Page 1 of 2

To whom was the dhammapada given? What is the context?

Posted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 11:14 am
by Mawkish1983
I've been thinking about this quote:

"If, in your course, you don't meet your equal, your better, then continue your course, firmly, alone. There's no fellowship with fools." - Dhp 61 [PTS, Translation by Thanissaro Bhikkhu]

Does anyone know to whom the dhammapada was given? Was this instruction given to monks, brahmins or lay people? How do you think this quote relates to the monastic Sangha today? Is "teaching" the same as "fellowship"? Is it even possible for this instruction to be adhered to?

I'd really appreciate any thoughts about this. Thank you all.

Re: To whom was the dhammapada given? What is the context?

Posted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 11:17 am
by tiltbillings
It is a collection, put together after the Buddha's death and likely a response to the Bhagavad Gita, which was a Brahmanical response to Buddhism.

Re: To whom was the dhammapada given? What is the context?

Posted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 11:25 am
by Mawkish1983
tiltbillings wrote:It is a collection
Okay :) so to whom do you think this particular quote may have been given?

Re: To whom was the dhammapada given? What is the context?

Posted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 11:43 am
by Ben
Hi Mawk
The answer's going to be in Buddhagosa's Dhammapada Atthakatha (commentary). Unfortunately I don't have access to it and i hope someone who has will post the context of Dhp 61.
In the meantime, here is an alternate translation from the Gandari, at the Early Buddhist Manuscript Project:
http://www.ebmp.org/p_wrk_samples.php?P ... 24aa0cd862" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Kind regards

Ben

Re: To whom was the dhammapada given? What is the context?

Posted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 11:44 am
by tiltbillings
Mawkish1983 wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:It is a collection
Okay :) so to whom do you think this particular quote may have been given?
Sorry. I totally misread your msg, which is the result of doing three things at once.

I think Narada's translation in on line. It has the stories that with each verse.

Re: To whom was the dhammapada given? What is the context?

Posted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 11:52 am
by Mawkish1983
Ben wrote:alternate translation from the Gandari, at the Early Buddhist Manuscript Project:
WOW :jawdrop: they are able to reconstruct the texts from those few scraps of paper?! That's amazing!

Re: To whom was the dhammapada given? What is the context?

Posted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 12:07 pm
by Ben
Yes, its incredible. That manuscript may actually be the oldest extent Buddhist text.
Metta

Ben

Re: To whom was the dhammapada given? What is the context?

Posted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 1:31 pm
by mikenz66
Hi Mawkish,

Here's Ven Narada's Dhammapada: http://home.nethere.net/dsparks/narada/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
It includes the stories, but not the commentary.

For the verse you are interested in, from Chapter 5, Bala Vagga (Fools):
2. If, as the disciple fares along, he meets no companion who is better or equal, let him firmly pursue his solitary career. There is no fellowship [2] with the foolish. [3] (Verse 61).

[2] Sahayata, According to the Commentary this term connotes higher morality, insight, Paths and Fruits of Sainthood. No such virtues are found in the foolish.
[3] Out of compassion, to work for their betterment one may associate with the foolish but not be contaminated by them.

Story
A teacher reproached his pupil for some misdemeanour. The displeased pupil set fire to the teacher's hut and fled. The Buddha, hearing of the incident, commended a solitary career in preference to companionship with the foolish.
Personally, I'd find the Dhammapada unreadable without stories and such footnotes...

Mike

Re: To whom was the dhammapada given? What is the context?

Posted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 2:10 pm
by DNS
Ben wrote: here is an alternate translation from the Gandari, at the Early Buddhist Manuscript Project:
http://www.ebmp.org/p_wrk_samples.php?P ... 24aa0cd862" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Is the above link, the same as the British Museum Scrolls find? It was hard to tell from that link, the origin and dating of those texts.

http://www.dhammawiki.com/index.php?tit ... um_Scrolls" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Re: To whom was the dhammapada given? What is the context?

Posted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 6:34 pm
by Cittasanto
the Dhammapada & stories can be found on Buddhanet or if you PM me you mail I'll send you the copy.

Re: To whom was the dhammapada given? What is the context?

Posted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 7:44 pm
by cooran
Hello all,

"The Dhammapada was not preached by the Buddha in its present form. Three months after the Passing Away of the Buddha, the Arahants, who assembled at the First Convocation to rehearse the Teachings of the Buddha, collected some of the poetic utterances of the Buddha, which He expounded on different occasions arranged and classified the treatise in its present form, naming it the Dhammapada.
.......

The Dhammapada consists of 423 melodious Pali verses, uttered by the Buddha on about 300 occasions, to suit the temperaments of the listeners in the course of His preaching tours during his ministry of forty-five years. Circumstances that led to these noble utterances are presented in the form of long or short stories, together with traditional interpretations of the Pali verses and technical terms, in the voluminous commentary written by Buddhaghosa. This valuable commentary has been ably translated by E.W. Burlinghame for the Harvard Oriental Series. It may be remarked that most of these verses are better understood when read with the context." (from the Preface to The Dhammapada by Ven. Narada Thera).

metta
Chris

Re: To whom was the dhammapada given? What is the context?

Posted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 7:24 pm
by Sanghamitta
mikenz66 wrote:Hi Mawkish,

Here's Ven Narada's Dhammapada: http://home.nethere.net/dsparks/narada/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
It includes the stories, but not the commentary.

For the verse you are interested in, from Chapter 5, Bala Vagga (Fools):
2. If, as the disciple fares along, he meets no companion who is better or equal, let him firmly pursue his solitary career. There is no fellowship [2] with the foolish. [3] (Verse 61).

[2] Sahayata, According to the Commentary this term connotes higher morality, insight, Paths and Fruits of Sainthood. No such virtues are found in the foolish.
[3] Out of compassion, to work for their betterment one may associate with the foolish but not be contaminated by them.

Story
A teacher reproached his pupil for some misdemeanour. The displeased pupil set fire to the teacher's hut and fled. The Buddha, hearing of the incident, commended a solitary career in preference to companionship with the foolish.
Personally, I'd find the Dhammapada unreadable without stories and such footnotes...

Mike
Its very bracing and vital isnt it ? So different from the sentimentalised later portrayals of the Buddha composed well after the Paranibbana.

Re: To whom was the dhammapada given? What is the context?

Posted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 7:51 pm
by cooran
sanghamitta said: So different from the sentimentalised later portrayals of the Buddha composed well after the Paranibbana.
What 'later portrayals'? What substantiation do you have that they were "composed" well after the Parinibbana?

metta
Chris

Re: To whom was the dhammapada given? What is the context?

Posted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 8:54 pm
by genkaku
Hi Mawkish -- Here come some words from the badly-informed:

I always liked those verses, which, in the P. Lal translation that is falling apart on my bookshelf read: "If you find no better of equal on life's road, go alone./Loneliness is better than the friendship of a fool."

I always liked the words, but like you, wondered at what they could mean in a daily life. Who precisely is or could be the fool? I mean the question not in order to elicit textual references, but rather as an up-close-and-personal inquiry.

Over the years, since I first read and loved and was confused by those lines, I guess I came upon various interpretations that, in practical terms, suited me. And in no way would I claim now to have a 'definitive' bead on them. But as I hear them today, what I think of is this:

As regards Buddhist practice, every (wo)man walks like Jesus into his or her own desert. I don't mean to be melodramatic, I just think it's true for anyone concerned with a no-fooling-around understanding. Friends and wise (wo)men and fools can all suggest one direction or another, but a practicing student must inevitably go alone.

And it is in that adventure that each encounters true friends and true fools. Each is instructive. Each is a barrier. Each is a blessing. Each is a curse. Why so? Because there is no one else in this particular desert. It's just me. Or it's just you. Or ... it's just us -- not separate and not one. Separating wise men from fools is one sort of mistake. Failing to separate wise men and fools is another. We are not alone. We are not together.

We are ... well ... what a trip! :smile:

Re: To whom was the dhammapada given? What is the context?

Posted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 9:23 pm
by cooran
Mawkish1983 wrote:I've been thinking about this quote:

"If, in your course, you don't meet your equal, your better, then continue your course, firmly, alone. There's no fellowship with fools." - Dhp 61 [PTS, Translation by Thanissaro Bhikkhu]

Does anyone know to whom the dhammapada was given? Was this instruction given to monks, brahmins or lay people? How do you think this quote relates to the monastic Sangha today? Is "teaching" the same as "fellowship"? Is it even possible for this instruction to be adhered to?

I'd really appreciate any thoughts about this. Thank you all.
Helo Mawk,

The story about the circumstances in which the Buddha spoke this verse:

A Teacher reproached his pupil for some misdemeanour. The displeased pupil set fire to the teacher's hut and fled. The Buddha, hearing of the incident, commended a solitary career in preference to companionship with the foolish.

metta
Chris