Text and Teachings (Theravadin Sutras)
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PDF(633 KB) Guide to Tipitaka — Compiled by U KO Lay.
The Guide to the Tipitaka is an outline of the Pali Buddhist Canonical Scriptures of Theravada Buddhism from Burma. This is a unique work, as it is probably the only material that deals in outline with the whole of the Pali Buddhist Tipitaka. The Tipitaka includes all the teachings of the Buddha, grouped into three divisions: the Soutane Patch , or general discourses; the Vane Patch , or moral code for monks and nuns; and the Abhidhamma Pitaka , or philosophical teachings. An excellent reference work which gives an overview of the Pali Buddhist texts. • It is recommended that you download the print version below as it is of higher quality.
PDFPrint Version (1,314KB, zipped file) This print version is suitable for people who can print the pages duplex and they will have 2 A5 size pages on every Landscape oriented A4 page. This file is of higher quality with bookmarks and a hyperlinked series of "contents" pages.
PDF(1,815 KB) Daily Readings from Buddha's Words of Wisdom — by Ven. S. Dhammika.
For over two millennium the discourses of the Buddha have nourished the spiritual lives of countless millions of people in India, Sri Lanka, Burma and Thailand. This book contains extracts from some of these discourses selected from the Pali Tipitaka and also from some post-canonical writings. Rendered into readable English, presented so that one extract can be read and reflected upon each day of the year and provided with a Readers Guide, this book is an indispensable companion for anyone trying to apply the Buddha's gentle message to their daily life.
PDF(752 KB) Essentials of Buddhism — Ven. Pategama Gnanarama Ph.D.
This book can be used as a textbook on basic Buddhism. It is based on the Theravada Buddhism syllabus of the Postgraduate Diploma Examination in Buddhist Studies course of the Buddhist and Pali University of Sri Lanka. Since the work is meant for students, every chapter appears as a unit by itself and is confined to a few pages. Ven. Ganarama is the Principal of the Buddhist and Pali College of Singapore.
PDF(495 KB) The Book of Protection (Paritta) — Translated by Ven. Piyadassi, Thera.
This is an anthology of selected discourses of the Buddha originally compiled by teachers of the past. The introductory essay is informative and stimulating to the scholar and general reader alike. It is this ancient anthology that has now been translated from the original Pali by Piyadassi, Thera. These discourses have a special appeal not only to Theravada Buddhists but also to Mahayana Buddhists. It is interesting to find in this anthology the simpler side as well as the deeper side of the Buddha's teaching. Apart from their doctrinal value, the selected discourses, when recited, afford a protection against fear, misfortune and ill health.
PDF(241 KB) The Dhammapada, Buddha's Path of Wisdom — Ven. Acharya Buddharakkita.
Translated from the Pali by Acharya Buddharakkhita and with an introduction by Bhikkhu Bodhi. The Dhammapada is the best known and most widely esteemed text in the Pali Tipitaka, the sacred scriptures of Theravada Buddhism. The work is included in the Khuddaka Nikaya ("Minor Collection") of the Sutta Pitaka, but its popularity has raised it far above the single niche it occupies in the scriptures to the ranks of a world religious classic. Composed in the ancient Pali language, this slim anthology of verses constitutes a perfect compendium of the Buddha's teaching, comprising between its covers all the essential principles elaborated at length in the forty-odd volumes of the Pali Canon.
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Print Version Only (176KB)
PDF(241 KB) Thoughts, Thought-Processes And Thought-Moments — Excerpted and explained by David Holmes
“What is thought? … In Buddhist psychology one does not speak of a thought, but of a thought-process, since thought is not a unity. So what is loosely called a thought is really a thought-process ... What is a thought-process? …
PDF(592 KB) The Dhammapada, a Translation — Ven. Thanissaro, Bhikkhu.
The Dhammapada, an anthology of verses attributed to the Buddha, has long been recognized as one of the masterpieces of early Buddhist literature. Only more recently have scholars realized that it is also one of the early masterpieces of the Indian tradition of Kavya, or belles lettres . This translation is an attempt to render the verses into English in a way that does justice to both of the traditions to which the text belongs. Although it is tempting to view these traditions as distinct, dealing with form (Kavya) and content (Buddhism), the ideals of Kavya aimed at combining form and content into a seamless whole.
PDF(3,839 KB) Treasury of Truth - Dhammapada (Text Version) — Ven. W. Sarada Maha Thero.
This work lends itself readily to an in-depth study of this religious classic of mankind, to the great delight of both the scholar and the student. This PDF file is the text version only of the Illustrated Dhammapada by Ven. Sarada Maha Thero. The Pali text has explanatory translation of the verses with commentary in English.
PDF(21, 511 KB) Treasury of Truth - Illustrated Dhammapada — Ven. W. Sarada Maha Thero.
This archived zipped file (21,511KB) is the Illustrated version of the Dhammapada or Treasury of Truth, compiled by Venerable Weragoda Sarada Maha Thero. [ PLEASE NOTE: LARGE FILE SIZE ]
PDF(2,026 KB) Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta — Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw.
The First Discourse of the Buddha, namely the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta, commonly known as the Great Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma. This is a series of discourses on the Dhammacakka Sutta by the late Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw, a Questioner at the Sixth Buddhist Council in Myanmar, (Burma) 1954. Translated by U Ko Lay.
PDF(2,620 KB) Sigalovada Sutta - Illustrated — Compiled by Ven. K. Dhammasiri.
The Sigalovada in Pictures. A Pictorial presentation of the Buddha's advice to the layman, Sigala on the duties of the householder. Compiled by Venerable K. Dhammasiri. Artwork by K. W. Janaranjana.
PDF(1,128 KB) Maha Satipatthana Sutta — Translated by U Jotika & U Dhamminda.
Practise in accordance with this Mahasatipatthana Sutta so that you can see why it is acknowledged as the most important Sutta that the Buddha taught. Try to practise all the different sections from time to time as they are all useful, but in the beginning start with something simple such as being mindful while walking, or the mindfulness of in and out breathing. Then as you practise these you will be able to practise the other sections contained within this Sutta and you will find that all the four satipatthanas can be practised concurrently. A sutta should be read again and again as you will tend to forget its message. The message here in this Sutta is that you should be mindful of whatever is occurring in the body and mind, whether it be good or bad, and thus you will become aware that all conditioned phenomena are impermanent, unsatisfactory and notself.
PDFHigh quality: Print Version - Maha Satipatthana Sutta for downloading (1,626 KB zipped file)
PDF(1,027 KB) The Mission Accomplished — Ven. Pategama Gnanarama Ph.D.
A historical analysis of the Mahaparinibbana Sutta of the Digha Nikaya of the Pali Canon. "The Mission Accomplished is undoubtedly an eye opening contribution to Buddhist analytical Pali studies. In this analytical and critical work Ven. Dr. Pategama Gnanarama enlightens us in many areas of subjects hitherto unexplored by scholars. His views on the beginnings of the Bhikkhuni Order are interesting and refreshing. They might even be provocative to traditional readers, yet be challenging to the feminists to adopt a most positive attitude to the problem". Prof. Chandima Wijebandara, University of Sri Jayawardhanapura, Sri Lanka.
PDF(896 KB) The Debate of King Milinda — Bhikkhu Pesala.
The Milanda Panna is a famous work of Buddhist literature, probably compiled in the 1st century B.C. It presents Buddhist doctrine in a very attractive and memorable form as a dialogue between a Bactrian Greek king, Milinda, who plays the 'Devil's Advocate' and a Buddhist sage, Nagasena. The topics covered include most of the questions commonly asked by Westerners. This abridgment provides a concise presentation of this masterpiece of Buddhist literature. The introduction outlines the historical background against which the dialogues took place, indicating the meeting of two great cultures that of ancient Greece and the Buddhism of the Indus valley, which was the legacy of the great Emperor Asoka.
PDF(1,481 KB) A Manual of Abhidhamma — Ven. Narada Maha Thera.
Abhidhamma is the Higher Teaching of the Buddha. It expounds the quintessence of His profound doctrine. The Dhamma, embodied in the Sutta Piñaka, is the conventional teaching, and the Abhidhamma is the ultimate teaching. In the Abhidhamma both mind and matter, which constitute this complex machinery of man, are microscopically analysed. Chief events connected with the process of birth and death are explained in detail. Intricate points of the Dhamma are clarified. The Path of Emancipation is set forth in clear terms.
PDF(690 KB) Abhidhamma Studies (Buddhist Psychology) — Ven. Nyanaponika Thera.
The content of these studies is rather varied: they include philosophical and psychological investigations, references to the practical application of the teachings concerned, pointers to neglected or unnoticed aspects of the Abhidhamma, textual research etc. This variety of contents serves to show that wherever we dig deep enough into that inexhaustible mine, the Abhidhamma literature, we shall meet with valuable contributions to the theoretical understanding and practical realization of Buddhist doctrine.
PDF(3,254 KB) Note Large File Size Buddha Abhidhamma - Ultimate Science — Dr Mehn Tin Mon.
The Buddha's ultimate teaching, known as the Abhidhamma , describes in detail the natures of the ultimate realities that really exist in nature but are unknown to scientists. His method of verification is superior to scientific methods which depend on instruments. He used his divine-eye to penetrate the coverings that hide the true nature of things. He also taught others how to develop concentration and how to observe with their mind-eyes the true nature of all things and finally the four Noble Truths which can enlighten one to achieve one's liberation from all miseries for ever!
PDF(1,673 KB) Practising Dhamma with a View to Nibbana — Radhika Abeysekera.
Radhika Abeysekera began teaching and writing books on the Dhamma to help reintroduce Buddhism to immigrants in non-Buddhist countries. The books are designed in such a manner that a parent or educator can use them to teach Buddhism to a child. Mrs. Abeysekera feels strongly that parents should first study and practise the Dhamma to the best of their ability to obtain maximum benefits, because what you do not possess you cannot give to your child. The books were also designed to foster understanding of the Dhamma among non-Buddhists, so that there can be peace and harmony through understanding and respect for the philosophies and faiths of others.
PDF(1,249 KB) A Taste of Freedom — Ven. Ajahn Chah.
Venerable Ajahn Chah always gave his talks in simple, everyday language. His objective was to clarify the Dhamma, not to confuse his listeners with an overload of information. Consequently the talks presented here have been rendered into correspondingly simple English. The aim has been to present Ajahn Chah's teaching in both the spirit and the letter. In 1976 Venerable Ajahn Chah was invited to England together with Ajahn Sumedho, the outcome of which was eventually the establishment of the first branch monastery of Wat Pa Pong outside of Thailand. Since then, further branch monasteries have been established in England, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand and Italy.
PDF(1,479 KB) Bhavana Vandana - Book of Devotion — Compiled by Ven. Gunaratana.
The purpose of this book is manifold. One is to teach the users of this Vandana book how to pronounce Pali words correctly. By the daily repetition of these Pali verses and Suttas people can learn the Pali pronunciation without much effort. Secondly we intend to teach people the Pali language without much toil. Therefore we made one half of our chanting in English, so people learn the meaning of what they chant in Pali and later on they can compare the English with the Pali. Thirdly, we intend to teach people Dhamma through devotional service. In order to fulfill all these purposes we decided to include certain Suttas which are not normally used in Viharas for vandana service.
PDF(1,690 KB) Ordination Procedure — Pali / English.
Ordination Procedure, was composed by Somdet Phra Sangharàja Pussadeva of Wat Ràjapratisñhasthitamahàsãmàràma. His Eminence reformed some of the text and procedure for Pabbajjà and Upasampadà from the original text. The method of Pabbajjà (Going-forth) and Upasampadà (Acceptance) in the Southern School (that is, Theravàda) uses the original Magadha (Pàli) language.
