Monday, January 12, 2009

Good Reads

Those able to read English are most fortunate to have had all the Pali Tipitaka translated into English for over 50. It has still not been fully translated into Sinhala, Burmese, Thai, Cambodian or Laotian. I know that in the case of the parts already done in Sinhala and Burmese, the style of the language used is archaic and 'high' making it difficult for the average person to read. English readers are now doubly fortunate in having accurate, readable and easily available translations of anthologies from the Tipitaka. Three of these have come to my attention. The first is Bhikkhu Bodhi's and Nyanaponika's Numerical Discourses of the Buddha published by Vistaar Publications, New Delhi in 2000. Bodhi's In the Buddha's Words, a selection of discourses from throughout the Tipitaka with extensive notes was published by Wisdom in 2005. And now another anthology, this time done by Rupert Gethin, Sayings of the Buddha, has been done by Oxford World's Classics, so it will find its way into the average bookshop and be avaliable to 'the man in the street.' You may or may not keep turning your prayer wheel, but you defiantly should turn the pages of these books (Ops! I nearly forgot to add - 'and read them').


Terrance said...

Does anyone know of a complete source of Tipitaka on the Internet?

I am aware of

but it's not complete.


Anandajoti said...

Dear Venerable,

There are still parts of the Tipitaka that have not been translated into English: most of the Patthana, all of the Apadana, Culla- and Mahaniddesa are some that come to mind.

They are less important for a good understanding of the Buddha's original teaching, but they ARE important for an understanding of the Theravada.

Also there is at least one good translation into (readable) Sinhala by de Zoyza (see and a children's level translation by the Buddhist Cultural Center. There is also Ven K. Nyanananda's on-going translation.

I just mention this for the sake of accuracy.

Konchog said...

I also quite like The Awakened One by Sherab Chodzin Kohn.