Item Details

Dhammapada, Dharmapada and Udānavarga: The Many Lives of a Buddhist Text

Issue: Vol 6 No. 2 (2012) Special Issue: “Tradition and the Reuse of Indic Texts”

Journal: Religions of South Asia

Subject Areas: Religious Studies Buddhist Studies Islamic Studies

DOI: 10.1558/rosa.v6i2.225


In this article, I look at the ways in which the Pāli Dhammapada of the Theravādins, and the related texts from other early Buddhist traditions, have been used and interpreted in the course of a long and complex history. I examine the relationships of the texts, both among themselves and with non-Buddhist works, and reflect on the ways in which the insights gained through this study must influence the work of the present-day translator of Dharmapada literature.

Author: Valerie J. Roebuck

View Original Web Page

References :

Alter, R. (trans.). 1996. Genesis: Translation and Commentary. New York and London: W. W. Norton.
Beal, Samuel (trans.). 1878. Texts from the Buddhist Canon: Commonly Known as Dhammapada, with Accompanying Narratives, trans. from the Chinese, Trübner’s Oriental Series II. London: Trübner.
Bechert, H. (ed.). 1980. The Language of the Earliest Buddhist Tradition (= Die Sprache der ältesten buddhistischen Überlieferung). Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht
Bernhard, F. (ed.). 1965–90. Udāna-varga, 3 vols. Abhandlungen der Akademie der Wissenschaften in Göttingen, Philologisch-Historische Klasse, Folge 3, nos. 54, 187. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.
Brough, John (ed.). 1962. The Gāndhārī Dharmapada. London Oriental Series, vol. 7. London: School of Oriental and African Studies (repr. New Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 2001).
Cone, Margaret. 1986. ‘The Patna Dharmapada.’ Unpublished PhD dissertation, University of Cambridge.
— 1989. ‘Patna Dharmapada.’ Journal of the Pāli Text Society 13: 101–217.
Dhammajoti, K. L. 1995. The Chinese Version of Dhammapada. Kelaniya: Postgraduate Institute of Pali and Buddhist Studies.
Enomoto, Fumio. 2000. ‘“Mūlasarvāstivādin” and “Sarvāstivādin”.’ In Christine Chojnacki et al. (eds), Vividharatnakaraṇḍaka: Festgabe für Adelheid Mette: 239–50. Swisttal-Odendorf: Indica et Tibetica Verlag.
Falk, H. 2011. ‘The “Split” Collection of Kharoṣṭhī Texts’, Annual Report of the International Research Institute for Advanced Buddhology at Soka University, XIV.
Faucett, Lawrence W. 1962. ‘Seeking Gotama Buddha in his Teachings: An Analytical Arrangement of Passages from the Earliest Scriptures of Buddhism’ (pamphlet). Radnor, PA.
—1967. ‘Seeking Gotama Buddha in his Teachings: An Analytical Arrangement of Passages from the Earliest Scriptures of Buddhism’ (pamphlet). San Marcos.
Fausbøll, Michael Viggo (ed. and trans.). 1855. Dhammapadam (Latin translation). Copenhagen: Reitzel.
Fišer, Ivo. 1979. ‘Pāli averaṁ, Dhammapada 5.’ In Studies in Pali and Buddhism: A Memorial Volume in Honor of Bhikkhu Jagdish Kashyap: 93–97. New Delhi: B. R. Publishing Corporation.
Friedlander, Peter G. 2009. ‘Dhammapada Traditions and Translations.’ Journal of Religious History 33(2): 218–37. (accessed 9 September 2012).
Gippert, Jost (ed.). 1999–2007. [WWW] THT1025, THT 1052, THT 1053, THT 1058 [four Udānavarga fragments from the Berlin Turfan Collection]. TITUS. Tocharian Manuscripts Catalogue. (accessed 9 September 2012).
Gogerly, D. J. 1840. ‘The Dhammapada or “Footsteps of Religion”.’ First published in 1840 in the journal The Friend in Colombo, and reprinted in A. S. Bishop (ed.), Ceylon Buddhism: Being the Collected Writings of Daniel John Gogerly, 2 vols. Colombo: Wesleyan Methodist Bookroom; London: Kegan, Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., 1908, II, 249–92. This version is also available at (accessed 9 September 2012).
Griffiths, Paul. 1981. ‘Buddhist Hybrid English: Some Notes on Philology and Hermeneutics for Buddhologists.’ Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies 4(2): 17–32.
Grönbold, G., and K. Dachs. 2005. Die Worte des Buddha in den sprachen der welt/The Words of the Buddha in the Languages of the World: Tipiṭaka, Tripiṭaka, Dazangjing, Kanjur. Catalogue of an exhibition held at Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Munich, 27 January–20 March 2005. Munich: Bayerische Staatsbibliothek.
Hara, M. 1992. ‘A Note on Dhammapada 97.’ Indo-Iranian Journal 35 (2/3): 179–91.
