The Sutta Pitaka, the second division of the Tipitaka, consists of over
10,000 suttas, or discourses, delivered by the Buddha and his close disciples
during the Buddha's forty-five year teaching career, as well as many
additional verses by other members of the Sangha. Many of these suttas are
available on-line - particularly at the
Access to Insight
web site - but not all.
This page has six sections:
- English translations for several important suttas
- Bilingual suttas or excerpts (English with Pali "tooltips")
- Multiple translations of a single sutta on one page
- Sutta PRC and PDF files suitable for a Kindle or other eReader
- Cross reference table of sutta numbers and PTS Pali Vol. & Page
- Lists of suttas on various topics
This section contains English translations for several
important suttas for which I had not found a suitable on-line translation,
but managed to adapt from other English on-line versions.
The above suttas were not translated by me. I just edited them. The method
was as follows:
- PotthapÓda Sutta (DN 9) -- The PotthapÓda Sutta
The Buddha discusses states of consciousness and ideas of the self with the wanderer PotthapÓda.
- Tevijja Sutta (DN 13) -- The Tevijja Sutta
The Buddha points out that the way to Union with Brahma is via the practice of the Brahma Viharas.
- Alagagaddupama Sutta (MN 22) -- The Simile of the Snake.
The Buddha has a foolish disciple who has developed a pernicious view. The Buddha reprimands him and with the simile of the snake and simile of the the raft stress the dangers of misapplying and misrepresenting the Dhamma. The sutta concludes with a detailed teaching on not-self.
- Mahatanhasankhaya Sutta (MN 38) -- The Longer Discourse on the Destruction of Craving.
The Buddha has a foolish disciple who has developed the pernicious view that consciousness transmigrates from life to life. The Buddha reprimands him and explains Dependent Origination to show that consciousness is dependently arisen.
- Mahaassapura Sutta (MN 39) -- The Longer Discourse in Assapura.
The Buddha explains what it means to be a true recluse by teaching the Training in detail.
This sutta includes the attitude one should have towards eating.
- Nalakapana Sutta (MN 68) -- The Discourse at Nalakapana.
The Buddha explains why he tells the destinations of his disciples who have died.
- Angulimala Sutta (MN 86) -- About Angulimala.
The mass murder Angulimala is tamed by the Buddha and becomes as arahant.
- Kolita Sutta (SN 21.1) -- Mahamoggallana (on Noble Silence).
Mahamoggallana recalls learning the second jhana and how if there was thinking & pondering (vitakka & vicara), this was not Noble Silence. This sutta makes it clear that vitakka & vicara do not mean "initial and sustained attention" in the context of the jhanas as described in the suttas.
- The First Jhana Sutta (SN 40.1) -- The First Jhana.
Mahamoggallana recalls learning the first jhana and how his thinking & pondering (vitakka & vicara) became sensual.
- Kantakasuttam Sutta (AN 10.72) -- Thorns.
To one in the first jhana, sounds are a thorn. To one in the second jhana, vitakka & vicara are a thorn. To one in the third jhana, piti is a thorn. To one in the fourth jhana, in breathing and out breathing is a thorn.
- I found a copy of the sutta at the MettaNet - Lanka
public domain Tipitaka web site.
This is a wonderful resource, but the English translations tend to be rather literal.
That can be very helpful for scholarly work, but makes reading them a bit difficult.
Also, the punctuation has not been fully edited for many of these suttas.
- I then edited the sutta using material from similar suttas
(there's lots of repetition - both within suttas and among suttas) at the
Access to Insight
collection of suttas.
I also consulted other translations by
Bhikkhu Bodhi, Bhikkhu Nanamoli, Maurice Walshe and others.
- And of course I used my limited knowledge of Pali and of the Buddha's
teachings to assist me in the editing.
- Rohitassa Sutta (SN 2.26) -- To Rohitassa - Translated from the Pali by Bhikkhu Ñāṇananda.
