"discourses of the buddha series" which one first?

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"discourses of the buddha series" which one first?

Postby dhammastudier » Tue Jun 01, 2010 12:28 am

Digha Nikaya long discourses

Majjhima Nikaya medium-length discourses

Samyutta Nikaya connected discourses.

i wanted these for sooooooooooooo long! too expensive, then out of print for a little while so used copies were even higher. now i'm getting them for my birthday from my loving family! which one should i read first? or all at once? i have a general idea about what each one's purpose was but thought someone on here might have a suggestion :smile:

also the disciples of the buddha book. should i get it? does it have their teachings or just stories about them?
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Re: "discourses of the buddha series" which one first?

Postby Ben » Tue Jun 01, 2010 12:45 am

What I would do first Zac is to read MN in conjunction with Bhikkhu Bodhi's mp3 lecture series on the MN, available at Bodhi Monastery (google the web address). You could then read the SN and DN either after completing the MN, or in tandem with the MN. But certainly making the MN the first port of call and in conjunction with Bhante's lecture series will give you a firm foundation of the Dhamma. You should also look at taking advantage of the discussion threads in the study group: viewforum.php?f=25 which has until recently focused on suttas from the MN.

Great Disciples of the Buddha is excellent. The biographies of the great disciples were compiled by Helmeth Hecker, Nyanaponika Thera and Bhikkhu Bodhi from material in the canon and ancient commentarial literature. The material from those three luminaries are well research and make for some very inspiring reading as well as being a reference in its own right. Some of the individual biographies are available on www.accesstoinsight.org.
kind regards

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Re: "discourses of the buddha series" which one first?

Postby dhammastudier » Tue Jun 01, 2010 12:51 am

Ben wrote:What I would do first Zac is to read MN in conjunction with Bhikkhu Bodhi's mp3 lecture series on the MN, available at Bodhi Monastery (google the web address). You could then read the SN and DN either after completing the MN, or in tandem with the MN. But certainly making the MN the first port of call and in conjunction with Bhante's lecture series will give you a firm foundation of the Dhamma. You should also look at taking advantage of the discussion threads in the study group: http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewforum.php?f=25 which has until recently focused on suttas from the MN.

Great Disciples of the Buddha is excellent. The biographies of the great disciples were compiled by Helmeth Hecker, Nyanaponika Thera and Bhikkhu Bodhi from material in the canon and ancient commentarial literature. The material from those three luminaries are well research and make for some very inspiring reading as well as being a reference in its own right. Some of the individual biographies are available on http://www.accesstoinsight.org.
kind regards

Ben


awesome! thanx so much!
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Re: "discourses of the buddha series" which one first?

Postby Ben » Tue Jun 01, 2010 12:55 am

My pleasure!
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Re: "discourses of the buddha series" which one first?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Jun 01, 2010 6:00 am

Greetings,

I would recommend starting with either the Samyutta Nikaya or the Majjhima Nikaya.

If you know that eventually you'll get through all 3, start with the SN.

If you're less than confident that you'll eventually get through all 3, start with the MN.

If Bhikkhu's Bodhi's translation of the Anguttara Nikaya appears on the bookshelves before you get to the Digha Nikaya, prioritise that over the DN as well. Furthermore, collections within the Khuddaka Nikaya like the Dhammapada , Udana, Itivuttaka, Sutta Nipata, Theragatha and Therigatha are also worth prioritising above the DN. English language translations of these texts are reasonably easy to come by.

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: "discourses of the buddha series" which one first?

Postby Reductor » Tue Jun 01, 2010 2:22 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

I would recommend starting with either the Samyutta Nikaya or the Majjhima Nikaya.

If you know that eventually you'll get through all 3, start with the SN....


Good advice here Retro, but I think the MN should always come first. It contains such a wide variety of material, ranging from doctrinal to inspirational, to practical advice on how to resolve conflicts, etc. By the end of the MN there is nicely rounded view of the Dhamma and Vinaya, which provides a firm frame to hang the SN on to. It is also pretty easy reading. The SN, in contrast, is very doctrinal and abstract, and finely detailed, and as such it is not as easy nor as enjoyable to read, IMO.

