19. The Dhammapada (3rd century BC)

Original language: Pali.

A Buddhist scripture. A collection of the sayings of the Buddha in verse form.

The edition I read was translated and edited by Valerie J. Roebuck, published 2010 by Penguin.

In some ways The Dhammapada is like an early self-help book. I liked the emphasis on meditation, self-control, and control of anger. That spoke to me.

"If it needs doing, do it - undertake it steadfastly."
"Just as an elephant in battle 
Endures arrows shot from the bow
I will endure abusive speech -
For people in general are ill behaved."
"You should not despise your own gains."

Sometimes real wisdom sounds like cliches, but that doesn’t make it less wise. 


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