Dharma Pearls Wiki

Back in August I created a mediawiki site (the same software used by Wikipedia) as an extension of my overall strategy of avoiding as much web development as possible and cobble together existing resources. It hasn’t gone far as a side project, but I do have some ambitious ideas for presenting in-depth information about the Agamas I’ve been translating. Today, I sat down and created a basic template for individual sutra pages using the simplest test case possible, SA 1.1.

You can find it here at the wiki.dharmapearls.net. This page provides an introduction, a translation with the original Chinese next to it in a table, and also an analysis of the parallels that exist. The text is Yinshun’s edition with my own little tweaks (mostly punctuation), so I included his footnotes as well.

If anyone has any ideas of how this basic format could be improved, I’d love to hear suggestions. The idea going forward is to also link in all sorts of glossary pages for both Chinese and English terms and topics to make it a resource for people to learn how to read the source material as well as understand the sutra in English.


Its a great idea! I’d love to see an “explanation/ further resources/controversies” section/s for complicated suttas, perhaps linking to resources where the particular concept is thoroughly discussed.
(For example if the sutta was the chinese equivalent of the Satipatthana sutta, there could be a short summary of how its interpreted by various authors, common controversies (is it the only path/ the one way path/ the direct path?)… there could be links to various books by Analayo, Thanissaro, etc)

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I don’t think that’s necessary, but I am curious what you’ll do about navigation. Perhaps you’ll need those fancy category boxes Wikipedia articles sometimes have?

In my opinion, the most important thing is your own comfort as a writer. If this is the easiest way for you to type in all the great work you’re doing, then great! The rest can be figured out later :slightly_smiling_face:


Yes, I could definitely see adding a section that compiles info about parallels and other takes on more important texts. Maybe a “further reading” section?

There is a kind of top down navigation in place at this point, but I’m not sure how exactly I could link sutras together with a wiki. Links to the Agamas are on the main page, then from there, a visitor can drill down to the texts. So for the Saṃyukta, there’s a high level table of saṃyuktas, and I’m building tables for each saṃyukta listing the sutras.

The ideal endpoint for me would be for readers to be able to look up “five aggregates” and land on a page about that topic that lists various ways its treated in Buddhist texts. Related concepts would have pages, and they could also head for the texts themselves to read specific passages, etc. It’s way too much work for one person to do, but it’s a concept. It was when I was thinking about marking up texts with links to recurring concepts, similes, people, places, et al that I decided to get a wiki set up and experiment with it.

BTW, currently the wiki is closed to the public because a spammer showed up to remind me that the internet is ruined. I’d be happy to create accounts for volunteers who’d like to help out, though.


I sat down and stayed sitting down for a few hours today and got the indexing of Yinshun’s CSA edition of the Samyukta Agama completed.

At this point, this is an inert listing of all the sutras and the cross-references that Yinshun lists in his footnotes. I’ve only review of some of the parallels he indicates, and from what I’ve seen, his notes are pretty comprehensive. Longer term plan is to light up all these tables with blue links. That’ll take more time, translation work, and parallel checking.


Today I spent some time fleshing out on my idea of using the Wiki to present Chinese-English studies.

Examples of linking Chinese words to glossary pages can be found in the Chinese of the first section of the translation. I know that the preview popups don’t as work well on mobiles as they do on desktops and laptops, but this seems like a decent way construct translation guides. A student can mouseover individual words and get a summary or click to see a dedicated glossary page.

I’ve also been wrestling with the styling and found a skin that’s much more mobile friendly, so any web dev/usability comments are also much appreciated.

Here’s a link to a started mock up using DA 4 as an example.