
some scholars have tried seriously to bring out their views
on different aspects of human life that are included in the formation of
the subject matter of the Dhammapada.

As we notice the observation made by Prof. Maurice Winternitz we

 

find it dealing with the moral contents, poetic merit in which it touches
mostly the hearts of a large majority of world population. He has this
to say:

The Dhammapada (the path of wisdom) is the most widely
known work of Buddhist literature and also the work that is
known longest which has also been translated repeatedly into
the European languages. It is also oft quoted in all works on
Buddhism and always esteemed very highly by virtue of its
profound moral content. In Ceylon the book has been used for
centuries down to our times by the novices as a text-book
which they must have studied before they can receive the
higher orders (Monk). For this reason there is not a monk in
Ceylon who cannot recite his Dhammapada from beginning to
end from memory. Buddhist preachers often take verses from
the Dhammapada as the text of their sermons. It is an
anthology of sayings, which refer mainly to the ethical teachings of Buddhism. 

Thailand is a well-known Buddhist country where Buddhism is the
base of the Culture and Spiritual guidance. There are two kinds of
monks in Thailand: The Theoretical Monk and The Practical Monk. 
The theoretical monk, whose life is devoted to study the teachings of
the Buddha from Canonical/and Non Canonical texts. The Practical
Monk, whose life is devoted to understand the teachings of the
Buddha through the practice of Meditation that leads to levels of
attainments.

For the theoretical Monk who aspires to be entitled as a ‘Mahâ’ –
Great’ which implies ‘As The Learned one’, must pass at least the
third out of nine courses in Pâli and Buddhist Studies. Even after
leaving the Monkshood he still retains this title. To him the syllabi have
been prescribed, asking his ability in translation of the Dhammapada
and Dhammapada Atthakatha (The Commentary of the
Dhammapada) from Pali into Thai and again in the reverse manner
way, from Thai into Pali. 

Moreover, it is also accepted that a Monk when delivering a sermon,
most often quote verses from the Dhammapada along with the moral
legends from the Dhammapada commentaries so that it can produce
a positive effect on the listeners' minds.

It is a thing of great wonder that the Dhammapada has not yet

 

appealed to a serious study in spite of the fact that it is supposed to
have been the quintessence of the Buddha's teaching or the
Universal hand book of the world Buddhists which comprises cultural,
literary, medical science, philosophical, psychological, religious and
sociological ingredient facts. It still needs an individual and separate
study on an extensive and large scale for the real assessment of the
text. It is a fact of great inspiration that the sources, however, are
enough to make a detailed and comprehensive study of the book.
These are the most important reasons for my undertaking this topic with great enthusiasm in my PhD thesis.

 

I. The Purpose of the Study

The methodological approach to the study will be made in order to bring out the cultural, literary, philosophical, psychological, religious and sociological values of the Dhammapada and its Commentaries.

The possible aim is threefold :

A. To search out the knowledge of the roots of Buddhist morality in ancient Indian Culture,

B. To bring out a Buddhist theory of "The Psycho-physical Moral Implications."

C. To provide knowledge of literary merit of Buddhist literature as a World literature on religion.

II. The Study's Frame Work 

In order to bring my destination into view, knowledge gained from the Dhammapada and the Buddhist Legends (being the translation of the Dhammapada Commentaries) will be the principal sources of knowledge; but in this connection, it may be pointed out that the Theravada Buddhist tradition has presented their traditional interpretation of the Dhammapada in the Dhammapada-Atthakatha. The doctrinal essence of the Dhammapada in the Theravada Buddhist tradition is seen from the fact that the Dhammapada-Atthakatha itself includes many various sources of knowledge from the Tripitaka (The Collection Teachings of the Buddha).

Hence, this work is based on the Dhammapada and the Buddhist Legends as the main sources; but for the elucidated interpretation of the invaluable merits of the verses in the Dhammapada, the related sources from Tripitaka, Jaina Canonical Works and Non-Canonical works and besides these, all the sources of data, which mentioned above won't be neglected.

 

III. The Research Methodology

As the subject matter of the Dhammapada is concerned, it is the Buddha's teachings found in the verses of the Dhammapada, wherein the key terms preserve their original meaning and significance in the Buddhist Legends. Besides these, the above-mentioned works can be also subjected to critical investigation. Just what the Buddha means by sayings in the Dhammapada, are not clearly understood by the average persons. For this reason, a study of the Buddhist Legends as a whole and its relations with the Tripitaka and others Non-Canonical works go some way to clear up the ambiguities.

Hence, the research methodological approach of the study will be to present their ideas in the form of "Qualitative Analysis".

 

IV. The Tentative Synopsis of Research Work 

 

The Chapters are discussed as follows: -

 

Chapter IV : A Study of the Dhammapada as a Book of Morals (pp. 104-198).

The Buddha’s teachings found in the Dhammapada apparently are designed to meet three primary aims:

a. Human welfare here and now,
b. Favorable rebirth in the next life 
c. The attainment of the Ultimate Good. The last aim is twofold:

The Path and The realization (Fruit.)

The first aim is concerned with establishment well being and happiness in the immediately visible sphere of concrete human relations. This level shows man the way to live at peace with himself and his fellow men, to fulfill his family and social responsibilities, and to restrain conflict and violence, which infect the individual, society and the world. The guidelines here are basic ethical injunctions which contents including eternal law, cosmic law, \ moral law, code of conduct, discipline, the law of justice, the law of righteousness, the law of goodness, moral precepts, rules and regulations, etc., proposed by most world religions.

This chapter, as the main theme of my work, it applies to a serious and thorough study of the Dhammapada and a long discussion of my opinion that I have formed about the morality and codes of moral conduct along with its utility and advantage in the life of man in general. Therefore, it characterizes this part of my work as psycho-physical moral implications of the facts of life. 

The world we live in is certainly a confused one without much regard to morality but to profit making and its utilization without contemplating on the long-term consequences. With the advent of science & technology, space has become shorter but at the same breadth, we could conclude that man’s values have also become shorter. The sense of morality is not given much importance. It is in this respect that the Dhammapada could play a vital role to enhanced man with greater moral fiber. He certainly has an obligation to his conscience and consciousness. Morality is the gateway to complete this struggle. Those who are immoral will reap their results sooner or later as the verse 71 says “Verily, an evil deed committed does not immediately bear fruit, just as milk curdles not at once; it follows the fool like smoldering fire covered with ashes. The Buddhist rationality blends morality and reason together very well, which is moral reasoning in modern philosophy. It is constantly aware of the greatest happiness of the greatest number. Moral responsibility is a cardinal virtue in this context; by being conscious of ethics, one paves the way to the highest happiness (e.g. ethical emancipation or Nibbana) the ultimate goal of one’s pursuit.

We come across the observation that has been made by David A.J. Richards: Why one should be moral?. In this connection, we can see the bridge of ideas between the West and the East, Plato and Aristotle to the Buddha in ethical points of view. The viewpoints are based on four focal points (1) The relation of being moral to the concept of reason for actions: (2) being moral to the concept of rationality: (3) being moral to the concept of human virtues and (4) being moral to the theory of good for man. In the Dhammapada, we find that we obtain various forms of happiness before its highest form of Nibbâna in relation to morality. In reference to the Dhammapada Chapter on Happiness, (Sukha
Vagga) we observe the various types of happiness one could achieve at the very mundane level.

In regards to the law of Kamma & Rebirth, which I have briefly discussed in this chapter but have elaborated in greater detail in Chapter V of my thesis.

Herein, I have categorically quoted from the Dhammapada in which the relevant aspects of the relative Kammas pertaining to particular rebirths as given in the Dh. The general rule is that “ Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” This is reflected in the stanzas 15 and 16 of the Dhammapada as follows.- ‘Here he grieves, hereafter he grieves. In both states, the evil doer grieves. He grieves; he is afflicted, perceiving the impurity of his own deeds. In addition, here he rejoices, hereafter he rejoices. In both states, the well doer rejoices. He rejoices exceedingly rejoices, perceiving the purity of his own deeds.’

Morality and rationality have their relationship as I have shown from the works of Aristotle. David Hume consummates the rationality of a being with intelligence. In that exercise, his altruistic nature is expressed, stemmed through sympathy. This is in complete harmony of the legend found in the commentary to the verse number 239. “By degrees, a wise person should remove his own impurities, as a smith removes (the dross) of silver.” In this connection we find the story which supports the idea as we are told that “ a certain Brahman clears away the grass from the place where the Monks vest themselves, covers the place with sand, erects a pavilion and a hall and gives a festival in honor of the completion of the hall. The Buddha praises the Brahmin for laying up spiritual treasure little by little.”

