From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Udānavarga is an early Buddhist collection of topically organized chapters (Sanskrit: varga) of aphoristic verses or "utterances" (Sanskrit: udāna) attributed to the Buddha and his disciples. While not part of the Pali Canon, the Udānavarga has many chapter titles, verses and an overall format similar to those found in the Pali Canon's Dhammapada and Udāna. At this time, there exist one Sanskrit recension, two Chinese recensions and two or three Tibetan recensions of the Udānavarga.[1]


The Udānavarga has around 1100 verses in 33 chapters. The chapter titles[2] are:

  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

Comparatively, the most common version of the Dhammapada, in Pali, has 423 verses in 26 chapters.[3] Comparing the Udānavarga, 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.[4]


The Udānavarga is attributed by Brough to the Sarvāstivādins.[5]

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.[6] 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.[4]

The Tibetan Buddhist and Chinese Buddhist canons' recensions are traditionally said to have been compiled by Dharmatrāta.[7][note 1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 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.[8]



  1. ^ Ānandajoti (2007), pp. vi, n. 5, vii-viii.
  2. ^ Bernhard (1965).
  3. ^ See, e.g., Ānandajoti (2007), p. 1.
  4. ^ a b Brough 2001, pp. 23–30.
  5. ^ Brough 2001, pp. 38–41.
  6. ^ Hinüber (2000), pp. 45 (§89), 46 (§91).
  7. ^ Brough 2001, pp. 39–40.
  8. ^ Brough 2001, p. 40.


  • Ānandajoti Bhikkhu (2nd rev., 2007). A Comparative Edition of the Dhammapada, Pali text with parallels from Sanskritised Prakrit
  • Bernhard, Franz (ed.) (1965). Udānavarga. Göttingen: Vandenhoek & Ruprecht. Retrieved 2008-09-18 in an expanded format by Ānandajoti Bhikkhu (version 2.1, January 2006) from "Ancient Buddhist Texts" at http://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/Buddhist-Texts/S1-Udanavarga/index.htm.
  • Brough, John (2001). The Gandhari Dharmapada. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Private Limited.
  • Hinüber, Oskar von (2000). A Handbook of Pāli Literature. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter. ISBN 3-11-016738-7.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]