The Dhammapada is one of the great books of the Buddha’s teachings. The 423 passages are taken from the various teachings or suttas and represent the core teachings and principles of the Buddha. The collection was assembled probably in the third to fifth centuries CE and contains a number of verses that are organized by category. The passages are taken from longer works – various Buddhist parables – and represent the very core of a specific lesson.
This is an excellent starting point for anyone interested in exploring Buddhism and learning more about the practice, but it also enumerates enough great lessons to keep the practiced adherent engaged. The small lessons are derived from the original collection of teachings the Buddha delivered. In this way, The Dhammapada serves as a handy compendium of the Buddha’s teachings, all the good stuff in one package.