In the Buddha’s Words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon Linked to SuttaCentral.net

This is the detailed table of contents of  In the Buddha’s Words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon by Bhikkhu Bodhi, published by Wisdom Publications, but linked to the free translations available on SuttaCentral.net. Most of the translations are by Bhikkhu Sujato. Translations from the Udana are by Ven. Anandajoti and those from the Itivuttaka are by John D. Ireland.

We highly recomment that you purchase the print copy of the original book from the publisher, Wisdom Publications. You can read a book review of why this book is so important.

You can also download a printable checklist of these suttas:

The introductions below are linked to the publisher’s website.

General Introduction

I. The Human Condition

Introduction

1. Old Age, Illness, and Death

(1) Aging and Death (SN 3.3)

(2) The Simile of the Mountain (SN 3.25)

(3) The Divine Messengers (from AN 3.35)

2. The Tribulations of Unreflective Living

(1) The Dart of Painful Feeling (SN 36.6)

(2) The Vicissitudes of Life (AN 8.6)

(3) Anxiety Due to Change (SN 22.7)

3. A World in Turmoil

(1) The Origin of Conflict (AN2. iv, 6, abridged) [AN 2.37]

(2) Why Do Beings Live in Hate? (from DN 21)

(3) The Dark Chain of Causation (from DN 15)

(4) The Roots of Violence and Oppression (from AN 3.69)

4. Without Discoverable Beginning

(1) Grass and Sticks (SN 15.1)

(2) Balls of Clay (SN 15.2)

(3) The Mountain (SN 15.5)

(4) The River Ganges (SN 15.8)

(5) Dog on a Leash (SN 22.99)

II. The Bringer of Light

Introduction

1. One Person (AN 1. xiii, 1, 5, 6) [AN1.170-186]

2. The Buddha’s Conception and Birth (MN 123, abridged)

3. The Quest for Enlightenment

(1) Seeking the Supreme State of Sublime Peace (from MN 26)

(2) The Realization of the Three True Knowledges (from MN 36)

(3) The Ancient City (SN 12.65)

4. The Decision to Teach (from MN 26)

5. The First Discourse (SN 56.11)

III. Approaching the Dhamma

Introduction

1. Not a Secret Doctrine (AN 3.129)

2. No Dogmas or Blind Belief (AN 3.65)

3. The Visible Origin and Passing Away of Suffering (SN 42.11)

4. Investigate the Teacher Himself (MN 47)

5. Steps toward the Realization of Truth (from MN 95)

IV. The Happiness Visible in This Present Life

Introduction

1. Upholding the Dhamma in Society

(1) The King of the Dhamma (AN 3.14)

(2) Worshipping the Six Directions (from DN 31 Part 1 Part 2)

2. The Family

(1) Parents and Children

(a) Respect for Parents (AN 4.63)

(b) Repaying One’s Parents (AN2. iv, 2) [AN2.33]

(2) Husbands and Wives

(a) Different Kinds of Marriages (AN 4.53)

(b) How to Be United in Future Lives (AN 4.55)

(c) Seven Kinds of Wives [AN 7.63] (AN 7.59)

3. Present Welfare, Future Welfare (AN 8.54)

4. Right Livelihood

(1) Avoiding Wrong Livelihood (AN 5.177)

(2) The Proper Use of Wealth (AN 4.61)

(3) A Family Man’s Happiness (AN 4.62)

5. The Woman of the Home (AN 8.49)

6. The Community

(1) Six Roots of Dispute (from MN 104)

(2) Six Principles of Cordiality (from MN 104)

(3) Purification Is for All Four Castes (MN 93, abridged)

(4) Seven Principles of Social Stability (from DN 16)

(5) The Wheel-Turning Monarch (from DN 26)

(6) Bringing Tranquillity to the Land (from DN 5)

V. The Way to a Fortunate Rebirth

Introduction

1. The Law of Kamma

(1) Four Kinds of Kamma (AN 4.232)

(2) Why Beings Fare as They Do after Death (MN 41)

(3) Kamma and Its Fruits (MN 135)

2. Merit. The Key to Good Fortune

(1) Meritorious Deeds (It 22)

(2) Three Bases of Merit (AN 8.36)

(3) The Best Kinds of Confidence (AN 4.34)

3. Giving

(1) If People Knew the Result of Giving (It 26)

(2) Reasons for Giving (AN 8.33)

(3) The Gift of Food (AN 4.57)

