Originally the Buddha’s teachings were preserved orally by monks trained in memorization. Listening to recordings of the suttas can put us back in touch with this tradition. Repetitions that are seem unnecessary in print come to life when read aloud. These are resources for free audio book recordings of the suttas. If you know of more, post them in the comments below.
Download from this site:
- The Itivuttaka, Translated by John D. Ireland
- Sutta Reading Audio Book MP3—Dhammapada: The Buddha’s Path of Wisdom, Translated by Acharya Buddharakkhita
The publishing house for Mahamevnawa Buddhist Monasteries, Mahamegha, has several audio books from the Khuddakanikaya, including The Dhammapada, Therigatha, Vimanavatthu, and Petavattuh. Links to free editions can be found on the main monastery website.
Paliaudio.com has professionally recorded readings of English sutta translations (despite the word Pali in the name) for free download. Translations are by a variety of authors including Bhikkhu Bodhi, Bhikkhu Sujato, and Rupert Gethin.
SuttaReadings.net has dozens of suttas read by monastics and lay teachers. Although there is no new content being added to the site, the recording quality is very high.
Ancient Buddhist Texts
Dhammapada by Gil Fronsdal
Readings from the Dhammapada by Gil Fronsdal has recordings of Gil Fronsdal reading his entire translation of the Dhammapada.