For man’s happiness, the four sublime states (Brahma Vihâras) I have very briefly touched especially on the basic two of Metta & Karuŋâ (loving- kindness & compassion), which are universal in nature. Due to these virtues, one is attracted to practice charity and other forms of morality for universal (oneself and others) benefit.

The relevance of respecting the worthy is not to be neglected as part of morality. As in verses 195-196 it helps even one to liberate oneself at the base. The teachings of the Buddha give us a religion of hope, as it suggests the possibility of Buddha hood for every human being.

“He who reverences those worthy of reverence, whether Buddha’s or their disciples; those who have overcome the impediments and have got rid of grief and lamentation—the merit of him who reverences such peaceful and fearless Ones cannot be measured by anyone as such and such.”

Gratitude is an essential ingredient as far as Buddhist moral evaluation is concerned. The Buddha set a good example by showing that, after performance of the twin miracle suppressing, he went to preach the highest teachings (Abhidhamma philosophy) for three months to his mother who was born as the male deity in realm of thiety-three gods, Tavatimsa Bhuni,. And the right hand side, chief disciple of the Buddha, Venerable Sariputta, before passing away, he went to preach the Dhamma which led his parent, reverencing the Bodhi Tree for seven days upon Another example, enlightenment without a twinkle in his eyes.

As for virtues, I have involved it in its affinity to the aspects, which are physical, psychological and social. Virtue, as Socrates and Plato argued are essential qualities for the well being of man and society. Virtues and its philosophy of conduct, involves the will of the individual to further his morality. This training is noted in the verse 361 of the Dhammapada. Good is restraint in deed; good is restraint in speech; good is restraint in mind; good is restraint in everything. The monk, restrained at all ways, is freed from sorrow. Plato on the other hand saw the value of the virtue of self-restraint within the body; like the message from Athens, so was the message of Gotama on the harmony of the three doors, the mind, the body and speech.

Within this purview falls the 10 Kusala Kammas of the Buddhists as the base for a harmonious whole in a society. Considered as precepts and 10 forms of skillful actions or path for the actions these morals are very universalistic by nature- They are the physical abstention from the following:

a. Killing – non-violence as a means for peace and respect for the dignity of life.
b. Stealing – respect for private ownership.
c. Adultery- respect for physical and sentimental privacy to uplift faithfulness.
d. Intoxicants – as a means to build awareness and maintain control of the mind as a base to perform all other good and moral actions.

Next to the vocal morality; to abstain from:

a. False speech – where truth is the goal.
b. Malicious speech – to end the creation of disagreement among the masses and to instill peace.
c. Harsh speech – as entailed in verse 133, it may cause social and individual conflict. Speak not harshly to anyone, for those thus spoken to might retort. Indeed, angry speech hurts, and retaliation may overtake you.
d. Gossip – This is the base for most of the bad actions done vocally.

The Buddhists regard the mind as the sources of happiness or otherwise, in this connection we find the verses 1 & 2 which represent the ethic-philosophical system of the Buddha. Mind precedes all mental states. Mind is their chief; they are all mind-wrought. If with an impure mind a person speaks or acts, suffering follows him like the wheel that follows the foot of the ox.
Mind precedes all mental states. Mind is their chief; they are all mind-wrought. If with a pure mind a person speaks or acts happiness follows him like his never-departing shadow. 
Buddhist thought is not only idealistic for the resolution to mental problems but also dealt with the vocal and physical:

a. Covetousness or over greed, which promotes over consumption.

b. Ill will or unceasing hatred, which is fundamental to many physical, psychological and social ills as against loving-kindness that bears eleven good results, here and now.

c. Wrong view (Delusion) for the ill-directed mind causes wrong understanding as against Right understanding; the first step of the Noble Eight-fold Path. Verses 11&12 of the Dhammapada state that “Those who mistake the essential to be essential and essential to be unessential, dwelling in wrong thoughts, never arrive at the essential. Those who know the essential to be essential and unessential to be unessential, dwelling in right thoughts, do arrive at the essential.

Without this perfect vision, wisdom, morality will be absurd. That is why I used `moral reasoning’ as my thrust.