(4) A Superior Person’s Gifts (AN 5.148)

(5) Mutual Support (It 107)

(6) Rebirth on Account of Giving (AN 8.35)

4.Moral Discipline

(1) The Five Precepts (AN 8.39)

(2) The Uposatha Observance (AN 8.41)

5. Meditation

(1) The Development of Loving-Kindness (It 27)

(2) The Four Divine Abodes (from MN 99)

(3) Insight Surpasses All (AN 9.20, abridged)

VI. Deepening One’s Perspective on the World

Introduction

1. Four Wonderful Things (AN 4.128)

2. Gratification, Danger, and Escape

(1) Before My Enlightenment (AN 3.101 §§1–2) [3.103]

(2) I Set Out Seeking (AN 3.101 §3) [3.104]

(3) If There Were No Gratification (AN 3.105)

3. Properly Appraising Objects of Attachment (MN 13)

4. The Pitfalls in Sensual Pleasures

(1) Cutting Off All Affairs (from MN 54)

(2) The Fever of Sensual Pleasures (from MN 75)

5. Life Is Short and Fleeting (AN 7.70) [AN 7.74]

6. Four Summaries of the Dhamma (from MN 82)

7.The Danger in Views

(1) A Miscellany on Wrong View (AN 1. xvii, 1, 3, 7, 9) [AN1.306-308]

(2) The Blind Men and the Elephant (Ud 6.4)

(3) Held by Two Kinds of Views (It 49)

8. From the Divine Realms to the Infernal (AN 4.125)

9. The Perils of Saṃsāra

(1) The Stream of Tears (SN 15.3)

(2) The Stream of Blood (SN 15.13)

VII. The Path to Liberation

Introduction

1. Why Does One Enter the Path?

(1) The Arrow of Birth, Aging, and Death (MN 63)

(2) The Heartwood of the Spiritual Life (MN 29)

(3) The Fading Away of Lust (SN 45.41–48, combined Part 1 Part 2 Part3)

2. Analysis of the Eightfold Path (SN 45.8)

3. Good Friendship (SN 45.2)

4. The Graduated Training (MN 27)

5. The Higher Stages of Training with Similes (from MN 39)

VIII. Mastering the Mind

Introduction

1. The Mind Is the Key (AN 1. iii, 1, 2, 3, 4, 9, 10) [AN1.21-30]

2. Developing a Pair of Skills

(1) Serenity and Insight (AN2. iii, 10) [AN2.31]

(2) Four Ways to Arahantship (AN 4.170)

(3) Four Kinds of Persons (AN 4.94)

3. The Hindrances to Mental Development (SN 46.55, abridged)

4. The Refinement of the Mind (AN 3.100 §§1–10) [AN 3.101]

5. The Removal of Distracting Thoughts (MN 20)

6. The Mind of Loving-Kindness (from MN 21)

7. The Six Recollections (AN 6.10) [Related: AN11.12 ]

8. The Four Establishments of Mindfulness (MN 10)

9. Mindfulness of Breathing (SN 54.13)

10. The Achievement of Mastery (SN 28.1–9,combined)

IX. Shining the Light of Wisdom

Introduction

1.Images of Wisdom

(1) Wisdom as a Light (AN 4.143)

(2) Wisdom as a Knife (from MN 146)

2. The Conditions for Wisdom (AN 8.2, abridged)

3. A Discourse on Right View (MN 9)

4. The Domain of Wisdom

(1) By Way of the Five Aggregates

(a) Phases of the Aggregates (SN 22.56)

(b) A Catechism on the Aggregates (SN 22.82 = MN 109, abridged)

(c) The Characteristic of Nonself (SN 22.59)

(d) Impermanent, Suffering, Nonself (SN 22.45)

(e) A Lump of Foam (SN 22.95)

(2) By Way of the Six Sense Bases

(a) Full Understanding (SN 35.26)

(b) Burning (SN 35.28)

(c) Suitable for Attaining Nibbāna (SN 35.147, SN 35.148, SN 35.149, combined)

(d) Empty Is the World (SN 35.85)

(e) Conscious Too Is Nonself (SN 35.234)

(3) By Way of the Elements

(a) The Eighteen Elements (SN 14.1)

(b) The Four Elements (SN 14.37, SN 14.38, SN 14.39, combined)

(c) The Six Elements (from MN 140)

(4) By Way of Dependent Origination

(a) What Is Dependent Origination? (SN 12.1)

