Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: Reading the Sutras

  1. #1

    Reading the Sutras

    Greetings Sangha,

    I have read a few classics in asian philosophy (Tao te Ching, Art of War, Ueshiba's Art of Peace) but haven't read any of the sutras. I looked on Amazon and found the Diamond and Heart Sutras, and I think one or two others.

    Where is a good source to purchase the majority of Sutras and which book should I start with first?

    M.

  2. #2

    Re: Reading the Sutras

    I have a copy of the Buddhist Bible which has lot's o' Sutras in it. Might be worth checking out for you.

    http://www.amazon.com/Buddhist-Bible.../dp/0807059110

    Good luck with your search, I am sure will get many more responses!

    Gassho,
    Damian

  3. #3

    Re: Reading the Sutras

    Hi Mushin,

    Have a look at our suggested reading list ...
    http://www.treeleaf.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=889

    The Diamond Sutra and Heart Sutra (now being discussed daily on "sit-a-long with Jundo") are later Mahayana works of the "Perfection of Wisdom" genre.

    If you want to read the early Pali Suttas, a good book is ...

    In the Buddha's Words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon, Bhikkhu Bodhi (Editor)

    http://www.allbookstores.com/book/0861714911

    I advice with that book though, just to read the Buddha's words and do not get lost in the footnotes (which are largely interpretation from Bhikku Bodhi's school). The Buddha's words themselves are clear and bright.

    The "Buddhist Bible" that Damian mentions is a very old (very early 20th century, around 1932 I think) translation, very rough and impressionistic in places. I really can't recommend it compared to later translations and scholarship like that by Bhikku Bodhi.

    Gassho, Jundo

  4. #4

    Re: Reading the Sutras

    The Internets can be a boon.
    You may be interested in exploring this link:http://www4.bayarea.net/~mtlee/

    Gassho,
    Jordan

  5. #5

    Re: Reading the Sutras

    A book that I've been recommending lately is Basic Teachings of the Buddha by Glenn Wallis. Wallis chose 16 suttas that are pretty much accepted by most Buddhist schools. His translation is refreshing in that he translates Buddhist concepts in new ways; I have found that this helps illuminate the basic teachings. He also provides an excellent commentary.

    http://www.amazon.com/Teachings-Buddha- ... 791&sr=8-1

    Gassho,
    Keith

  6. #6

    Re: Reading the Sutras

    I still love my old standby, The Dhammapada. As Jundo says, it is "clear and bright."

  7. #7

    Re: Reading the Sutras

    Quote Originally Posted by aebaxter
    I still love my old standby, The Dhammapada. As Jundo says, it is "clear and bright."
    Hey aebaxter,

    I like the Dhammapada, too. Wallis has a pretty good translation, a little on the scholarly side, but like with his Basic Teachings of the Buddha, he provides excellent commentary. What translation do you like to read?

    Gassho,
    Keith

  8. #8

    Re: Reading the Sutras

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith
    Hey aebaxter,

    I like the Dhammapada, too. Wallis has a pretty good translation, a little on the scholarly side, but like with his Basic Teachings of the Buddha, he provides excellent commentary. What translation do you like to read?

    Gassho,
    Keith
    Hi there Keith-
    I actually have two translations. One is a little pocket version, The Dhammapada with a foreward by Thich Nhat Hanh and translated by Ananda Maitreya. The other is The Dhammapada: A New Translation of the Buddhist Classic with Annotations translated by Gil Fronsdal. I will have to check out the Wallis version.

  9. #9

    Re: Reading the Sutras

    Quote Originally Posted by aebaxter
    Hi there Keith-
    I actually have two translations. One is a little pocket version, The Dhammapada with a foreward by Thich Nhat Hanh and translated by Ananda Maitreya. The other is The Dhammapada: A New Translation of the Buddhist Classic with Annotations translated by Gil Fronsdal. I will have to check out the Wallis version.
    Although I have not read them from cover to cover, I am familar with both translations. The Fronsdal translation has gotten a lot of good press.