From the Khuddaka, I would definitely suggest the Udana first... although the Sutta Nipita is my favorite. But definitely the DN is a low priority, unless you're into more fanciful aspects of the Dhamma.
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

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Re: "discourses of the buddha series" which one first?

Postby bodom » Tue Jun 01, 2010 2:39 pm

Why's everyone so down on the DN? It was the first one I read and contains quite a few of the most important suttas the Buddha gave.

1. Brahmajala Sutta
2. Samannaphala Sutta
15. Mahanidana Sutta
16. Mahaparinibbana Sutta
22. Mahasatipatthana Sutta
31. Sigalovada Sutta

For me it provided a firm grasp and understanding of the Dhamma so that I could then move on to MN and SN rather easily.

: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: "discourses of the buddha series" which one first?

Postby bodom » Tue Jun 01, 2010 3:08 pm

Regardless of which order one chooses to read them in, I am of the opinion one would be best to start with Bodhi's anthology In the Buddha's Words which is part of the Teachings of the Buddha series. I read this before starting the Nikaya's and it was instrumental in my understanding of the key doctrinal aspects of the Dhamma. There is no better introduction to the suttas than this book. I would have been lost without it.

: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: "discourses of the buddha series" which one first?

Postby Reductor » Tue Jun 01, 2010 4:07 pm

bodom wrote:Why's everyone so down on the DN? It was the first one I read and contains quite a few of the most important suttas the Buddha gave.
...
:anjali:


I too got a lot out of the DN and consider it a must read, as those suttas you've listed are indeed important. But because it has a much lower ratio of doctrine/practical content in relation to the more fanciful content, when compared to the other Nikayas, I do not consider it the most efficient means of grasping the Dhamma.

But it might be the most fun of the Nikaya... the most colourful. Not to be neglected.
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

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Re: "discourses of the buddha series" which one first?

Postby Sobeh » Tue Jun 01, 2010 4:25 pm

I don't like the Digha simply because when I quote the Dhamma from it, I use ellipses like they're going out of style to trim out the narrative and mythological parts, and since that feels too much like shredding the thing I go elsewhere for my cites.
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Re: "discourses of the buddha series" which one first?

Postby Agent » Tue Jun 01, 2010 6:26 pm

bodom wrote:Why's everyone so down on the DN? It was the first one I read and contains quite a few of the most important suttas the Buddha gave.


First one I read too.

bodom wrote:Regardless of which order one chooses to read them in, I am of the opinion one would be best to start with Bodhi's anthology In the Buddha's Words which is part of the Teachings of the Buddha series. I read this before starting the Nikaya's and it was instrumental in my understanding of the key doctrinal aspects of the Dhamma.


Good call. That is what I did also. I think it's easier to start with the DN after having read In the Buddha's Words. If I hadn't read that first, I think the DN would have been a bit much to digest as a first contact point with the suttas.
Vayadhammā saṅkhārā appamādena sampādethā.
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Re: "discourses of the buddha series" which one first?

Postby dhammastudier » Wed Jun 02, 2010 2:07 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

I would recommend starting with either the Samyutta Nikaya or the Majjhima Nikaya.

If you know that eventually you'll get through all 3, start with the SN.

If you're less than confident that you'll eventually get through all 3, start with the MN.

If Bhikkhu's Bodhi's translation of the Anguttara Nikaya appears on the bookshelves before you get to the Digha Nikaya, prioritise that over the DN as well. Furthermore, collections within the Khuddaka Nikaya like the Dhammapada , Udana, Itivuttaka, Sutta Nipata, Theragatha and Therigatha are also worth prioritising above the DN. English language translations of these texts are reasonably easy to come by.

