There is now a free edition of John D. Ireland’s 1997 translation of the Itivuttaka. The translation is fluent and modern. This particular digital edition has the narrator lines reconstructed giving this collection its unique flavour.
The Itivuttaka is one of the ancient collections found in the Khuddaka Nikaya. It contains 112 short suttas organized numerically like the Anguttara Nikaya. They each contain a short teaching followed by a retelling in verse. This is a great collection to use as a super short daily reading practice.
The smallest collection of suttas in the Pail canon is the Khuddhakapāṭha, “The Short Readings.” It is the first book of the Khuddaka Nikaya. Although it is small, it contains some very important suttas. Three of the most famous suttas—Mangala, Ratana, and Karaniyametta—are found here. These three suttas are commonly recited in the morning in devout Buddhist families. The Beyond the Walls Discourse is frequently chanted after a meal offering to share merits with departed relatives. And the thirty two parts of the body are the traditional parts of one of the mindfulness of the body reflections.
1. Going for Refuge
2. The Ten Training Rules
3. The Thirty Two Fold Nature (Foulness of the body)
4. The Questions to the Boy
5. The Discourse on the Blessings (Mangala Sutta)
6. The Discourse on the Treasures (Ratana Suttus)
7. The Beyond the Walls Discourse
8. The Discourse on the Amount of Savings
9. The Discourse on Friendliness Meditation (Karaniya-metta Sutta)
As a Daily Practice
This is the perfect text to get the ball rolling on your daily practice. Even the longest sutta takes only a few minutes to read. And after nine days you will have completed the book.
Because this collection is so small there are no stand alone print editions.
This is a six volume text of the Pali stories of the Buddha’s former births. It was originally issued in print by Cambridge University Press and by Luzac and Co. between 1895 and 1907. You can find various print editions on line, but the text itself in now in the public domain.
This is a e-book edition of Buddhist Legends: Books 1–26 by Eugene Watson Burlingame. It was originally published as part of the Harvard Oriental Series and is now available in print from the Pali Text Society. The translation is in the public domain, although this e-book edition is strictly for free distribution.
This e-book edition contains the complete set of origin stories to the verses of the Dhammapada as found in the Pali commentaries. The original print publication contained summaries of each story along with an introduction and index.
The language style is very readable despite being close to one hundred years old. A few Dhamma terms are somewhat incorrectly translated, such as “returning thanks” instead of “rejoicing in merit” for anumodana. As with any old translation the reader should be cautious.
There are still many typos left over from the scanning process, although it is quite readable. The footnotes are especially error prone. Check back to this page for future updates.
Buddhist Legends: Books 1–26 by Eugene Watson Burlingame, Kindle
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.
Theragatha Therigatha Anthology from AccesstoInsight.org, Kindle
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.
Bhikkhu Pesala has revised the translation of the verses and commentary stories and made it available as both an Epub and PDF on aimwell.org. If you need a version to read on a Kindle, you can easily use software called Calibre to convert the epub into mobi.
Note: Please do not re-distribute these files as corrections/improvements are made from time to time. Please just link to this page.
This translation of the Dhammapada by Venerable Acharya Buddharkkhita is highly regarded by many for both it’s accuracy as well as readability. It’s prefect to use for reading the Dhammapada as a daily practice. There are currently two editions in circulation:
The most recent is currently published by the Buddhist Publication Society. They have a regular and pocket version, both in paperback including the Pali as well as the translation. See the Source Page for ordering information. A must for every sutta library.
An older edition, originally published in 1985, is now available widely on line for free distribution. All of the digital versions found on this site originate from the one on AccessToInsight.org. Even though this edition does not include the revisions in the one mentioned above, it is still very usable. You can also find this translation on SuttaCentral.net.
1985 Edition, Free Electronic versions:
E-books: Kindle/Mobi, Epub
This version includes the introduction by Bhikkhu Bodhi as well as the footnotes. To ensure proper font rendering, choose the correct version for your device. Note: the table of contents may not render properly on e-pub reading devices.
Dhammapada: The Buddha’s Path of Deliverance, by Acharya Buddharakkhita, 1985, Kindle
The following two versions only include the Dhammapada verses themselves. Be sure to read Bhikkhu Bodhi’s introduction to this translation, not included in this version. (For a print version of the the introduction, see the next item)
This version can be printed double sided onto 8.5×11 paper and then folded into a booklet (choose “flip on short edge” in printer settings):
Dhammapada: The Buddha’s Path of Deliverance, by Acharya Buddharakkhita, 1985, PDF BOOKLET
This is a free e-book edition of the Sutta Nipata, translated by Viggo Fausböll, originally part of Sacred Books of the East, Vol. 10: The Dhammapada and Sutta Nipata, by Max Müller and Viggo Fausböll, . These e-books are strictly for free distribution.
Sutta Nipata: translated by Viggo Fausböll, Kindle
There are several versions of this text on Amazon.com, but none of them are free. Additionally, in this edition the notes have been hyper-linked and moved to the back of the book.
Considering the translation was done well over 100 years ago it is remarkably lucid and accurate. However, someone without a strong background in the suttas would be advised to stick with more contemporary works.
For a very accurate and modern translation of the Sutta Nipata, see:
The Suttanipata: An Ancient Collection of the Buddha’s Discourses Together with Its Commentaries, by Bhikkhu Bodhi from Wisdom Publications in both print and ebook form.
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.
This is a free, public domain edition of the 1909 Psalms of the Sisters, translated by Mrs C.A.F. Rhys Davids, M.A., originally part of Psalms of the Early Buddhists. It is a complete translation of the Therigatha along with the origin stories of the verses.
Therigatha: Psalms of the Sisters, Mrs C.A.F. Rhys Davids, Kindle
The digital version of the text was used by permission from A Celebration of Women Writers. The editor of that series, Mary Mark Ockerbloom, did excellent work creating the HTML needed to make this e-book edition. The same text can be found, divided into smaller pages for faster loading, at Sacred-Texts.com. These e-books are strictly for free distribution.
The language used in this translation is quite outdated, although the New Oxford American Dictionary that comes with many e-book readers has most of the archaic and poetic words. Most readers would do well to start with the translation by K.R. Norman or Ajahn Thanissaro listed below.
The following print translations of the 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. Translation of Theragatha and Therigatha.
Elders’ Verses, prose, tr. K.R. Norman, Vol. II (1971, 1992, 1995, 2nd ed. 2007) ISBN 436 9 The ninth text of the Khuddaka-nikāya of the Sutta-pitaka, these are collections of poems ascribed to elder nuns (theris). Many of the verses are accounts of religious experiences, some of which also achieve a high poetic standard.Translation of Therigatha.
Poems of Early Buddhist Nuns, verse tr. Mrs C.A.F. Rhys Davids and prose tr. K.R. Norman, 1989, reprinted 1997. ISBN 289 7 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.
Selections from the Therigatha can be found on-line at accesstoinsight.org, mostly translated by Ajahn Thanissaro. His translations of the Therigatha can also be found in Volume 4 of Handful of Leaves, distributed by the Sati Center.