PDF(435 KB) Chanting Book — Pali / English.
This is the standard Morning and Evening Chanting Book, with Protective Discourses, commonly chanted in many Theravadin temples and monasteries. The text is in both Pali and English.
PDF(402 KB) A Pali Word A Day — Mahindarama Sunday Pali School.
A selection of Pali words for daily reflection. This booklet aims to assist new Buddhist students who are unfamiliar with some of the Pali words often used in the study of Buddhism. As the title suggests, it encourages the learning and use of Pali words by learning one word a day. This booklet can serve both as a dictionary and a glossary of terms for your reference.
PDF(1642 KB) Pali Buddhist Dictionary [4th Edition] — Ven. Nyanatiloka [Pali Studies]
This is an authentic dictionary of Buddhist doctrinal terms, used in the Pali Canon and its Commentaries. It provides the reader not with a mere enumeration of Pali terms and their English equivalents, but offers precise and authentic definitions and explanations of canonical and post-canonical terms and doctrines, based on the Suttas, Abhidhamma and the Commentaries.
PDF(822 KB) Elementary Pali Course — Ven. Narada, Thera. [Pali Studies]
This Elementary Pali Course by the late Venerable Narada Thera, the renowned Buddhist scholar of the Vjirarama Vihara, Colombo, Sri Lanka, is the standard work for the study of the elementary level of Pali. Pali was the language spoken by the Buddha, and employed by him to expound his teachings. It is also the scriptural language used by the Theravada school of Buddhism.
PDF(479 KB) A Grammar of the Pali Language — Chas Durioselle. [Pali Studies]
Most introductory Pali grammar books consist of lessons that teach the elements of the language in stages, but because of that they are also very difficult to use as a reference when you need to look up a noun's declension, or a verb's conjugation. Because of its practical and comprehensive coverage of the elements of the Pali language in complete chapters, this book is a very useful reference. It was not written for linguistics experts, but for students with little experience studying Pali grammar.
PDF(321 KB) The Light of Asia (Text Only) — Sir Edwin Arnold.
In the sumptuous Buddhist literature of the world, "The Light of Asia", by Sir Edwin Arnold, is without any doubt, a unique work. It is primarily because, this is the only original poem written in English on the Buddha, throughout the long history of Buddhism. This distinction is quite necessary to be established, because there are translations of original Pali works into English and other languages. Some of these are outstanding instances of spiritual poetry. Sir Edwin Arnold, the Author of this epic poem, was initially persuaded to compose this sacred work, as a result of his deep and abiding desire to aid in the better and mutual understanding between East and West.
PDFIllustrated Version of "The Light of Asia" (5,045KB, zipped file).
PDF(1,000 KB) The Bhikkhus' Rules - Guide for Laypeople — Bhikkhu Ariyesako.
The Theravadin Buddhist Monk's Rules by compiled and explained by Bhikkhu Ariyesako. This compilation is for anyone interested about bhikkhus and about how to relate to them. Some may think that this lineage follows an overly traditionalist approach but then, it does happen to be the oldest living tradition. A slight caution therefore to anyone completely new to the ways of monasticism, which may appear quite radical for the modern day and age. The best introduction, perhaps essential for a true understanding, is meeting with a practising bhikkhu who should manifest and reflect the peaceful and joyous qualities of the bhikkhu's way of life.
PDF(1,354 KB) The Bhikkhuni Patimokkha of the Six Schools — Chatsumarn Kabilsingh Ph.D.
Dr. Chatsumarn Kabilsingh has translated the monastic rules of Buddhist nuns or the Patimokkha of the Six Schools, which will help us to learn and compare Theravada, Mahasanghika, Mahisasaka, Sarvastivada, Dhamagupta and Mula-Sarvastivada. The study of the patimokkha also provides insight into the historical context from which the rules took place. This translation will also provide valuable material for concerned Buddhist scholars.
PDF(342 KB) The Buddha and His Disciples — Ven. S. Dhammika.
