The Path of Dhamma OR The Treasury of Truth – Issue I, June 2013

Dr. Anil Yadavrao Gaikwad


The Dhammapada is collection of 423 melodious Pali Verses spoken by Lord Buddha on about 300 occasions during a period of 45 years after he achieved enlightenment. Dhammapada was not preached by Lord Buddha in the present form. Three months after Mahaparinirvan of Lord Buddha, all the senior monks assembled at the first Convocation to rehearse the teaching of the Lord Buddha and at such convocation, they collected the teachings of Buddha which has poetic form and arranged and classified such teachings in 26 types know as Vagga ( groups) as follows :-


S No Name of the Vagga Verse No. Key Word
1 Yamaka Vagga 1-20 Pairs or Twin Verses
2 Appamada Vagga 21-32 Heedfulness
3 Citta Vagga 33-43 The Mind
4 Puppha Vagga 44-59 Flowers / Blossoms
5 Bala Vagga 60-75 The Fool /Fools
6 Pandita Vagga 76-89 The Wise
7 Arahanta Vagga 90-99 The Arahant or Perfected One / Arahants or The Worthy
8 Sahassa Vagga 100-115 The Thousands/Thousands
9 Papa Vagga 116-128 Evil
10 Danda Vagga 129-145 Violence / The Rod of Punishment
11 Jara Vagga 146-156 Old Age / Aging
12 Atta Vagga 157-166 The Self / Self
13 Loka Vagga 168-174 The World / Worlds
14 Buddha Vagga 179-196 The Buddha /Awakened
15 Sukha Vagga 197-208 Happiness / Happy
16 Piya Vagga 209-220 Affection / Dear Ones
17 Kodha Vagga 221-234 Anger
18 Mala Vagga 235-255 Impurity / Impurities or Taints
19 Dhammattha Vagga 256-272 The Just / The Judge or The Righteous
20 Magga Vagga 273-289 The Path or The Way
21 Pakinnaka Vagga 290-305 Miscellaneous / Miscellany
22 Niraya Vagga 306-319 Hell / Woeful State
23 Naga Vagga 206-319 The Elephant/Elephants
24 Tanha Vagga 320-359 Craving
25 Bhikkhu Vagga 360-382 The Monk / The Bhikkhu / The Mendicant
26 Brahmana Vagga 283-423 The Holy Man / Brahmans


Each Vagga or group illustrate the moral and philosophical teachings of the Buddha. In order to explain the meaning of every verse a story was told so that we can get the exact meaning of the verse.  In this column we are going to re-produce Dhammapada verse and its meaning explained by some of the experts on the subject. In our every issue we are going to deal with one verse at a time with the story. There are many books available on Dhammapada on internet and one can download and read it if you want to finish the Dhammapada at the earliest.


The Dhammapada is not a book to be read only once and kept aside but it is the book which needs to be read and re-read many times. Those who are using Android phone can down load an app on Dhammapada which can be installed on your phone and you can read one or two verse everyday in order to understand the true teaching of Buddha.


  • Yamaka Vagga ( The Twin Verses)


Main Message from the verse is “Suffering is Mind-made”.


Pali Version

Mano pubbangama dhammā, mano settha manomaya

Manasa ce padutthena, bhasati va karoti va

Tato nam dukkhamanveti, cakkam’va vahato padam || 1 ||


Mind is the forerunner of (all evil) states.

Mind is chief; and they are mind-made.

If one speaks or acts with a corrupt or wicked mind,

Suffering follows as the wheel follows the hoof of the draught – ox.


All that we experience begins with thought. Our words and deeds spring from thought. If we speak or act with evil thoughts, unpleasant circumstances and experiences inevitably result. Wherever we go, we create bad circumstances because we carry bad thoughts. We cannot shake off this suffering as long as we are tied to our evil thoughts. This is very much like the wheel of a bullock cart. The cart-wheel, along with the heavy load of the cart, keeps following the draught oxen. The animal is bound to this heavy load and cannot leave it.



The first two verses in the Dhammapada reveal an important concept in Buddhism. Buddhism teaches that all that we experience (the ‘world’ as well as the ‘self’) is created by thought, or the cognitive process of sense perception and conception. The Buddha states clearly that the world, the beginning of the world, the end of the world, and the way leading to the end of the world, are all in this fathom long body itself with its perceptions and conceptions.


The Story of the Monk Cakkhupàla (Verse 1)

While residing at the Jetavana Monastery in Sravasti, the Buddha spoke this verse, with reference to Cakkhupala, a blind monk.


On one occasion, Monk Cakkhupala came to pay homage to the Buddha at the Jetavana Monastery. One night, while pacing up and down in meditation, the monk accidentally stepped on some insects. In the morning, some monks visiting the monk found the dead insects. They thought ill of the monk and reported    the   matter   to the   Buddha. The Buddha asked them whether they had seen the monk killing the insects. When they answered in the negative, the Buddha said, “Just as you had not seen him killing, so also he had not seen those living insects.  Besides, as the monk had already attained arahantship he could have   no   intention   of   killing,   so   he   was innocent.”   On   being asked why Cakkhupala was blind although he was an arahant, the Buddha told the following story:


Cakkhupala was a physician in one of his past existences. Once, he had deliberately made a woman patient blind. That woman had promised to become his slave, together   with   her children, if her eyes were completely cured. Fearing that she and her children would have to become slaves, she lied to the physician. She told him that her eyes were getting worse when, in fact, they were perfectly cured. The physician knew she was deceiving him, so in revenge, he gave her another ointment, which made her totally blind. As a result of this evil deed the physician lost his eyesight many times in his later existences.



  1. Dhammapada by Bhadant Khema Dhammo,

Publisher: Trisharan Prakashan, Aurangabad

Year of Publication: 1983


  1. The Dhammapada by Narada Thera

Publisher: The Corporate Body of the Buddha Educational Foundation, Taiwan

Year of Publication: 1993 4th Edition


  1. The Treasury of Truth : Illustrated Dhammapada By Ven. Weragoda Sarada Thero

Publisher: Buddha Dhama Education Association Inc.


  1. The Dhammapada and Commentary Edited by Bhikkhu Pesala


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *