Why are we "here"?

My title sounds a bit dramatic, until I clarify that “here” refers to the D&D board of SuttaCentral, but also to SuttaCentral as a whole, as a website.

As a response thread:

  1. How did you find SuttaCentral?
  2. Why did you decide to make an account on the discussion page?

What interests lead you to EBTs, to Buddhist textual criticism, and to this forum ultimately?


I found Sutta Central since I google suttas a lot.

I originally joined merely to ask some subtle Pali questions, particularly of Ajahn Sujato.

As for D&D, I suppose it is Dhamma-delight that gets me stuck here occasionally.

As for EBTs, I have found knowing the Buddha & Dhamma via the suttas to be extremely important as part of the path & realisation.

As an older person, I am from the old pre-internet ‘guru tradition’, where Western wanderers held the Dhamma views of a certain guru they found in their wanderings in Asia, such as Ajahn Chah or Ajahn Buddhadasa, for example.

When I first discovered suttas in the 1990s, I inwardly felt the suttas should form the basis of my relationship with Buddhism rather than a guru.

Also, after embodying the suttas, I came to the impression many gurus do not teach the totality of the suttas since, generally, different gurus have different ‘market niches’ & agendas.

Therefore, I use the SC research facilities much more than I D&D but I check out D&D regularly (particularly since I am on the internet 9 to 4, working for the necessary $$$).



I wanted to communicate questions, test interpretations on EBTs and learn with the aforementioned Ajahns. Also, I noticed that overall the members of this forum are civilised and try to stick to the forum’s main theme and purpose of discussing and discovering EBTs.

Since 2009 at least I have been putting effort in shaping my choices as much as possible to the four noble truths and its respective e nobbling tasks.



Actually, in my case, the clarification only makes it more dramatic - I only wanted to ask why Khandhaka reference numbers in some articles I was reading didn’t seem to relate to the numbers given on SC and now it’s all so gotten so difficult! :laughing:

I can’t exactly remember, but I think it’s a pretty safe bet that I would have been searching for a sutta and a SC hosted sutta would have been one of the returned results.

To make a feedback post to relating to the above mentioned Khandhaka detail (incidentally, looking at user’s maiden posts will probably give you some kind of indicator as to the answer to your Q).

The suttas encourage a gladness in me like few other things do.


Awesome topic, Coemgenu, thank you for starting it!

I think I found it through Bhante Sujato/his blog. I remember being really excited about it because (differently than Access to Insight) it lists all of the material in the Tipataka regardless of whether or not it’s available. Also the layout, translations, etc. make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

I think I heard about it during the Kamma & Rebirth course, and thus made an account because there were some very awesome conversations going on.

Similar to Deeele, I want the EBTs to be the core of my practice rather than relying solely on teachers. Textual criticism is one of my favorite things, and while I don’t do it much anymore (as being a moderator takes up a great deal of my time), I quite enjoy reading how others interpret suttas and utilize them to articulate certain points or ideas.


After being banned on another forum for criticizing Nanavira interpretation of buddhism, I made another account to complain about censorship. At reason given for ban on this second account it said “Have you tried the discussion at suttacentral ?”

That is really how I found out about it. It does not appear on google too often if you search for things, so I never knew about it before. I knew about suttacentral but didn’t knew it had a forum.

I was quite surprised a forum of mainly sutta followers exist when on the other there are like 3 persons in total out of thousands. I had the idea that there are simply no sutta followers in the world, that all are either mahasist, either nanavira/nanalanda existentialist, either abbhidhabamist. So it was quite a surprise to find such a place as this exists.

Edit: I remember I actually knew about it before thanks to links from here posted there. But I didn’t like the template. I didn’t even understand too well if it’s a proper forum or just some form of commentary feature for suttas or essays. I’ve never seen such a template before so I didn’t know this is a proper forum, it’s quite an unusual template. And I had no idea it is made out of mainly sutta followers.

  1. How did you find SuttaCentral?
    From a Dhamma Wheel post.

  2. Why did you decide to make an account on the discussion page?
    I was ban from another forum for two weeks for posting off topics.
    I was looking for a new shelter for two weeks and decided to join SC.
    After two weeks of emails going and back and forward with Bhante Sujato, he was kind enough to provide me some accommodation in his virtual temple. (Dhamma Wheel is my other temple)

3)What interests lead you to EBTs, to Buddhist textual criticism, and to this forum ultimately?

I did not know what EBT means until I joined SC. Because I do not believe what anyone tells me unless I know it for myself. For me whether EBT or LBT is not a matter.

  1. Now, I hate people post off topic materials. Why don’t they get fired like me. Why only I have to suffer?

  2. Folks, that is how Kamma operates!

I can’t remember how I found Sutta Central. But I assume it was from googling for sutta translations.

I had been practicing Buddhism for three or four years, and also had a strong interest in the scholarly literature concerned with the historical Buddha, the earliest forms of Buddhism and the historical context of the emergence of the Buddha’s ideas and path of practice in ancient India. I view learning about these matters as all part of an ongoing process of separating the spiritually wholesome wheat from the contingent cultural and historically conditioned chaff.

I’m not sure what made me decide to create an account, since I previously had a generally negative view of excessive discussion and debate about the path, and always had fairly negative impressions of the culture of discussion I had encountered in other Buddhist forums like Dhamma Wheel. I had found that site too as a result of web searches for information on topics I happened to be interested in. But I never participated in any discussions there.

I like to read what serious scholars of Buddhism, including both those who locate themselves inside the tradition and those who view themselves outside the tradition, have to say about the various ways of interpreting the historical record. But I generally prefer to keep my own counsel on what I think is most crucial to the path, and avoid the debates. (The exception I make is when I think people are promulgating ideas that are likely to exacerbate suffering rather than relive it.) I take my greatest inspiration from what appears to me to be the earliest stratas of wisdom in the suttas, recording the Buddha’s early life as a renunciant sage focused on the transformation of his “heart”, and relatively uninterested in cosmological doctrine, metaphysical speculation and most of the institutional, disciplinary, devotional and rigidly moralistic practices that ultimately became the Buddhist religion. I suspect these transformative practices also reflect the wisdom of the obscurely remembered sages and paccekabuddhas who came before him.


On a retreat directly from Bhante Sujato.

I got into Buddhism years ago. My first contact was dhamma talks by B. Thanissaro, later I found A. Brahm. Only few years after that I discovered suttas and their translations released by Wisdom Publications. I struggled with reading those as English is not my first language, and suttas are quite demanding. Frustrated with lack of full translations into my language at some point I decided to learn that dead language and translate it myself :wink:
As for this place, on a retreat with B. Sujato I asked him if I could mail him about Pali if I had some problems, and he pointed me here. So here I am, swimming in my own pool of saṅsāra


I heard about it from Dhamma Wheel

I’ve been Buddhist for 33 years and after only a few years into it, gravitated to EBT and Theravada.

I joined a couple of years ago or so but only recently started posting here. It’s a great place to come to when I have time or when DW doesn’t have any interesting topics going on. :grin:

Ha,Ha fourth precepts does not mean that you have to tell the truth. You can just be silent about some facts.

1 Like
  1. I think I first heard of it mentioned by Bhante Sujato in a youtube video.

  2. I wanted to press “like” on a post where Bhante Sujato said he was translating the suttas. I recently finished reading the four nikayas published by Wisdom Publications and I was just overwhelmed with feelings of gratitude to the kind people (bhikkhu Bodhi in particular) who have worked so hard to make the nikayas available for people like me to read. It must be tremendously good kamma to undertake translation work like that, and I am looking forward to be able to read the suttas again in a new translation.

My interest in the EBTs and textual criticism comes from wanting to know what the Buddha taught to the extent that it can be known. I also wanted to read the suttas to figure out where I was on the path, how to move forward and what a layperson like me at best could hope for in this life. It seems to me that the Buddha had far more faith in the potency of his Dhamma than many present day Buddhist teachers seem to have.