    Gassho,
    Keith

  10. #10

    Re: Reading the Sutras

    Quote Originally Posted by Jordan
    The Internets can be a boon.
    You may be interested in exploring this link:http://www4.bayarea.net/~mtlee/

    Gassho,
    Jordan
    Yes, I should have thought of that. And besides the Mahayana materials that Jordan posted, Thanissaro Bhikkhu has a great and respected online collection of his Pali translations.

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... index.html

    That should keep you busy reading for awhile.

    Of course, remember that even the earliest Suttas were written down hundreds of years after the Buddha is said to have spoken the words (although said to have been accurately preserved as an oral tradition from generation to generation), that many of the Suttas (for example, all the Mahayana Sutras) were actually written completely by other authors "channeling" what that Buddha is said to have said through their vivid imaginations, and that hundreds of different schools have been debating thousands of different interpretations of what the Buddha said since he is said to have said them (no different from Christianity and the Bible in that regard).

    So, somewhere in there ... you may find "Buddhism" and "What the Buddha taught".

    And of course, from our Zen Perspective, "what the Buddha taught" is fully realized the moment you sit down on your Zafu.

    Actually, every time I go back to the early writing (like that Bukkhu Boddhi collection) I am so happy to find that what we are practicing now is merely what the Buddha is said to have been preaching way back then ... although maybe with some development and honing, seasoning, adaption to new times and cultures, some new ways of viewing or expressing things 2500 years later. Still, our Zen Practice is faithful to the Founder. I think he would not be displeased with our Ways.

    What he taught (The Four Noble Truths & The Eightfold Path, Non-Self, Non-Attachment, Dependent Origination, etc. etc.) is what we Practice, with a few tweeks to things like literal rebirth stories.

    Gassho, Jundo

  11. #11

    Re: Reading the Sutras

    Hi y'all,

    Does anyone know when the Pali texts were written? Or when scholars have dated the texts to? (I really must take that english grammar course....)

    gassho,
    rowan

  12. #12

    Re: Reading the Sutras

    Quote Originally Posted by ros
    Hi y'all,

    Does anyone know when the Pali texts were written? Or when scholars have dated the texts to? (I really must take that english grammar course....)

    gassho,
    rowan
    Hi Rowan,


    It is my understanding that the texts were first written down somewhere between the 1st century B.C.E. and 5th century C.E., many centuries after the time of Buddha. Various claims are made, however, for the accuracy of the oral traditional in between. Some works are considered to have been written down earlier than others, and various "Council" over the centuries set to the task of compiling and editing.

    http://ebudhaindia.com/india/buddhistcouncil.htm

    In any case, the Pali Canon was also, over the centuries, subject to various reformulations and modifications according to changing orthodoxy, not unlike what occurred in the process of standardization of the Old and New Testaments of the Bible ... with certain texts excluded on doctrinal grounds.

    For a scholar's treatment of these issues, please see the following fairly recent article (especially Section II, which begins on p. 76).

    http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&...KP0v0#PPA78,M1

    In our Zen View, the Buddha's words can be realized right in a moment of Zazen.

    Gassho, Jundo

Similar Threads

  1. READING SCHEDULE FOR SHOBOGENZO-ZUIMONKI (and reading tips)
    By Jundo in forum "BEYOND WORDS & LETTERS" BOOK CLUB
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 04-08-2010, 10:06 PM
  2. Reading the Sutras
    By JohnsonCM in forum TREELEAF COMMUNITY: Topics about Zazen, Zen, Buddhism & MORE ZAZEN!
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 02-19-2010, 05:12 AM
  3. Sutras!
    By radicaldreamer in forum TREELEAF COMMUNITY: Topics about Zazen, Zen, Buddhism & MORE ZAZEN!
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 01-27-2009, 04:28 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •