Highlights of the Nikayas Handouts

The following hadouts are perfect to use in classes or workshops on the Sutta Pitaka. They show the structures of the Nikayas and give some highlights of topics covered.

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Bhikkhu Bodhi’s Thematic Guide to the Aṅguttara Nikāya Linked to Bhikkhu Sujato’s Translations

When Bhikkhu Bodhi published his complete translation of the Anguttara Nikaya in 2012 he created a guide for new readers to follow that would take them through most of the suttas in a way connected by topic. At this time not all of his translations are available on the internet, so below is the same guide linked to translations done by Bhikkhu Sjuato on SuttaCentral.net. If you would like a sample of Bhante Bodhi’s translation, you can get a free sample ebook here.

View this guide on the WisdomPubs.org website.

Print Checklist

You can use this print checklist to keep track of what you have read.

On-Line Linked to SuttaCentral.net

I. The Buddha

  1. Biographical AN3.39; AN4.21, AN4.118, AN4.127, AN5.196, AN8.11, AN8.64, AN8.69, AN8.70, AN9.41
  2. Qualities and attainments AN1.277, AN2.37, AN3.35, AN3.63, AN3.64, AN4.1, AN4.24, AN4.35, AN4.36, AN4.87, AN5.100, AN5.104, AN6.43, AN8.12, AN10.30
  3. The Tathāgata AN1.170AN1.186, AN2.22, AN2.23, AN2.24, AN2.25, AN2.52, AN2.53, AN2.54, AN2.55, AN2.56, AN3.14, AN3.80; AN4.8, AN4.15, AN4.23, AN4.33, AN5.11, AN5.99, AN5.131, AN5.133, AN6.64, AN7.58, AN8.85, AN10.21, AN10.22, AN10.81

II. The Dhamma and Discipline

  1. The Dhamma in brief AN4.25, AN4.29, AN4.30, AN4.188, AN7.83, AN8.19, AN8.20, AN8.30, AN8.53
  2. The rejection of views AN3.61, AN3.137, AN4.77, AN4.173, AN4.174, AN6.38, AN6.95, AN7.54, AN9.38, AN10.20, AN10.93, AN10.95, AN10.96
  3. A directly visible Dhamma AN3.53, AN3.54, AN3.65, AN3.66, AN4.193, AN4.195, AN6.47, AN6.48, AN9.46
  4. The ninefold textual Dhamma, AN4.102, AN4.107, AN5.73, AN5.74, AN5.155, AN6.51, AN7.68
  5. Preserving the Dhamma AN1.130AN1.169, AN2.20, AN2.41, AN4.160, AN4.180, AN5.79, AN5.80, AN5.154, AN5.155, AN5.156, AN5.201, AN6.40, AN7.59

III. The Shifting Kaleidoscope of Experience

  1. Cosmological background AN3.70, AN3.80, AN4.45, AN4.46, AN4.156, AN7.44, AN7.66, AN8.42, AN8.70, AN9.24, AN10.29, AN10.89
  2. Happiness and sorrow AN1.29, AN1.30, AN1.324, AN1.325, AN1.326, AN1.327, AN2.19, AN2.37, AN2.64AN2.76, AN2.250AN2.269, AN3.65, AN3.66, AN4.51, AN4.52, AN4.62, AN4.193, AN5.3, AN5.45, AN5.48, AN5.49, AN5.50, AN5.128, AN5.170, AN6.45, AN6.75, AN6.78, AN7.19, AN7.62, AN8.6, AN8.38, AN8.39, AN8.42, AN8.44, AN8.54, AN8.61, AN9.34, AN10.46, AN10.65, AN10.66
  3. Mind is the key AN1.21AN1.52, AN1.56, AN1.57, AN3.109, AN3.110, AN4.186
  4. Kamma and its results AN3.23, AN3.34, AN3.36, AN3.74, AN3.100, AN3.111, AN3.112, AN4.85, AN4.134, AN4.171, AN4.195, AN4.232, AN4.233, AN4.234, AN4.235, AN4.236, AN4.237, AN4.238, AN6.39, AN6.57, AN6.63, AN8.40, AN9.13, AN10.47, AN10.167AN10.233
  5. The round of rebirths AN1.348AN1.377, AN10.177, AN10.216, AN10.217, AN10.218
  6. Heaven and hell AN1.290AN1.295, AN2.16, AN2.17, AN2.18, AN2.26,AN2.27, AN2.28, AN2.29, AN2.210AN2.229, AN3.10, AN3.36, AN3.113, AN3.117, AN3.118, AN3.119, AN3.129, AN3.146, AN3.347, AN3.148, AN3.149, AN3.163AN3.182, AN4.64, AN4.81, AN4.82, AN4.83, AN4.84, AN4.212AN4.220, AN4.239, AN4.240, AN4.264AN4.273, AN5.4, AN5.115, AN5.116, AN5.117, AN5.118, AN5.119, AN5.120, AN5.129, AN5.130, AN5.145, AN5.236, AN5.237, AN5.238, AN5.239, AN5.240, AN5.286AN5.302, AN6.62, AN6.81, AN6.82, AN7.72, AN10.211, AN10.212, AN10.213, AN10.214, AN10.220, AN10.221, AN10.222, AN10.223, AN10.224, AN10.229, AN10.230, AN10.231, AN10.232