It is within this context that ‘goodness’ as a virtue generates righteousness both in the individual and in society. Such a life, lived a day is better than having an immoral life style for a hundred years (V.110). This evaluation on morality could be judged by mere superficial outlook of verses 67 and 68. That deed is not well done when, after having done it, one is remorseful, and when weeping, with tearful face, one reaps the fruit thereof. That deed is well done when, after having done it, one is not remorseful, and when, with joy and pleasure, one reaps the fruit thereof. 

Chapter V : A Critical Study of Philosophical Doctrines in the Dhammapada (pp199-358).

As regards the aims found in the Dhammapada, in this connection the second aim: by following this ethical law leading upwards – to inner development, to higher rebirths and to richer experiences of happiness and joy. However, all states of existence in the Round of Rebirths and Deaths are still subject to the law of impermanence, after the exhaustion of the meritorious deeds done in the previous existences, the beings will come to take rebirth in another world according to their Kammas.

In pertaining to the third aim: the attainment of the Ultimate Good.

With its universalistic temper, the philosophy of the Buddha as engrained in the Dhammapada which encompasses the Four Noble Truths. They are: Suffering, the Cause of Suffering, Cessation of Suffering and the Path leading to the Cessation of Suffering. This progressive message or manifesto was based on the reality of life and existence and not a mere pessimistic view without an alternative to human conflict. Pain, is a rejected extreme as have been pleasure. However, the middle way is based on “Universalistic Happiness”. This, which was preached in the very first sermon, is to be found in the subject matter of my work in the handbook of the Buddhists (verses 191, 192). Whether the Tathâgatas arise or not this eternal truth of causality remains in this world.

 

The first Noble truth (Suffering) is both physical and psychological. It exposes well the tragic, dramatic life. The second (The Cause of Suffering) which is the main cause of it; craving makes man jump like a monkey from one life to another (v. 335). Due to the resultant of the Karma, man is born in conformity to his actions and cannot escape death whether he is in the sky, sea or in a cave. “Life ends with death like a useless log” says the Dh. (V.41). However, craving brings repeated birth says the very text (Punabpunam gabbhamupenti) because man fails to understand the unsatisfactoriness of life. Life is nothing but things relating to the physical body and the grasping of it. The psycho-physical complex by itself is not suffering, but it is the grasping of it which puts the “individual” into suffering. In the absolute sense there is no individual: insubstantiality (anatta). The body is a conglomeration of five aggregates only: a. Form, b. Feeling, c. Perception, d. Mental Formation and e. Consciousness where herein are stored decay, death, conceit and detraction. (V.150). It signifies how the Buddha, the analytical scientist and great physician related the nature of life with the philosophy of change (anicca).

 

 

 

 

‘Yet, greedy men enroll themselves in this world both internal + external due to their craving (tanha), like a creeper (V.334) and the uneasy monkey’ (same verse).

 

In this connection how the Master has analyzed the psychology of perception and its entire function in relation to the Madhupindika Sutta of the Majjhima Nikaya (called the discourse of the Honey-Ball) is really engaging besides thought provoking. In this regard, “Contact” (Phassa) plays a significant role. This is the very creation of manifestation of life and the very internal world, where there are competition to attract the sexes and sales of goods. The stopping of it is the Cessation of Suffering, herein, dukkha, nirodha or plainly, Nibbana. The Omniscient One is one who has achieved this status by eradicating craving within (v.353). He is the symbol of Nirvanic bliss as he explicates its nature by his behavioral pattern.

 

This is what he achieved under the Bodhi Tree”, that knowledge into the reality of the nature of all things. Therefore, he could know anything, whenever he wanted. However, those who have not reached this stage, their rebirth takes place here or in woeful state or in the heavens or elsewhere in conforming to their Kammas. It is the Kammas, which gives their due place to be reborn accordingly. Kamma is one’s relatives and heritage; it makes one a master or a slave. Yet, not everything is due to past Kamma’s. This sphere of it is nevertheless unthinkable (acinteyya). There are other orders or norms (niyama) in this world. Yet, Kamma plays an imminent role as far as human actions and its psychology is concerned. The popular classification goes like this.

 

a. Immediately Effective Kamma

b. Subsequently Effective Kamma

c. Indefinitely Effective Kamma

d. Ineffective Kamma.

