Why we read: tell us why you read suttas


I’ve just thought of another reason for my sutta reading:

I read the suttas for fun!


I would say that the main motivation is to use it as a way of fine tuning right view and bring about a realistic perspective to practice and its fruits. As a bonus one gains a better understanding of who the Buddha was and in what kind of world he lived in and taught.

With time landmarks become apparent and the whole navigation through the path becomes a very eye opening and humbling endeavour.

To me, there’s no way to appreciate what the Buddha taught without ever reading the suttas.


To honor a truely magnificent man, uphold the noble creed, and defend it against all enemies who try to bend or distort it.


We have heard that you are under threat, and your very existence is endangered by climate change. Yet you still find time to practice the Dhamma. How wonderful!


So it is. So it is. As aging and death are rolling in on me, bhante, what else should be done but Dhamma-conduct, right conduct, skillful deeds, meritorious deeds?

The Simile of the Mountains


Well, I am very happy to hear this.

If you don’t mind, may I ask a personal question? I’m wondering how you approach keeping the first precept, given your traditional dietary requirements. :fish:


I try to go vegan in the summer to make up for winter’s misdeeds. But I can only survive off seaweed for so long. Scavenging helps too sometimes.


Well, I really appreciate that you make an effort. We who live in lands with abundant warmth, soils, and rain, are very lucky, it’s easy for us to avoid eating meat. It’s so inspiring to see someone in such challenging circumstances still make such meaningful changes.


I I’ll chime in…

I read the suttas because I can’t afford to elect spokesmen to speak in the name of a voice when that voice can speak for itself.

I read the suttas because, to the extent that is possible, they are the voice of the Buddha himself. And I’d like to know what I possibly can about what he might have actually said (and not said).

I read the suttas because they teach how to “read”; how to read oneself, one’s existence, one’s confusions, one’s tragedy. This “whole mass of suffering” becomes readable sentences. The pen that writes these sentences become apparent. And it becomes clear, right then, that with the disappearance of the pen, no more tears are written.

But also, to a large extent, I read the suttas to be able to help others who are looking for the Buddha’s words but don’t know where to find them (or that, in some way, they even exist).

Thiago, Brazil.


I also like reading the suttas because it takes me to an ancient civilization thousands of years before mine and I get to see how they lived.

with metta


I was just trying to figure out what the secret ingredient was for a well-liked post on this thread- tried word counts, emotional tone but came up with a blank. I think people simply like the ones which are most meaningful -hard to quantify.

with metta

Ps- Someone just gave a like I think to make me feel better for not getting a lot of likes! Lol!


The truth of the Teaching is never based on some popularity contest number. Well-liked posts don’t mean much especially if we broaden the audience to all the realms of existence, not just human realm. SOme idea by someone espousing nice and rosy ideas about sensual indulgement might get tons of “likes” votes from his fellow humans, but might get none of the votes from beings from higher planes simply because their taste is much finer and subtle than us. It’s like a maggot proposing some excellent and tasty human excrement recipe and got tons of likes from its fellow maggots friends. But would it get any vote from us humans? In some distant (or even near) future where human morals disappears, only posts espousing evil way of living will get all the votes while the few that espouse renunciation will be seen as some very bad idea.


True. The Buddha himself said that poetic dhamma will become more popular than those re emptiness and deeper topics. There is a story I heard about two monks - one was a forest monk and the other was a good orator but without much practice. The Devas would always go to the forest monk to experience the meaning directly rather than just hear words without the energy of meaning behind it. I think it might help communicate beyond language and even culture.

With metta


I “liked” them all!


For me, the suttas tell of a very different time, place and culture than the world I inhabit now, yet, the struggles of men and women of then are exactly the same that I face today. And the messages in the teachings of the Buddha contained in the suttas are as fresh and timeless today as they were 2500 years ago, showing people just like me the wonderful path to peace and happiness.


…to realise Samsara is an “illusion” !


I started to read the suttas because of curiosity, skepticism, hope, and intellectual hunger. However the translations in my local language were very old, clunky and confusing so I stopped. Then I started to read the suttas again and the newer translations were clear and interesting but subjects of contention and I could not access primary sources or good alternate translations, so I stopped. Again I started to read the suttas, because there were no local teachers not tainted with scandal whom I could see, and hope persisted, and awareness of suffering and strife were almost intolerable, and I began to embrace and take refuge in two of the Triple Gem (Buddha and Dhamma). And as it happens, I began to change, my life began to change, and I began to have faith. And then it all clicked. I took refuge, became a Buddhist, and now sutta reading is a delight, sustenance, inspiration, consulation, explanation, exhortation. The newest translations in my local language are superb and clear. May all beings enjoy happiness and peace.


I started to read the suttas because of curiosity, skepticism, hope, and intellectual hunger. And as it happens, I began to change, my life began to change, and I began to have faith. I took refuge, became a Buddhist, and now sutta reading is a delight, sustenance, inspiration, consulation, explanation, exhortation. May all beings enjoy happiness and peace.
-a laywoman, United States


It’s challenges the poet in me, and also since it’s not my teaching, but something universal, i would prefer that my name was not mentioned by other means than a simple “unknown origin”

Never mind if anyone is going to use this also, it’s a skillful challenge. so here i am picking up :lightsaber:

life without suttas is like a broken pencil, … pointless!



Life without suttas is like a ship without a rudder- aimless.

With metta