IV. Maintaining a Harmonious Household

  1. The family
    1. General AN3.48, AN4.258, AN5.42
    2. Parents and children AN2.33, AN3.31, AN4.63, AN5.39,
    3. Husbands and wives AN4.53, AN4.54, AN4.55, AN4.56; AN5.33, AN7.63, AN8.46, AN8.49
  2. Present welfare, future welfare AN4.61, AN4.62, AN5.58, AN8.49, AN8.54, AN8.76, AN10.73
  3. Wrong and right livelihood AN4.79, AN5.177, AN6.18, AN8.54, AN10.91
  4. Wealth AN4.61, AN4.62, AN5.41, AN5.47, AN5.58, AN5.227, AN6.45, AN7.5, AN7.6, AN7.7
  5. Sustaining wholesome relationships AN4.32, AN4.256, AN8.24, AN9.5
  6. The state and the community AN4.70, AN7.21, AN7.22
  7. The wheel–turning monarch AN1.278, AN1.280, AN2.52, AN2.53, AN2.54, AN2.55, AN3.14, AN4.130, AN5.131, AN5.132, AN5.133, AN7.62, AN7.66

V. The Way Leading Upwards

  1. Faith, confidence, and reverence AN3.42, AN3.48, AN3.75; AN4.21, AN4.34, AN4.52, AN4.65, AN4.118, AN5.21, AN5.22, AN5.32, AN5.38, AN5.40, AN5.179, AN5.250, AN6.30, AN6.32, AN6.33, AN6.69, AN7.32, AN7.33, AN7.34, AN7.35, AN7.57, AN7.70, AN9.27, AN11.14
  2. Spiritual friendship AN1.70, AN1.71, AN1.110, AN1.111, AN1.126, AN1.127, AN3.24, AN3.26, AN3.27, AN3.135, AN4.242, AN5.146, AN6.67, AN7.36, AN7.37, AN8.54, AN9.1, AN9.3, AN9.6, AN10.61, AN10.62, AN10.155, AN10.166, AN10.199AN10.210
  3. Merit AN3.41, AN3.45, AN3.46, AN3.51, AN3.52, AN4.34, AN4.51, AN4.52, AN5.43, AN5.45, AN5.199, AN6.37, AN7.62, AN8.36, AN8.39, AN9.20
  4. Giving and generosity AN2.35, AN2.141AN2.152, AN3.41, AN3.42, AN3.57, AN4.39, AN4.40, AN4.51, AN4.57, AN4.58, AN4.59, AN4.60, AN4.78, AN4.79, AN4.197, AN5.31, AN5.34, AN5.35, AN5.36, AN5.37, AN5.44, AN5.45, AN5.141, AN5.147, AN5.148, AN6.37, AN6.59, AN7.52, AN7.57, AN8.31, AN8.32, AN8.33, AN8.34, AN8.35, AN8.37, AN9.20, AN10.177
  5. Moral discipline
    1. Moral shame and dread AN2.9, AN10.76
    2. Bad conduct and good conduct AN1.284AN1.295, AN2.1, AN2.3, AN2.4, AN2.11, AN2.12, AN2.17, AN2.18, AN2.19, AN2.34, AN3.2, AN3.6, AN3.7, AN3.8, AN3.14, AN3.15, AN3.17, AN3.18, AN3.28, AN3.120, AN3.121, AN3.122, AN3.146AN3.155, AN4.111, AN4.121, AN5.213, AN5.241AN5.248, AN6.57, AN10.23
    3. The five training rules AN4.99, AN4.201, AN5.145, AN5.171, AN5.172, AN5.173, AN5.174, AN5.178, AN5.179, AN5.286AN5.302, AN8.39, AN9.27, AN9.63, AN10.92
    4. Wrong speech and right speech AN3.28, AN4.4, AN4.22, AN4.73, AN4.82, AN4.83, AN4.100, AN4.149, AN4.183, AN4.221, AN4.250, AN4.251, AN4.252, AN4.253, AN5.116, AN5.117, AN5.118, AN5.119, AN5.120, AN5.198, AN5.214, AN5.236, AN5.237, AN5.238, AN8.67, AN8.68, AN10.69, AN10.70
    5. The uposatha observance AN3.70, AN8.41, AN8.42, AN8.43, AN8.44, AN8.45, AN9.18, AN10.46
  6. Decline and progress [of lay followers] AN7.29, AN7.30, AN7.31

