Translated from the Pâli by F. Max Müller
The Dhammapada (Pāli; Prakrit: Dhamapada; Sanskrit Dharmapada) is a versified Buddhist scripture traditionally ascribed to the Buddha himself. It is one of the best-known texts from the Theravada canon.
The Dhammapada consists of 423 verses in Pali uttered by the Buddha on some 305 occasions for the benefit of a wide range of human beings. These sayings were selected and compiled into one book as being worthy of special note on account of their beauty and relevance for moulding the lives of future generations of Buddhists. They are divided into 26 chapters and the stanzas are arranged according to subject matter.
The title, Dhammapada, is a compound term composed of dhamma and pada, each word having a number of denotations and connotations. Generally, dhamma can refer to the Buddha's "doctrine" or an "eternal truth" or "righteousness" or all "phenomena"; and, at its root, pada means "foot" and thus by extension, especially in this context, means either "path" or "verse" (cf. "foot (prosody)") or both. English translations of this text's title have used various combinations of these and related words.