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The Dhammapada is a great collection of teaching comprised of 423 verses worked out by a great Master, Gautama Buddha. The major focus of the teaching is the notion of Nirvana, which can be reached by those who seek it and spiritually strive for it. Because Nirvana is a release from suffering, there is a need to travel beyond one’s limited thinking or worldview and get closer to wisdom. People are kept in the imaginary prisons created by their false understandings, fears, desires, bias, etc. So, only true knowledge or wisdom can reveal an imprisoned mind and release it from suffering.

Wisdom is one of the fundamentals of Buddhist spirituality. Understanding of the right living can be retrieved from reading verses of Dhammapada. Anyone who reads and learns from the teachings found in the scriptures will inevitably get free. Buddha’s wisdom can be understood by anyone who is willing to have the right living. However, this wisdom cannot be attained very quickly. One has to train one’s mind regularly to be able to get closer to Buddha’s wisdom presented in Dhammapada. Often such trainings are not very easy: “A tamed mind brings happiness”.

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Wisdom can be attained through constant learning and meditation. Also, it demands for one to leave the attachments one has, because “as a solid rock is not shaken by the wind, wise people falter not amidst blame and praise” (81). This is true that many people seem to be tied to their money and wealth. It is difficult to become simple leaving arrogance and pride behind, when one had to gain his wealth through hard way. Because of good life people become lazy and egoistic. They feel they’re lacking something important in their life, but they do not want to admit that the truth is so simple and close.

Unlike knowledge, wisdom cannot be learned from others. Wisdom has to be nurtured inside a person. Wisdom is much more powerful and broader than knowledge. Obviously it is impossible to attain wisdom without having any knowledge, which is the basement of wisdom. Even if you understand something well and know the formulas and laws of physics and chemistry, it does not mean you are wise. Wisdom can be also described as a way of life, when one has to make choices that are based not only on true knowledge, but on feelings and state of mind. Moreover, wisdom does not come from inside, it is something one has to seek inside oneself making attempts to explore one’s mind and soul during whole life.

One more condition which is needed to get released from suffering is compassion. Obviously compassion is pertaining to the human feelings, while wisdom is directly related to the area of human mind. Compassion like any other human virtues has to be cultivated throughout whole life. Compassion helps to eradicate feeling of selfishness which can be often found in human character. Ignorance can be likewise eradicated only by wisdom. Therefore, both wisdom and compassion are equally important and necessary for attainment for state of Nirvana or complete happiness.

Gautama Buddha taught that a disciple has to be companionate.  The great teacher chose to teach and help humanity out of feeling of compassion towards people. Feeling of sympathy or compassion towards others helps to better understand them and train good virtues. We usually help others because of this particular feeling and when it is combined with wisdom, one can reach the pick of one’s existence and find happiness in this life based on spiritual values. Compassion and wisdom go hand in hand in Buddha’s teaching, because without at least one component it is impossible to reach the state of Nirvana or release from suffering. One is suffering because of different worries and problems which are only in one’s mind.

Wisdom and compassion are two virtues in the Buddhist religion which can be gained through practice of mind or meditation and benevolent behavior. According to Buddha, “the wise man should purge himself from all the troubles” (87-88). The mind-training practices and concentrated self-teaching leads to self-development of personality, which are key factors in attaining enlightenment or great happiness, or Nirvana.  Therefore, anyone can be happy, because anyone can go through this self-transformation of one’s mind and attitude.

Even though the teachings of the Master were written down centuries ago, they are very interesting and valuable today. The wisdom of the Buddhism is indisputable. There is no possibility of attaining state of Nirvana without becoming wise and compassionate to others. Practical advice on different issues collected in the Dhammapada represent the major spiritual message Buddha wanted humans to understand and learn in order to get free and become happy. The Master was very wise and kindhearted himself. Consequently, he wanted others to learn the simple rules and to reach the state of Nirvana that is possible through training one’s mind in meditations striving for wisdom and nurturing feeling of compassion in one’s character.

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