VI. Dispelling the World’s Enchantment

  1. Acquiring a sense of urgency AN1.328AN1.347, AN4.113, AN5.77, AN5.78, AN8.29
  2. Old age, illness, and death AN3.36, AN3.39, AN3.51, AN3.52, AN3.62, AN4.113, AN4.119, AN4.182, AN4.184, AN5.48, AN5.49, AN5.50, AN5.57, AN6.14, AN6.15, AN6.16, AN7.74
  3. Gratification, danger, and escape AN3.103, AN3.104, AN3.105, AN3.106, AN10.91
  4. The pitfalls in sensual pleasures AN3.108, AN4.122, AN5.7, AN5.139, AN6.23, AN6.63 §1, AN6.45, AN7.72, AN8.56, AN9.65
  5. Disenchantment with the body AN9.15, AN10.49
  6. Universal impermanence AN3.47, AN4.33, AN7.66, AN7.74, AN10.29

VII. The Defilements of the Mind

  1. The springs of bad conduct
    1. Greed, hate, delusion AN2.123, AN2.124, AN3.34, AN3.35, AN3.53, AN3.55, AN3.65, AN3.66, AN3.68, AN3.69, AN3.71, AN3.72, AN3.111, AN4.117, AN4.158, AN4.193, AN6.47, AN6.48, AN6.107, AN10.174
    2. Wrong courses (four) AN4.17, AN4.18, AN4.19, AN4.20
    3. Sexuality AN1.1AN1.10, AN3.108, AN4.159, AN5.55, AN5.75, AN5.76, AN5.225, AN5.26, AN7.50, AN7.51, AN8.17, AN8.18
    4. Affection and hatred AN4.200
    5. Anger and resentment AN3.25, AN3.27, AN3.132, AN4.43, AN4.44, AN4.84, AN4.108, AN4.110, AN4.122, AN4.197, AN5.161, AN5.162, AN5.215, AN5.216, AN7.64, AN7.73, AN9.11, AN9.29, AN9.30, AN10.79, AN10.80
    6. Miserliness (fivefold) AN5.115, AN5.224, AN5.239, AN5.240, AN5.254AN5.271, AN9.69
    7. Roots of dispute (six) AN6.36
    8. Defilements of ascetics (four) AN4.50
  2. Obstacles to meditation
    1. Laziness AN6.17, AN8.80
    2. Unwholesome thoughts and their removal AN3.68, AN3.69, AN3.100, AN3.71, AN3.72, AN3.101, AN4.11, AN4.12, AN5.200, AN6.13, AN10.51
    3. Hindrances (five) AN1.11, AN1.20, AN4.61, AN5.23, AN5.51, AN5.52, AN5.193, AN6.27, AN6.28
    4. Mental barrenness (five) AN5.205, AN9.71, AN10.14
    5. Bondages of the mind (five) AN5.206, AN9.72, AN10.14
    6. Drowsiness AN7.61
  3. Bondage to saṃsāra
    1. Craving and ignorance AN3.76, AN3.77, AN4.9, AN4.199, AN4.257, AN6.61, AN6.106, AN9.23, AN10.61, AN10.62
    2. Taints AN2.108AN2.117, AN4.36, AN4.195, AN6.58, AN6.63
    3. Inversions (four) AN4.49
    4. Bonds (four) AN4.10
    5. Fetters (four) AN4.131; (five) AN9.67, AN9.70; (seven) AN7.8, AN7.10; (ten) AN10.13
    6. Underlying tendencies (seven) AN7.11, AN7.12

