The Dhammapada is the laser-like quintessence of Buddha’s luminous message to all humanity. Bridging eternity and time, the unmanifest and the manifest, thought and action, theoria and praxis, it is a highly potent therapeia, a catalytic agent of self-transformation, rooted in the realization of that essential unity which enshrines the meaning of events and relations in an ever-changing cosmos. Although the Pali, the Chinese and Tibetan Buddhist canons contain thousands of treatises which reveal myriad facets of Buddha’s “Diamond Soul”, the Dhammapada is a preamble to all of them. It is a direct mode of transmission, succinct in style and fundamental in its content. Transparent and shimmering like the calm surface of the shining sea in contrast to the variegated contours of the diverse lands whose shores it touches, it has awesome oceanic depths, sheltering vast kingdoms of obscure species, in which every form of life finds its place, rhythm and balance, in which everything is inexplicably interconnected in a complex whole that teases and taunts the untapped potentials of human cognition. Its immense cleansing and restorative power conceals a hidden alchemy.
By Raghavan Iyer
Hermes, May 1986
Published by permission of theosophytrust.org.