(b) The Stableness of the Dhamma (SN 12.20)

(c) Forty-Four Cases of Knowledge (SN 12.33)

(d) A Teaching by the Middle (SN 12.15)

(e) The Continuance of Consciousness (SN 12.38)

(f) The Origin and Passing of the World (SN 12.44)

(5) By Way of the Four Noble Truths

(a) The Truths of All Buddhas (SN 56.24)

(b) These Four Truths Are Actual (SN 56.20)

(c) A Handful of Leaves (SN 56.31)

(d) Because of Not Understanding (SN 56.21)

(e) The Precipice (SN 56.42)

(f) Making the Breakthrough (SN 56.32)

(g) The Destruction of the Taints (SN 56.25)

5. The Goal of Wisdom

(a) What is Nibbāna? (SN 38.1)

(b) Thirty-Three Synonyms for Nibbāna (SN 43.1– 44, combined)

(c) There Is That Base (Ud 8.1)

(d) The Unborn (Ud 8.3)

(e) The Two Nibbāna Elements (It 44)

(f) The Fire and the Ocean (from MN 72)

X. The Planes of Realization

Introduction

1. The Field of Merit for the World

(1) Eight Persons Worthy of Gifts (AN 8.59)

(2) Differentiation by Faculties (SN 48.18) [Related: SN 48.10 ]

(3) In the Dhamma Well Expounded (from MN 22)

(4) The Completeness of the Teaching (from MN 73)

(5) Seven Kinds of Noble Persons (from MN 70)

2. Stream-Entry

(1) The Four Factors Leading to Stream-Entry (SN 55.5)

(2) Entering the Fixed Course of Rightness (SN 25.1)

(3) The Breakthrough to the Dhamma (SN 13.1)

(4) The Four Factors of a Stream-Enterer (SN 55.2) [Related: (SN 55.1) ]

(5) Better than Sovereignty over the Earth (SN 55.1)

3. Nonreturning

(1) Abandoning the Five Lower Fetters (from MN 64)

(2) Four Kinds of Persons (AN 4.169)

(3) Six Things that Partake of True Knowledge (SN 55.3)

(4) Five Kinds of Nonreturners (SN 46.3)

4. The Arahant

(1) Removing the Residual Conceit “I Am” (SN 22.89)

(2) The Trainee and the Arahant (SN 48.53)

(3) A Monk Whose Crossbar Has Been Lifted (from MN 22)

(4) Nine Things an Arahant Cannot Do (from AN 9.7)

(5) A Mind Unshaken (from AN 9.26)

(6) The Ten Powers of an Arahant Monk (AN 10.90)

(7) The Sage at Peace (from MN 140)

(8) Happy Indeed Are the Arahants (from SN 22.76)

5. The Tathāgata

(1) The Buddha and the Arahant (SN 22.58)

(2) For the Welfare of Many (It 84)

(3) Sāriputta’s Lofty Utterance (SN 47.12)

(4) The Powers and Grounds of Self-Confidence (from MN 12)

(5) The Manifestation of Great Light (SN 56.38)

(6) The Man Desiring Our Good (from MN 19)

(7) The Lion (SN 22.78)

(8) Why Is He Called the Tathāgata? (AN 4.23 = It 112)

 

If you find this information useful, we highly recomment that you purchase the print copy of the original book from the publisher, Wisdom Publications.

Related:

Book Review—In the Buddha’s Words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon by Bhikkhu Bodhi

In the Buddha’s Words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon by Bhikkhu Bodhi, published by Wisdom Publications, 2005.

Why you should read it:

  • It covers all the important Buddhist concepts
  • You can see exactly what the Buddha taught, not other people’s ideas of what he taught
  • These scriptures are important to all major schools of Buddhism

Many people have an interest in learning more about Buddhism. This is a book that gives the most direct path to finding out what the Buddha actually taught in his own words. This book contains 287 pages of translations of the most ancient teachings of the Buddha, preserved in the Pali language. Each individual scripture is known as a sutta.

The suttas are organized into ten chapters:

1. The Human Condition
2. The Bringer of Light
3. Approaching the Dhamma
4. The Happiness Visible in This Present Life
5. The Way to a Fortunate Rebirth
6. Deepening One’s Perspective on the World
7. The Path to Liberation
8. Mastering the Mind
9. Shining the Light of Wisdom
10. The Planes of Realization

Each one has an introduction to explain any concepts that might be unfamiliar to the reader. The organization quickly reveals that the Buddha’s teachings span a wide range of topics ranging from ordinary happiness in this life to complete liberation from all suffering.