VIII. The Path of Renunciation

  1. Going forth into homelessness AN2.2, AN3.12, AN3.60, AN4.122, AN5.59, AN5.60, AN5.75, AN5.76, AN7.69, AN10.48, AN10.59
  2. Wrong practice and right practice AN1.58AN1.75, AN3.156AN3.162, AN3.78, AN3.156, AN4.196, AN4.198, AN5.181AN5.190, AN10.103AN10.166
  3. The training of the monk (general) AN3.16, AN3.19, AN3.20, AN3.40, AN3.49, AN3.91, AN3.128, AN3.130, AN4.27, AN4.28, AN4.37, AN4.71, AN4.72, AN4.157, AN4.245, AN5.56, AN5.114, AN7.20, AN7.42, AN7.43, AN7.67, AN7.71, AN8.30, AN9.1, AN9.3, AN10.17, AN10.18, AN10.48, AN10.101
  4. Monastic discipline AN1.15, AN2.127, AN2.128, AN2.129, AN2.280AN2.309, AN4.12, AN4.244, AN5.251, AN5.252, AN5.253, AN5.272AN5.285, AN7.75AN7.82, AN10.31, AN10.32, AN10.33, AN10.44, AN10.35, AN10.36, AN10.44, AN10.71
  5. Reproving others AN5.167, AN10.44
  6. Aids to the training
    1. Heedfulness AN1.58, AN1.59, AN1.98, AN1.99, AN1.114, AN1.115, AN4.116, AN4.117, AN6.53, AN10.15
    2. Careful attention AN1.20, AN1.66, AN1.67, AN1.74, AN1.75, AN1.106, AN1.107, AN1.122, AN1.123
    3. Seclusion AN2.30, AN4.138, AN4.262, AN5.110, AN5.127, AN5.176, AN6.42, AN8.86
    4. Health AN5.29, AN5.123, AN5.124, AN5.125, AN5.126, AN5.207, AN5.208
    5. Trainee’s powers AN5.1AN5.12, AN7.15
    6. Factors of striving (five) AN5.53, AN5.54, AN5.135, AN5.136, AN10.11
    7. Aids to self–confidence (five) AN5.101
  7. The sequential course of practice
    1. Virtue, concentration, wisdom AN3.73, AN3.81AN3.90, AN3.92, AN4.2, AN4.136, AN4.137, AN6.105, AN9.12
    2. Proximate causes AN5.24, AN6.50, AN7.65, AN8.81, AN10.1, AN10.2, AN10.3, AN11.1, AN11.2, AN11.3
    3. Modes of practice AN4.161AN4.170
    4. Four purifications AN4.194
    5. From faith to liberation AN4.198, AN10.99
    6. From right association to liberation AN10.61, AN10.62
    7. Ending birth and death AN10.76
  8. Decline and progress [of monks] AN2.200AN2.209, AN4.158, AN5.8, AN5.9, AN5.10, AN5.89, AN5.90, AN5.149, AN5.150, AN6.21, AN6.22, AN6.31, AN6.33, AN6.62, AN6.68, AN6.69, AN7.23, AN7.24, AN7.25, AN7.26, AN7.27, AN7.28, AN7.32, AN7.33, AN7.34, AN7.35, AN8.79, AN9.6, AN10.53, AN10.54, AN10.55, AN10.67, AN10.68, AN10.82, AN10.84, AN10.85, AN10.86, AN11.17
  9. Giving up the training AN3.39, AN4.122, AN5.5, AN5.75, AN5.76, AN6.60, AN8.14

IX. Meditation

    1. Serenity and insight AN2.31, AN4.92, AN4.93, AN4.94, AN4.170, AN5.73, AN5.74, AN9.4, AN10.54
    2. Aids to meditation
      1. Establishments of mindfulness (four) AN3.156, AN6.117, AN6.118, AN9.63AN9.72
      2. Right striving (four) and right effort AN2.5, AN3.157, AN4.13, AN4.14, AN4.69, AN6.55, AN8.80, AN9.73AN9.82
      3. Bases of psychic potency (four) AN5.67, AN5.68, AN9.83AN9.92
      4. Faculties (four) AN4.151; (five) AN6.3
      5. Powers (two) AN2.11, AN2.12, AN2.13; (four) AN4.152, AN4.153, AN4.154, AN4.155, AN4.261, AN9.5; (five) AN5.13, AN5.14, AN5.15, AN5.16, AN6.4; (seven) AN7.3, AN7.4
      6. Factors of enlightenment (seven) AN1.74, AN1.75, AN4.14, AN4.238, AN10.102
    3. Subjects of meditation
      1. Overview AN1.394AN1.574
      2. Mindfulness of the body AN1.575AN1.627, AN9.11,
      3. Mindfulness of breathing AN5.96, AN5.97, AN5.98, AN10.60
      4. Walking meditation AN5.29
      5. Perceptions and contemplations AN5.30, AN5.57, AN5.61, AN5.62, AN5.69, AN5.70, AN5.71, AN5.72, AN5.121, AN5.122, AN5.144, AN6.35, AN6.102, AN6.103, AN6.104, AN7.16, AN7.17, AN7.18, AN7.19, AN7.48, AN7.49, AN7.55, AN9.1, AN9.3, AN9.16, AN10.56, AN10.57, AN10.59, AN10.60, AN10.101
      6. Mindfulness of death AN6.19, AN6.20, AN8.73, AN8.74
      7. Recollections AN1.296AN1.305, AN3.70, AN6.9, AN6.10, AN6.25, AN6.26, AN11.11, AN11.12, AN11.13
      8. Loving kindness and the four immeasurables AN1.53, AN1.54, AN1.55, AN3.63, AN3.65, AN3.70, AN4.67, AN4.125, AN4.126, AN4.190, AN6.13, AN7.62, AN8.1, AN8.63, AN9.18, AN10.219, AN1.15, AN1.16
      9. Kasiṇas (ten) AN10.25, AN10.26, AN10.29
    4. Concentration AN3.32, AN3.101, AN3.102, AN4.41, AN5.27, AN5.28, AN5.113, AN6.24, AN6.70, AN6.72, AN6.73, AN6.74, AN7.40, AN7.41, AN7.45, AN7.67, AN8.63, AN9.37, AN10.6, AN10.7, AN11.7AN11.9, AN11.16
    5. The stages of meditative development AN5.28
      1. Jhānas AN3.58, AN3.63, AN4.123, AN4.124, AN4.190, AN5.28, AN6.60, AN6.73, AN6.74, AN11.16
      2. Eight bases of overcoming AN8.65, AN10.29
      3. Eight emancipations AN8.66
      4. Nine progressive attainments AN9.31AN9.61
    6. Meditative attainments and rebirth AN3.116, AN4.123, AN4.124, AN4.125, AN4.126
    7. Three true knowledges AN3.58, AN3.59
    8. Six direct knowledges AN3.101, AN3.102, AN5.23, AN5.28, AN5.67, AN5.68, AN6.2, AN6.70, AN9.35

