Dhammapada 227 - a comparative study


Myself and @lemon have been discussing the complicated relationships between various verses in the Dharmapadas. These show how verses and meanings have changed over time. Below I copy some of @lemon’s remarks regarding Dhp 227 and it’s parallels. Note that the text for T198 will be added to SuttaCentral shortly.

I think we should firstly listed the ages of the documents:

1 Pali Dhp 227 is the oldest, original gatha.

2 T210 25.8 is Dhp 227’s precise translation, done by Vighna (维只难) and Zhujiangyan (竺将炎, a monk from India but we can’t restore his name) in AD 225.

3 There is also a parallel in the CBETA T04n0198 佛说义足经, translated by Zhiqian (支谦, from Yueh-chih) in AD 223-253, who had a close relationship with Vighna and Zhujiangyan.

4 T212 is translated by Zhufonian(竺佛念, Chinese) in AD 399.

5 I think the Udānavarga (UV) is the original text of T213, but UV is newer than the original text of T212.

6 T213 is translated by Devaśāntika (天息灾) from north India, he arrived China in 980 with UV.

Please note that there were nearly 600 years between T212 and T213, but only 174 years between T210 and T212.

So as for parallels, firstly we have the root, the Dhp227 and its translation T210 25.8:

Dhp 227

Porāṇam etaṁ Atula,
n’etaṁ ajjatanam iva,
nindanti tuṇhiṁ āsīnaṁ,
nindanti bahubhāṇinaṁ,
mitabhāṇinam pi nindanti,
natthi loke anindito.

T210 25.8

人相谤毁 自古至今
既毁多言 又毁讷忍
亦毁中和 世无不毁

Secondly, the parallel is from CBETA T04n0198 佛说义足经:

亦毀於少言 多言亦得毀
亦毀於忠言 世惡無不毀

T04n0198 is an expanded and altered version of Aṭṭhaka Vagga.
The first two lines are missing, but the next four lines are fine.

Thirdly, we have 2 gathas from T212:

t212.15 verse 15.7

人相謗毀, 自古至今,
既毀多言, 又毀訥訒,
亦毀中和, 世無不毀。

t212.30 verse 30.36

或有寂然罵, 或有在眾罵,
或有未聲罵, 世無有不罵。

In T212, 15.7 is a copy-paste of T210 25.8, 30.36 is probably transformed from the gatha in CBETA T04n0198, with the changes in meaning:

或有寂然罵, 或有在眾罵,
There are abuses to the silent, and abuses in the crowd;
或有未聲罵, 世無有不罵。
There are also abuses to whom didn’t speak, and there’s no one in the world is not abused.

And finally, we have the above 2 gathas in UV and its translation T213:

uv14 verse 14.5

pṛthakchabdāḥ samutpannās taṁ ca śreṣṭham iti manyathā ।
saṁghe hi bhidyamāne 'smiṁ śreṣṭham ity abhimanyathā ।।

t213.14 verse 14.5

眾相共毀謗, 各發恚怒聲,
歡心平等忍, 此忍最無比。

T213 14.5 should be the same with T212 15.7.
However, you can see that 600 years made a huge difference.
The lines became 4, and the meaning is very different:

眾相共毀謗, 各發恚怒聲,
Many people are abusing each other, with angry sounds;
歡心平等忍, 此忍最無比。
The pleased and even endurance, is the incomparable endurance.

uv29 verse 29.45

nindanti tuṣṇim āsīnaṁ nindanti bahubhāṣiṇam ।
alpabhāṇiṁ ca nindanti nāsti lokeṣv aninditaḥ ।।

t213.29 verse 29.40

或有寂然罵, 或有在眾罵,
或有未聲罵, 世無不罵者。

T213 29.40 is a copy-paste of T212 30.36.
Because UV 29.45 is very close to Dhp227, so I guess the translation of T213 29.40 is not very well.