Samples

Here are some samples from the original book. You can also see the detailed table of contents linked to freely available translations on line here.

Chapter 1: The Dart
“Bhikkhus (monks), the uninstructed worldling feels a pleasant feeling, a painful feeling, and a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling. The instructed noble disciple too feels a pleasant feeling, a painful feeling, and a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling. Therein, bhikkhus, what is the distinction, the disparity, the difference between the instructed noble disciple and the uninstructed worldling?”

“Venerable sir, our teachings are rooted in the Blessed One, guided by the Blessed One, take recourse in the Blessed One. It would be good if the Blessed One would clear up the meaning of this statement. Having heard it from him, the bhikkhus will remember it.”

“Then listen and attend closely, bhikkhus, I will speak.”

“Yes, venerable sir,” the bhikkhus replied. The Blessed One said this:

“Bhikkhus, when the uninstructed worldling is being contacted by a painful feeling, he sorrows, grieves, and laments; he weeps beating his breast and becomes distraught. He feels two feelings—a bodily one and a mental one. Suppose they were to strike a man with a dart, and then they would strike him immediately afterwards with a second dart, so that the man would feel a feeling caused by two darts. So too, when the uninstructed worldling is being contacted by a painful feeling … he feels two feelings—a bodily one and a mental one.

“Being contacted by that same painful feeling, he harbours aversion towards it. When he harbours aversion towards painful feeling, the underlying tendency to aversion towards painful feeling lies behind this. Being contacted by painful feeling, he seeks delight in sensual pleasure. For what reason? Because the uninstructed worldling does not know of any escape from painful feeling other than sensual pleasure. When he seeks delight in sensual pleasure, the underlying tendency to lust for pleasant feeling lies behind this. He does not understand as it really is the origin and the passing away, the gratification, the danger, and the escape in the case of these feelings. When he does not understand these things, the underlying tendency to ignorance in regard to neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling lies behind this.

“If he feels a pleasant feeling, he feels it attached. If he feels a painful feeling, he feels it attached. If he feels a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling, he feels it attached. This, bhikkhus, is called an uninstructed worldling who is attached to birth, aging, and death; who is attached to sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair; who is attached to suffering, I say.

“Bhikkhus, when the instructed noble disciple is contacted by a painful feeling, he does not sorrow, grieve, or lament; he does not weep beating his breast and become distraught. He feels one feeling—a bodily one, not a mental one. Suppose they were to strike a man with a dart, but they would not strike him immediately afterwards with a second dart, so that the man would feel a feeling caused by one dart only. So too, when the instructed noble disciple is contacted by a painful feeling … he feels one feeling—a bodily one, not a mental one.

“Being contacted by that same painful feeling, he harbours no aversion towards it. Since he harbours no aversion towards painful feeling, the underlying tendency to aversion towards painful feeling does not lie behind this. Being contacted by painful feeling, he does not seek delight in sensual pleasure. For what reason? Because the instructed noble disciple knows of an escape from painful feeling other than sensual pleasure. Since he does not seek delight in sensual pleasure, the underlying tendency to lust for pleasant feeling does not lie behind this. He understands as it really is the origin and the passing away, the gratification, the danger, and the escape in the case of these feelings. Since he understands these things, the underlying tendency to ignorance in regard to neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling does not lie behind this.

“If he feels a pleasant feeling, he feels it detached. If he feels a painful feeling, he feels it detached. If he feels a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling, he feels it detached. This, bhikkhus, is called a noble disciple who is detached from birth, aging, and death; who is detached from sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair; who is detached from suffering, I say.

“This, bhikkhus, is the distinction, the disparity, the difference between the instructed noble disciple and the uninstructed worldling.”

The wise one, learned, does not feel
The pleasant and painful mental feeling.
This is the great difference between
The wise one and the worldling.

For the learned one who has comprehended Dhamma,
Who clearly sees this world and the next,
Desirable things do not provoke his mind,
Towards the undesired he has no aversion.

For him attraction and repulsion no more exist;
Both have been extinguished, brought to an end.
Having known the dust-free, sorrowless state,
The transcender of existence rightly understands.

