About the BookThe book Voice of the Buddha: The Dhammapada is a commentary on the Dhammapada, one of the popular texts of the Buddhist canon. It contains the religiously inspiring statements, thought to have been made by Buddha, on various occasions. It is a Buddhist scripture but reads like the Gita. It may also be taken as the Buddhist manual on the art of living. It is a handbook of practical ethics.
To the contemporary man who seems to have been lapsed into worldly pleasures, Buddha has special message. He warns that carnal desire is the arch-enemy of human beings. It is the root cause of all our miseries and sufferings. Buddha asks us to work for permanent joy and peace. We should learn to distinguish between transient pleasure and permanent joy and peace.
Buddha’s message of social equality and brotherhood of man has been a hope for salvation to countless depressed and downtrodden humanity. Buddha says that it is not by birth but by righteous action that man can elevate himself to any level of social status. Even a low caste man can become a Brahmin if he lives a life without blemish. He emphasises purity of heart and greatness of action. Purity of heart is the only pathway to eternal bliss. According to him, true Dharma is meditation, right speech, inner discipline, right action, right perception and dedication to the service of others.
The book is of great relevance in today’s strife-torn world in which human beings seem to have lost all sense of righteousness. The world is rife with anger, violence and hatred. It is the messages of Buddha which can salvage us from doom and destruction. Only the gospel of love, peace, compassion, forgiveness and understanding can redeem the ailing humanity.About the Author/sShiv K. Kumar—poet, novelist, short-story writer, playwright, translator and critic—was born in Lahore. He holds a doctorate in English from the University of Cambridge. He has received many awards for his literary achievements. In 1978, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature (London), and in 2001 he was awarded Padma Bhushan in recognition of his eminence as a writer. In 1988, he received the Sahitya Akademi award for his collection of poems Trapfalls in the Sky which has been translated into Hindi, Urdu, Tamil, Malayalam and Kannada.
Shiv K. Kumar has published seven collections of poems, five novels, two collections of short stories, a play and several books of literary criticism. He has translated some works of Faiz Ahmed Faiz into English. He has also written his own version of The Mahabharata which is scheduled for publication shortly.
Shiv K. Kumar has traveled widely as a Visiting Professor of English at the universities of Northern Iowa, Drake, Marshall and Cambridge.