The Dhammapada: stories and verses in audio form

These stories should not be seen as mere folklore. One story, indeed, can be more valuable than many pages of dry teaching, if it is read and understood correctly. These stories provide us with a little window into the lives of people who lived in the time of the Buddha. Here we can find the stories of many people who renounced the world, went to become monks and quickly saw Dhamma for themselves.

When we read these stories, we should ask ourselves: What led them to do so? How did they practice? What qualities bring them quickly forward on their path, and what faults and failings are the obstacles for those in the stories that fail, or who continue in the path of suffering? How can a simple fisherman, or a young weaver girl of twelve, thirteen years years old, with little education, understand the dhamma so quickly so as to become a Sotapana (Stream-enterer) while meanwhile so many educated men write PhDs on the topic of Buddhist philosophy and never gain the same wisdom?

Chapter One: Yamaka Vagga (Twin Verses)

If with a corrupted mind, one should either speak or act, suffering follows caused by that, as the wheel follows the ox’s hoof
1. Suffering follows the evil-doer
2. Happiness follows the doer of good
3. Uncontrolled Hatred Leads to Harm
4. Hatred is overcome by non=hatred
5. Remembering death brings peace
6. Laziness ruins meditation
7. Those who are not fit to wear the yellow robe
8. The story of Sariputta and Moggalana
9. The story of Nanda
10. The story of Cunda the pork butcher
11. Good deeds bring happiness
12. Evil action leads to torment
13. Good actions make one rejoice
14. Practice ensures success

Chapter Two – Appadāma Vagga (Heedfulness)

By effort and heedfulness, discipline and self-mastery, let the wise one make of himself an island which no flood can overwhelm.
15. Freedom is difficult
16. The glory of the mindful one increases
17. Island against floods
18. Meditation leads to joy
19. The Sorrowless look over the world
20. The mindful one is far ahead of others
21. Mindfulness made him king of the gods
22. The heedful ones progress
23. The heedful one reaches Nibbana

Chapter Three: Citta Vagga (The mind)

As the fletcher straightens the arrow, the wise one straightens the mind
24. The wise person strengthens the mind
25. The restrained mind leads to happiness
26. Guard the mind alone
27. Death’s snare can be broken by a trainde mind
28. Wisdom does not grow if the mind wavers
29. Weapons to defeat death
30. Without the mind, the body is useless
31. All wrong is born from evil minds
32. The well-trained mind is better than any friend

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