Taking a different perspective from the usual biographies of the Buddha, the author retells the great man's story using the society of the time as the backdrop and the Buddha's interactions with his contemporaries as the main theme. We discover what the Buddha was like as a person, how he taught and how he changed the lives of all who were blessed enough to come into contact with him.
Anattà is a Pàli word consisting of a negative prefix, ‘an' meaning not, plus atta, soul, and is most literally translated as no-soul. The word atta, however, has a wide range of meanings, and some of those meanings cross over into the fields of psychology, philosophy, and everyday terminology, as, for example, when atta can mean self, being, ego, and personality. Therefore, we will examine and elucidate the wide range of meanings which atta can signify in order to determine exactly what the Buddha denied when He proclaimed that He teaches anattà, that is, when He denied the existence of atta. We will examine both Buddhist and non-Buddhist definitions of the term soul, and we will also examine modern definitions of terms such as ego and self.
PDF(1,169 KB) Volition: An Introduction of the Law of Kamma — Sayadaw U Silanada.
What is kamma? The Buddha said: “Oh monks, it is volition that I call kamma.” The popular meaning of kamma is action or doing, but as a technical term, kamma means volition or will. When you do something, there is volition behind it, and that volition, that mental effort, is called kamma. The Buddha explained that, having willed, one then acts through body, speech, and mind. Whatever you do, there is some kind of kamma, mental effort, will, and volition. Volition is one of the fifty-two mental states which arise together with consciousness.
PDF(1,739 KB) The 31 Planes of Existence — Ven. Suvanno Mahathera.
The suttas describe the 31distinct "planes" or "realms" of existence into which beings can be reborn during their long wanderings through samsara . These range from the extraordinarily dark, grim, and painful hell realms all the way up to the most sublime, refined and exquisitely blissful heavenly realms. Existence in every realm is impermanent; in the cosmology taught by the Buddha there is no eternal heaven or hell. Beings are born into a particular realm according to both their past kamma and their kamma at the moment of death.
PDF(1,662 KB) The Roots of Good and Evil — Ven. Nyanaponika Thera.
Greed, hatred, and delusion - these are the three bad roots in us. Conversely the good ones are non-greed (i.e generosity), non-hatred (love), and non-delusion (wisdom). All our troubles and suffering stem essentially from the bad roots while our joy and happiness comes from the good ones. It is important to know and understand these roots if we are going to make an end of suffering and attain true peace and happiness. This book explains in a penetrative way the nature of these six roots. It contains discourses of the Buddha on the subject together with traditional commentarial explanations.
PDF(1,050 KB) Good, Evil & Beyond: Kamma in the Buddha's Teachings — Bhikkhu P.A. Payutto.
For the modern Westerner, the teaching of kamma offers a path of practice based not on fear of a higher authority, nor dogma, but rather founded on a clear understanding of the natural law of cause and effect as it relates to human behaviour. It is a teaching to be not so much believed as understood and seen in operation.
There are different views and beliefs about what happens after death. Tibetan (Vajrayàna) and Chinese (Mahàyàna) Buddhists believe that after death, the spirit of the dead person passes through an intermediate period (bardo in Tibetan, zhong yin in Mandarin) — which may last for as long as forty-nine days — during which it undergoes a series of unearthly, extraordinary experiences, including a “small death” at the end of each week, before it is finally reborn into another realm of existence. In contrast, orthodox Theravada Buddhism, which is the earliest extant record of Gotama Buddha's teaching, asserts that rebirth takes place immediately after death.
PDF(2,250 KB) Kathina: Then and Now — Aggacitta Bhikkhu.
The kathina ceremony is now an internationally established celebration where the Sangha and the laity meet to participate in mutually rewarding, meritorious activities. Throughout the centuries, the way of carrying out the ceremony has changed with local interpretations, practices and customs. How much has deviated from the original scriptural tradition — how much is in accordance with the scriptures and how much is mere invention? In this booklet, Venerable Aggacitta Bhikkhu combines his scriptural knowledge and practical experience to scrutinise the kathina ceremony through two articles: The Scriptural Tradition of Kathina; Kathina Benefits — Illusion, Delusion and Resolution.
