Reading tipps for a beginner - Pali canon!

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Reading tipps for a beginner - Pali canon!

Postby Atrey » Fri Jun 03, 2011 11:26 pm

Hello all,
I have a question about buddhist literature and would appreciate your suggestions and tipps. :hello:

As a beginner, having read only a few of 'modern' buddhist books, some of them are Light on Enlightenment by Christopher Titmuss and Peace is every step by Thich Nhat Hanh. Now I would like to explore the Pali canon. Going to the source of all seems to be the best idea.

Now here comes the question - considering the extensivity of the Pali canon, on which part should I focus? Which of the three pitakas is important for a non-ordained buddhist like me? In which of them is Dhammapada?

I found a book in amazon called In the Buddha's Words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon by Bhikkhu Bodhi, is that a good beginner literature?
These questions may seem a bit uninformed but I'm a beginner and need help! :lol:

Thanks!
:anjali:
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Re: Reading tipps for a beginner - Pali canon!

Postby bodom » Fri Jun 03, 2011 11:34 pm

I found a book in amazon called In the Buddha's Words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon by Bhikkhu Bodhi, is that a good beginner literature?


In my opinion that is absolutely the best book to start with if you are going to be looking into reading the suttas for the first time.

In which of them is Dhammapada?


The Dhammapada is located in the Khuddhaka Nikaya, one of the many books of the Sutta Pitaka.

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Reading tipps for a beginner - Pali canon!

Postby daverupa » Fri Jun 03, 2011 11:47 pm

Atrey wrote:Going to the source of all seems to be the best idea.


:woohoo:

Atrey wrote: on which part should I focus?


Aside from the above endorsement, I would definitely recommend the most recent edition of Bhikkhu Bodhi's Majjhima Nikaya. It's a very well-rounded Nikaya, hits all the main points, and (if this variable matters to you) has a delightful onionskin leaf similar to most Bibles which tends to encourage mindful page-turning. It can be quite an inspiring read.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Reading tipps for a beginner - Pali canon!

Postby Atrey » Sat Jun 04, 2011 1:25 am

Thank you all for answering!

In my opinion that is absolutely the best book to start with if you are going to be looking into reading the suttas for the first time.

That's good to hear! I'm ordering it today :D
The Dhammapada is located in the Khuddhaka Nikaya, one of the many books of the Sutta Pitaka.

Do you maybe know whether Khuddhaka Nikaya can be found in the book?
:reading:
Thanks!
Last edited by Atrey on Sat Jun 04, 2011 1:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Reading tipps for a beginner - Pali canon!

Postby Atrey » Sat Jun 04, 2011 1:37 am

Aside from the above endorsement, I would definitely recommend the most recent edition of Bhikkhu Bodhi's Majjhima Nikaya. It's a very well-rounded Nikaya, hits all the main points, and (if this variable matters to you) has a delightful onionskin leaf similar to most Bibles which tends to encourage mindful page-turning. It can be quite an inspiring read.

Thank you for the recomending me Majjhima Nikaya. :thanks:
:namaste:

All the main points wrapped in a delightful onionskin leaf...I can already imagine myself reading!
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Re: Reading tipps for a beginner - Pali canon!

Postby bodom » Sat Jun 04, 2011 1:39 am

Atrey wrote:The Dhammapada is located in the Khuddhaka Nikaya, one of the many books of the Sutta Pitaka.
And Sutta Pitaka can be found in the book?
:reading:


Yes all the suttas in this book are taken from the Sutta Pitaka. Keep in mind this is only an anthology of suttas and contains a selection of discourses, not the whole lot. The Sutta Pitaka is huge and in its entirety contains tens of thousands of suttas. In the Buddhas Words is a very comprehensive anthology though and covers all the essentials teachings of the Buddha.

You can view the book online here:
http://books.google.com/books/about/In_ ... OD5TeajGoC

Here is also a PDF showing the table of contents:
http://downloads.wisdompubs.org/website ... review.pdf

And finally here in this thread is contained talks on the book by the author himself Bhikkhu Bodhi:

Bhikkhu Bodhi Lectures: In the Buddha's Words
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=2392

Do you maybe know whether Khuddhaka Nikaya can be found in the book?


Yes there are a few suttas from the Khuddaka Nikaya, taken specifically from the books of Udana and Itivuttaka.

Here is an excellent outline of the Tipitaka with a list of all the books that can be found therein:

Tipitaka
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/

:namaste:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Reading tipps for a beginner - Pali canon!

Postby plwk » Sat Jun 04, 2011 2:01 am

And Sutta Pitaka can be found in the book?

If it was, it would be thicker than the Bible, Quran and Wicca book of spells...all in one :tongue:

See Bhikkhu Bodhi's collection of the Nikayas of the Sutta Pitaka or 'Teaching Basket' (so far only 3 has been produced and pending the Anguttara & Khuddaka Nikayas)
Image Image Image
Another source: http://www.pariyatti.org/Bookstore/cata ... CatPos=166

Online:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sutta.html
http://what-buddha-said.net/
http://www.tipitaka.net/tipitaka/spectra/sutta_pitaka
http://www.leighb.com/suttas.htm
http://metta.lk/tipitaka/index.html
http://www.dhammawiki.com/index.php?tit ... tta_Pitaka
Bhikkhus, if you develop and make much this one thing,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.
What is it? It is recollecting the Enlightened One.
If this single thing is recollected and made much,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.

Anguttara-Nikaya: Ekanipata: Ekadhammapali: Pañhamavagga
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Re: Reading tipps for a beginner - Pali canon!

Postby Kare » Sat Jun 04, 2011 8:51 am

Since you live in Germany, you might be interested in some texts in German. There are several good collections.

A very small and handy anthology (easy to carry in the pocket for reading at the bus etc.) is Reclam's 'Reden des Buddha'.
http://www.amazon.de/Reden-Buddha-Gauta ... 256&sr=1-2

Another collection with the same title has a more 'normal' pocket book size:
http://www.amazon.de/Die-Reden-Buddha-H ... 256&sr=1-1

Another small, but also good, collection is Reclam's 'Die vier edlen Wahrheiten. Texte des ursprünglichen Buddhismus'
http://www.amazon.de/Die-vier-edlen-Wahrheiten-ursprünglichen/dp/3150034205/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1307176639&sr=1-2

Nyanatiloka's classical anthology, 'Das Wort des Buddha' is also very good.
http://www.buddha-haus-shop.de/product_ ... uddha.html

And the Dhammapada exists in several translations in German:
http://www.amazon.de/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?_ ... da&x=0&y=0

There are lots of other German translations of the Pali texts. If you want to go for a complete version of one of the Nikayas, I recommend the Majjhima Nikaya, translated by Kay Zumwinkel:
http://www.amazon.de/Die-Lehrreden-Budd ... 845&sr=1-1

If Amazon no longer sells this one, try the publisher, Jhana Verlag, or an antiquariat.
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Re: Reading tipps for a beginner - Pali canon!

Postby Adrien » Sat Jun 04, 2011 10:29 am

And I think this is the translation of Bhikkhu Bodhi's "In the Buddha's words" in german :
http://www.amazon.de/den-Worten-Buddha-Bhikkhu-Bodhi/dp/3931095789/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1307183363&sr=1-1
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Re: Reading tipps for a beginner - Pali canon!

Postby Atrey » Sat Jun 04, 2011 10:44 am

Yes all the suttas in this book are taken from the Sutta Pitaka. Keep in mind this is only an anthology of suttas and contains a selection of discourses, not the whole lot. The Sutta Pitaka is huge and in its entirety contains tens of thousands of suttas. In the Buddhas Words is a very comprehensive anthology though and covers all the essentials teachings of the Buddha.

I didn't know there are so many of them, thanks for that information! There is so much to read, I'm looking forward to reading it it, in this existence and the next! :D
:anjali:

And finally here in this thread is contained talks on the book by the author himself Bhikkhu Bodhi:

This is really interesting, thanks!
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Re: Reading tipps for a beginner - Pali canon!

Postby Atrey » Sat Jun 04, 2011 10:50 am

If it was, it would be thicker than the Bible, Quran and Wicca book of spells...all in one

It is really amazing how many how extensive Buddhas teachings are..a sea of wisdom! This motivates me additionally :meditate:

See Bhikkhu Bodhi's collection of the Nikayas of the Sutta Pitaka or 'Teaching Basket' (so far only 3 has been produced and pending the Anguttara & Khuddaka Nikayas)

The first, the blue one is the one I found on amazon, I'm ordering it today. :reading:
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Re: Reading tipps for a beginner - Pali canon!

