SuttaCentral

What EBT's are you reading and why are you reading them?

What are you reading from the EBT’s these days, and why are you reading it? Do you have a go-to collection that you read from, or topics that you prefer these days?

As an example, recently I was reading through SN samyuttas on the different disciples of the Buddha, with an eye for what they were practicing or teaching. The original reason for this is some interest in the Anuruddha Samyutta, as he was associated with the Four Bases of Mindfulness. But then Moggallana pops in with his psychic powers now and then to bother Anuruddha while he’s trying to meditate. So then after the Anuruddha Samyutta, of course I have to pop over into the Moggallana Samyutta, etc.

Most of my reading is based around topics of interest like that, and the SA / SN allows for reading about several dozen diverse topics. Most of the samyuttas are fairly short and informative.

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The great Visuddhimagga but I plan to read the paramatthamanjusa in english or burmese

I also have finished reading vinaya pitaka

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MN123, going MN 124 next. But a comparison (with agamas) read before that. Due to class, systematically go through one nikaya after another.

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I’m reading the MN. I’m on the last vagga right now. I’m going to start the SN next. I haven’t read enough of the original suttas, so that’s why I’m reading them.

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Currently I’m more focused on self-improvement and practical matters, so I read suttas relevant to my personal problems and sticking points. Mainly, different ways and interpretations of maintaining unbroken mindfulness, then I test out that interpretation and see if it decreases the defilements and unwholesome activity and tendencies.

So suttas on mindfulness, sati-sampajanna, virtue, perceptions, intentions, etc…

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I’m currently reading the Vinayapitaka, Ajahn @Brahmali 's translation. When I first started reading the Vinaya I had thought it would be really dry and dull, but I have been really pleasantly surprised by the richness of the material. Some sections are very legalistic, but one does not have to focus on those sections unless specifically relevant in a specific case.

Not only does the Vinaya contain much really interesting material on the Dhamma as well as the origin of the different rules, Ajahn Brahmalis translation brings some lovely fresh perspectives. For example below is the standard description of meditation practice, but with a new slant. The differences might seem very minor to many, but I think this translation beautifully, and very clearly, captures the essence of things. :slight_smile:

1.4.6“Just so, in this deluded population, enveloped like an egg, I alone in the world have split the eggshell of delusion and reached the supreme full awakening. 1.4.7I, brahmin, am the world’s eldest and best.

1.5.1I was firmly energetic and had clarity of mindfulness; my body was tranquil and my mind unified. 1.5.2Fully secluded from the five senses, secluded from unwholesome mental qualities, I entered and remained in the first absorption, which consists of joy and bliss born of seclusion and is accompanied by movement of the mind. 1.5.3Through the stilling of the movement of the mind, I entered and remained in the second absorption, which has internal confidence and unification of mind and consists of joy and bliss born of stillness. 1.5.4Through the fading away of joy, I remained even-minded, mindful, and fully aware, experiencing bliss directly, and I entered and remained in the third absorption of which the noble ones declare: 1.5.5‘One is even-minded, mindful, and abides in bliss.’ 1.5.6Through the abandoning of bliss and suffering and the earlier ending of joy and aversion, I entered and remained in the fourth absorption, which has neither suffering nor happiness and consists of purity of mindfulness and even-mindedness.

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It’s marvellous to hear that people are reading this. If there is anything you come across that does not seem quite right, or is unclear in any way, I would love to hear from you.

I wish you much happiness in your sanctuary!

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Thanks for the reminder about the Vinaya, @Viveka, that’s something I should read more thoroughly. It’s probably a little unbalanced that most of us put so much more emphasis on the suttas.

