Posts

SuttaCentral.net How-To Videos

Even if we do most of our reading in print books or ebooks, we will need to go on-line and look up suttas. Here are some videos to help you use the resources on SuttaCentral.net.

Looking up Citations


Look up sutta DN 16
Digha Nikaya, Long Discourses
https://suttacentral.net/dn16/en/sujato


Look up sutta SN 56:11
Samyutta Nikaya, Connected/Linked Discourses
https://suttacentral.net/sn56.11/en/sujato

Useful Features on SuttaCentral.net


This video explains the three text control icons on a SuttaCentral.net translation:
ⓘ Publication details (including copyright)
⚙ Text settings (including side by side Pali)
⌄ View Parallels and references (Suttaplex Card)

Here are the URLs for the suttas in the example:
suttacentral.net/sn56.11/en/sujato
suttacentral.net/sn56.11/en/bodhi

Related:

Sutta Reading Audio Book MP3—Dhammapada: The Buddha’s Path of Wisdom, Translated by Acharya Buddharakkhita

This is a complete audio recording of the Dhammapada translated by Ven. Buddharakkhita. You can download a print and ebook version here. If you want to use the audio recordings for a Dhammapada Per Day Practice, you may want to download the Khuddakanikaya checklist.

Here is a sample of the first track, Yamaka Vagga: Pairs

Download individual files below. You may need to right click and and select save link.

Related

Suttas in a Font to Remember: Sans Forgetica

Usually, typography focuses on making text easy to read. But this new font makes reading just difficult enough so we have slows down to process more deeply what is being read.

The Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University has developed a font that their scientists claim will help with memory: Sans Forgetica. It works on the principle of “desirable difficulty.” Usually typography focuses on making text easy to read. But this font makes reading just difficult enough so the reader slows down to process more deeply what is being read. At least that’s the theory.

Here is an edition of the Dhammapada that makes use of this unusual font. Try it out and see what you think. Often when a text like the Dhammapada is so familiar to us, it is easy to move too quickly through the verses. Share your experience reading in the comments.

If you have the latest firmware on your Kindle reader, you can now load your own fonts. Just look for the /fonts/ folder and follow the instructions in the readme file. Most other e-ink readers have had this feature for some time. You can download Sans-Forgetica from the RMIT.

Not sold on the font? You can download the regular version of this translation instead.

You may also be interested in…

Stages of Enlightenment Handout

Here is a simple handout that explains the four stages of enlightenment. As you read the suttas, the Buddha will refer to these stages so it is good to have this chart on hand when reading.

Related:

Sutta Checklists for Tracking Reading Suttas

Samyutta Nikaya Checklist
Samyutta Nikaya Checklist example

You can use these sutta checklists to keep track of the suttas that you have read.  If you like to skip around, this will help to make sure that you eventually read them all.

Majjhima Nikaya

Samyutta Nikaya

Anguttara Nikaya

Khuddaka Nikaya

You may also like to keep track of the whole nikayas you have read. For that you can use a Sutta Practice Life List.

Related:

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 recommend 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 Internet Archive saved pages of 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.

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

Highlights of the Nikayas Handouts

The following hnadouts 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.

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 Canon

In the Buddha’s Words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon has long been the best way to begin reading the suttas. You can read a short book review here that explains why.

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. If you would like to start exploring the suttas included in this book now, you can use this on-line guide that links to SuttaCentral.org’s translations of the same suttas.

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

Make a Sutta Reading Practice Plan

Sutta Reading Plan

By writing down our intentions to engage daily with the words of the Buddha, we increase our chances of success. And when we anticipate what obstacles we might face and strategize ways to overcome them, we can move forward with confidence.

Here are some things to consider when completing your form. Some of them may seem rather mundane and even against the spirit of sutta reading. Remember, If you are able to consistently engage with the teachings on a long-term basis without using any of these tips and tricks, wonderful! But most of us have difficulties along the way. Only apply the techniques that seem helpful after you try them out.

What Suttas to Read

1.–2. Book, amount to read: Use the various articles on this site to choose a text—

 PagesSuttas
DN43534
MN(1029)152
SN1512 
AN1439 
Khp 9
Dhp 26 **
Ud(98)80
Itv(76)112
Snp(127)71
Vv13485
Pv7751
Thag1211288 *
Thig64524 *

Expected End date: Knowing that there is a specific date that we will be finished with the plan if we stay on track can keep us motivated to continue. If you are choosing to read a chapter a day or a certain number of pages per day or a chapter a day, then figuring out when you might finish is easy.

If your plan is to read a certain number of pages per day, simply use the table to the right and divide the total number of pages by how many you will read each day. Then you can use the calculator on TimeAndDate.com to figure out when you will finish. For example, if you are going to read 10 pages of the Samyutta Nikaya each day, take 1512/10=151.2. Then use the calculator to figure out that if you start on June 25th you will finish around November 23rd. If you want to make a more complex calculation, say skipping weekends, use their business day calculator. If you are planning on reading for a fixed amount of time, keep track of how many pages you read for the first 10 days to figure out an approximate reading rate. Then work through the calculations.

Remember, these are just estimates. But here’s how it helps… A book like the Samyutta Nikaya can seem overwhelming. But the fact is, if you just read 10 pages per day, you will finish it in 151 days.

In the chart, numbers that are in brackets are less suitable for a reading plan. For example, it is preferable to read the Udana and the Itivuttaka sutta by sutta because they are so short. Where a number is missing, it really doesn’t make sense to plan that way.

When to do your sutta reading

3.–4. When to read and what to connect it to. If you can’t be 100% sure when you will do your reading, write down when you hope to read and when you will read if you miss that time. It’s also good if you can connect your reading to something else you are sure to do every day.

Anticipate Problems

5. Choose a backup text. Deciding in advance what book to read if you are not able to work with your main text will ensure you always read at least some words of the Buddha

6. Expected problems. Think about all the things that may stand in the way of your reading. They could be practical things like an erratic schedule or purely internal things like doubt. You can also add to this list as you work with your text.

7. Ideas to overcome problems. Think up at least one way to deal with each problem. Some of these solutions may directly influence your plan. For example if you have a very erratic schedule, you may decide to do your reading before you get dressed each day to make sure that it always happens. Or you may decide to use the Don’t Break the Chain method, posting your calendar in a very visible place. If doubt is an issue, you could make a list of all the ways the Buddha’s teachings have helped you in the past and read through that list each day before reading. You should add to this section as problems occur. Write in the format “If X happens I will do Y.”

8. When you finish the text. It may seem like putting the horse before the cart, but knowing what you will do when you finish your book can improve your reading attitude and make sure that when you are done you don’t stop practicing.

Get started!

After you complete the form, you will want to keep it visible. Post it on your wall or sit it next to where you plan on doing your reading each day. And don’t be afraid to re-evaluate it if things go off track. it is important to actually print out the form and complete it by hand in pencil so you can make adjustments. For example, if you aren’t able to read as many pages a day as you thought, then definitely recalculate! You may want to read the articles about the five P’s of sutta reading practice. Remember, Perfection is not one of them.

So, get started by Download the worksheet PDF.

Related: