Support Verses


Support Verses
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The Support Verses: Earliest Sayings of The Buddha is Christopher Carter Sanderson's best English translation of the title of The Dhammapada, usually transliterated from its original language-Pali, a language older than Sanskrit. While some of the verses in it are in Pali, others have come to us only in Sanskrit. The Dhammapada could be considered the single most ubiquitous collection of The Buddha's sayings in existence across all Buddhist traditions. It has, therefore, been translated into English many times over hundreds of years. Sanderson in no way duplicated any existing translation; his wish is to artistically transmit the truth of the verses as he has received them after meditation and contemplation of them. Therefore, they are in the vocabulary and syntax of his idiomatic English: sometimes academic and sometimes profane, as needed.Sanderson has taken another step here that is unique-a step that has granted the verses clarity for himself: every word has been translated into English, leaving no words in transliterated Pali or Sanskrit. This is a simple exigency to avoid the fetishization of foreign words in English. It is too easy to think that enlightenment is a faraway, foreign thing to be only spoken of in syllables that sound exotic to our ears, and that enlightenment cannot be spoken in our own tongue or read in our own language. The authority Sanderson calls on to offer this step is none less than The Buddha, who at every instance suggests that enlightenment is nearby, usual, ordinary, and possible for anyone to attain and feel utterly familiar with.This translation should not be considered definitive or exclusive-as with any great religious text or poetic work. Reading in the original and in as many translations as possible will yield deep insight and is recommended. This translation/adaptation is meant to join the galaxy of translations of this great work, offering listeners additional artistic insight and/or religious utility.

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