Chinese & Tibetan Dharmapadas

Ok, found it. Thanks. But can you please answer the other questions?

I don’t know. But anyway, the question is moot. There’s no need to scan it or upload it here, you can just grab the PDF from their site, where they have kindly uploaded it for this purpose.

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I guess we should ask Numata permission if we can use it for SuttaCentral if we want to have this translation on the site? Do you have an email address?

Sorry if I did not make myself clear. I thought it was implied that we are talking about translations we can use for the site.

From the latest information I have from Numata, they do not want anyone using their material.

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Thanks a lot, Bhante. PDF is much better. I saved about 20 bucks.

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OCR-ed version of Beal but not very good so needs a lot of work. Not sure if it is worth it but here is the file (I cleaned it a bit): (81.3 KB)

And Rockhill’s Udanavagga translation: (100.2 KB)

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Thank you very much indeed for the sharing, Bhante.
This is the first time I see a English translation for Udanavagga.
It is really helpful.

I don’t know Sanskrit, so I have to translate it into Pali to read.

By the way, what is the first file Thanks.

And, the files are not in a good order, but still can be read.
The problem is that, I translated one famous gatha from Udanavagga into Pali.
I found that one key word was changed comparing with its Pali Dhp parallel:

Udānavarga 28.9

yo hy apraduṣṭasya narasya duṣyate
śuddhasya nityaṁ vigatāṅgaṇasya ।
tam eva bālaṁ pratiyāti pāpaṁ
kṣiptaṁ rajaḥ prativātaṁ yathaiva ।।

Dhp 125
Yo appaduṭṭhassa narassa dussati,
suddhassa posassa anaṅgaṇassa.
Tameva bālaṃ pacceti pāpaṃ,
sukhumo rajo paṭivātaṃva khitto.

In Dhp 125, the word is posa:[m.] man.

But in UV 28.9, the word in the same place was changed into nityaṁ:

nicca:[adj.] constant; continuous; permanent.

I think you know that Sarvastivadins were constant theorists, they believe that the dhammata is constant, i.e. things are changing, but their essential nature, the dhammata, would never change.
So here comes their UV 28.9, which means, anyone who is blaming their theory of consistency(nityaṁ), will bring shame on oneself.

But in the Rockhill’s translation, it’s like this:

9 (125).
The fool who is angered against a pure and sinless
person who is without hatred, the sin falls back on him
like dust thrown up against the wind.

The number 125 here probably means Dhp 125.
But he didn’t correctly translate the word “nityaṁ”.
He still put “person” in there. Why is that?
Well, in the paralleled Chinese translations, the word in the same place are still “person”(人).

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:slight_smile: Not many people translate things into pali to render it readable!

This is a translation of the Chinese Dharmapada T211. But the verses are in between the commentary.

Somebody has already volunteered to go over the OCR and render it more readable, so when that is finished I can publish it on SuttaCentral.

This is very interesting! Bhante @Sujato, do you have any explanation for this?

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There is also what is called the “Gandhari London Dharmapada” , published in “GBT 3: Timothy Lenz. A New Version of the Gāndhārī Dharmapada, and a Collection of Previous‐Birth Stories: British Library Kharoṣṭhī Fragments 16+25. 2003.

see: University of Washington Press - Books - A New Version of the Gandhari Dharmapada and a Collection of Previous-Birth Stories


Interesting change, well spotted!

I am not a Sanskrit expert by any means, but here is what I think is happening.

Nityaṁ is in accusative, and hence agrees with bālaṁ and pāpaṁ in the next line. Although it can be confusing, it’s very common for word order to be effectively ignored in verse. In this line nityaṁ has an adverbial function: “evil always falls back on the fool”.

The term that Rockhill is translating as “person” is not nityaṁ but nara in the first line. Notice that in the Pali we have both narassa and posassa in the sense of “person”, hence the duplication in Norman’s literal translation:

Whoever does harm to an innocent man, a pure man who is without blemish.

This is a good illustration in how the use of repetition helps make the sense of the text robust and resilient. We can swap a word out with a completely different one, and hardly affect the sense at all.

Why might this change have been made? It might have been an outcome of metrical or aesthetic considerations; once anaṅgaṇassa was changed to vigatāṅgaṇasya a syllable had to be lost from the preceding word. But why make that change in the first place? It seems like an odd choice. Anangana is well-established in the Buddhist texts (56 hits in Pali), whereas vigatāṅgaṇa doesn’t seem to occur at all. The repeated dative -assa in that line makes it read very sweetly, so the change in the Sanskrit both lessens the rhythmic beauty and uses a more obscure term.