X. Wisdom

  1. Praise of wisdom AN4.141, AN4.142, AN4.143, AN4.144, AN4.145
  2. Aids to the growth of wisdom AN4.248, AN8.2,
  3. Right view (and wrong view) AN1.268AN1.276, AN1.306AN1.318, AN2.125, AN2.126, AN5.25, AN6.98, AN6.101, AN10.93
  4. Learning the Dhamma AN3.20, AN3.30, AN3.67, AN3.127, AN4.6, AN4.102, AN4.107, AN4.191, AN5.26, AN5.65, AN5.66, AN5.73, AN5.74, AN5.151, AN5.152, AN5.153, AN5.165, AN5.169, AN5.194, AN5.202, AN6.51, AN6.56, AN6.86, AN6.87, AN6.88, AN8.82, AN9.4
  5. Teaching the Dhamma AN1.320AN1.327, AN2.14, AN3.14, AN3.22, AN3.43, AN3.44, AN3.125, AN3.131, AN4.42, AN4.48, AN4.111, AN4.128, AN4.139, AN4.140, AN5.26, AN5.99, AN5.131, AN5.133, AN5.157, AN5.159, AN9.4, AN10.83
  6. The domain of wisdom
    1. Dependent origination AN3.61, AN10.92
    2. The five aggregates AN4.41, AN4.90, AN9.66
    3. The three characteristics (collectively) AN3.136, AN4.49, AN6.98, AN6.99, AN6.100, AN6.102, AN6.103, AN6.104, AN7.16, AN7.17, AN7.18, AN10.93
    4. Non–self AN3.32, AN3.33, AN4.177
    5. Four noble truths AN3.58, AN3.61, AN4.186, AN4.190, AN9.13
    6. Questions and answers AN6.63, AN8.83, AN9.14, AN10.27, AN10.28, AN10.58
  7. The fruits of wisdom
    1. The fixed course of rightness AN3.22, AN5.151, AN5.152, AN5.153, AN6.86, AN6.87, AN6.88, AN6.98, AN6.99, AN6.100, AN6.101
    2. Analytical knowledges AN4.172, AN5.86, AN5.95, AN7.38, AN7.39
    3. Liberation AN2.31, AN2.87, AN3.101, AN3.102, AN4.178, AN5.25, AN5.26, AN5.71, AN5.72, AN5.134, AN5.170, AN7.55, AN9.36, AN10.95, AN11.16
  8. Nibbāna AN3.32, AN3.55, AN4.169, AN4.179, AN7.19, AN9.34, AN9.36, AN9.47, AN9.48, AN9.49, AN9.50, AN9.51, AN10.6, AN10.7, AN10.29, AN11.7, AN11.8

XI. The Institutional Saṅgha

  1. Good and bad assemblies AN2.42AN2.51, AN2.62, AN3.95, AN4.7, AN4.190, AN4.211
  2. Disputes, schism, and harmony AN2.15, AN2.63, AN3.95, AN3.124, AN4.243, AN5.54, AN5.78, AN6.11, AN6.12, AN6.36, AN6.46, AN6.54, AN7.23, AN10.37AN10.43, AN10.50, AN10.87
  3. Saṅgha and laity AN5.111, AN5.225, AN5.226, AN7.13, AN8.87, AN8.88, AN8.89, AN9.17, AN9.19