Harris, E. J. 2010. [WWW] ‘Manipulating Meaning: Daniel John Gogerly’s Nineteenth Century Translations of the Theravāda texts.’ Buddhist Studies Review 27(2). (accessed 9 September 2012).
Hinüber, Otto von, and K. R. Norman. 1995. Dhammapada. Oxford: Pali Text Society.
Jaina, Bhāgacandra. 1990. Prākṛta‐dhammapada (hindī evaṃ aṅgrejī anuvāda sahita). Prākṛta bhāratī puṣpa 70. Jayapura: Prākṛta bhāratī akādamī.
Lenz, Timothy (with Andrew Glass and Bhikshu Dharmamitra). 2003. A New Version of the Gāndhārī Dharmapada and a Collection of Previous-Birth Stories. Seattle and London: University of Washington Press.
Müller, F. Max (trans.). 1881. The Dhammapada: A Collection of Verses: Being One of the Canonical Books of the Buddhists. Sacred Books of the East, vol. 10, pt 1. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Nakatani, H. (ed.). 1987. Udānavarga de Subaši, Edition critique du manuscrit sanskrit sur bois provenant de Subaši. Bibliothèque nationale de Paris, Fonds Pelliot, Publications de l’Institut de civilisation indienne, nos. 53–54 (the first volume contains the transliterated text, the second photographs of the original manuscript). Paris: Collège de France.
Norman, H. C. (ed.). 1906 (repr. 1992). Dhammapadatthakathā. The Commentary on the Dhammapada. 4 vols. Oxford: Pali Text Society.
Norman, K. R. 1979. ‘Dhammapada 97: A Misunderstood Paradox.’ Indologica Taurinensia 7: 41–48 (= K. R. Norman 1991: 187–93).
— 1980. ‘The Dialects in Which the Buddha Preached.’ In Bechert 1980: 61–77 (= K. R. Norman 1991: 128–47).
— 1983. Pāli Literature: Including the Canonical Literature in Prakrit and Sanskrit of All the Hīnayāna Schools of Buddhism. History of Indian Literature, vol. 7, fasc. 2. Wiesbaden: O. Harrassowitz.
— 1991. Collected Papers, vol. 2. Oxford: Pali Text Society.
Norman, K. R. (trans). 1997. The Word of the Doctrine (Dhammapada). Oxford: Pāli Text Society.
Olivelle, Patrick and Suman (ed. and trans.). 2005. Manu’s Code of Law: A Critical Edition and Translation of the Mānava-Dharmásāstra, Patrick Olivelle with the editorial assistance of Suman Olivelle. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Rau, W. 1959. ‘Bemlerkungen und nicht-buddhistische Sanskrit-Parallelen zum Pāli-Dhammapada.’ In Claus Vogel (ed.), Jñānamuktāvalī. Commemoration Volume in Honour of Johannes Nobel on the Occasion of His 70th birthday offered by Pupils and Colleagues: 159–75. Sarasvati-Vihara Series no. 38. New Delhi: International Academy of Indian Culture.
Rockhill, W. Woodville (trans.). 1883. Udânavarga: A Collection of Verses from the Buddhist Canon, Compiled by Dharmatrâta. Being the Northern Buddhist Version of Dhammapada. Translated from the Tibetan of the Bkah-hgyur. With Notes and Extracts from the Commentary of Pradjnâvarman. Trübner’s Oriental Series. London: Trübner & Co.
Roebuck, V. J. (trans.). 2010. The Dhammapada. London: Penguin Classics.
Roth, G. 1976. ‘Dhammapada Verses in Uttarajhāyā 9.’ Sambodhi (Ahmedabad: L. D. Institute of Indology), 5/2–3 (special issue in memory of Dr A. N. Upadhye): 166–69.
— 2000. Discussions about Patna Dharmapada. Patna: Patna Museum.
Samtani, N. H. (ed.). 1989. Amalā Prajñā: Aspects of Buddhist Studies: Professor P. V. Bapat Felicitation Volume. Bibliotheca Indo-Buddhica no. 63. New Delhi: Sri Satguru Publications.
Schmidt, K. T. 1994. ‘Zur Erforschung der tocharischen Literatur. Stand und Aufgaben.’ In B. Schlerath (ed.), Tocharisch: Akten der Fachtagung der Indogermanischen Gesellschaft: 239–83. Berlin, September 1990, Málvísindastofnun Háskola Íslands, Reykjavík.
Senart, Emile. 1882–97. Le Mahâvastu. Texte sanscrit publié pour la première fois et accompagné d’introductions et d’un commentaire, 3 vols. Paris: Société asiatique; online at (accessed 9 September 2012).
Skilling, Peter. 1997. ‘On the School-affiliation of the “Patna Dhammapada”.’ Journal of the Pali Text Society 23: 83–122.
Sparham, Gareth (trans.). 1983. The Tibetan Dhammapada. In the Language of India: Udanavarga; in the Language of Tibet: Ched.du.brjod.pai.ts’oms; in English: Compilations of Indicative Verse. Compiled by Dharmatrata. New Delhi: Mahayana Publications.
Taisho = J. Takakusu, and K. Watanabe (eds). 1961–78. Taisho-shinshu-daizokyo. Tokyo: Taisho Issaikyo Kankokai (Japanese standard print version of the Chinese Tripiṭaka).
UNESCO. n.d. [WWW] Index Translationum. (accessed 9 September 2012).