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Bring the suttas alive by reading aloud

Buddhist scripture have been recited aloud since the time of the Buddha. In fact, without this recitation, usually as a group, we wouldn’t have the suttas with us today. You can continue this tradition by reading the suttas aloud.

Even though we don’t need to recite out loud to preserve the teachings for future generations, it is still a great practice.

Reading suttas aloud

Reading suttas aloud has many benefits:

  • If we are tired, reading out loud can help us wake up
  • If the mind is really distracted, it can help calm and focus the mind.
  • By reading aloud, we can process them through hearing as well as seeing.

Don’t worry about pronouncing all of the Pali words correctly. Sound them out the best you can, but don’t let incorrect pronunciation hold you back.

You don’t need to read the whole sutta out loud. If there is part of the sutta that doesn’t make sense, try reading that part aloud till you can track what is being said.

Sometimes repetitions start to blend together. By reading them out loud, the differences will pop out.

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.

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Sutta Art Journaling: Deep Engagement

A page from The Dawn of the Dhamma

Over the last few years there has been an emerging practice in the Christian community called Bible Art Journaling. It has probably  been helped along by the adult coloring craze, scrapbooking, bullet journaling, and of course social media.

The idea is that by embellish the extra large margins of a text designed for this purpose with art work or decorative pull quotes inspired by the text, one can develop a deeper connection to the text. You can find endless examples on Google image, Instagram, Pinterest, and of course endless hours on Youtube. On line stores like Amazon and Barnes & Noble have dozens of bible specially designed for people to create art in the margins. Although the social media aspect is new, illuminated manuscripts have a long tradition in Christianity and Islam. Ajahn Sucitto has a well known illuminated version of the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta that can be seen in the book titled The Dawn of the Dhamma that can be read on line.

There is no shortage of criticism that people are taking it a bit far by completely obscuring the text with paint or drawing, which is probably well deserved. But there can be no doubt that for some folks decorating the margins with illustrations pulled from the text can be a healthy way of engaging with and remembering a text. Clearly it’s not for everyone.

Here is a text of Ven. Buddharakkhita’s translation of the Dhammapada laid out with a very large margin giving plenty of room for embellishments and illuminations. You can also get creative with the binding, and best of all you can reprint any page you want to redo.

Realms of Rebirth Taught by the Buddha

Although the Buddha never used charts as visual aids when preaching, we can sometimes benefit from seeing the teachings laid out in a table. These three charts give a perspective on the Buddha’s teachings on the realms of rebirth.

  • Basic Realms of Rebirth
  • Causes of Rebirth in the different realms
  • Lifespan in different realms of rebirth

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Overview of Translators of Pali Buddhist Scriptures

We are very fortunate to be living in a time when the entire Sutta Pitaka has been translated into clear modern English. As a beginner, one should not be overly hung up on choosing the “best” translation. All of the translators on this page have created texts that you can read with confidence. They are all slightly different, as you will read in the comments below. And as you read and learn, you may develop preferences of one over another. You may even be motivated one day to learn the Pali language. But in the mean time, you can start by choosing any of these translations and not worrying that you are going to be misinformed.

Honestly, the best translation to start with is the one you have. You may want to look at the article on choosing a text by your experience level or by the time you have available to practice.

With a few exceptions, this list is restricted to complete translations that are available in print or as a pdf that can be printed.

Bhikkhu Bodhi

Translations by Bhante Bodhi are very faithful to the original Pali and are usually in line with what have come to be standard  translations of technical terms. His English is fluent if a bit formal. The new reader can benefit from copious footnotes and introductions. (Note: Bhikkhu Bodhi is the editor of The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha found under Nyanamoli Bhikkhu) (available from Wisdom Publications)

  • The Connected Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Saṁyutta Nikāya
  • The Numerical Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Aṅguttara Nikāya
  • The Suttanipata: An Ancient Collection of the Buddha’s Discourses Together with Its Commentaries
  • In the Buddha’s Words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon
  • The Buddha’s Teachings on Social and Communal Harmony: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon

Ajahn Thanissaro

The majority of Ajahn Thanissaro’s translations are of the first four nikayas, but none of the nikayas are complete. His anthologies are found in a (now) four volume set titled Handful of Leaves. Although incomplete, for a beginner they contain more than enough to get a solid grounding. He is well known for novel translations of key technical terms, most famously “stress” as a translation of dukkha. If you are a big fan of his voluminous writings and translations of modern Thai teachers, then his sutta translations will be a good fit. He also has five complete translations from the Khuddaka Nikaya. As well, he has many anthologies based on important topics. (Available in print from Metta Forest Monastery and download online.)

