Just other day I was reading some translations in English of Dhammapada. Dhammapada has 423 verses originally spoken by Buddha himself. Buddha has a great quality of love and compassion in His heart. He has a fragrance of wisdom, music of silence. But I found that those translations really ugly. There was nothing in them which was divine. While reading them, I was feeling like I am reading Chemistry or a Mathematics book. The language used for translation was really tough. Authors have written these translations only to prove their knowledge about Buddhism. Dhammapada is a divine song of Buddha. I did not found any quality of Buddha in those translations.
Every person should know first that Buddhism and Buddha are not the same. Buddhism is just a religion, a doctrine. But Buddha is beyond all religions, beyond all doctrines. The words of Buddha are very simple. And only because they are so much simple every person has misunderstood them. It is human nature. Human mind is not able to understand the things which are most simple and don’t have logics. Mind can understand only logics. It can’t understand simplicity. If you want to understand the real meaning of Dhammapada then you have to be more simple, you have to be more close to your heart. You have to drop the mind. Because the mind is only barrier between you and Buddha.
All those translations can help a Buddhist student who is giving examinations in a university. Those translations can help him to get more and more marks. But those are not helpful for you. Dhammapada is not a collection of words. It is a way of Buddha. It is a path of wisdom. Dhammapada is a song which is in everybody’s heart. There is only one difference between Buddha and you that Buddha has listened this song, but you are still unaware of it. If you want to listen this song then you have to drop your mind, you have to come out of all logics, you have to travel with Buddha silently. This is the only way to “LIVE” the Dhammapada. Please remember, I am using the word “LIVE” – not “UNDERSTAND”
I have decided to translate the Dhammapada again with its original fragrance. So just travel with me step by step on this journey.
The Dhammapada has come out of pure silence of Buddha. You have to become more and more silent to understand the silence of Buddha. Words are really dangerous. Everybody has his own meaning for every word. Your mind can distort the words. You have to listen the silence to understand the core meaning of Dhammapada.
My words are not just translation of Dhammapada. I am interested to make a road between you and Buddha. So with the help of that road, step by step, you can reach to Buddha. But take care, don’t be so fast. Just be aware and walk with me very slowly.
First of all, you should understand the meaning of Dhammapada. Dhammapada word is made by two words, first is Dhamma and second is Pada.
The meaning of Dhamma is Law – The Eternal Law of Existence. Dhamma is a Law which connects everything. Each and everything is connected in a very deep sense. Each and everything has a nature of dependence on each other. Without this, that cannot be live and without that, this cannot be live. The whole universe is running so much smoothly. Every part of universe is co-related to each other and performing its act without any problem. You can understand by this Law that there is nothing greater and nothing small in this universe. Everything has its own importance. This Law is not just a thing or any object. This Law is an undercurrent which runs through each and every part of universe. The existence of this universe is not possible without this undercurrent. Existence of this whole universe is based on this Dhamma.
The second word is Pada. The meaning of Pada is Path. A Path to know the Dhamma. Dhamma cannot be explained in words. It can be known only. You will have to travel on this Path to know the Dhamma. I cannot explain what the Dhamma is, I can show you only the Path. I can point my finger toward the Path. You will have to walk upon it to reach the Dhamma.
Just follow the Path.