The Dart—SN 36:6

© Bhikkhu Bodhi, The Connected Discourses of the Buddha (Wisdom Publications, 2000) This excerpt from The Connected Discourses of the Buddha by Bhikkhu Bodhi is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Chapter 1: The Vicissitudes of Life
“Bhikkhus (monks), these eight worldly conditions revolve around the world, and the world revolves around these eight worldly conditions. What eight? Gain and loss, disrepute and fame, blame and praise, and pleasure and pain. These eight worldly conditions revolve around the world, and the world revolves around these eight worldly conditions.

“Bhikkhus, an uninstructed worldling meets gain and loss, disrepute and fame, blame and praise, and pleasure and pain. An instructed noble disciple also meets gain and loss, disrepute and fame, blame and praise, and pleasure and pain. What is the distinction, the disparity, the difference between an instructed noble disciple and an uninstructed worldling with regard to this?”

“Bhante, our teachings are rooted in the Blessed One, guided by the Blessed One, take recourse in the Blessed One. It would be good if the Blessed One would clear up the meaning of this statement. Having heard it from him, the bhikkhus will retain it in mind.”

“Then listen, bhikkhus, and attend closely. I will speak.”

“Yes, Bhante,” those bhikkhus replied. The Blessed One said this:

“(1) Bhikkhus, when an uninstructed worldling meets with gain, he does not reflect thus: ‘This gain that I have met is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change.’ He does not understand it as it really is. (2) When he meets with loss … (3) … fame … (4) … disrepute … (5) … blame … (6) … praise … (7) … pleasure … (8) … pain, he does not reflect thus: ‘This pain that I have met is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change.’ He does not understand it as it really is.

“Gain obsesses his mind, and loss obsesses his mind. Fame obsesses his mind, and disrepute obsesses his mind. Blame obsesses his mind, and praise obsesses his mind. Pleasure obsesses his mind, and pain obsesses his mind. He is attracted to gain and repelled by loss. He is attracted to fame and repelled by disrepute. He is attracted to praise and repelled by blame. He is attracted to pleasure and repelled by pain. Thus involved with attraction and repulsion, he is not freed from birth, from old age and death, from sorrow, lamentation, pain, dejection, and anguish; he is not freed from suffering, I say.

“But, bhikkhus, (1) when an instructed noble disciple meets with gain, he reflects thus: ‘This gain that I have met is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change.’ He thus understands it as it really is. (2) When he meets with loss … (3) … fame … (4) … disrepute … (5) … blame … (6) … praise … (7) … pleasure … (8) … pain, he reflects thus: ‘This pain that I have met is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change.’ He thus understands it as it really is.

“Gain does not obsess his mind, and loss does not obsess his mind. Fame does not obsess his mind, and disrepute does not obsess his mind. Blame does not obsess his mind, and praise does not obsess his mind. Pleasure does not obsess his mind, and pain does not obsess his mind. He is not attracted to gain or repelled by loss. He is not attracted to fame or repelled by disrepute. He is not attracted to praise or repelled by blame. He is not attracted to pleasure or repelled by pain. Having thus discarded attraction and repulsion, he is freed from birth, from old age and death, from sorrow, lamentation, pain, dejection, and anguish; he is freed from suffering, I say.

“This, bhikkhus, is the distinction, the disparity, the difference between an instructed noble disciple and an uninstructed worldling.”

Gain and loss, disrepute and fame,
blame and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions that people meet
are impermanent, transient, and subject to change.

A wise and mindful person knows them
and sees that they are subject to change.
Desirable conditions don’t excite his mind
nor is he repelled by undesirable conditions.

He has dispelled attraction and repulsion;
they are gone and no longer present.
Having known the dustless, sorrowless state,
he understands rightly and has transcended existence.

The World—AN 8:5

© Bhikkhu Bodhi, The Numerical Discourses of the Buddha (Wisdom Publications, 2012) This excerpt from The Numerical Discourses of the Buddha by Bhikkhu Bodhi is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Chapter 4: Freedom From Debt
Then the householder Anāthapiṇḍika approached the Blessed One…. The Blessed One said to him:

“Householder, there are these four kinds of happiness that may be achieved by a layperson who enjoys sensual pleasures, depending on time and occasion. What four? The happiness of ownership, the happiness of enjoyment, the happiness of freedom from debt, and the happiness of blamelessness.

(1) “And what, householder, is the happiness of ownership? Here, a clansman has acquired wealth by energetic striving, amassed by the strength of his arms, earned by the sweat of his brow, righteous wealth righteously gained. When he thinks, ‘I have acquired wealth by energetic striving … righteously gained,’ he experiences happiness and joy. This is called the happiness of ownership.