XII. The Community of Noble Ones

  1. Types of noble ones AN2.36, AN3.21, AN3.25, AN3.86, AN3.87, AN3.88, AN4.5, AN4.87, AN4.88, AN4.89, AN4.90, AN4.131, AN4.241, AN7.14, AN7.15, AN7.16, AN7.55, AN7.56, AN8.59, AN8.60, AN9.9, AN9.10, AN9.12, AN9.43, AN9.44, AN9.45, AN10.16, AN10.63, AN10.64
  2. The stream-enterer AN1.268AN1.276, AN5.179, AN6.10, AN6.34, AN6.89AN6.95, AN6.97, AN9.27, AN10.92
  3. The non-returner AN2.36, AN3.94, AN4.124, AN4.126, AN6.65, AN10.219
  4. The arahant AN3.25, AN3.58, AN3.59, AN3.93, AN3.143, AN3.144, AN3.145, AN4.38, AN4.87, AN4.195, AN5.71, AN5.107, AN5.108, AN6.2, AN6.3, AN6.4, AN6.49, AN6.55, AN6.66, AN6.76, AN6.83, AN8.28, AN9.7, AN9.8, AN9.25, AN9.26, AN10.12, AN10.19, AN10.20, AN10.90, AN10.100, AN10.111, AN10.112, AN11.10

XIII. Types of Persons

  1. Assessing people AN4.192, AN6.44, AN6.52, AN6.57, AN6.62, AN7.68, AN10.75
  2. The fool and the wise person AN2.21, AN2.38, AN2.98AN2.107, AN3.1AN3.8, AN4.115, AN10.233, AN10.234,AN10.235, AN10.236
  3. The bad person and the good person AN2.32, AN2.134, AN2.135,AN2.136, AN2.137, AN3.9, AN3.150, AN3.151, AN3.152, AN3.153, AN4.3, AN4.4, AN4.43, AN4.73, AN4.91, AN4.109, AN4.135, AN4.187, AN4.201AN4.210, AN4.222AN4.230, AN4.263
  4. The blameworthy monk and the esteemed monk AN3.11, AN3.13, AN3.50, AN3.91, AN3.99, AN3.123; AN4.26, AN4.200, AN5.81, AN5.82, AN5.83, AN5.84, AN5.85, AN5.88, AN5.111, AN5.112, AN5.138, AN5.139, AN5.231, AN6.59, AN7.1, AN7.2, AN8.3, AN8.4, AN10.23, AN10.24, AN10.87, AN11.17
  5. The bad monk AN2.39, AN3.27, AN3.50, AN4.68, AN4.243, AN5.102, AN5.103, AN5.211, AN5.212, AN6.45, AN7.72, AN8.10, AN8.14, AN8.20, AN8.90, AN10.77, AN10.84, AN10.85, AN10.86, AN10.88, AN10.89, AN11.6
  6. The exemplary monk AN1.394AN1.574, AN2.130, AN2.131, AN3.49, AN3.96, AN3.97, AN3.98, AN3.133, AN3.140, AN3.141, AN3.142; AN4.22, AN4.38, AN4.112, AN4.114, AN4.176, AN4.181, AN4.259, AN4.260, AN5.86, AN5.87, AN5.104, AN5.107, AN5.108, AN5.109, AN5.140, AN5.232, AN5.233, AN5.234, AN5.235, AN6.1AN6.7, AN7.68, AN8.13, AN8.57, AN8.58, AN8.71, AN8.72, AN9.22, AN10.8, AN10.9, AN10.10, AN10.70, AN10.97, AN11.14
  7. One’s own welfare and others’ welfare AN4.95, AN4.96, AN4.97, AN4.98, AN4.99, AN4.186, AN5.17, AN5.18, AN5.19, AN5.20, AN7.68, AN8.25, AN8.62
  8. Laypersons, good and bad AN2.132, AN2.133, AN3.79, AN4.60, AN4.176, AN5.42, AN5.47, AN5.58, AN5.63, AN5.64, AN5.171, AN5.172, AN5.173, AN5.174, AN5.175, AN6.16, AN7.53, AN8.21, AN8.22, AN8.23, AN8.24, AN8.25, AN8.38, AN10.74. AN11.11, AN11.12, AN11.13
  9. Bhikkhunīs AN4.159, AN5.115, AN5.116, AN5.117, AN5.118, AN5.119, AN5.120, AN7.56, AN8.51, AN8.52, AN10.28
  10. Women AN1.279, AN1.280, AN1.281, AN1.282, AN1.283, AN2.61, AN3.129, AN4.80, AN4.197, AN5.55, AN5.229, AN5.230, AN7.63, AN8.46, AN8.49, AN8.51, AN10.213, AN10.214, AN10.215

© Bhikkhu Bodhi, The Numerical Discourses of the Buddha (Wisdom Publications, 2012)

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Canonical Collections For Sutta Reading Practice

This is a quick guide to the Sutta Pitaka as it relates to daily sutta reading practice. You may also want to consult the articles on choosing a text based on your current experience level and time commitment. The list below follows the traditional organization of the canon. See the sources page for information on how to obtain these books, as well as the page Building a Sutta Library. Because it is recommended that we use a printed book for sutta practice, only print books, downloadable PDFs, and some Kindle documents are mentioned. This is not meant to be a comprehensive bibliography. You may want to consult the glossary for unfamiliar terms.

