The complete PDF version of Bhikkhu Nanamoli’s anthology Life of the Buddha According to the Pali Canon is now available as a free download from Pariyatti.org.
This anthology pieces together the biographical information about the Buddha into a continuous narrative from throughout the Pali canon. Several features make this book uniquely valuable
- Many books about the Buddha do not make clear where the material is coming from. In this book it gives clear references to the original texts or makes clear that material comes from the ancient commentaries.
- Texts from the Vinaya: This is one of the only English sources of text from the Vinaya. Most of the Vinaya is rules for the monks and nuns but there are many important parts of the Buddha’s life explained
- There are also texts that explain basic doctrinal information. In many cases repetitions are removed to make it easier for people new to reading suttas.
Be sure to read and understand the explanation of the “cast” of voices that the author uses to present the text, found on the page immediately before the first reading.
You may also want to print out a copy of the simple chart of the Sutta Pitaka to refer to until you are familiar with all of the citations.
Pariyatti is an official publisher of this book (allong with the Buddhist Publication Society) so this is a legitimate offer.
Have you read this book? Leave a comment below.