Why we read: tell us why you read suttas


I was reading some Hindu texts the other day, it’s interesting to compare these with the suttas.


or sauce :shallow_pan_of_food: .


I don’t read the suttas very often, but the Buddhist text that is closest to my heart is the Dhammpada (Buddharakkhita translation). It speaks to me because it is somehow poetic, simple and easy to understand.

My name is Mohammad, and i am from Jordan.


Welcome to the forum, @Bundokji. I, too, am very fond of the Dhammapada.


For me its a case of ‘when all else fails, try reading the instructions’.

However, the contributors to this forum have inspired me and given me links to works that help make them more accessible.


As a Pure Land Buddhist, I read the Pure Land sutras as a finger pointing at the moon, rather than ultimate truth itself.

In the Lankavatara Sutra, the historical Buddha likens his teaching to a finger pointing at the moon:

For instance, Mahāmati, when a man with his finger-tip points at something to somebody, the finger-tip may be taken wrongly for the thing pointed at; in like manner, Mahāmati, the people belonging to the class of the ignorant and simple-minded, like those of a childish group, are unable even unto their death to abandon the idea that in the finger-tip of words there is the meaning itself, and will not grasp ultimate reality because of their intent clinging to words which are no more than the finger-tip to them…
As the ignorant grasp the finger-tip and not the moon, so those who cling to the letter, know not my truth.
The Lankavatara Sutra. A Mahayana Text

With the Lankavatara Sutra in mind, we can see Amida as a finger pointing to Dharma-body, the ultimate reality, rather than a literal Buddha from eons before the Big Bang.

Entrusting the Name, Namu-Amida-Butsu, we are led by Dharma-body to the Pure Land, the realm of Nirvana. In sincere gratitude for our rebirth, we say the Nembutsu.

In the Pali suttas, the Buddha similarly refers to his teaching as a provisional raft to the other shore:

I believe that all Buddhists, regardless of school or sect, can read their scriptures in this way. This makes Buddhism different from other religions.


I wish i can sleep peacefully too. Sleep is one thing i find tough in my life. I never seen to stop have dream which drain me from a restful sleep. Maybe it is due to the medicine or due to aging, I am 60 this year.
May u be well n happy always. Thanks to all who share.


To learn more about the joyful practice of mindfulness of breathing, and its intimate relationship to the ending of stress in daily life.


It is a very good sleeping tablet unfortunately.
You can see this when you see some people who are listening to Dhamma talks.


Suttas have been analyzed and written in the form of books by numerous Monk’s and lay practitioners. I think reading the words of the Buddha directly will be the ultimate motive of any vipassana meditator . Bhavanamaya panna can only be built on the strong foundation of sutta and cintamaya panna. Thanks for your immense effort in developing suttacentral.


Recently I’ve been reading the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita, and there are more similarities with the suttas than I expected. It’s interesting to see how the Buddha reworked some ideas, and abandoned others.


You’re right , if someone reads Hindu scriptures and then buddhas suttas he might end up thinking there is nothing special in Dhamma. Bhavanamaya panna is the gift Buddha gave to the world. It is impossible to understand and realize the wisdom of annata,annicha and dukha without observing the bodily sensations.:grinning:


Some might find that only the body scan shows the way to nibbana- but it’s unlikely to be the exclusive method of practicing.


Objectively (right mindfulness) and equanimously (right concentration) observing (awareness) the sensations of the body with the understanding of imparmenance will gradually lead to nibbana within this lifetime or it might take many lifetime s😀


always there is something new to discover, it never ends


Very true. That’s what keeps me engaged, the sense of curiosity and discovery.


I read because I believe that The Buddha was a great supremely enlightened teacher surely one of the greatest beings in Earth’s history.

Initially I started experiencing all types of things and read many teachings of other teachers but found The Buddha’s teachings to be most true and inline with my experiences and observations.

Still in modern times which other teacher had so many debates and explained so many concepts in detail?

I’m very certain that the majority of things The Buddha says is true from my experiences and observations.

It’s a great joy to read things from a Supremely Enlightened teacher who claimed to be all-knowing in three knowledges.

What a great joy it is to experience to higher states. I know what they say that “nibbana is the highest bliss” is true. If you enter into higher states you won’t believe how it feels, you feel full of energy, enjoyment, confidence, calm, without anger, fear, sorrow…I don’t describe it as mere bliss but rather an extreme form of enjoyment it is not like deep relaxation or mere contentment you have to experience it.

But what is the use of mere words if the world is empty of arahants, paccekabuddhas, (and obviously) a sammasambuddha?

The achievement of enlightenment or arahantship doesn’t rely on words it relies on the ending of mental fermentations (asavas). Also different people can interpret the same words differently making words by themselves not very useful in achieving arahantship.

As it says in the Dhammapada:

Much though he recites the sacred texts, but acts not accordingly, that heedless man is like a cowherd who only counts the cows of others — he does not partake of the blessings of the holy life.

Little though he recites the sacred texts, but puts the Teaching into practice, forsaking lust, hatred, and delusion, with true wisdom and emancipated mind, clinging to nothing of this or any other world — he indeed partakes of the blessings of a holy life. (Dhammapada 19-20)

So words without experiences are just useless or meaningless. Words can’t replace experiences and in many conditions don’t really matter (even though I have read many many suttas).

I’ve written down a lot and discovered many shocking things like figuring out exactly how kamma works and mind-exercises that lead towards arahantship but probably won’t reveal what I learned until I achieve arahantship becoming fully released or at the end of my existence if I fail to achieve arahantship.

Eventually in time the truth will come out…

You never have to be afraid of criticism and scrutiny if something really is true it will stand up to any amount of criticism.

It’s a great thing to read but a better thing to experience.

“You yourselves must strive; the Buddhas only point the way. Those meditative ones who tread the path are released from the bonds of Mara.” (Dhammapada, 276)


I read the suttas to condition myself for the better.


Reading suttas is one part of the cultivation of wisdom and understanding to me. Reading for hours every day make the rest of the cultivation path more easy.