Theragāthā & Therīgāthā Complete Bibliography

Usually on this website we like to keep our recommendations to only the very best and most accessible translations available. However now there are so many good translations of the Theragāthā and Therīgāthā that a complete bibliography is in order.

Theragāthā

  • Bhikkhu Sujāto, Verses of the Senior Monks. Available to read on SuttaCentral.net. Includes the Pāli with handy dictionary lookup features. In addition, there are many translations of the Therīgāthā into other languages. An ebook version is available here on ReadingFaithfully.org.
  • Ven. Kiribathgoda Gnanananda Thero, The Voice of Enlightened Monks. A complete translation is available on SuttaFriends.org. This translation was intentionally done in the simplest language possible. The website reads very easily on mobile. Also available on amazon.com in both print and Kindle.
  • Samanera Mahinda, Theragathapali: Book of Verses of Elder Bhikkhus. Available as a free ebook (pdf, epub, & Kindle) from pariyatti.org.
  • K.R. Norman, Elders’ Verses I published By the Pali Text Society. This is a more literal translation and is highly accurate. It includes extensive notes. The translation only is also available in paperback under the title Poems of Early Buddhist Monks: Theragāthā. Oxford: Pali Text Soc, 1997. Available in print only.
  • Caroline Rhys Davies, Psalms of the Brethren. This translation includes the background stories found in the commentary. The verses themselves are done in the Early Modern English that we find in the King James translation of the Bible, so they have a very poetic feel. An ebook version is available here on ReadingFaithfully.org.

Therīgāthā

  • Bhikkhu Sujāto, Verses of the Senior Nuns. Available to read on SuttaCentral.net. Includes the Pāli with handy dictionary lookup features. In addition, there are many translations of the Therīgāthā into other languages. An ebook version is available here on ReadingFaithfully.org.
  • Ayya Soma, Verses of the Senior Nuns. Available to read on SuttaCentral.net. Includes the Pāli with handy dictionary lookup features. This is one of the newest translations.
  • Hallisey, Charles, Therigatha: Poems of the First Buddhist Women. Murty Classical Library of India 3. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2015. Available in print only. Contains the Pāli as well.
  • Ven. Kiribathgoda Gnanananda Thero, The Voice of Enlightened Nuns. A complete translation is available on SuttaFriends.org. This translation was intentionally done in the simplest language possible. The website reads very easily on mobile. Also available on amazon.com in both print and Kindle.
  • Samanera Mahinda, Therigathapali: Book of Verses of Elder Bhikkhunis. Available as a free ebook (pdf, epub, & Kindle) from pariyatti.org.
  • K.R. Norman, Elders’ Verses II published By the Pali Text Society. This is a more literal translation and is highly accurate. It includes extensive notes. The translation only is also available in paperback under the title Poems of Early Buddhist Nuns: Therīgāthā. Oxford: Pali Text Soc, 1989. Available in print only.
  • Caroline Rhys Davies, Psalms of the Sisters. This translation includes the background stories found in the commentary. The verses themselves are done in the Early Modern English that we find in the King James translation of the Bible, so they have a very poetic feel. It is hosted online at the University of Pennsylvania. An ebook version is available here on ReadingFaithfully.org. The translation only is also available in paperback under the title Poems of Early Buddhist Nuns: Therīgāthā. Oxford: Pali Text Soc, 1989.

Anthologies

  • Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu, Poems of the Elders: An Anthology from the Theragāthā & Therīgāthā. Metta Forest Monastery, revised Feb. 2021. You can request free print copies from the monastery. You can also download a free ebook. You can read the same selections Theragāthā and Therīgāthā translations on line as well.
  • Schelling, Andrew, and Anne Waldman, Songs of the Sons & Daughters of Buddha. 1st ed. Boston: Shambhala, 1996. 2nd ed. Boulder: Shambhala, 2020. This is an anthology of some of the therīs and theras.

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