The Flower of Mankind


The Buddha is sometimes known by the epithet – “the Flower of Mankind”.  Just as in a forest or grove, lovely, scent-laden flowers stand out in contrast to the foliage, even so amongst humans and other beings, the wise ones stand out with their virtues and nobility.

From the Buddhist perspective, virtue is prized over social status, and wisdom is prized over mere intellect.  Birth in a privileged caste does not guarantee respect; but should one cultivate generosity, morality and other virtues, then he or she warrants the greatest honour and reverence.

In this selection of 15 verses taken from 8 different chapters of the Dhammapada, we will learn of the qualities to be abandoned as well as those to be cultivated, so as to qualify one as a ‘sappuriso’ – a virtuous person.  In short, one learns how to qualify as a true disciple of the Buddha, and that is to develop one’s morality, mental health, concentration, and wisdom.  By that very cultivation, one grows steadily into ‘a flower of mankind’.