Updating Nyanantiloka Thera's "Word Of The Buddha"

A while back Ajahn Brahm took a small start toward updating Nyanantiloka Thera’s “Word Of The Buddha”. Its an introduction to Buddhism for lay people via an anthology of the Pali Canon. It really seems like the perfect book accept for the outmoded English. As we all know Ajahn Brahm is very busy, and this project hasn’t gone far.


Ajahn Sujato has done more than the heavy lifting with making his new translations of the nikaya’s for the average person.

It occurred to me that this useful project could now be done by anyone in a few weeks by listing the sutta excerpts in “Word Of The Buddha” and compiling new excerpts from Ajahn Sujato’s translations.

It may even serve as a good introduction to sutta central.

I’m too busy myself, but I know there are some sutta heads here who would probably enjoy the project so I thought I would make the suggestion.


Great idea, that for an online version could be easily achieved with a forum post that simply references the extracts (which is an awesome feature of SC, and particularly useful if it’s a short passage from a DN sutta).



You can get a copy of the Word Of The Buddha here.

Many of the quotes are small extracts from much larger suttas.

From what I have seen so far you can’t hyperlink to a particular part of a sutta. It is also difficult to even find a particular excerpt with large differences between translations. Just doing a search on a web page will often not work. Reading parts of the sutta to locate the excerpt is often necessary ( I’ve compared alternate translations before for other reasons ).

It would probably be easier for the beginning reader to have all of the excerpts in one place like the book ( using hyperlinks in the citations ).

Thanks for the link to the original version of “Word of the Buddha” by Nyanatiloka. Ajahn Brahm re-translated the sutta text which he discussed in the talks (12 talks so far). Where can one download the latest text translated by Ajahn Brahm?

To be clear, are you saying that Ajahn Brahm completely updated all of the translations in the entire book?

The linking is possible:
But it is necessary to have “View textual information” turned on under the “Text Settings” at the top right of the sutta to see the codes.

I agree that finding the passage can be tricky in a long text, which is why the linking to sections is so cool!

I’ve looked up many excerpts from Bhikkhu Bodhi’s anthology here on Sutta Central using that feature. It isn’t easy.

Maybe I will do the project myself if I find out Ajahn Brahm hasn’t already done it.

No, and hopefully some of the issues of locating passages will improve.

My point was that it is easy to click on the link to see a specific passage, once someone has set it up… :sunglasses:


Not the same as a book.

We’ll have to agree to disagree about the rest because that was not my experience when I compiled excerpts for an earlier project.

Well, sure, they have different uses. I like having Bhikhu Bodhi’s In the Buddha’s words as a text and an Epub, but I use the online versions quite a lot when I want to look up something online:

[Unfortunately, the links in the former are not working right now, and the latter has not been updated to point to extracts - which would be useful once the numbering system here has settled down.]

I think Ajahn Brahm only re-translate the sutta text. Somehow I found & downloaded a pdf of Ajahn Brahm’s translation a while ago. His name was not on the pdf but reading the text along with his talk, it must be his translation. Not sure if it is the latest version. But I can’t find the web page from which I downloaded the pdf. It’s probably somewhere on BSWA.org.

I will include an example here:

[from Nyanatiloka’s book:
(Samm -sankappa)
D. 22 What, now, is Right Thought?

  1. Thought free from lust (nekkhamma-sankappa).
  2. Thought free from ill-will (avy p da-sankappa).
  3. Thought free from cruelty (avihims -sankappa).
    This is called Right Thought.

[from Ajahn Brahm translation:
2. Right Motivation
What, now, is right motivation?
Actions of body, speech and mind, coming from a motive of renunciation, coming from a motive of kindness, and coming from a motive of gentleness.
This is called right motivation.

Hopefully someone knows the link to the latest version.

A year ago, someone posted the download link to Ajahn Brahm’s translation: