Should I buy a copy of the Majjhima Nikaya?

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Should I buy a copy of the Majjhima Nikaya?

Postby mettafuture » Mon Oct 18, 2010 5:58 am

Hi Dhamma Friends,

I already have Access To Insight bookmarked in my browser, and a copy of In The Buddha's words sitting on my bookshelf. How important, in your opinion, is it to have a complete Nikaya? I've been eye-balling Bhikkhu Nanamoli's and Bhikkhu Bodhi's translation of the Middle Length Discourses on Amazon for the last couple of weeks. Should I get it? Am I missing out on any amazing suttas by not having it?

On a side note: I know most of my threads here have been about books. :( I promise to cut down on the book talk after this post.

Sincerely,
Mr. Future
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Re: Should I buy a copy of the Majjhima Nikaya?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Oct 18, 2010 6:16 am

mettafuture wrote:Hi Dhamma Friends,

I already have Access To Insight bookmarked in my browser, and a copy of In The Buddha's words sitting on my bookshelf. How important, in your opinion, is it to have a complete Nikaya? I've been eye-balling Bhikkhu Nanamoli's and Bhikkhu Bodhi's translation of the Middle Length Discourses on Amazon for the last couple of weeks. Should I get it? Am I missing out on any amazing suttas by not having it?

On a side note: I know most of my threads here have been about books. :( I promise to cut down on the book talk after this post.

Sincerely,
Mr. Future
If you can afford it, get it. Not only to have access to good translation, but also the footnotes. If I have to choose betwween Ven T's translations or ven B's, I'd take Ven B's.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Should I buy a copy of the Majjhima Nikaya?

Postby lojong1 » Mon Oct 18, 2010 6:29 am

Bodhi's middle- and Walshe's long-discourses can be read at Palicanon.org
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Re: Should I buy a copy of the Majjhima Nikaya?

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Oct 18, 2010 7:42 am

lojong1 wrote:Bodhi's middle- and Walshe's long-discourses can be read at Palicanon.org

That's true, but the books are much more convenient...

Considering the amount of time I've spent using my MN (hundreds of hours just listening to Bhikkhu Bodhi's talks http://www.bodhimonastery.net/bm/about-buddhism/dharma-talks-in-audio/20-audio/15-a-systematic-study-of-the-majjhima-nikaya.html) the cost is completely irrelevant.

The multi-volume deals at Amazon are good if you're somewhere where their shipping is cheap. Right now it's showing DN+MN+SN for $122 http://www.amazon.com/Middle-Length-Discourses-Buddha-Translation/dp/086171072X/ref=pd_sim_b_2. For those of us in the rest of the world TheBookDepository can often be cheaper: http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/book/97 ... ranslation

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Re: Should I buy a copy of the Majjhima Nikaya?

Postby Shonin » Mon Oct 18, 2010 7:47 am

It depends on you and your intentions I'd say.

I have a copy of it, it wasn't cheap, but the majority of the time I find the Internet much easier to use, or more rarely already know from memory what I'm looking for. The Majjhima Nikaya isn't organised by topic after all. There are many shorter compilations and books about the Suttas which are much easier to digest.

On the other hand if you are making a really thorough, systemmatic study of the suttas then maybe it would be useful.
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Re: Should I buy a copy of the Majjhima Nikaya?

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Oct 18, 2010 9:06 am

Greetings MettaFuture,

If you're dedicated enough to read it, I would recommend it.

:reading:

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Should I buy a copy of the Majjhima Nikaya?

Postby josephzizys » Mon Oct 18, 2010 9:37 am

A bit from left field, but I would recommend the Samyutta Nikaya, also published by BPS/Wisdom, translated by Bodhi, it is arranged thematically, and it also contains rare variants of many of the stock phrases and formulae of the canon. It's hours of fun for the whole family! And it's a little less ummm, I dunno, 'narrow' in it's style for mine, the Long Discourses are pretty skewed toward gradual Samatha training and the jhanas, while the Middle length discourses lean more toward mindfulness. There all great, but the Samutta, it's more dense, thematically varied, and just awesome fun. Ok, so I just finished watching the entire series 1 2 and 3 of Avatar in a single week and may be a little... Anyway, the Suttas all reward study, but they are just books after all.
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Re: Should I buy a copy of the Majjhima Nikaya?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Oct 18, 2010 9:43 am

josephzizys wrote: Ok, so I just finished watching the entire series 1 2 and 3 of Avatar in a single week and may be a little....
Now you need to, in one sitting, watch the extended versions of the Lord of the Ring Triology.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Should I buy a copy of the Majjhima Nikaya?

Postby Aloka » Mon Oct 18, 2010 10:45 am

Hi MettaFuture,

I bought the Nanamoli and Bodhi translation of the Majjhima Nikaya and I definately don't regret it !


Kind regards,

Aloka :)
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Re: Should I buy a copy of the Majjhima Nikaya?

Postby ground » Mon Oct 18, 2010 11:32 am

I have Bhikkhu Bodhi's translation of MN and I really do not regret to have bought it.

Kind regards
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Re: Should I buy a copy of the Majjhima Nikaya?

Postby Vepacitta » Mon Oct 18, 2010 1:24 pm

josephzizys wrote:A bit from left field, but I would recommend the Samyutta Nikaya, also published by BPS/Wisdom, translated by Bodhi, it is arranged thematically, and it also contains rare variants of many of the stock phrases and formulae of the canon. It's hours of fun for the whole family! And it's a little less ummm, I dunno, 'narrow' in it's style for mine, the Long Discourses are pretty skewed toward gradual Samatha training and the jhanas, while the Middle length discourses lean more toward mindfulness. There all great, but the Samutta, it's more dense, thematically varied, and just awesome fun. Ok, so I just finished watching the entire series 1 2 and 3 of Avatar in a single week and may be a little... Anyway, the Suttas all reward study, but they are just books after all.



The SM is my favourite Nikaya - it's just really clear and concise.

However, I would recommend getting Ven. Nanamoli/Ven.Bodhi MN if you can afford it.

From Mt. Meru,

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Re: Should I buy a copy of the Majjhima Nikaya?

Postby Hoo » Mon Oct 18, 2010 1:46 pm

It was suggested to me that getting them used could save me a lot. Amazon has the used category. Other used book dealers I like are Abe Books and BookFinder. I've found Amazon's free shipping on orders over $25 sometimes makes the difference in where I buy.

Hope this helps,

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Re: Should I buy a copy of the Majjhima Nikaya?

Postby texastheravadin » Mon Oct 18, 2010 2:34 pm

I have also been considering the idea of buying The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha, The Long Discourses of the Buddha, and The Connected Discourses of the Buddha, but right now money is the limiting factor. I'm going to make it a point to try to save enough to buy them together as a set. About a year ago when I first started seriously studying and practicing Buddhism, I promised myself that I would not go crazy and spend too much money on books because I have a tendency to outspend what I earn on my "intellectual pursuits". So far I've been lucky enough to find several great books (like The Dhammapada) at my local used bookstore. I did break down and pay full price for In The Buddha's Words,but it was totally worth it. (I usually only have time to read it once a week on an Uposatha day, so I try to at least read The Dhammapada daily).

It's true that Access to Insight has lots of the suttas available for free, and I really enjoy using it as a reference guide whenever I'm studying In The Buddha's Words, or when I just want to research a little more about a particular topic. But I don't know...there's still something so powerful about having an actual book in my hands. If you have the same affinity for holding theses precious texts in your hands, and you can afford it, I'd say go for it! The amount of material in those volumes will keep you busy for at least this lifetime!

As someone who donates to the Buddhist Publication Society, I'd of course recommend you order your books from Pariyatti. Not only that, but I just ordered a couple of books and selected the cheapest shipping possible and my books were still here almost the next day! Of course I won't deny that Amazon usually has some good deals, you could probably get all three books for under $120 dollars and still qualify for free shipping!

:anjali:

Josh
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Re: Should I buy a copy of the Majjhima Nikaya?

Postby Individual » Mon Oct 18, 2010 2:46 pm

mettafuture wrote:Hi Dhamma Friends,

I already have Access To Insight bookmarked in my browser, and a copy of In The Buddha's words sitting on my bookshelf. How important, in your opinion, is it to have a complete Nikaya? I've been eye-balling Bhikkhu Nanamoli's and Bhikkhu Bodhi's translation of the Middle Length Discourses on Amazon for the last couple of weeks. Should I get it? Am I missing out on any amazing suttas by not having it?

On a side note: I know most of my threads here have been about books. :( I promise to cut down on the book talk after this post.

Sincerely,
Mr. Future

The price is far too high to be worth it. And you can get lots of suttas for free -- online, from your library, and friends who are willing to share their copies. The money would be better spent as a donation to the Red Cross or some other similar organization.

If you do decide to purchase Nanamoli and Bodhi's translations, don't keep them to yourself, sitting on a dusty bookshelf somewhere. Read them, and when you're done reading them, share them.
The best things in life aren't things.

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Re: Should I buy a copy of the Majjhima Nikaya?