Accidentally while following up (googling) after being introduced to V. Sujato’s “A History of Mindfulness” (AHOM) via some lead in some other forum; and then the blog on “Vitakka & Vicara”.

Initially to add some comments re “Vitakka & Vicara”, about 1 ½ years ago; then later asking specific technical questions about using SuttaCentral for searching / research, and later in general discussion, as it seemed here more informed and less contentious than other forums. But then SC discussion became much more popular…

Textual criticism is simply a necessity in scholarly research (and it’s not a modern invention). The historical analysis of the evolution of a literature is likewise sine qua non. V. Sujato’s “GIST”, and the rest of AHOM was an eye-opener, as well as more familiarity with the work of V. Analayo, Alexander Wynne, et al.

(What ever became of GIST? The work sketched in AHOM, of Analayo, Wynne, etc. seems piecemeal, as yet to be integrated systematically in the direction of working hypotheses of the ‘big picture’ of historical layering and evolution.)

EBT is a vital pursuit in clarifying that evolution. I believe it is a crucial piece in triangulating on the “original” teachings, which, however, can never be completely unambiguously determined, as the evidence is inherently “indirect”. (Wynne’s explicit treatment of this problem stands out; I’ve not yet seen it approached elsewhere – perhaps others here can enlighten me as to other authors who are seriously considering this issue?)

I do not, however, adopt “EBT” to the extreme of literalist religious fundamentalism as some do. (EBT has also been adopted big-time and often dogmatically in “Secular Buddhist” circles.) I find valuable insight also in the non-EBT portions of the Pali Canon, as well as in more modern commentaries – given similar textual- and context-critical perspective in evaluating the also later contributions to the (Theravada) tradition. As one accomplished monastic scholar (and practitioner) said: Just because some interpretation is “later” doesn’t mean it’s necessarily incorrect or cannot contribute to liberating insight. And I highly value what can be learned, experienced in first-person interaction with those who embody monastic lineage, who have demonstrated, from simple “presence” as well as words, what can be gained through a life of renunciation and total dedication to study and practice. Such interactions, more than the sum total of all the internet goings-on, are more motivators for my practice.


Hell yeah! I salute all of you translating the EBT from pali into various languages!
The merit is incalculable.


Perhaps you are right and that could be the reason why Dhamma Wheel went through a major cultural change in last year. Dhamma Wheel has many great features such as Abhidhamma, personal experience forum etc which are not found in other discussion forums. Each forum is different and it is up to members to voice their opinion and make the necessary changes.

What does EBT mean?
Do you have a key to abbreviations?

How did I get to know Sutta Central?
I meditated with Bhikkhu Anaalayo in Sri Lanka. Then I read his book on Satipa.t.thaana, and attended university courses conducted by him in Hamburg (Germany), and e-learning courses.— That is how I got to know Sutta Central.

I saw the lists of text editions and translations and was impressed, but noted some gaps in the Buddhist Sanskrit fragments from Turfan. (It was several years ago.)

Why did I join the blog?
Still I did not know the blog. But I liked the blog for the e-learning courses of Bhikkhu Anaalayo. So later I joined this blog, but somehow could not find my way to use it properly. For quite a while I did not realize that the e-mail notices I received were a connection to this blog.

When I found it out, it was a pleasant surprise.
I am enjoying to read your posts, and contribute my own. … I will probably find my way to post a picture some time later.


Hello @akincana,

EBT is the acronym for Early Buddhist Texts.

Generally this is a reference to the Sutta pitaka (Dhiga Nikkaya, Majjhima Nikkaya, Anguttara Nikkaya, Samyutta Nikkaya) and the Vinaya pitaka.

The Abidhamma is considered to be a later addition and so generally not qualified as an EBT.

Have a great day,

Edit: added quote to the question I was answering.

1 Like

9 posts were split to a new topic: EBT abbreviations