Feedback Request: My Motivations For Considering Reading All Of The Sutta Tipitaka

I’m still getting a lot out of my other thread asking for advice in reading the entire sutta tipikata

The advice needing to be tailored to my motivations for doing so was brought up as a point several times.

So, I would be interested in my motivation for thinking about taking on this long term commitment.

Over the years I came across 3 suttas I haven’t seen mentioned in anthologies which I think are game changers for how the Buddha’s teachings are taken:

  1. The Peg (Ani Sutta, Samyutta Nikaya XX.7)
  2. Unconjecturable (Acintita Sutta, Anguttara Nikaya IV.77)
  3. To Sivaka (Moliyasivaka Sutta, Samyutta Nikaya XXXVI.21)

That makes me wonder what other golden nuggets are waiting there to be found by steadily moving through each and every sutta.

I would be interested in reading opinions about this motivation for reading every single sutta.


That sounds like great motivation.

For me, a big motivation is not so much learning but encouraging my practice. Over the years I’ve found reading too many Buddhist books and online discussions and listening to too many dhamma talks often have the counter-intuitive impact of weakening my practice, of having me re-think and change my practice too often, of raising doubts about my practice. I find reading suttas keeps my practice urgent and vital.


You’re thinking too much and planning too long.

Just one hour per day, or two hours. Within a year should finish them all already. Don’t stop to ruminate, don’t research much further. Just can take a quick jolt of the suttas you like, like the treasure and that’s it.

Also warning, there are suttas which can be offensive to feminists, so you should know to interpret them in context of Buddha speaking to monks.

One year is not too long. Speed it up, 3 months. This vassa. Finish them all up. The longer it goes, there might not be enough motivation to finish.

It’s the words of the enlightened one, that’s enough reason to read it. And it’s the golden standard to compare to any contemporary teacher’s teaching to see if they are teaching in line with the dhamma.

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All good points. In regard to the quote there is no “just” in “just one hour per day, or two hours” for us wage slaves. :–).

Remembering of what it was like going back to school and work after breaks always impressed upon me how easy it is to forget “being there”. LOL :slight_smile:

Actually, not that hard.

  1. Audiobook,

  2. Earphone,

  3. Transportation time.

  4. Provided that you’re not driving in a highly demanding road, then should be able to listen to the suttas safely. Just in case for the deep ones. The DN and MN has lots of repetition. Especially using Pali audio version, where they expend it out.

  5. During house chores time. So long as you don’t need to talk and no loud background noise.

  6. When you go to toilet.

So many of these adds up to more than 1 hours already easily.

Only basically AN need to read and listen at the same time, cause no theme hard to follow by audio only.

I think wanting to hear the true dhamma is a good enough reason.

Will you find caveat “game changers”? depends where you’re coming from. If you’re coming from traditonal theravada which is often taught by monk lineages, traditions, and commentaries, and not the suttas themselves, then yes, you’ll probably discover a lot of caveat game changers that will make you question what you’ve been taught in the past.

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A good sutta that talks about the study to practice ratio is the dhamma-viharin sutta

In summary, chanting, thinking/philsophizing, etc… isn’t dwelling in the dhamma. Dwelling in the dhamma is studying the suttas a short part of the day, and then trying to attain samadhi for the majority of the day.

Then there is the case where a monk studies the Dhamma: dialogues, narratives of mixed prose and verse, explanations, verses, spontaneous exclamations, quotations, birth stories, amazing events, question & answer sessions. He doesn’t spend the day in Dhamma-study. He doesn’t neglect seclusion. He commits himself to internal tranquillity of awareness. This is called a monk who dwells in the Dhamma.

“Now, monk, I have taught you the person who is keen on study, the one who is keen on description, the one who is keen on recitation, the one who is keen on thinking, and the one who dwells in the Dhamma. Whatever a teacher should do — seeking the welfare of his disciples, out of sympathy for them — that have I done for you. Over there are the roots of trees; over there, empty dwellings. Practice jhana, monk. Don’t be heedless. Don’t later fall into regret. This is our message to you.”


And study/seeing the workings of our own mind, during the day?

Yes, seeing the mind as it really is would fall under Samma Samadhi

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Sounds like a great motivation. FWIW, the single most rewarding thing about reading through the niakyas has been what you’ve described — that I’ve encountered suttas that don’t get a lot of press but have been very helpful for me personally.

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How to prevent the situation of being just a padaparamo?

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