(2) “And what is the happiness of enjoyment? Here, with wealth acquired by energetic striving, amassed by the strength of his arms, earned by the sweat of his brow, righteous wealth righteously gained, a clansman enjoys his wealth and does meritorious deeds. When he thinks, ‘With wealth acquired by energetic striving … righteously gained, I enjoy my wealth and do meritorious deeds,’ he experiences happiness and joy. This is called the happiness of enjoyment.

(3) “And what is the happiness of freedom from debt? Here, a clansman has no debts to anyone, whether large or small. When he thinks, ‘I have no debts to anyone, whether large or small,’ he experiences happiness and joy. This is called the happiness of freedom from debt.

(4) “And what is the happiness of blamelessness? Here, householder, a noble disciple is endowed with blameless bodily, verbal, and mental action. When he thinks, ‘I am endowed with blameless bodily, verbal, and mental action,’ he experiences happiness and joy. This is called the happiness of blamelessness.

“These are the four kinds of happiness that a layperson who enjoys sensual pleasures may achieve, depending on time and occasion.”

Having known the happiness of freedom from debt,
one should recall the happiness of ownership.
Enjoying the happiness of enjoyment,
a mortal then sees things clearly with wisdom.

While seeing things clearly, the wise one
knows both kinds of happiness.
The other is not worth a sixteenth part
of the bliss of blamelessness.

Freedom From Debt—AN 4:62

© Bhikkhu Bodhi, The Numerical Discourses of the Buddha (Wisdom Publications, 2012) This excerpt from The Numerical Discourses of the Buddha by Bhikkhu Bodhi is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Other Benefits of this book

  • Each of the suttas has a standard citation so it is easy to find them in other translations. In fact, this book is part of a series that includes translations of the first four canonical collections of suttas.
  • It contains three comprehensive indexes: subjects, people and places, and similes.

Using this book for a daily reading practice

If you want to get the deepest benifit of reading this book, it is best to read just a few of the suttas each day. This allows time for the meaning to seep into your day to day life.

About the translator

Translator Bhikkhu Bodhi
Photo credit: Ivan Boden

Bhikkhu Bodhi is an American Theravada Buddhist monk, ordained in 1972. In addition to this book, he has published a complete translation of two of the canonical collections of suttas and edited a third. His deep Buddhist faith comes through in the precision and beauty of his translation work. He is also a popular teacher of the Buddhist suttas.

How to buy

Photo credit: Ourit Ben- Haim

You can buy the print edition as well as electronic edition directly from the publisher at WisdomPubs.org. If you are planning to buy the electronic edition, buy it from them because it contains all three formats (Epub, Kindle and PDF) without any DRM restrictions. The print edition is available from on-line shop and your local bookseller can order it in if they don’t carry it.

Related

 

Selections from In the Buddha’s Words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon

Cover of Selections from In the Buddha’s Words An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali CanonIn the Buddha’s Words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon has long been the best way to begin reading the suttas.

This e-book contains the main introduction as  well as the introduction to each of the ten chapters. While no substitute for reading the book with the actual suttas, this can give you a good idea of the book’s contents as well as Bhikkhu Bodhi’s writing style.

You can buy the complete book from Wisdom Publications as a print or electronic edition.  It is also available from on-line and regular bookshops.

These selections have been made available for non-commercial distribution by Wisdom Publications.

Related

Buddhist Stories from the Khandhakas: Selections from The Book of the Discipline—Epub, Kindle, PDF

Have you ever thought about reading the Vinaya but aren’t sure where to start? This new edition of the section called the Khandhakas was made for you.

The Vinaya is mostly guidelines for the monastic community. It also contains countless stories about both monastics and lay people. It begins with the moment after the Buddha’s enlightenment and tells the story of the founding of the Bhikkhu Sangha until the joining of Vens. Sariputta and Maha Moggallana. It then tells stories of the ways the community was guided by the Buddha. It ends with the stories of the first two great councils.

From the Preface:

The Vinaya is a source of not only valuable spiritual teachings, but a rich collection of humanizing stories. There are stories of great virtue and great vice, great wisdom and great foolishness. Because the Vinaya Pitaka also contains an impressive amount of intricate training rules for monastics, it is often skipped over by people who might otherwise benefit. The current edition of the Khandhakas is an attempt to make it easier for people to discover their next spiritual inspiration.

