further reading

A forum for beginners and members of other Buddhist traditions to ask questions about Theravāda (The Way of the Elders). Responses require moderator approval before they are visible.
delf7
Posts: 73
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 1:36 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1006
Location: midwest, usa

further reading

Postby delf7 » Wed Nov 16, 2011 2:37 pm

just a quick basic beginners question here. i understand the "big 3" of theravada, the "tipitaka", are vinaya, abhidhamma & the suttas. where does the dhammapada fit in to the whole scheme of things?
the reason i'm asking is that, for example, christianity has "the bible", islam has "the qur'an", etc...
i'm just trying to figure out what i need to be reading next.
(after i get through the next book i have on my reading pile, which is "in the buddha's words" by bhikkhu bodhi.)

on another "reading" topic... i have just finished "mindfullness in plain english" and i am about to start my "practice".
i'm a little nervous to start because, as a true beginner, i'm afaraid i won't be doing it right. in "mindfullness", the author suggests "vimuttimagga" by upatissa and "visuddhimagga" by buddhaghosa as things to read to take meditation further.
any suggestions?
thank you.
metta,
delf
Last edited by delf7 on Wed Nov 16, 2011 6:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
acinteyyo
Posts: 1055
Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 9:48 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6
Location: Neuburg/Donau, Germany

Re: further reading

Postby acinteyyo » Wed Nov 16, 2011 3:44 pm

delf7 wrote:just a quick basic beginners question here. i understand the "big 3" of theravada, the "tipitaka", are vinaya, abhidhamma & the suttas. where does the dhammapada fit in to the whole scheme of things?
the reason i'm asking is that, for example, christianity has "the bible", islam has "the qur'an", etc...
i'm just trying to figure out what i need to be reading next.
the next book i have on my reading pile is "in the buddha's words" by bhikkhu bodhi.

on another "reading" topic... i have just finished "mindfullness in plain english" and i am about to start my "practice".
i'm a little nervous to start because, as a true beginner, i'm afaraid i won't be doing it right. in "mindfullness", the author suggests "vimuttimagga" by upatissa and "visuddhimagga" by buddhaghosa as things to read to take meditation further.
any suggestions?
thank you.
metta,
delf

Hi delf,

the dhammapada belongs to the Sutta Pittaka. You can find it in the Khuddaka Nikaya. See here for example -> Tipitaka Palikanon.

Don't worry about not doing it right. If possible best to start may be with a group or a retreat. But if not, don't hesitate to try what you read in "mindfulness in plain english". With experience comes insight... I started some years ago for the first time with the instructions from Anapanasati - Mindfulness of Breathing. It maybe helpful, too.

best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Api cāhaṃ, āvuso, imasmiṃyeva byāmamatte kaḷevare, sasaññimhi samanake lokañca paññāpemi lokasamudayañca lokanirodhañca lokanirodhagāminiñca paṭipadan. (AN4.45)

:anjali:

User avatar
Reductor
Posts: 1294
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2009 6:52 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6
Location: Alberta, Canada

Re: further reading

Postby Reductor » Wed Nov 16, 2011 5:55 pm

I would that you not read vimittimagga nor visudhimagga at this early stage. They are difficult reading and are not especially important in the early years.

Howevee, feel free to read modern works, suttas and sutta antholgies like "In the Buddha's Words". Plenty there to arouse your practice and mind.

Take care.
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72


User avatar
bodom
Posts: 4661
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:18 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1006
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: further reading

Postby bodom » Wed Nov 16, 2011 7:46 pm

in "mindfullness", the author suggests "vimuttimagga" by upatissa and "visuddhimagga" by buddhaghosa as things to read to take meditation further.


Theres no need to read these texts just yet, but yes they can be helpful later on with more meditative experience.

This is all Bhante G said:

In the first century after Christ, an eminent Buddhist scholar named Upatissa wrote the Vimuttimagga, (The Path of Freedom) in which he summarized the Buddha's teachings on meditation. In the fifth century A.C. (after Christ,) another great Buddhist scholar named Buddhaghosa covered the same ground in a second scholastic thesis--the Visuddhimagga, (The Path of Purification) which is the standard text on meditation even today. Modern meditation teachers rely on the Tipitaka and upon their own personal experiences. It is our intention to present you with the clearest and most concise directions for Vipassana meditation available in the English language.


