Dīghanikāyo samatto

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My heart bounced with joy when I read that.
Looking forward catching up with you when you return to Perth.


Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu! A marvellous endeavour and after all the hard work the result and rewards will be tremendous!

It is history in the making. Despite your modesty, I’m sure you must have a knack for this kind of work from a past life! Maybe you were a scholar of the vedas or of Greek philosophy :slightly_smiling_face:.

You certainly could say a life’s work has been completed, if only in terms of the ‘mundane’ workload. :wink:

Wishing you and the team behind you all the very best!

With much mudita,



Looking forward to see the new translation and … you Bhante :smile:


Dear Bhante Sujato
Congratulations ! (seems a small word for such a monumental achievement). A precious, helpful, wonderful and life changing gift to the world. Thank you to you and all who supported you in this endeavour.
With Metta


Im glad i could help :wink: seriously ajahn sujato there is only a few people that could pull this off, congratulations on such a huge undertaking. Best wishes.


Congrats of course…! Wow!
I’m retranslating the Sangiti Sutta, Commentary and Subcommentary - all together.
As you know, it was my PhD work… but I endeavor to make it more complete… more comprehensive.
I advocate that this is our Buddhist textbook, that we [people embarking into Buddhist Studies, professionally] should begin with. Anyhow, I look forward to seeing your work.
If you need help with reviews, please let me know.
-Dr. Dion Peoples


Thanks Dion.

How is the translation going? I have become a little more familiar with the commentarial style, but still find many allusions and terms I’m unfamiliar with.


A deeep bow of gratitude, dear Bhikkhu, for such a wonderful gift of Dhamma. I intend to purchase these volumes for my local lay-sangha’s library as soon as they are available. Thanks for setting such an inspiring example for us all.

May your days be filled with metta, karuna, mudita, and upekkha.


By the way, I lost my previous FB page so I have a new one - in case you wanted to follow my updates: - but I agree… It is very strange indeed: the commentary and subcommentary have things in them which will change our perspective of Buddhism. Also, since I am doing the new translation… I am doing it without notes, without reflection of others work… and I know my weaknesses in Pali grammar, but am learning more and more, as the project is 30 pages into a 200+ page project (just mentioned this in another post for you). I think Walshe and others before sanitized the translations, censored them in some respects. I will try to address my issues more fully in my introduction when I am ready to write it. As I have a deep experience with the content of the Sangiti Sutta, I neglected the commentary/subcommentary, and since it was untranslated, and Walshe has criticism towards his renderings, I thought it was best to completely redo everything. When I am done, I also hope to merge that with my previous work on the discourse. I need to also look over your website, so see little words here and there that I cannot translate (because they are not in the dictionary), and see how you have done it. I may borrow your perspectives and reference it, where appropriate. I am translating now to spite the tradition that neglected to do it before us - why was everything not done? Many scholars work, but don’t produce? I am trying now, to cancel or oppose the hypocrisy that I have seen within academia. I can’t find an excuse anymore. I will be a silent reader of your webpage, and only comment when necessary or in needed praise for something you have done. I’m happy to just get this out to you. I have also seen things translated in the commentary as being one thing in Pali… and although I am not translating from the Thai (my son helps with minor translations when I have a problem - and he will be thanked in my work) - I can read Thai for myself, the Thai commentaries mention something completely different. In one specific case: Pali mentions coral-color… but the Thai commentary mentions a pink-sapphire. Sure the color is similar, but coral is coral and a gemstone is a gemstone - two distinct objects. There are other issues, and when I find them, I will mention them. It makes me want to toss out the Thai… but I am having my son read it and tell me the meaning of it (translating to me), mainly for the sake of checking the accuracy of my own perspectives/conditioning. Have a great day Ven. Sujato, and thank you for all of your work for advancing Buddhism. We struggle, and I hope we can accomplish our tasks for our tradition.


Bhante, may I respectfully enquire about your reason for makimg new translation all four Nikayas? Are there deficiencies in the fairly recent translations by Bhikkhu Bodhi, and others?


Yes, there are problems in all the existing translations.

  • Most of Ven Bodhi’s translations are not released under an open licence and thus are (legally) only available to those with enough money to pay for them.
  • In addition, he has only translated three nikayas. The Digha was translated by Maurice Walshe, and it is not very good.
  • Also, Ven Bodhi’s translations are not consistent: he translated each of the three nikayas independently, and the terminology and phrasing is different in each case.
  • Other translations are either of poor quality or are far from complete.

But this translation is not just about solving problems with previous ones. I also want to advance the field by introducing new features.

  • My translations are in plain English so as to be readable to the widest audience, especially those who have learned English as a second language.
  • The translations are segmented, meaning that each sentence or part of a sentence is matched with the corresponding Pali. This allows detailed and granular referencing not previously possible.
  • The new translations are being designed together with a platform that makes it super-easy for other translators to work and have their texts published on SuttaCentral (or anywhere else).

In addition to all these things, I have thoroughly reviewed the meanings of words and manner of translation. I’ve included some of these inquiries in essays here, and in addition there are some thousands of unpublished notes. It is up to others to judge whether I have succeeded, but my goal has been to create the most accurate translations possible.


Bhante ,
So your translations is directly from Pali , do you refer to other source other than this ?


Well, if you have a look at the many essays on my translation process here, you can get a pretty good idea of how I work.

But generally speaking, it goes like this. I use as my primary source the Mahasangiti edition of the Pali canon, as used on SuttaCentral. In problematic passages I consult a range of different sources, including:

  • Previous translations, especially those of Ven Bodhi,
  • Pali commentaries
  • Pali and other Indic language dictionaries
  • Parallel passages in Chinese and Sanskrit

When all of these fail, I consult with various scholars, including Ven Brahmali, Ven Anandajoti, Ven Nyanatusita, and Rod Bucknell. And sometimes I get good ideas from you lot here on Discourse!


What ideas if you don’t mind to share ?
Example ?


Well, it’s been two years: I can’t recall off the top of my head. But you can check some of our old conversations.


Since we created the Samita ASBL Facebook page we shared all your essays on translation issues there, and they were usually well received. And with this post we did the same: And nothing that ever has been posted there has reached as many people as just this post!

This means many people are caring about your work, are supporting what you are doing, and are interested in reading the suttas!

This seems to be not quite correct… :sunglasses:

Thank you for doing this work that brings benefit to so many people! :pray:


Sadhu! sadhu. A very noble deed indeed. May this help the Dhamma to flourish for a long time to come.


Absolutely! This is no little achievement. And that vague and undefined “early next year” when the translations will be published, is becoming something to which increasing numbers of people anticipate with tanha! I was having a stroll few days ago, and while watching the vividly blue sky and the beautiful sunset, this anxious thought just popped up in my mind: “I hope Venerable @sujato has kept several backups on various storage devices in separate locations, till early next year!” :slight_smile:


I learnt advanced Buddhism by reading English translations and books. Many thanks to Ven. Narada, Bodhi and Thanissaro. I can’t read (properly) Sutta written in my own language even though I have a degree from the University of Sri Lanka in Sinhala medium. So your effort will benefit many people.


Sādhu Sādhu Sādhu! Anumodana!