Although the title of this edition specifically calls out stories, many of the passages that are also found in the Sutta Pitaka are included. As well, a rather long section, chapter 18, contains detailed instructions on how to go about the daily chores of living in a monastery. Because they are the story of every day life, they have also been included.

Within chapters an ellipsis is included where material has been removed. As well, the footnotes have been removed as they rarely related to the narrative drive of the stories. All the titles remain as they are in the original edition so if you want to learn more you can. The original publication can be found on the download page of SuttaCentral.net.

This edition is only possible through the Pali Text Society’s generous release of I. B. Horner’s complete tranlsation of the Vinaya Pitaka under a Creative Commons Licence as well as the hard work of many individuals at SuttaCentral to bring it into digital form, particularly Bhante Brahmali and Bhante Sujato.

Related:

Theragatha Therigatha Anthology from AccesstoInsight.org, Free Kindle, Epub

This is a free e-book anthology of Theragatha and Therigatha verses found on AccesstoInsight.org. They are by various translators excluding Ajahn Thanissaro. His translations are published separately by Metta Forest Monastery.

These e-books are strictly for free distribution.


The following print translations of the Theragatha and Therigatha are available from Mahamevnawa:

  • The Voice of Enlightened Monks: The Theragatha. Mahamegha. This is a new translation in very simple modern language.  Available in print and Kindle. Complete Translation.
  • The Voice Of Enlightened Nuns: The Therigatha. Mahamegha. This is a new translation in very simple modern language.  Available in print and Kindle. Complete Translation.

 

The following print translations of the Theragatha and Therigatha are available from the Pali Text Society, www.palitext.com:

  • Psalms of the Early Buddhists, verse tr. Mrs C.A.F. Rhys Davids: The Sisters, 1909 and The Brethren, 2nd edn. 1937, reprinted as one volume 1980. ISBN 076 2. Hard back, includes notes.Translation of Theragatha and Therigatha.
  • Elders’ Verses, prose, tr. K.R. Norman, Vol. I &II, hard back, includes notes. Translation of Theragatha and Therigatha.
  • Poems of Early Buddhist Nuns, verse tr. Mrs C.A.F. Rhys Davids and prose tr. K.R. Norman, 1989, reprinted 1997. Paperback. Translation of Therigatha. Contains extracts from Elders’ Verses Vol. II and Psalms of the Early Buddhists. Does not contain the footnotes found in Psalms of the Early Buddhists.
  • Poems of Early Buddhist Monks, this is the prose translation from Elders’ Verses I and does not include the footnotes. Paperback.

Selections from the Therigatha can be found on-line at accesstoinsight.org, translated by Ajahn Thanissaro. His translations of the Theragatha and Therigatha can be downloaded from DhammaTalks.org.

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Please report any errors in these books using the Contact Page or the comments below.

Anthologies for Practice

An anthology is a collection of ancient scriptures organized around a topic. This is a great way for people new to reading the suttas as well as more experienced readers to delve deeply into a single concept. We recommend all of the anthologies below. You may want to print out the simple chart of the Sutta Pitaka so you understand where the scriptures you read fit in to the canonical collections.

Check out How To: Using an Anthology for Daily Practice

In the Buddha’s Words

downloadd01d40af_2fimages-sd_2fImages-miscWeb_2fIn_20The_20Buddha_27s_20WordsIn the Buddha’s Words, by Bhikkhu Bodhi, Wisdom Publications. This is a comprehensive anthology of suttas, covering the whole range of the Buddha’s teachings. An excellent text for anyone regardless of experience level. This book will serve well as a foundation for your practice with the suttas as well as provide a lifetime of teachings. This is certainly a text to be read repeatedly. You can down load an e-book with all of the chapter introductions  here. This book is available in print form as well as on the Kindle. (If you are going to get the electronic version, be sure to do it from the Wisdom website because you get a Kindle, epub, and pdf all for one price)

Short topical anthologies by Ajahn Thanissaro

AT-ThumbMontage.jpgFree print copies are usually available from Metta Forest Monastery. All of his anthologies begin with basic concepts as a foundation for the main topic. Suitable for newcomers. They are anthologies in the sense that they contain suttas from throughout the canon, and sometimes only excerpts. Several of these books have counterparts in the Study Guide section of Access to Insight so you could check them out there before requesting them. They are now all available from the dhammatalks.org  website in multiple formats.