Postby josephzizys » Tue Oct 19, 2010 1:36 am

The price is well worth it. In terms of hours of enjoyment and learning you will derive from it, you will be spending much less per hour than on a paperback, a DVD, or a record.

As for giving the money to the Red Cross, well, why not give everything you have to the Red Cross? And then get yourself to Africa and work for the poor as a monk?

There is nothing wrong with pursuing learning and awakening, the gift of Dhamma is the greatest act of charity you can perform, and your as good a recipient as anyone.
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Re: Should I buy a copy of the Majjhima Nikaya?

Postby Individual » Tue Oct 19, 2010 2:59 am

The early sangha was able to produce and reproduce a freely available text, with only dried palm leaves and their minds.

Today, people have computers to type in, spellcheck in Microsoft word, printers which can quickly spit out hundreds of pages, an internet where their work can be stored, assistants and editors to help them, and they don't even need to recite the suttas from memory like the first monks did, and the translations are all copyrighted?!
The best things in life aren't things.

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Re: Should I buy a copy of the Majjhima Nikaya?

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Oct 19, 2010 3:50 am

Didn't we already have this conversation?
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 06&start=0

Wisdom, BPS, PTS, etc are non-profit organisations. Under the model they've been running for several decades they are charging what they calculate they need to to do a decent job of the editing, typesetting, and printing, presumably by employing some professionals. Operations which are far from trivial to do well. I presume the Authors' do the work for free in these cases.

Perhaps if there were enough volunteers with good skills, or more people donated money to the organizations, then the price could go down. As it is, the Wisdom Sutta series is quite cheap for the size and quality of the books.

Personally, I think that it is more important for these organizations to be viable enough to continue to produce high-quality books (or some other media) for the long term than for the products to be cheaper. I believe we are still missing English translations of a few of the more obscure volumes of the Tipitaka, and some of the translations of the minor volumes (by PTS) are rather dated. The vast majority of the Commentaries are untranslated.

:anjali:
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Re: Should I buy a copy of the Majjhima Nikaya?

Postby mettafuture » Tue Oct 19, 2010 4:10 am

Thank you all for your replies.

mikenz66 wrote:
lojong1 wrote:Bodhi's middle- and Walshe's long-discourses can be read at Palicanon.org

That's true, but the books are much more convenient...

I agree. And the Kindle version would be even more convenient.

Shonin wrote:It depends on you and your intentions I'd say.

I enjoy reading the dhamma, and I'd like to have a more complete knowledge of the suttas.

retrofuturist wrote:If you're dedicated enough to read it, I would recommend it.

:reading:

Lol. Absolutely. I've already read all of In The Buddha's Words, and most of Access to Insight. I'm ready to read the "other" suttas that haven't been included in the popular anthologies.

josephzizys wrote:A bit from left field, but I would recommend the Samyutta Nikaya, also published by BPS/Wisdom, translated by Bodhi, it is arranged thematically, and it also contains rare variants of many of the stock phrases and formulae of the canon.

Not from left field at all. I'd love to have a copy of SN, but it's a bit outside my budget. I'd also like a complete translation of AN, but it's not currently available. (Or is it?) And since MN has more of my favorite suttas than DN (MN 2, 9, and 10), I decided to go with MN.

It's hours of fun for the whole family!

Lol. I bet.

And it's a little less ummm, I dunno, 'narrow' in it's style for mine, the Long Discourses are pretty skewed toward gradual Samatha training and the jhanas, while the Middle length discourses lean more toward mindfulness. There all great, but the Samutta, it's more dense, thematically varied, and just awesome fun.

Are there any good suttas on the asavas, the 4 brahma-viharas (divine abodes), or the 4 elements in SN?

Ok, so I just finished watching the entire series 1 2 and 3 of Avatar in a single week and may be a little... Anyway, the Suttas all reward study, but they are just books after all.

:D

Individual wrote:The early sangha was able to produce and reproduce a freely available text, with only dried palm leaves and their minds.

But the laity weren't able to own a copy of this text.

:hello:
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Re: Should I buy a copy of the Majjhima Nikaya?

Postby mettafuture » Tue Oct 19, 2010 4:18 am

Individual makes an interesting point though. Why couldn't they just put all of the Nikayas online, or make them available as free downloads through iBooks, Amazon, or Barnes & Noble? Even the Kindle version of MN is $30.
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Re: Should I buy a copy of the Majjhima Nikaya?

Postby Sylvester » Tue Oct 19, 2010 5:36 am

I heard from Ajahn Brahm that Bhikkhu Bodhi and Wisdom may have some good news to dispense, when BB's AN is ready. Keep your ears to the ground...
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