All of the books below contain introductions and/or notes that will allow you to approach the text directly even without much knowledge of Buddhism.

Dīgha Nikāya, Long Discourses (D or DN): Contains 34 suttas that range in length from 5 to 47 pages. Many suttas are readily accessible to a newcomer and many are quite deep and detailed. In terms of a daily sutta practice, this text may be best suited to someone who is already familiar with one of the other nikāyas. Published books:

  • The Long Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Dīgha Nikāya by Maurice Walsh, Wisdom Publications. Complete text.
  • Found in Handful of Leaves Volume 1, translated by Ajahn Thanissaro. This anthology contains complete translations of eight suttas, and partial translations of two. Print copies from Metta Forest Monastery. Download E-books from DhammaTalks.org.

Majjhima Nikāya, Middle Length Discourses(M or MN): Contains 152 suttas, most from 5 to 10 pages. This is an excellent text for a newcomer or an experienced practitioner. It is perfectly suited for a one-sutta-per-day practice, about 15-25 minutes each day. For more details, see Majjhima Nikaya as a Daily Practice. Published books:

  • The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha: a Translation of the Majjhima Nikaya, translated by Bhikkhu Ñāṇamoli, edited by Bhikkhu Bodhi, Wisdom Publications. Complete text.
  • Found in Handful of Leaves Volume 2, translated by Ajahn Ṭhanissaro. Contains 76 suttas from the Majjhima Nikāya. Print copies from Metta Forest Monastery. Download E-books from DhammaTalks.org.

Saṁyutta Nikaya, Connected Discourses(S or SN): Contains thousands of short suttas grouped by topic. There is a wide variety of genres in this collection: verse, prose, questions and answers, stories, doctrinal analysis, similes, etc. Because most of the suttas are short, if one reads one sutta a day, it may require several years to complete this collection. Instead, a fixed reading time may be more appropriate, say from 10-30 minutes per day. If you have the patience and background to move through long series of analytical suttas, this text would work for a beginner, but it may be better suited to someone already familiar with one of the other nikāyas. If you are using this as your first text for practice, you may want to consider using the Handful of Leaves edition. Published books:

  • The Connected Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Saṁyutta Nikāya, by Bhikkhu Bodhi, Wisdom Publications. Complete text.
  • Handful of Leaves Volume 3, translated by Ajahn Ṭhanissaro. Contains 370 suttas from the Saṁyutta Nikāya. Print copies from Metta Forest Monastery. Download E-books from DhammaTalks.org.

Aṅguttara Nikāya, Numerical Discourses(A or AN): Contains thousands of suttas mostly one or two pages long. The suttas are grouped by the number of items around which the exposition revolves. For instance, suttas that cover three items are grouped in the Book of Threes; suttas that cover four items are grouped in the Book of Fours, etc. This collection contains lots of rich advice for practice in daily life. The suttas are generally well suited for a newcomer, especially if you use an anthology. If your time to read is limited, this collection would be well suited for a one-sutta-per-day practice. Otherwise you can read from it for a set amount of time each day. Published books:

  • The Numerical Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Aṅguttara Nikāya, by Bhikkhu Bodhi, Wisdom Publications. Complete text. Download an index of the English titles here.
  • Handful of Leaves Volume 3, translated by Ajahn Ṭhanissaro. Contains a collection of 333 suttas from the Aṅguttara Nikāya. Print copies from Metta Forest Monastery. Download E-books from DhammaTalks.org.

Khudhaka Nikāya, Short Books: This nikāya is a group of smaller autonomous books, explained individually below. These texts are all good to use for daily practice. You may want to choose one to use as a backup text if you are doing a more involved practice with one of the Nikayas listed above.

Khuddakapāṭha (Khp): This is a collection of 10 suttas. Important to read but perhaps not long enough on which to base a daily practice. Published books:

  • The Short Readings (Khuddakapāṭha, Khuddakanikāya 1), Translated by Ānandajoti Bhikkhu. Download from ancient-buddhist-texts.net in English (65kb) or Pāḷi and English (146kb). Look for the download link. Complete text. Complete audio recording available.
  • Khuddakapatha: Short Passages, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Complete Collection. Available from the Metta Forest Monastery as part of the Sutta Nipata publication. Download e-book from DhammaTalks.org.

Dhammapada (Dhp): This is a collection of 423 short verses, grouped into 26 chapters. This is an excellent text for newcomers and experienced practitioners alike. It takes about 4 minutes to read one chapter so it is well suited to someone with a short amount of time available. Even just reading a single verse each day will instill your life with the Blessed One’s wisdom. It is also a good secondary/backup practice text. Be sure to find a translation that is made in line with the tradition that you are practicing. Recommendations for Theravada practitioners are found below. All are complete texts.