Postby Atrey » Sat Jun 04, 2011 11:00 am

Since you live in Germany, you might be interested in some texts in German. There are several good collections.

Thank you for all the sources, they are good starting points for my reading list. :smile:

Allthough I must mention I'm not a native german speaker, my german is like my english, fluent but I usually buy books in english becuase they are less expensive than the german translation. :D
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Re: Reading tipps for a beginner - Pali canon!

Postby BKh » Sat Jun 04, 2011 9:06 pm

I've been working on a website with tips encouraging people to develop a daily practice with the suttas.

http://www.readingfaithfully.org

As others have said, In the Buddha's Words in an excellent choice. If you are willing to commit to a half an hour a day of reading, you could also start right in with reading one sutta from the Majjhima Nikaya/Middle Length Discourses each day.

I highly recommend developing a habit of reading the suttas every day, even just a page. And don't be concerned if you don't understand everything your first read through. Focus your attention on what you do understand. Plan to read the book at least a second time when you finish.

Oh, and don't forget you can listen to suttas, too. http://www.audtip.org
http://www.readingfaithfully.org Daily Practice with the Suttas
http://www.audtip.org Audio Sutta Recordings
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Re: Reading tipps for a beginner - Pali canon!

Postby Atrey » Sun Jun 05, 2011 12:20 am

I will check out your site, sounds very interesting.
Thank you for valuable advices!
:anjali:
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Re: Reading tipps for a beginner - Pali canon!

Postby Adrien » Sun Jun 05, 2011 2:23 am

BKh wrote:I've been working on a website with tips encouraging people to develop a daily practice with the suttas.

http://www.readingfaithfully.org

Good work ! I liked what I saw there !
Please don't hesitate to correct my english if you feel to
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Re: Reading tipps for a beginner - Pali canon!

Postby mal4mac » Mon Aug 05, 2013 7:40 am

bodom wrote:

Yes all the suttas in this book are taken from the Sutta Pitaka. Keep in mind this is only an anthology of suttas and contains a selection of discourses, not the whole lot. The Sutta Pitaka is huge and in its entirety contains tens of thousands of suttas.



Is this correct? Wikipedia suggests "more than 10 000", which kind of implies "less than tens of thousands".

Wikipedia also says:

"There are, according to one reckoning, 2,889, but according to the commentary 7,762, shorter suttas in this [Samyutta] Nikaya."

Surely some scholars must have sat down and counted them?! (I guess that might be the (unreferenced!) 2889 figure... but what about the other Nikayas?) And "one reckoning" is a bit dubious... any references, any hint of someone checking the "one reckoning" so we have a figure we know is correct?

- Mal
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Re: Reading tipps for a beginner - Pali canon!

Postby Ananda26 » Wed Apr 09, 2014 1:53 pm

Atrey wrote:Hello all,
I have a question about buddhist literature and would appreciate your suggestions and tipps. :hello:

As a beginner, having read only a few of 'modern' buddhist books, some of them are Light on Enlightenment by Christopher Titmuss and Peace is every step by Thich Nhat Hanh. Now I would like to explore the Pali canon. Going to the source of all seems to be the best idea.

Now here comes the question - considering the extensivity of the Pali canon, on which part should I focus? Which of the three pitakas is important for a non-ordained buddhist like me? In which of them is Dhammapada?

I found a book in amazon called In the Buddha's Words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon by Bhikkhu Bodhi, is that a good beginner literature?
These questions may seem a bit uninformed but I'm a beginner and need help! :lol:

Thanks!
:anjali:


Long Discourses of the Buddha, Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha, Connected Discourses of the Buddha. These 3 have been published by Wisdom Publication.

Numerical Discourses of the Buddha published Pali Text Society and distributed in America by Pavaratti Bookstore in Washington State.

Sutta Nipata, Udana, Ittukvitaka, Theragathas, Therigathas.

Some quotations from Vasettha Sutta are found in Dhammapada. Vasettha Sutta is discourse #98 in the Middle Length Discousres of the Buddha and Vasettha Sutta is also found in Sutta Nipata.
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