Below are some resources for helping you become familiar and more comfortable with the books of the Pali Sutta Pitaka.
This chart (as shown in the image above) lists the five main Nikayas and the first ten books of the Khuddaka Nikaya. It also includes the common translation of the title if there is one as well as the number of suttas or verses each contains. The exact numbers sometimes varies according the the original manuscript. These numbers are based on the Sri Lankan Buddha Jayanti Edition.
Simple Chart, Four to a Page
This is the same chart with four copies on each page. This is useful to cut up and use as a bookmark so:
- You will see it frequently
- You can be in the habit of checking what the abbreviations stand for
- As you learn you will have a visual sense of where each book falls in the Canon.
It is also good to carry with you so you can memorize the names and the order.
Audio Recording of the Titles
We need to not only be comfortable knowing what the books are and where to find them, but we should feel confident in pronouncing them as well. This is an MP3 recording of all the titles twice with a pause between each one so you can practice.
Test your knowledge by using this puzzle. See how quickly you can assemble the canon. The pieces can also be folded in half and used as small flash cards, or cut appart the Pali and English names for an extra challenge.
Have you memorized the list of the books in the Sutta Pitaka by heart? How has it helped you to feel comfortable and confident when approaching the teachings? Leave you comments below.
- Canonical Collections for practice: more information about the books in the charts above.
- Building a Sutta Library
- Living in the Land of the Buddha: a Map of Ancient India
- Sutta Practice Life List
- Using an Anthology for Practice