  • Handful of Leaves, anthology from Digha, Majjhima, Samyutta, and Anguttara Nikayas
  • Khuddakapatha: Short Passages
  • The Dhammapada
  • Udana: Exclamations
  • Itivuttaka: This was said by the Buddha
  • Sutta Nipata: The Discourse Group
  • Numerous anthologies on important Dhamma concepts

Bhikkhu Sujato

Published in 2018, this is the first time that the first four nikayas have been translated and published simultaneously by a single author. From the translator: “My goal was to make a translation that was freely available, accurate, and consistent. In doing so, I wanted to make it more readable and approachable than former translations.” There was also an attempt to use gender neutral language whenever possible. When read on-line at SuttaCentral.net it is possible to see the original Pali along with the English. Print publication of the nikayas is pending. Theragatha available in paperback and hardback from lulu. The links below are to ebooks available for download from this site:

Bhikkhu Ñāṇamoli

The translation Majjhima Nikaya shares many of the qualities of the later works written by the editor, Bhikkhu Bodhi. The language is lucid and slightly formal. The Life of the Buddha translation is distinctive in its drastic reduction of repetitions which may be useful temporarily for beginners. (The Majjhima Nikaya is available from Wisdom Publications; Life of the Buddha is available from the Buddhist Publication Society.)

  • The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha: a Translation of the Majjhima Nikaya
  • The Life of the Buddha, According to the Pali Canon (Free PDF)

Maurice O’C. Walshe

This is currently the only complete translation of the Digha Nikaya easily available to purchase in print. It is one of the older modern translations. The only shortcoming is found in the footnotes where the author shares more of his own ideas and biases than necessary. But this does not really affect the translation. (available from Wisdom Publications)

  • The Long Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Dīgha Nikāya

Ven. Kiribathgoda Gnanananda Thero

The translations published by Mahamevnawa Buddhist Monastery attempt to use as simple and modern language as possible. As such they are well suited to non-native English speakers and those without a background in Buddhism. (Available at their monasteries or Amazon.com)

  • Dhammapada: What Does the Buddha Really Teach
  • This Was Said by the Buddha: The Itivuttaka
  • Stories of Heavenly Mansions from the Vimanavatthu
  • Stories of Ghosts from the Petavatthu
  • The Voice of Enlightened Monks: The Thera Gatha
  • The Voice Of Enlightened Nuns

KR Norman

KR Norman is the only translator in this list who works professionally as a Pali scholar. While his translations are not completely literal, they are as close as possible while still being very readable. He refrains from any innovation in terminology. For these reasons, his translations are great especially for Pali students. (Available from the Pali Text Society)

  • Word of the Doctrine (Dhammapada)
  • The Rhinoceros Horn and Other Early Buddhist Poems (Sutta Nipāta)
  • Poems of Early Buddhist Monks (Theragāthā)
  • Poems of Early Buddhist Nuns (Therīgāthā)

John D. Ireland

These two translations, published as a single volume, benefited greatly by the editorial work of Bhante Bodhi. They are lucid and faithful to the original Pali. (Available from the Buddhist Publication Society. This website has a free download of the Itivuttaka.)

