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Today I read the whole Dhammapadda for the first time (previously only fragments) from the SuttaFriends site here, and I thought I would put together a few bullet points as a mini-review now that it is fresh in my mind.
- It is a long list of pointers to dhamma — do this to be wise, act with restraint
- It has elements of propaganda, it talks up how wonderful it is to be wise, a monk, a follower of the Dhamma
- It covers good - happiness - and bad - hell, anger - and gives a view on how these qualities coexist
- Some things repeat a number of times in different sections, like not associating with bad acquaintances
- I found it to be limited in poetic expression, compared to say Seng’can’s Verses of the Faith Mind (here)
On the whole I was a little disappointed, I think I prefer the middle length discourses of the Buddha, but by all means go and check it out if you haven’t read it, it is held up as a classic of buddhist literature.