  • Merit, suttas that explain the three types of merit created through giving, being virtuous and cultivating the mind.
  • Into the Stream, suttas that explain the first stage of enlightenment and the path.
  • A Meditator’s Tools, suttas that explain the ten subjects for meditation. (Previously titled Recollections)
  • Beyond Coping: A Study Guide on Old Age, Illness and Death.
  • A Burden Off the Mind, suttas that explain the five aggregates.
  • Mindful of the Body
  • Recognizing the Dhamma, suttas based on the practice advice the Blessed One gave to his step mother, Mahā Pajāpatī.
  • The Sublime Attitudes: A Study Guide on the Brahmaviharas

Other anthologies

The Life of the Buddha, According to the Pali Canon, by Bhikkhu Ñāṇamoli, Buddhist Publication Society and Pariyatti. Suttas and passages from the Vinaya placed in an approximately chronological order. The repetitions have mostly been removed. Ad excellent way to experience the Canon. There is a free PDF download available from Pariyatti, although it is not printable.

Buddha, My Refuge, by Bhikkhu Khantipalo, Buddhist Publication Society. Suttas that teach the qualities of the Buddha. Very useful if you would like to develop a Recollection of the Buddha meditation practice.

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Have you used an anthology of suttas for daily practice? Share your experience in the comments below. Feel free to comment anonymously.

How To: Using an Anthology for Daily Practice

Anthologies of suttas from the Pali canon are great for a daily sutta practice. See the list of anthologies for books to use. If you aren’t sure which one to pick, you can’t go wrong with In the Buddha’s Words by Bhikkhu Bodhi.

Here are some tips to keep in mind as you are reading.

AllCovers-Anthologies

ONE EACH DAY: As with any text for daily practice, read one sutta or passage each day. If it is particularly short, use your extra time to contemplate it more deeply or even commit it to memory. You may even want to copy it right into your personal anthology if appropriate.

MARK YOUR PLACE: Because the passages can sometimes be quite short, there may be several in a set of facing pages where you would normally put a bookmark. To keep track of exactly which one you are on, consider using a post-it flag or a piece of a post it note. That way you won’t need to spend time trying to figure out which passage you should read next. This is especially handy when you miss a day or two of practice.

DIFFERENT MARKS: Because you may also find yourself flagging passages of importance for future reference, or perhaps to include in your personal anthology, you can put the post-it that marks your place in the book at an angle. Other markers can be placed square with the page. This way you can easily tell where you are and which passage are just marked for reference.

LONG PASSAGES: Sometimes a passage in an anthology will be particularly long, longer than you have time to read that day. You can simply divide the passage in half, reading part one day and part the next. Another option is to save that passage for a day when you have more time. Simply mark that passage with another angled post-it flag. Obviously the last angled flag will be your final position in the book, and the earlier one will act as a constant reminder to go back to read the longer passage as soon as you are able.

FLAGS READY FOR USE: If you like using the flags like this, consider sticking several inside the front cover so they are always handy. This will help us avoid the tendency to use a pencil, tissue, or something laying around as a book mark.

ANTHOLOGY AS A BACK UP PLAN: If you have committed to reading a larger text as a daily practice, such as the Majjhima Nikāya, consider working with an anthology as a back up plan for days that you don’t have as much time. If you are doing this, it is especially important to keep track of exactly where you are in the book.

PAY ATTENTION TO CITATIONS: Most anthologies will include a citation, or reference, to where the passage is found in the canon. There will be a page in the front or back of the book explaining what the abbreviations stand for. (You can mark this with a flag coming out of the top of the book.) As you are reading, take a moment to look up the abbreviation each time until you have them memorized. This will be quite painless and give you a good sense of where things come from. You may start to develop an affinity to suttas from a particular book such as the Udāna or the Dhammapada. Then when it is time to pick a new book for practice you will know where to head.

You can also print out the small version of the Finding Your Way in the Sutta Pitaka chart so you can get a sense of the organization of the canon as you learn the citations.

EXCERPTS: Often anthologies contain only a portion of the sutta. This is almost always true when the citation is for the Majjhima Nikāya(MN) or the Dīgha Nikāya (DN). If you find one of those passages interesting, consider taking time to look up and read the whole sutta.

DO IT ALL AGAIN: As with any book you are using for daily practice, once you have finished it, consider reading the book a second time in the same way, one passage each day. This will greatly improve your familiarity, understanding and confidence in the teachings.

Have you used an anthology for daily practice? Share your experience or tips in the comments below

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