Metta,
Retro. :)


grrr, now you have me wanting a whole new list of books ;)! ok so all i got is the SN, MN, and DN. i already have the dhammapada. i was kind of under the impression that the SN, MN, and DN were pretty inclusive because that's all wisdom publications has published of the sutta pitaka. but you're saying the same translator (And i'm assuming same publisher) is doing the second to last book of the sutta pitaka pretty soon? well i guess i'll just have to buy it then! thanx a lot retro for letting me know there are more things i want and can't afford :tongue: ! and the khuddaka nikaya i haven't seen anywhere to buy it all together. do you know of anywhere i could find it all together? it would be super sweet to have the entire sutta pitaka on my shelf! thanx for the info, much appreciated! amazon has this
http://www.amazon.com/Anguttara-Nikaya- ... 773&sr=8-3
which sounds complete. bodhi's says it's a collection or anthology. is his translation complete or should i get the one from amazon?

oh also the abidharma? i have bikkhu bodhi's "comprehensive manual". is there any good way to get all seven books? all i see on amazon is volumes written in the eighteen hundreds that i imagine aren't too fun to read lol!
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Re: "discourses of the buddha series" which one first?

Postby dhammastudier » Wed Jun 02, 2010 3:21 am

bodom wrote:Regardless of which order one chooses to read them in, I am of the opinion one would be best to start with Bodhi's anthology In the Buddha's Words which is part of the Teachings of the Buddha series. I read this before starting the Nikaya's and it was instrumental in my understanding of the key doctrinal aspects of the Dhamma. There is no better introduction to the suttas than this book. I would have been lost without it.

:anjali:


thanx, i already read that one and absolutely loved it! it's the reason i want the rest!
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Re: "discourses of the buddha series" which one first?

Postby Reductor » Wed Jun 02, 2010 3:25 am

Zac, pace yourself. The three that you have now, the DN MN and SN, will take you a good deal of time to read and comprehend. There are four large Nikayas: the three above and the AN, the Anguttara, the anthology of which you've mentioned. The anthology is less than a quarter of the whole collection... a complete translation of that collection, also by Bodhi, is hoped to be out in a years time, published by Wisdom. A years time is long enough for you to read most of the three you have, so do that and don't spend more money than you need to for books you aren't going to read anytime soon.

The khuddka is broken up into pieces and you'll have to buy this part and that to get it all. Again, don't fret to much, as the first few books are online at accesstoinsight.org . Search on google for Thanissaro's PDF version of the Ittivutaka. Go to http://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/T ... /index.htm for the Udana. Its pretty good - but has some quirky, and consistent, grammer issues. The meaning comes through alright though. You can order a copy of K.R Norman's "Group of Discourses" from amazon, and that's a translation of the Sutta Nipita. Its good reading.
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

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Re: "discourses of the buddha series" which one first?

Postby dhammastudier » Wed Jun 02, 2010 3:35 am

thereductor wrote:Zac, pace yourself. The three that you have now, the DN MN and SN, will take you a good deal of time to read and comprehend. There are four large Nikayas: the three above and the AN, the Anguttara, the anthology of which you've mentioned. The anthology is less than a quarter of the whole collection... a complete translation of that collection, also by Bodhi, is hoped to be out in a years time, published by Wisdom. A years time is long enough for you to read most of the three you have, so do that and don't spend more money than you need to for books you aren't going to read anytime soon.

The khuddka is broken up into pieces and you'll have to buy this part and that to get it all. Again, don't fret to much, as the first few books are online at accesstoinsight.org . Search on google for Thanissaro's PDF version of the Ittivutaka. Go to http://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/T ... /index.htm for the Udana. Its pretty good - but has some quirky, and consistent, grammer issues. The meaning comes through alright though. You can order a copy of K.R Norman's "Group of Discourses" from amazon, and that's a translation of the Sutta Nipita. Its good reading.


woo hoo! thanx i'll read that online. and yeah i know i'm getting all hungry ghost with dharma books! i've just read sooooooo many books by masters who are talking about what they think about the buddha's teachings and dropping quotes from time to time and i'm really anxious to actually read what they are quoting from!
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Re: "discourses of the buddha series" which one first?

