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Buddhists/dhamapada, books

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Question
Is the Dhamapada part of Vajrayana scripture? What books are in the Vajrayana cannon?

Answer
Hi Alex,
No. As far as I understand it, the Dhammapada is a relatively late compilation popular amongst the Theravada. I did once hear that there is a Tibetan translation, but I have never seen it, and if it does indeed exist it is not widely known.
The Vajarayana "canon" is enormous, and there are versions that differ somewhat. Broadly it is divided into the sutras themselves and the authoritative commentaries. The sutras, in this sense, are divided into the sutras themselves and the Tantras (which also have their commentaries, and are supplemented by "treasures" that are not accepted by all schools). Buddhism *as actually practiced* relies primarily on the continuing tradition of "shastra" (commentary).
You could do worse than look at Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tibetan_Buddhist_canon
I hope that helps a bit.

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Alex Wilding

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I have practiced and studied Tibetan Buddhism in the Kagyu and Nyingma traditions since the early 1970s, and have a good knowledge of theory, history and of the struggles of trying to practice the teachings, including meditation, while leading a normal, modern life. I am also available to provide background information for journalists.

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I have been a practitioner since the early 1970s; have run a small Buddhist centre in the English Midlands and was vice-president of Kagyu Benchen Ling e.V. in Germany, for whom I managed three large Buddhist summer-camps. More importantly, I maintain a habit of personal practice. I am the "owner" of the Kagyu list at Yahoo.

Education/Credentials
My first degree was an M.A. from Oxford. I later obtained a Master of Philosophy degree for a research thesis in "Initiation in Tibetan Buddhism" from Leicester University. I also have engineering and educational qualifications.

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