  • The Udāna and the Itivuttaka, Two Classics from the Pali Canon

Anandajoti Bhikkhu

The translations below are just a fraction of the work done by Bhante Anandajoti, but they are the only complete works from the Sutta Pitaka. All of his translations are available in line by line Pali and English as well as English only. They are available in many digital formats including audio recording. (Available from ancient-buddhist-texts.net)

  • The Short Readings (Khuddakapāṭha, Khuddakanikāya 1)
  • Dhammapada (Dhamma Verses, KN 2)
  • Exalted Utterances – Udāna (KN 3)

Venerable Acharya Buddharakkhita

Although this is Bhante Buddharakkhita’s only complete translation from the sutta pitaka, he was a prolific author of books on the suttas. This translation of the Dhammapada is both fluent, accurate, and poetic—a rare accomplishment. The newest edition is available in print from the Buddhist Publication Society. An older edition is available free on line, including here.

  • The Dhammapada

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Verses of the Senior Monks: Theragatha Ebook by Bhikkhu Sujato—EPUB, Kindle, PDF

This is an unofficial edition of the translation of the Theragatha by Bhikkhu Sujato found on SuttaCentral.net. It is also available in paperback and hardback from lulu.

This is a very modern and easy to read translation. It is the perfect text to read a little bit from each day or take with you into the forest to read under a tree.

Sign up for the e-mail newsletter to find out when the official version is available.

Here are some of the verses of Arahant Ananda:

Gotama is learned, a brilliant speaker,
The attendant to the Buddha.
Unfettered, with burden put aside,
He lies down to sleep.

Unfettered, his defilements have ended,
He has transcended attachments,
and has attained nibbāna.
He bears his final body,
Gone beyond birth and death.

Gotama, in whom the teachings of the Buddha,
The Kinsman of the Sun, are established,
Stands on the path
Leading to nibbāna.

I learned 82,000 from the Buddha,
And 2,000 from the monks;
These 84,000
Are the teachings I have memorized.

A person of little learning
Ages like an ox—
Their flesh grows,
But their wisdom doesn’t.

A learned person who, on account of their learning,
Looks down on someone of little learning,
Seems to me like
A blind man holding a lamp.

You should stay close to a learned person—
Don’t lose what you’ve learned.
It is the root of the spiritual life,
So you should memorize the Dhamma.

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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
  1. The non-returner AN2.36, AN3.94, AN4.124, AN4.126, AN6.65, AN10.219
  2. 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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Itivuttaka: The Buddha’s Sayings translated by John D Ireland, EPUB, Kindle, PDF

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.

This is the same translation that has been made into an audio book. Get the free Itivuttaka audio book here.

If you would like to buy the official printed edition, it is available from the Buddhist Publication Society here and now a new printing through Pariyatti.

Also, there is a complete translation of the Itivuttaka by Ajahn Thanissaro available to download or order from Metta Forest Monastery as well as a translation by Mahamevnawa available on amazon.com.

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Living in the Land of the Buddha

As we read the suttas, it is important that they happened in specific places, many of which we can visit today. Below is a simple map that shows the major kingdoms and cities we learn about in the suttas. Download the pdf with two on each page and place a copy in whatever book you are working with. If you use it as a bookmark, it will encourage you to pay attention to the palaces you read about. You can make a determination to check each time you read about a place and try and find it on the map. Not every city or kingdom is listed, by you will find most of them.

Jambudipa is the name in the suttas that the Buddha used for India. It can be translated as Rose Apple (jambu) Island (dipa).

Feel free to use this map as a handout in classes. This map was originally based on one found on BuddhaNet.net. If you put this on a website, please link back to this page.

Cities and places

Click the links below to go the the Dictionary of Pali Proper Names entries

And here is a link to the Index of the Dictionary of Pali Proper Names.

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The Short Readings: Khuddakapatha as a Daily 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.

Available Translations

Because this collection is so small there are no stand alone print editions.

By Ānandajot Bhikkhu

Short Readings Cover ImageYou can download this translation as a PDF (20 pages) or as an epub or Kindle file. There is also an edition that includes the Pali as well as English. This may be of interest because the texts included are so often chanted. 

By Thanissaro Bhikkhu

In print, this translation is included at the end of The Sutta Nipata translation that you can request for free from Metta Forest Monastery. You can also download it as a stand alone ebook in epub, Kindle, or PDF format.

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