PDF(1,986 KB) Acariya Mun Bhuridatta - A Spiritual Biography — Tr. Bhikkhu Dick Silaratano.
A Spiritual Biography by Acariya Maha Boowa Nanasampanno. Translated from the Thai by Bhikkhu Dick Sãlaratano. Acariya Mun Bhýridatta Thera was a vipassanã meditation master of the highest caliber of this present age. He taught the profound nature of Dhamma with such authority and persuasion that he left no doubts among his students about the exalted level of his spiritual attainment. His devoted followers consist of numerous monks and laity from virtually every region of Thailand. His story is truly a magnificent one throughout: from his early years in lay life through his long endeavor as a Buddhist monk to the day he finally passed away. [This eBook is also available with photographs ]
PDF(4,164 KB) Acariya Mun Bhuridatta - Screen Version — Tr. Bhikkhu Dick Silaratano.
A high quality screen version of the above. This edition is made with InDesign 2. Please note: Large file size.
PDF(3,992 KB) Clearing the Path — Nanavira Thera. LINK to Zipped version , with text explanation.
NOTE: There are 3 versions of Clearing the Path. This version is made for screen viewing and is very similar to the "book" version. However it is not designed to be printed because the pages are not a standard size (the pages have been cropped for easier screen viewing).
It cannot be expected that this material, which poses a clear challenge to the mainstream version of Buddhism, will gain any great popularity among the majority of Buddhists — Eastern or Western — but at least it can suggest an alternative approach to the Buddha's original Teaching, and perhaps serve as a useful eye-opener for those seeking an understanding of its more fundamental principles.
PDF(3,681 KB) Clearing the Path — Nanavira Thera. LINK to Zipped version , with text explanation.
NOTE: Primarily the PDF "CtPbookV1.pdf" is made to be printed as a book. Other versions of this PDF are modified to be better viewed on screen - whilst another is already "pre-printed" in PDF format as a "2-up" meaning that there are 2 pages per A4 Landscape oriented page to make for easier printout (on A4 paper) for personal use.
PDF(2,602 KB) Clearing the Path — Nanavira Thera. LINK to Zipped version , with text explanation.
NOTE: The primary book version was made for printing as a book so it was not optimised for onscreen viewing or personal printout. This version "2upbookctpv1.PDF" has been reprinted (Distilled) via Acrobat so that there are now 2 pages per A4 page in Landscape orientation (rather than usual Portrait orientation) so as to make personal printouts for reading much easier. The same effect could be obtained by using the original "CtPbookv1.pdf" and printing that via your desktop printer driver so as to have 2 pages per page (if possible).
PDF(726 KB) Vandana: Pali Devotional Chanting — by Ven. E. Indaratana.
Pali Devotional Chanting and Hymns - It is beneficial for every Buddhist to recite daily at least a few verses from the Vandana, recalling to mind the sublime qualities of the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha. Contemplation on these great qualities will make our minds calm, peaceful and serene.

For audio files of the chanting are available in Buddha Dhamma Sangha Audio section .

PDF(1,542 KB) Theravadin Buddhist Chinese Funeral — Ven. Suvanno.
Generally, a Chinese funeral is a mixture of Taoist, Confucian and Buddhist rites. How then should a Theravadin Buddhist funeral be conducted? Venerable Suvanno, a respected and senior Theravadin Buddhist monk of Chinese descent explains how a Theravadin Buddhist Chinese funeral may be conducted.
PDF(3,602 KB) Introduction to Basic Pathana — Ashin Janakabhivamsa. (Burmese Script)
This is a commentary on the seventh Book of the Abhidhamma: Patthana - "The Book of Causal Relations". Which is the most important and voluminous book of the Abhidhamma Pitaka, by the late renowned Burmese scholar monk, Ashin Janakabhivamsa. ( Please note the text is in Burmese script )
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