by BHIKKHU VARADO & SAMANERA BODHESAKO
Size: 6” x 5.5”
Pages: 148 pages
Translating the Dhammapada into verse has been a challenge that several people have already undertaken. This present translation was inspired by the attempt of Samanera Bodhesako, an American man, who ordained as a Buddhist novice monk from 1966-71, and then again from 1980 until his death in 1988. Most of his monastic life was spent in Sri Lanka.
It seems that he composed verses on his travels, often by foot, around that island. He was planning to incorporate his translation into a large coffee-table book with cross references to other parts of the Pali canon. It was going to be a comprehensive guide to Buddhism. However, he died suddenly in Nepal, aged 49, and the work was left incomplete. When I was in Thailand in 1999, Bhikkhu Nirodho, an Australian monk, showed me the original manuscript. Being intrigued by the work, I tried to see whether it was possible to improve on it, hoping thereby to copy the style of the original Pali text which is also in verse. I was not, however, trying to produce refined poetry a task best left to genuine poets.
Other books on Dhammapada: