Help add resources!

You may have noticed that I’ve been adding a bunch of talks and other resources here on Discourse. This is one of the purposes I’d like to see this platform used for: a gathering place for the great teachings on the Suttas that are scattered all over the web.

And here’s where you can help. Find the talks, essays, articles, chanting, or whatever that inspires you and helps you understand the Suttas, and post it here.

I’m starting this now because we are ready to move to the next step of integrating Discourse with SuttaCentral. In a few days, we’ll launch a new feature, where any posts or discussions about a particular sutta here will show up in the sidebar at SuttaCentral. Whatever sutta you’re reading, there’ll be a wealth of wisdom to help you, right there.

So how to make it work?

We’ve done the hard work on the coding side—or rather, @blake has done the hard work, and I’ve cheered him on—so that everything is simple on this end. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Find an inspiring resource on the Suttas.
  2. Make a new Topic here.
  3. For AV material like YouTube, paste the link. For written material, you can use a link for a web page or file, upload for a pdf file, or paste an essay directly into the post.
  4. Make sure to include at least two things in the title: the SuttaCentral ID (eg MN 23, AN 3.4, etc.) and something to distinguish this post (eg “talk by Ajahn Brahm”).
  5. Put it under the correct category (typically AV or Essays).
  6. Create Topic. Your post will appear both here and in the sidebar for the relevant sutta on SuttaCentral.

And you’re done. It only takes a minute, and you’ve helped make the Buddha’s words available for people all over the world. Sadhu!

The most important thing is to use the proper SuttaCentral ID. This is what lets us hook it up with our system. Let me know if you need help with this.

One note: If you paste essays directly in Discourse, as I did with In the Buddha’s Words, make sure the formatting is done properly. You can’t just directly paste Word documents here. Discourse doesn’t support complex text formatting, although improved support will be coming in a few months. However if it is a complex essay with footnotes and the like, best to use a pdf. Let me know if you have questions.

In some cases, you can get great results simply by pasting the URL. For example, see DN1 “The Great Entanglement”: essay and talk by Alexander Duncan. All I did was paste the URL from the original site (http://palisuttas.com/2014/11/01/brahmajala-sutta/) and Discourse did the rest. Headings, lists, blockquotes, notes, images, videos, even tables, just work right out of the box. Whoa! This is because of a cool Discourse feature called “oneboxing”, where for certain whitelisted sites, we can just pull in information. To use this, try just adding a URL. If it doesn’t do anything, it means that site is not whitelisted. Let me know, and I’ll add it to the whitelist for oneboxing. Not all sites support this, however, so it’s a bit hit and miss. Oneboxing is supported for Google Drive, so if you have a slideshow or complex document, add it to Google Drive, publish it, and paste the URL in Discourse.

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Hello, I registered as a user here just today. I think the feature associating AV/Essays with suttas could be very useful. Ideally when I’m in the mood I would like to add lots of resources in one sitting, although I understand from the point of view of Discourse discussion forum this will look like spam. Is it possible to increase daily post limit on request?

I think it would be nice to split up talk series such as this


sutta by sutta like this

so that they can be easily found in the Discuss and Discover list when viewing a sutta on the main site.

At the moment I think it would be nice to have a thread each for all of Piya Tan’s sutta focused youtube talks, then his dharmafarer.org essays, then Bhikkhu Bodhi’s sutta focused talks (audio and video), then Analayo’s Chinese agama focused essays.
That way one would get quite significant coverage of the whole canon in an easily navigable format.

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Hi Qianxi,

Thanks so much for your offer of help. Don’t worry about looking like spam, it’s not spam if we want it! I don’t think there is a maximum number of posts/day, but if you run into any limits let me know.

I would love to have links for all Piya’s material, in fact he was one of the people I first thought of! Also Vens Bodhi and Analayo, of course.

You seem to have a good grasp of what is required, but just to repeat: the most important thing is to have the exact SuttaCentral sutta ID in the title or post. In some cases this might differ from the ID as used in the talk, especially for the Anguttara and Samyutta. In such cases, one workaround is to give the original reference as used in the talk/essay in a human-readable form, then specify the machine readable SC ID. For example, “Essay on Samyutta 12, sutta 3 (SC ID: SN 12.4)”. As long as the ID is there somewhere, we’ll link to it.

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Is hosting 86 MB mp3s on suttacentral OK, or would it be better to host such files on Google Drive?
https://discourse.suttacentral.net/t/ma1-ma2-an7-68-an7-69-analayos-madhyama-agama-lectures-2011-1-11/1904
I have no preference. Hosting the files on discourse.suttacentral looks neater and it means not getting caught up in the identity tracking network of google apps. On the other hand on Google Drive you can upload several files in a queue, and there’s also less stress on suttacentral servers.

Thanks for asking. I think it would be better to have them here. As far as I know, server stress is not an issue, and if it becomes so we can just increase our horsepower.

Dear Sujato, I have a large amount of original audiovisual material, most of which is on my YouTube channel. I would be happy to post the links here. However I am concerned that because I am rather opinionated and independent-minded, some people may be offended.

Basically, my concept is Suttānta: that the Suttas are the prime source of the Buddha’s teaching, and that derivative works like the Commentaries and Abhidhamma should be read critically to avoid being led astray. Further, much of the material in the Commentaries appears to be based on speculative grammatical techniques imported from South Indian Hinduism, specifically the school of Śāṅkarācārya, who used similar techniques in his commentaries on Vedānta. Also, these have the effect of introducing a yogic and religious framework not found in the Suttas that dilutes their remarkable stylistic uniformity, logical consistency and ontological coherence.

Finally, since the Buddha presented his teachings in the context of Vedic thought, some background is needed for contemporary people to appreciate the Suttas properly. Many early translations suffer from lack of this context, so I attempt to provide it. Philosophically I pretty much follow Buddhadāsa Bhikkhu and Bhikkhu Ñāṇananda, my mentor. Would this view be acceptable on SC?

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I would like to offer a link to a storehouse of Analayo’s work:

https://www.buddhismuskunde.uni-hamburg.de/en/personen/analayo.html

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Hello,

I saw this board recommended on another forum.

What are the rules for user-submitted translations from Pali to English?

Thanks.

Hi Derek,

Nice to see you here! We don’t really have any rules as far as user submissions go. If you have any translations of Pali texts, you are welcome to post them here, on our forum, in the translation category.

If you would like to have your translations considered for inclusion on our main site, maybe you could start by letting us know a little bit about yourself, what your experience is, and what translation work you’ve been doing.

It’s a matter of discerning what needs to be translated next. I’ve noticed that the best translations are still in copyright. The ones that can be freely reproduced are often not the best.

Indeed, hence:

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Wow! I do approve of your translation goals, namely, plain English and no copyright. We need translations that speak to ordinary people, not fussy/literal ones that show off the translator’s knowledge of Pali. But 18 months??? I think you’d have to work hard to do MN alone in 36 months.

Thanks! Yes, this is very much the aim.

Well, I’ve already translated the Anguttara and Samyutta, and am about two thirds through the Majjhima. Also, note that Brahmali is doing the Vinaya.

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I have a mega.nz file of a bunch of pāli resources - is that something I could post? Where would I post it?

You’re most welcome to post links to any material dealing with Pali here, so long as it does not contravene copyright. Just make a thread, and give it a nice descriptive title. It’d be helpful to make a list of files in the post.

Thank you bhante. Which subforum would be most appropriate?

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As you see fit, depending what it is: a/v, essays, translations, etc.

Hello Bhante!

I have gathered a collection of audio talks inspired by the teachings found in the early Buddhist texts—mostly by such respected teachers as Ajahn Brahm, Ajahn Brahmali and of course yourself!—I would like to share here.

All audio talks are encoded in 16kbps-11kHz-Mono mp3 format (without significant loss from the original recording) which enables easy access even on slow mobile connections (at approximately 8 MB per hour). Nonetheless the entire archive is approximately 30 GB in size, so before I start uploading away please let me know if this will cause any storage problems on the server side.

And since Sutta Central is not only such an amazing resource content-wise—for which I extend my deepest gratitude :anjal: and respect—but also designed with a sense for beauty and ease of access, just posting a bunch of links would not do. So I figured I can put up something like this (in a not-too-burdensome semi-automatic way):

Example #1—a simple list
Bhante Sujato—Dhammathreads—Season 2

Example #2—a less simple list
Bhante Sujato, Ajahn Brahmali—Early Buddhism Course—BSWA 2013

Most data is extracted directly from the mp3 tags, so not much work there, and since Discourse is such a smart platform it references uploaded files with their SHA1 hash, which actually allows for the markdown in the examples to be generated beforehand (so at the time of posting not all download links will resolve yet, but will work once the files are uploaded to D&D). The only laborious part will be uploading the files themselves since I’m on a fairly usable mobile connection with a large enough cap.

I was striving for simplicity so everything in the example is pure markdown, the table layout even looks decent on the mobile device. If you have any other design or content consideration I will appreciate any input.

Thank you for the opportunity to share this resources with all the friends in the dhamma and thank you (and the entire team behind SC and D&D) for all the hard work behind the scenes to make this the greatest access point to the teachings of the Buddha!

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Hi Musiko, that is great, thank you so very much. As you say, they look great.

The only thing, I’d suggest putting these on their own threads, each course or whatever on a single thread. It makes it easier for someone to find. You should be able to just copy and paste from your post here.

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