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Udānavarga (T. ched du brjod pa'i tshoms; C. Chuyao jing 出曜經) is an early Buddhist text that consists of a collection of "inspired utterances" (Sanskrit: udāna), or aphorisms, from the Buddha and his disciples. The Udānavarga is considered to be a Sanskrit parallel of the more well-known Dhammapada of the Pali Canon.[1] It contains many of the same verses as the Dhammapada, as well as many additional verses. It is attributed to the North Indian Sarvāstivādin school.[2][3]

Translations of the text are included in both the Chinese and Tibetan canons.[3][4] There is one extant Sanskrit recension.[4]


The Princeton Dictionary states:

The Udānavarga collects some 1,050 verses in thirty-three groups, or vargas, and is therefore more than twice as long as the Pāli Dhammapada, which includes 423 verses in twenty-six vaggas. Approximately 360 verses appear to be shared by the two texts.[3]

Comparing the Udānavarga, the Pali Dhammapada and the Gandhari Dharmapada, Brough (2001) identifies that the texts have in common 330 to 340 verses, 16 chapter headings and an underlying structure.[5]

Chapter titles

The Udānavarga has 33 chapters (or vaggas). The chapter titles are:[6]

  1. Anityavarga
  2. Kāmavarga
  3. Tṛṣṇāvarga
  4. Apramādavarga
  5. Priyavarga
  6. Śīlavarga
  7. Sucaritavarga
  8. Vācavarga
  9. Karmavarga
  10. Śraddhāvargas
  11. Śramaṇavarga
  12. Mārgavarga
  13. Satkāravarga
  14. Drohavarga
  15. Smṛtivarga
  16. Prakirṇakavarga
  17. Udakavarga
  18. Puṣpavarga
  19. Aśvavarga
  20. Krodhavarga
  21. Tathāgatavarga
  22. Śrutavarga
  23. Ātmavarga
  24. Peyālavarga
  25. Mitravarga
  26. Nirvāṇavarga
  27. Paśyavarga
  28. Pāpavarga
  29. Yugavarga
  30. Sukhavarga
  31. Cittavarga
  32. Bhikṣuvarga
  33. Brāhmaṇavarga


The Udānavarga is attributed by Brough to the Sarvāstivādins.[2]

Hinüber suggests that a text similar to the Pali Canon's Udāna formed the original core of the Sanskrit Udānavarga, to which verses from the Dhammapada were added.[7] Brough allows for the hypothesis that the Udānavarga, the Pali Dhammapada and the Gandhari Dharmapada all have a "common ancestor" but underlines that there is no evidence that any one of these three texts might have been the "primitive Dharmapada" from which the other two evolved.[5]

The Tibetan Buddhist and Chinese Buddhist canons' recensions are traditionally said to have been compiled by Dharmatrāta.[8] (While acknowledging the traditional view, Brough also refers to a statement by Nāgārjuna that might suggest that this work was initially collected at "the time of the original compilation of the canon ... immediately after the Nirvāṇa of the Buddha" while Dharmatrāta contributed the commentaries.[9])

Traditional translations

Chinese translations

There are four translations of different recensions of the Udānavarga made into Chinese.[3] The earliest Chinese translation was produced in 374 CE by Zhu Fonian.[3]

Tibetan translation

The Tibetan translation (c. 900) of the Udānavarga is of an anthology compiled by Dharmatrāta.[3] This translation is included in both the Kangyur and Tengyur of the Tibetan Canon.[3]

There is also a Tibetan translation of a commentary by Prajñāvarman.[3]

The Udānavarga was one of the six basic texts of the Kadampa school.[3]

English translations

Translations into English:

Comparisons to related texts

For comparisons to related texts, see:

  • Ānandajoti Bhikkhu (2nd rev., 2007). A Comparative Edition of the Dhammapada, Pali text with parallels from Sanskritised Prakrit
  • Willemen, Charles (1974), Dharmapada: a concordance to Udānavarga, Dhammapada, and the Chinese Dharmapada literature, Publications de l'Institut Belge des hautes etudes bouddhiques, Bruxelles [1]

The following page at SuttaCentral shows parallel verses in other texts. (English translation not included).

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Internet-icon.svg ཆེད་དུ་བརྗོད་པའི་ཚོམས་, Christian-Steinert Dictionary
  2. 2.0 2.1 Brough 2001, pp. 38–41.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 Buswell & Lopez 2014, s.v. Udānavarga.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Ānandajoti (2007), pp. vi, n. 5, vii-viii.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Brough 2001, pp. 23–30.
  6. Bernhard (1965).
  7. Hinüber (2000), pp. 45 (§89), 46 (§91).
  8. Brough 2001, pp. 39–40.
  9. Brough 2001, p. 40.


Further reading

External links

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