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I have been reading the Dhammapada, Gil Fronsdal’s translation. I have needed something gentle and reassuring…so beautiful. The best little book in the world. :blush::hibiscus::herb:

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You are reading the SA/SN texts on particular topics. The following publications on SA/SN samyuttas by Choong Mun-keat may be relevant and useful for your reading interest:

“A comparison of the Pāli and Chinese versions of Nāga Saṃyutta, Supaṇṇa Saṃyutta, and Valāhaka Saṃyutta, early Buddhist discourse collections on mythical dragons, birds, and cloud devas”, Journal of the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies, 2020 (18), pp. 42-65.

“A comparison of the Pāli and Chinese versions of Okkantika Saṃyutta, Uppāda Saṃyutta, Kilesa Saṃyutta and Rāhula Saṃyutta, early Buddhist discourses on entering, arising, affliction, and the Venerable Rāhula”, Journal of the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies, 2018 (14), pp. 20-36.

“A comparison of the Chinese and Pāli Saṃyukta/Saṃyuttas on the Venerable Mahā-Maudgalyāyana (Mahā-Moggallāna)”, Buddhist Studies Review (Journal of the UK Association for Buddhist Studies), v. 34.1 (2017), pp. 67-84.

“A comparison of the Pali and Chinese versions of the Kassapa Samyutta, a collection of early Buddhist discourses on the Venerable Kasyapa”, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society (Cambridge University Press), vol. 27, issue 2 (2017), pp. 295-311.

“A comparison of the Chinese and Pali versions of the Sariputra Samyukta, a collection of early Buddhist discourses on the Venerable Sariputra”, in Journal of the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies, vol.10, May 2016, pp. 27-52.

“A Comparison of the Pāli and Chinese Versions of the Brahma Saṃyutta, a Collection of Early Buddhist Discourses on Brahmās, the Exalted Gods”, Buddhist Studies Review (Journal of the UK Association for Buddhist Studies), vol. 31.2, pp. 179-194 (2014)

“A Comparison of the Pāli and Chinese Versions of the Gāmani Samyutta, a Collection of Early Buddhist Discourses to Headmen”, Journal of Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies, vol. 7, pp. 98-115 (2014)

"A comparison of the Pali and Chinese versions of the Sakka Samyutta, a collection of early Buddhist discourses on ‘Sakra, ruler of the gods’ ", in Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, vol. 22, issue 3-4, October 2012 (Cambridge University Press), pp. 561–574.

“A comparison of the Chinese and Pali versions of the Bala Samyukta, a collection of early Buddhist discourses on “Powers” (Bala)”, in Journal of the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies, vol.2, May 2012, pp. 84-103.

"A comparison of the Pali and Chinese versions of the Devata Samyutta and Devaputta Samyutta, collections of early Buddhist discourses on devatas “gods” and devaputras “sons of gods” ", Journal of the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies, vol.1, October 2011, pp. 60-88.

“A comparison of the Pali and Chinese versions of the Mara Samyutta, a collection of early Buddhist discourses on Mara, the Evil One”, The Indian International Journal of Buddhist Studies’, vol.10, 2009, pp. 35-53

“A comparison of the Pali and Chinese versions of the Brahmana Samyutta, a collection of early Buddhist discourses on the priestly Brahmanas”, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, vol. 19, issue 03, July 2009 (Cambridge University Press), pp. 371-382.

“A comparison of the Pali and Chinese versions of the Vangisa-thera Samyutta, a collection of early Buddhist discourses on the Venerable Vangisa”, Buddhist Studies Review 24 (1), 2007, pp. 35-45.

“A comparison of the Pali and Chinese versions of the Bhikkhu Samyutta, a collection of early Buddhist discourses on monks”, Buddhist Studies Review 23 (1), 2006, pp. 61-70.

“A comparison of the Pali and Chinese versions of the Kosala Samyutta, an early Buddhist discourse on King Pasenadi of Kosala”, The Indian International Journal of Buddhist Studies 7, 2006, pp. 21-35.

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I have been primarily reading SA/SN doctrinal suttas that correspond well to each other.
Next goal is to expand reading to MA/MN but hasn’t started yet.