As you suggest, it might also be a philosophical twist, given that it is a Sarvastivadin text. It’s possible, but I don’t find it very compelling. The use of niccaṁ in the adverbial sense of “regular, continuous, stable” is well established in the Pali texts, too. For example, the monastics may accept an invitation for a niccabhatta, a “regular meal”, from a donor who offers to supply a meal on a regular basis.

And this is the kind of sense we see in the line above. It is not saying that the evil exists eternally, merely that whenever a fool does a bad deed, it will always come back to haunt him. It’s pointing to the regular or stable principles of Dhamma (dhammaniyāmatā), not to the existence of a phenomenon in past, present, and future.

Before accepting that the shift was based on sectarian grounds, I’d want to see additional evidence: maybe a repeated pattern of use, or a clear philosophical context.

The simplest explanation is often the best: it’s just a random variation, worth noting, but in itself not bearing a deeper explanation.


Good point!

Fragments 16 and 25 are two long, relatively narrow fragments that obviously belong to the same scroll.

Fragment 16 we already have (but not rendered on the new site yet):

I cannot find Fragment 25 on Bhante @Sujato, do you have any ideas or shall I ask Andrew, who is associated with this paper? (And ask him how far his promised website updates are: they promised a new UI to be ready over a year ago!)

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If it’s not on, I assume there’s a good reason. We can just keep an eye on there and pull it when/if it appears.

As to the new site, it appears there will be no major overhaul on the site UI and functions, but they have been improving their back end software.

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Translations of
Taisho 210:
Englisch:Dhammapada in Verse
Englisch:Dhammapada Home Page
Hungarian:Buddhizmus - Dhammapada - A Tan Ösvénye
Hungarian:Buddhizmus - Dhammapada - Az Erény Útja

Taisho 211:
en: complete
translated by: Willemen, Charles
The Scriptural Text: Verses of the Doctrine, with Parables
Berkeley: Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, 2000. 238 pp.

Taisho 212:
fr: partial
translated by: Chavannes, Édouard
Cinq cents contes et apologues extraits du tripitaka chinois et traduits en francais
Paris: Adrien-Maisonneuve, 1962. Vol. 3, pp 297–308. [First published: Paris: Ernest Leroux, 1910.]


Derge 4099:
Author:Mukherjee, Prabhat Kumar
Title:″The Dhammapada and the Udānavarga″
Publ. Date:1935
Publ. Details:IHQ 11:741-760

Author:Subhadra, Ayu
Title:The Udānavarga
Publ. Date:1946?
Publ. Details:London: Universalist Press

Author:Conze, Edward
Title:″Verses from the Sanskrit Dharmapada″
Publ. Date:1959
Publ. Details:in Conze, Scriptures, p. 83-86

Author:Willemen, Charles
Title:The Chinese Udānavarga. A Collection of Important Odes of the Law, Fa Chi Yao Sung Ching
Publ. Date:1978
Publ. Details:Brussels, xxviii, 184 p. (MCB 19)

Author:Chakravarti, Niranjan Prasad
Title:L’Udānavarga Sanscrit
Publ. Date:1930
Publ. Details:Paris: Geuthner, 272 p. (MisPelliot [8] 4)

Author:Rockhill, William Woodville
Title:″Udānavarga,″ tr. by Karl Seidenstūcker and W. Bohn
Publ. Date:1913-1914
Publ. Details:ZB l:101-104(ch. l),220-223(ch.2-3)

Author:Gabain, Annemarie von
Title:[Bilingual Fragments]
Publ. Date:1954
Publ. Details:in Turkische Turfan-Texte 8:23-24,38-44 Berlin (AbhDAW 1952[7])


Taisho 217:
Englisch:The Parable Sutra
Englisch:One Hundred Fables
Englisch:The Parable Sutra

Taisho 219:


Thanks so much Volker!
I will go over these at some point to see which ones we are missing on SC.


I was reading about the Tibetan and Chinese versions of the Udanavarga today and decided to check suttacentral. I saw that we do not have any translations of them available.

Is this because you guys need help with this, or because there are issues with copyright?

I’d be willing to help, I would be a cool project and I’ve been meaning to look at these anyways.


Thanks so much for your offer!
We do in fact have an Englush and a Chinese translation for the Tibetan on SC and also an old English translation for T211 but nothing for T210, T212 and T213.
I think it would be great to have these translated.


Oh I see them now! I think I was looking in the wrong place. Thanks!


There is T212 in French:
Chavannes, Édouard; Cinq cents contes et apologues extraits du tripitaka chinois et traduits en francais; Paris 1962 (Adrien-Maisonneuve), Vol. 3, pp 297–308. [First published: Paris: Ernest Leroux, 1910.]

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