: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

delf7
Posts: 73
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 1:36 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1006
Location: midwest, usa

Re: further reading

Postby delf7 » Wed Nov 16, 2011 9:00 pm

understood. i shall pass on the advanced meditation texts for now. maybe in a few years ???

i still feel the need to try to figure out what the "essential" texts are. maybe i'm not phrasing the question properly, don't understand the way buddhist writings are viewed, or maybe there is no answer to my question, but, as i inquired previously, is there a recognized set of books that, to a theravada buddhist, would be the equivalent of what the bible is to a christian, or the qur'an is to a muslim?
i am trying to learn, so please let me know if this is just a stupid question.
metta,
delf

User avatar
acinteyyo
Posts: 1055
Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 9:48 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6
Location: Neuburg/Donau, Germany

Re: further reading

Postby acinteyyo » Wed Nov 16, 2011 9:39 pm

delf7 wrote:is there a recognized set of books that, to a theravada buddhist, would be the equivalent of what the bible is to a christian, or the qur'an is to a muslim?
i f
There is no "holy book" like the bible or the qur'an but I would say what you are searching for probably is the "set of three baskets" (Tipiṭaka) also known as the Pali Canon.
The Tipitaka (Pali ti, "three," + pitaka, "baskets"), or Pali canon, is the collection of primary Pali language texts which form the doctrinal foundation of Theravada Buddhism. The Tipitaka and the paracanonical Pali texts (commentaries, chronicles, etc.) together constitute the complete body of classical Theravada texts.
(source)

best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Api cāhaṃ, āvuso, imasmiṃyeva byāmamatte kaḷevare, sasaññimhi samanake lokañca paññāpemi lokasamudayañca lokanirodhañca lokanirodhagāminiñca paṭipadan. (AN4.45)

:anjali:

User avatar
Reductor
Posts: 1294
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2009 6:52 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6
Location: Alberta, Canada

Re: further reading

Postby Reductor » Wed Nov 16, 2011 9:41 pm

Essential texts may vary depending on wgo is asked. However, essential books would be the Digha Nikaya, Majjhima Nikaya, Samyutta Nikaya, and the Anguttara Nikaya.

Some would add a book or two to the list, but very few would remove one. Although just which of these four become your personal favorite will be a personal matter.
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72


delf7
Posts: 73
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 1:36 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1006
Location: midwest, usa

Re: further reading

Postby delf7 » Wed Nov 16, 2011 9:51 pm

thank you for the information. you all have been very helpful.
metta,
delf

User avatar
daverupa
Posts: 4542
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:58 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1001

Re: further reading

Postby daverupa » Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:41 pm

delf7 wrote:is there a recognized set of books that, to a theravada buddhist, would be the equivalent of what the bible is to a christian, or the qur'an is to a muslim?


For a single volume which can be read over and over again with great benefit, I think the best bet is the Majjhima Nikaya. Given how you're asking the question, I feel certain that this volume is appropriate.

:heart:
    "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]

User avatar
David N. Snyder
Site Admin
Posts: 8308
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:15 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1001
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Contact:

Re: further reading

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:31 pm

It sounds like you are definitely on the right track. For starters, you can't go wrong with In the Buddha's Words for some of the most important Suttas and Bhante G's Mindfulness in Plain English for a good introduction to Buddhist meditation.

After that for further readings, the Suttas is the next place to go for more detail:

Digha Nikaya
Majjhima Nikaya
Samyutta Nikaya
Anguttara Nikaya
Khuddaka Nikaya (not necessarily all 15 books, but 5 to 10 of the most essential, such as the Sutta Nipata, Dhammapada, Itivuttaka, and Udana

and then when you are ready:

Vinaya Pitaka (6 volumes)

Abhidhamma Pitaka

and then the most famous commentary books, Vimmutimagga, Visudhimagga

(In the above order, in my opinion)

My personal favorite: Anguttara Nikaya!

delf7
Posts: 73
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 1:36 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1006
Location: midwest, usa

Re: further reading

Postby delf7 » Thu Nov 17, 2011 2:44 pm

well, thanx again. very informative replies.
i appriciate the ordered list. all that ought to keep me busy reading for quite a long time.
now, if i can just find the time to meditate more often.......
metta,
delf


Return to “Discovering Theravāda”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

Google Saffron, Theravada Search Engine