Building a Sutta Library

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Building a Sutta Library

Postby BKh » Fri May 11, 2012 11:14 am

I have mentioned this resource previously in a couple of other posts but I thought I would give it its own thread.

http://readingfaithfully.org/buildingasuttalibrary/

On this page you will find a two page PDF designed as a resource guide for people wanting to own a complete set of the Sutta Pitaka. So, big qualifier: It only covers the oldest parts of the canon, and I know not everyone would agree with where the distinction has been made. Still, I think for the majority of people who would benefit from a resource like this the line is not controversial.

I have chosen the books using three main criterion: accuracy, readability, and availability. I have also preferred paperback editions when available. Except in the case of the Dhammapada and the Handful of Leaves anthology, I have only included one edition per book. In the case of the first four Nikayas there is only one clear option anyway.

The Kawasaki's Jataka anthology is included even though it only includes the stories which are not considered canonical. This is the only exception on the list in this regard.

I have also included some good anthologies that I think are a useful way of entering into the main texts.

This is a recently updated version that now includes only the new complete Anguttara/Numerical Discourses and not the shorter anthology.

Obviously, this resource is not intended to be a complete bibliography of everything available. In fact, the purpose is to narrow possibilities so as to make the task of building a sutta library possible for the beginner/non-expert.

Thoughts and feedback are most welcome.
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Re: Building a Sutta Library

Postby Ben » Fri May 11, 2012 11:48 am

Thank you Bhante, that looks fantastic.
Thanks for your great work!
with metta,

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Re: Building a Sutta Library

Postby hornets » Fri May 11, 2012 12:28 pm

This is fantastic. Thank you!
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Re: Building a Sutta Library

Postby Bonsai Doug » Fri May 11, 2012 2:10 pm

A wonderful site/resource. I was happy to add my email addy to your "follow" list. :namaste:
Now having obtained a precious human body,
I do not have the luxury of remaining on a distracted path.

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Re: Building a Sutta Library

Postby BKh » Fri May 11, 2012 8:38 pm

Thanks for the appreciation. I hope it is useful.

hornets wrote:This is fantastic. Thank you!

I got a kick out of this in light of your recent post here...
viewtopic.php?f=24&t=12393&p=187636#p187636

I definitely think priority should be given to the suttas themselves, as you are doing by sticking with the Dhp and AN anthology you mention in that post. (Bhante's book is a great support, too) It's especially important to read a book of suttas several times in a row at first to really deepen our understanding. But starting to collect the rest of the sutta pitaka is a good idea. You won't be able to pick them up as free book when you visit the monastery, so it has to be done more intentionally.

Bonsai Doug wrote:A wonderful site/resource. I was happy to add my email addy to your "follow" list. :namaste:

Welcome on board. I hope you continue to find the site useful.
http://www.readingfaithfully.org Daily Practice with the Suttas
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Re: Building a Sutta Library

Postby BKh » Sun May 27, 2012 6:20 pm

One of the monks where I am living asked me to find out the prices for the books listed on this page. I have avoided doing that simply because I'm not in the book business, but it's helpful for monks to know what things cost when lay people offer to buy them. Any way, we were all surprised to see that the main books on the front sheet (not including the Jataka anthology) came in at under $300USD. That's without shipping, and takes into account the temporary pre-order discount on the Numerical Discourses. In terms of price vs. value, you just can't beat it.

I realize that for many people this is out of reach, so fortunately there are lots of other free options as well, although not always complete collections.
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Re: Building a Sutta Library

Postby polarbuddha101 » Sun May 27, 2012 8:45 pm

Welp, I've been convinced. I just purchased all the Nikayas (except for the Khuddaka Nikaya cause I couldn't find a full translation), but the Anguttara Nikaya won't be ready til November apparently, not that it really matters though since each Nikaya on it's own is probably comparable to the entire Christian bible and are each capable of occupying me for many lifetimes. I'll probably do a once over through all the Nikayas (I always like reading books casually all the way through the first time around, even the bible) to survey the vast extent of the territory and then I'll start picking out particularly important/useful suttas to become knowledgeable of. Thanks for the article.

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Re: Building a Sutta Library

Postby retrofuturist » Sun May 27, 2012 10:56 pm

Greetings,

polarbuddha101 wrote:I'll probably do a once over through all the Nikayas (I always like reading books casually all the way through the first time around, even the bible) to survey the vast extent of the territory

I think the size of the books may deter you from a first skim.... :D

There are a few topics around where people give recommendations on reading sequence options.

Either way, good reading, friend!

:reading:

Metta,
Retro. :)
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Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Building a Sutta Library

Postby Cittasanto » Sun May 27, 2012 11:05 pm

polarbuddha101 wrote:Welp, I've been convinced. I just purchased all the Nikayas (except for the Khuddaka Nikaya cause I couldn't find a full translation), but the Anguttara Nikaya won't be ready til November apparently, not that it really matters though since each Nikaya on it's own is probably comparable to the entire Christian bible and are each capable of occupying me for many lifetimes. I'll probably do a once over through all the Nikayas (I always like reading books casually all the way through the first time around, even the bible) to survey the vast extent of the territory and then I'll start picking out particularly important/useful suttas to become knowledgeable of. Thanks for the article.

:namaste:

I don't believe ther is a full version of Khuddaka.
it is comprised of several books not all of which have been translated (to my knowledge) or are in PTS editions only.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
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Re: Building a Sutta Library

Postby BKh » Mon May 28, 2012 12:41 am

Cittasanto wrote:I don't believe ther is a full version of Khuddaka.
it is comprised of several books not all of which have been translated (to my knowledge) or are in PTS editions only.


There is no single book that contains the entire Khuddaka Nikaya. There is also no universal agreement about which books should be included in the Khuddaka, hence the qualifier in my OP. However, the ones that I list on the resource sheet are available individually and are very closely related to the first four nikayas. And the translations are very good.

It is unlikely that even these books would ever be published under one cover, so don't put off getting them just for that. If having matching covers is important to you, then you could get all of the hard back PTS editions. But that would be drastically more expensive and not contain some of the more readable translations.

The fourth volume of Handfull of Leaves contains an anthology from the Khuddaka Nikaya, although it doesn't include the Dhammapada, Vimana and Petavatthu, or Jataka.
http://www.readingfaithfully.org Daily Practice with the Suttas
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Re: Building a Sutta Library

Postby BKh » Mon Apr 15, 2013 6:17 pm

I have just updated this resource linked to in the original post. It corrects an error and adds in the new Numerical Discourses of the Buddha as well as a new translation of the Petavatthu. You can read an on line version of the Petavatthu here...
http://english.mahamevnawa.lk/2012/12/13/intro/
http://www.readingfaithfully.org Daily Practice with the Suttas
http://www.audtip.org Audio Sutta Recordings
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