You cannot travel to the end of the world; this fathom long carcass, endowed with perception and mind, is the world.
- Bahiya Sutta (Ud 10.1) -- About Bahiya - Translated from the Pali by John D. Ireland.
All I did for this version of this very important sutta was add a couple of footnotes - which help to explain what's going on - and bring out the Buddha's genius. The sutta contains some very potent meditation instructions.
The suttas on this page are (or will soon be) included in my Sutta Database
for Windows. Feel free to copy and/or distribute these suttas - but this must
be done for free.
This section contains bilingual suttas (or excerpts). If you place you mouse
on the words and phrases on the pages at the following links, a "tooltip" will appear (like an
Alt tag on an image) that contains the Pali [requires Firefox/Mozilla 1.0 or greater, Internet Explorer 5.0 or greater, Safari, Chrome, Opera or Netscape 6.0 or greater]:
- Dhammacakkappavattana-Sutta (SN 56:11) -- The Turning of the Wheel of Dhamma
The first discourse: the 4 Noble Truths and the 8-Fold Path.
- Magga-vibhanga Sutta (SN 45:8) -- An Analysis of the Path
A detail explanation of the 8-Fold Path.
- Anapanasati Sutta (MN 118) -- Mindfulness of Breathing (excerpt)
The instructions on how to practice Mindfulness of Breathing meditation.
- Tevijja Sutta (DN 13)
Brahma Vihara practice (excerpt)
The instructions on how to practice loving-kinfness, compassion, empathetic joy & equanimity meditation.
- The Rupa Jhanas - in both Pali and English
This explanation is found in many discourses including
and SN 45:8
This section contains links to important suttas where I have collected multiple translation from Pali to English all on a single page for easy comparison.
To supplement the sutta eBooks from Wisdom Publications, I have created eBooks from some of the sutta material found at the Access to Insight web site:
The Itivuttaka and Dhammapada are available as PDFs from BCBS and can be used on many eReaders like the Kindle.
Three translations of the Metta Sutta are also available as an eBook. For a complete list of dhamma material I've created/found, see my Kindle folder and be sure to read the readme.txt file.
Sometimes you see references such as "S ii 16". This refers to the PTS Pali edition of the Samyutta Nikaya, Volume 2, Page 16 which is the "Kaccayanagotto" sutta at SN 12.15. So how does one go from the Vol-Page reference to the sutta number? You can use either of these handy tables:
You should right click and save which ever of these fits your needs so you can reference it quickly (and off-line).
This section contains lists of suttas on various topics. Please note that the lists are not exhaustive, but simply represent some suttas I have found helpful when studying a topic.
- Dependent Origination
- Right View - Wrong View
- DN 1 (see summary chart in Insight Journal, Fall 2003),
DN 2 (section on the 6 teachers),
- MN 9,
MN 141 (short definition of Right View near the end)
- SN 12:15,
- AN I xv 1-3, V 25, X 93
- AN 3:61, MN 101, SN 42.8 (other sectarian views)
- Discourses to Vacchagotta
- Discourses to Rahula
- And finally, someone asked me to list my Top 10 Suttas
- DN 2 - The Fruits of the Spiritual Life
- DN 22 - The Four Foundations of Mindfulness
- MN 22 - The Simile of the Snake
- MN 38 - The Greater Discourse on the Destruction of Craving
- MN 118 - Mindfulness of Breathing
- SN 12:15 - To Kaccayana Gotta (on Right View)
- SN 12:23 - Transcendental Dependent Origination
- SN 12:65 - The Ancient City
- Udana I.10 - The Bahiya Sutta
- Sutta Nipata I.8 - Metta Sutta
The Authenticity of the Suttas of the Pali Canon - My thoughts on this subject
The Questionable Authenticity of AN 8.51/Cv.X.1 - The Founding of the Order of Nuns
Access to Insight
MettaNet - Lanka public domain Tipitaka web site
Sutta Study Guides
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/ Revised 02 Nov 12