Udana (Ud): This collection contains 80 suttas composed of (usually) a story in prose form followed by an inspired verse. Good for a short one-sutta-per-day practice. Published books:

Itivuttaka (Itv): This collection contains 112 suttas of prose followed by verse. Most suttas are two pages or less. This is an excellent text for newcomers and experienced practitioners alike. Good for a short one-sutta-per-day practice. It is also a good secondary practice text. If you are new to the sutta, you may want to start with chapter two, read to the end, and then read chapter one. Published Books

  • The Udāna and the Itivuttaka, Two Classics from the Pali Canon, translated by John D. Ireland, Buddhist Publication Society (BPS) Complete text.
  • Itivuttaka: This was said by the Buddha, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. (revised Jan. 17, 2017) Complete text. Print copies from Metta Forest Monastery. Download E-books from DhammaTalks.org.

Sutta Nipāta (Sn or Snp): Seventy one sets of verses, sometimes preceded by a prose story. Many of these suttas will be easily accessible to the newcomer; many of them are deep and profound. To use as a daily practice this collection may be better suited to someone with a background in the concepts of Theravada Buddhism. Good for a one-sutta-per-day practice. With this text especially, expect to spend some time in contemplation. Published Books:

  • The Suttanipata: An Ancient Collection of the Buddha’s Discourses Together with Its Commentaries, by Bhikkhu Bodhi, Wisdom Publications. Complete text. This edition also contains a translation of the ancient commentary. (This actually take up the majority of the book.)
  • The Rhinoceros Horn and Other Early Buddhist Poems (Sutta Nipāta), translated by K. R. Norman, with alternative translations by I. B. Horner and Ven. Walapola Rahula, Pali Text Society. Paperback edition available. Complete text.
  • Sutta Nipata: The Discourse Group, translated by Ajahn Thanissaro. Print version vailable from Metta Forest Monastery. E-book from Dhammatalks.org.

Vimanavatthu Stories of Heavenly Mansions Book Cover

Vimānavatthu (Vv) and Petavatthu (Pv): Stories of devata mansions and ghosts. Would be a good text for practice by someone with knowledge of Theravada concepts. Published Books:

  • Stories of Heavenly Mansions from the Vimanavatthu. Mahamegha. This is a new translation in very simple modern language.  Available in print and Kindle. Complete Translation.
  • Stories of Ghosts from the Petavatthu. Mahamegha. This is a new translation in very simple modern language. Available  in print and Kindle. Complete Translation.
  • Minor Anthologies Vol. IV : Vimānavatthu (Stories of the Mansions) and Petavatthu (Stories of the Departed). This is a single volume of both books. ISBN 13: 978-086013073-4 Published by the Pali Text Society. The translation is quite readable. Complete translation including excerpts from the commentary. This translation is closer to the Pali than the two listed above.

Theragāthā (Thag) and Therīgāthā (Thīg): Verses of Arahant Bhikkhus and Bhikkhuṇis. Two excellent collections for practice. The ultimate source for inspiration and reminder of the goal of the practice. Just reading a few verses a day can be beneficial. Consider reading a few verses each day as a supplement to any practice. Published Books:

  • Verses of the Senior Monks: Theragatha Ebook by Bhikkhu Sujato EPUB, Kindle, PDF
  • The Voice of Enlightened Monks: The Thera Gatha. Mahamegha. This is a new translation in very simple modern language.  Available from Mahamevnawa in print and Kindle. Complete Translation.
  • The Voice Of Enlightened Nuns. Mahamegha. This is a new translation in very simple modern language.  Available from Mahamevnaw in print and Kindle. Complete Translation.
  • Poems of Early Buddhist Monks (Theragāthā), translated by K. R. Norman, Pali Text Society. Paperback edition available. Complete text.
  • Poems of Early Buddhist Nuns (Therīgāthā), Translated by Mrs. C.A.F. Rhys Davids and K. R. Norman (two different complete translations bound in the same volume), Pali Text Society. Paperback edition available. Complete text. You can read an on-line version of Mrs. Rhys Davids, translation here.
  • Poems of the Elders: An Anthology from the Theragatha & Therigatha, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. (revised Jan. 17, 2017) Anthology. Print version vailable from Metta Forest Monastery. E-book from Dhammatalks.org.

Jataka (J): The canonical part of this collection are only verses. What are commonly known as the Jataka stories are actually the commentary stories behind them.

  • The Jataka or Stories of the Buddha’s Former Births, edited by E. W. Cowell. This is the only complete translation into English. You can download e-book versions here.
  • Jataka Tales of the Buddha: An Anthology, by Ken & Visakha Kawasaki. Although this is just an anthology, it contains all of the major stories and most of the others.

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