Symbolic of Buddhist Wheel of Life

The following pages feature verses from The Dhammapada which may be downloaded in their PDF format. The Dhammapada is a collection of aphorisms that illustrate the Buddhist dhamma or moral system.

Quotations (verses 1, 3-5, 42) are taken from: MascarĂ³, Juan, trans. The Dhammapada: The Path of Perfection. London: Penguin Books, 1973.

All other verses (unless otherwise noted) are used with permission from the following source: The Dhammapada: The Buddha's Path of Wisdom, translated from the Pali by Acharya Buddharakkhita, with an Introduction by Bhikkhu Bodhi (Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society, 1985).*  

"In the Dhammapada we can hear the voice of Buddha," writes Juan MascarĂ³. "This gospel of light and love is amongst the greatest spiritual works of man. Each verse is like a small star and the whole has the radiance of eternity."  

*Source: Transcribed from the print edition in 1996 by a volunteer under the auspices of the DharmaNet Transcription Project, with the kind permission of the BPS. Last revised on 23 April 2012. Permission is granted to copy, reformat, reprint, republish, and redistribute this work in any medium whatsoever, provided that: (1) one only makes such copies, etc. available free of charge and, in the case of reprinting, only in quantities of no more than 50 copies; (2) one clearly indicates that any derivatives of this work (including translations) are derived from this source document; and (3) one includes the full text of this license in any copies or derivatives of this work. Otherwise, all rights reserved. ©1985 Buddhist Publication Society.

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Embracing a vision of enlightenment and transformation 

 Lotus Flower


In Buddhist perception the lotus flower has special significance. The efforts towards spirituality may be compared to the idea of applying fertiliser to a lotus flower which grows out of mud in a swamp, so that emerging from the surrounding muck of worldly passions will spring a beautiful flower of spirituality, blossoming to enlightenment. Here the 'muck' or mud can be compared to our physical body; the emerging lotus flower can be compared to the developing (budding) perceptions of our minds. The 'fertilising' relates to the direct application of exercise to the goal in view. The fully opened lotus would be the full expression of the Buddha-mind now visible as a beautiful lotus flower in full bloom. 

Davis, John R. The Path to Enlightenment: Introducing Buddhism. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1997. 




 Making sense of life and reality 

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Enlightenment is seeing reality as it is seeing and accepting people, places, and things as they are