 

Kammas have their beneficent and maleficent forces. The Pali texts illustrates well on the above forms of Kammas as parts of lives of the Buddha, his Community of the Orders (Males + Females) and the

 

 

 

laypeople as well. Not only the very good results they acquire but also very bad, sometimes strange results of the followers are found throughout the texts. The Dhammapada Commentary bears ample testimony to this affair: The Motto for Kamma is generally: “as you sow, so you reap.” According to their priorities the effect of Kammas take place whether they are:

a. Weighty (as in taking the life of a parent)

b. Death-Proximate (the kamma thought at the time of death)

c. Habitual (the kamma of day to day experience)

d. Cumulative (The accumulated kamma throughout the life)

 

The mundane person will get the result of the above action which embraces all excepts those who are the Accomplished One or the Perfected One. Also these Kammas have their resultants in the four bhumis (planes) as in the related in the Abhidhamma. Viz in the following realms of existence:

 

a. Apayabhumi – woeful states

b. Kâmasugati bhûmi – pleasurable states

c. Rûpâvacara bhumi – states of the gods of the Rûpâvacara Realm.

d. Arûpvacara Bhûmi – states of the gods of the Arûpâvacara Realm.

 

The ending of Kamma (Kamma-nirodha-gaminî patipadâ) is Nibâna which I have dealt with lengthly in this chapter. Though the Buddha Himself did not give clear cut definitions about Nibbana some scholars have tried so called definitions about Nibbana not been successful because of the inadequacy of language. Nibbana itself is inexpressible. It is as Johansson says the full transformation state of personality and consciousness. In fact, there is no personality and consciousness there so to speak. Nibbana is not extinction or annihilation, it is a positive achievement as Jayatilleke says, Narada Maha Thera upholds the Theravada standpoint well. For Coomarswamy it is the summum bonum (nibbana – the ultimate goal of life) to which all other purposes of Buddhist thought converge; to Radhakrishnan it is a flow of faultless states of consciousness, a positive blessedness, the goal of perfection.

 

Buddhist psychologists show three attitudes that could be derived out of Nibbana, namely;

a. Psychological

b. Physical 

c. Social

 

All these pertain in the mundane world until one reaches mental perfection, actually complete perfection (or enlightenment) both psychological and physical. This nature is highlighted in the Dhammapada, in verses 27 + 351. So much for the purification of the mind is attached in the acquiring of Nibbana. The self-expresses the nature of the mind and how to overcome its attachments in the Citta Vagga (Mind chapter). Also, the nature of Nibbana is indirectly defined in some of the stanzas of the text. It is the cutting of the fetters both lower and higher (oranbhagiya and udhambhagiya samyojana) by understanding the true or real nature of the things or existences.

 

The getting rid of fetters is discussed in the stanzas of the Dh. (e.g.271, 272).

 

I have dealt with the Jhanas (absorption) in both Rûparâga (lust for the Form) and Arûparâga (lust for the Formless) which has its importance for one who meditates, but not compulsory. In this context, Avijjâ (Ignorance) is the keynote, which is similar to wrong view as against Right understanding of the Four Noble Truths.

One who has no bondage or fetter is a “Transcendental Person”. The value of it is found in Stanza number 178. Also like verse 96, of the Buddha 179-180 are self-evidential. In relation to this, the Buddha has redefined the Brâmana and the Bhikkhu in both chapters of Brâhmana and Bhikkhu vaggas. This contributes to the social and psycho - physical aspects of Nibbâna. 

 

 

The contribution of the Buddha to annals of human history as regards the liberation of women is not to be forgotten. Women were treated with equality in the fullest sense of the word and were kept at par with the great male disciples of the Buddha. Their eminence is well

 

 

expressed in the “Psalms of the Sisters” (Therî-Gâthâ); a great psychological consolation to women who were suppressed and downtrodden in society.

 

Now we come to the Fourth Noble Truth: The Path leading to the Cessation of Suffering; the Middle Path or as it is technically called the Noble Eight-Fold Path. Since, I have discussed some of the themes of the Noble Eight-Fold path, here I will take only some of them for a dialogue.

 

As we have gone in details on Right Understanding earlier, here it will suffice to say that it is the forerunner of the Aryan Path, the Ancient Path (Pûrana Maggam, purâna anajasam). The Dhammapada notes that one who knows right as right, embraces right understanding (Verse 319) as the Milinda Pañhâ and the sutta Nipâta denotes Right understanding is the act towards realizing the real and true nature of things.

 

As to the second step, Right Thought it is important because that leads to the right form of perception one needs to have (stanzas 11-12). Also, where it says that “the well-directed mind elevates one”. Of the conditions of Right Thought; (Stanza 43) they are 3 in number:

a. The thought of Renunciation of pleasures or selflessness.

b. The thought of Loving-kindness 

c. The thought of Compassion.

 

These help the wayfarer to build in him boundless amity to overcome hatred dormant in him “Conquer the angry man by love” is one of the axioms of the Dh. (V.223). It is “amity over enmity”. They (loving kindness + compassion) are pâramis (paths of perfection) to realize a Buddha nature.

The other point is Right Effort (Sammâ Vâyâma) “Right Effort provides the energy demanded by the task” and it is connected to Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration for they all fall into the category of Meditation (Samâdhi). The form of Right Effort anticipated is four-fold.

 

 

The Effort for non-arising of evil.

The Effort for abandoning of evil.

The Effort for the arising of good 

The Effort for the persisting of good.

 

Within this framework we come across classic examples in the Pâli texts where Monks have strived hard to subdue their defilements (kilesas) and the hindrances (nivaranas) which are five. Then only one could tread the path leading to the cessation of suffering. Then only it is the bewilderment of Mâra (Sâtan) (Stanza 274). Then only one puts an end to pain. Then one only achieves the goal of the gradual path of the three-fold training; Morality, concentration and Wisdom. It must be emphasized that despite all this Buddhism is not antagonistic to broader aspects of normal life, e.g. Fine arts, humanities and science for it is meant for the culture of the mind in its fullest meaning of the word.

The next point is Right Mindfulness (Sammâ Sati). This is a factor for enlightenment and also constant awareness, “This is the only way to Liberation” (Ekâyano ayam bhikkhave maggo, sattânam visuddhiyâ) as regards the four forms of the setting up of (Right) Mindfulness.

The final point in the path leading to Cessation of Suffering is Right Concentration. That is one pointedness of mind - concentration. The stilll point of the mind which flutters all over to quote the Dhammapada. “this wise person straightens the flickering, fickle mind as a Fletcher as arrow”. (stanza 33).

This point final point leads to meditation, which develops the individual absolutely in whatever objects, he chooses (out of the 40 types of meditation) to rightly concentrate in.

 

Chapter VI : An importance of the Dhammapada in the field of Pali Literature and also World Literature on Religion (pp.359-415). This part of my work is devoted to the consideration of the Dhammapada as a great literary and religious text in the field of Pali literature and world literature also. For this purpose, the first discussion is made on the title of the Dhammapada and its structure; and next to this, the whole text has been thoroughly studied throwing light on its different constituent parts such as the content matter, aesthetic elements and the effects with a different great literary books from different religions of the world

The subject matter of the text is elevated to the height of religion, morality and philosophy that we meet in different books from different parts of the world such as Mahabharat, Bhagavadgita, the Paradise Lost and others. Besides the subject matter, the effect and greatness of aesthetic elements – Figures of speech and Rasa (Tastes) of the text have been enjoyed with no less pleasure that we feel while reading the works of William Shakespeare, Francis Bacon, P.B. Shelley, John Keats, T.S. Eliot and many others from European Countries.

 

 

The Significance of the Dhammapada is realized on its effect that it produced in the direction of moral instruction and pleasure that appeal the mind and heart of the reader. This quality that we find in the Dhammapada has been recommended by great literary men like Northrop Frye, Bharat and others who have already been discussed in the beginning of the Chapter William Shakpeare … etc. This portion endeavors to make us familiar with the improvement and amendment that is brought in the moral, religious, spiritual and intellectual aspects of human beings which, is a true characteristic quality of great literary work.

 

Chapter VII : Conclusion : Psycho - Physical Moral Implications (pp. 416-436). As an inference to the above discussion, it has been shown that the Dhammapada has its legitimate claim to be reckoned as Pali text of universal interest and appeal.

 

The Contributions Expected From the Study. The Dhammapada is supposed to have been "The Universal Handbook of the Buddhists". For this reason the contribution which is derived from my study may be useful, if it will be along with the Dhammapada and furthermore, as the guide-line for the others who would like to study the Dhammapada from another viewpoint.