Postby dhammastudier » Wed Jun 02, 2010 3:39 am

http://www.amazon.com/Anguttara-Nikaya- ... 773&sr=8-3

did a little digging and this book, according to reviewers, is the complete anguttara... but it's in pali! amazon says it's in english so i sent them an email asking what the deal is. just wanted to warn anyone who clicked that link and was like "sweet it's only fifteen dollars used..." which is what i was thinking...
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Re: "discourses of the buddha series" which one first?

Postby Kare » Wed Jun 02, 2010 8:06 am

zac wrote:http://www.amazon.com/Anguttara-Nikaya-Numerical-Discourses-Buddha/dp/1450570259/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1275444773&sr=8-3

did a little digging and this book, according to reviewers, is the complete anguttara... but it's in pali! amazon says it's in english so i sent them an email asking what the deal is. just wanted to warn anyone who clicked that link and was like "sweet it's only fifteen dollars used..." which is what i was thinking...


This is great news! :thumbsup: The four first Nikayas are published in inexpensive one-volume editions in Pali! I immediately ordered them.

If you buy these four volumes, you will only need Warder, "Introduction to Pali" and the PTS Pali-English Dictionary. Then you can read the real texts for yourself, and quit the endless search for "the best translation".

Or rather, revererse this suggested order and buy only Warder. Work with this one for about a year and enjoy learning Pali. Then, buy the Dictionary and the Digha Nikaya in Pali. Why the Digha? Warder uses texts from the Digha in his tutor, so after finishing Warder you will find that the Digha is familiar ground.

:anjali:
Mettāya,
Kåre
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Re: "discourses of the buddha series" which one first?

Postby Agent » Wed Jun 02, 2010 2:36 pm

An electronic version of the entire Tipiṭaka in Pāḷi is also available:
http://www.tipitaka.org/
Vayadhammā saṅkhārā appamādena sampādethā.
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Re: "discourses of the buddha series" which one first?

Postby dhammastudier » Wed Jun 02, 2010 5:06 pm

Kare wrote:
zac wrote:http://www.amazon.com/Anguttara-Nikaya-Numerical-Discourses-Buddha/dp/1450570259/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1275444773&sr=8-3

did a little digging and this book, according to reviewers, is the complete anguttara... but it's in pali! amazon says it's in english so i sent them an email asking what the deal is. just wanted to warn anyone who clicked that link and was like "sweet it's only fifteen dollars used..." which is what i was thinking...


This is great news! :thumbsup: The four first Nikayas are published in inexpensive one-volume editions in Pali! I immediately ordered them.

If you buy these four volumes, you will only need Warder, "Introduction to Pali" and the PTS Pali-English Dictionary. Then you can read the real texts for yourself, and quit the endless search for "the best translation".

Or rather, revererse this suggested order and buy only Warder. Work with this one for about a year and enjoy learning Pali. Then, buy the Dictionary and the Digha Nikaya in Pali. Why the Digha? Warder uses texts from the Digha in his tutor, so after finishing Warder you will find that the Digha is familiar ground.

:anjali:


wow! you have got DRIVE my friend!!! i admire your energy! i wouldn't even consider learning to read another language just to read a book... although for these books, if they were never translated into english i might! after i retire in forty some odd years i probably will learn to read the suttas in the traditional pali though :) or if i win the lottery and have more spare time;) however i never buy tickets so... it would have to be a my name is earl situation where one gets blown to me on the wind.
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Re: "discourses of the buddha series" which one first?

Postby Kenshou » Thu Jun 03, 2010 4:26 am

Kare wrote:If you buy these four volumes, you will only need Warder, "Introduction to Pali" and the PTS Pali-English Dictionary. Then you can read the real texts for yourself, and quit the endless search for "the best translation".


How realistic of a suggestion is this? Is that book comprehensive enough to allow you understand the pali of the nikayas? I've heard it's not so bad, but hell if I know.

If it -really- is, then that's a good idea. I'm familiar with elementary Sanskrit and getting into Pali, and if that's possible..... I might just do it.
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