Monday, August 7, 2017

"The Long Discourses of the Buddha" (book)

Maurice Walshe, Dīgha Nikāya translation; Dhr. Seven, Wisdom Quarterly
The Long Discourses of the Buddha is a complete Dīgha Nikaya translation.

These are the lengthy discourses of the Buddha, one of the big collections of texts in the Pali language canon, the authorized scriptures of Theravada Buddhism.

This collection -- among the oldest records of the historical Buddha’s original teachings, given in India 2,600 years ago -- consists of 34 longer-length suttas or sutras, “discourses,” distinguished as such from the middle-length and shorter sutras of the other canonical collections.

These sutras reveal the gentleness, compassion, power, and penetrating wisdom of the Buddha. Included are teachings on:
  • mindfulness (Mahā-Satipaṭṭhāna Sutra);
  • cultivating virtue, serene concentration (mental coherence), wisdom (Subha Sutra);
  • Dependent Origination (Mahānidrāna Sutra);
  • the roots and causes of wrong views (Brahmajāla Sutra);
  • and a long description of the Buddha’s last days and final passing into nirvana (Mahāparinibbāna Sutra);
  • along with a wealth of practical advice and insight for all those traveling along the spiritual path.
Ven. Sumedho Thera writes in his foreword: “[These sutras] are NOT meant to be ‘sacred scriptures’ that tell us what to believe. One should read them, listen to them, think about them, contemplate them, and investigate the present reality, the present experience, with them. Then, and only then, can one insightfully know the truth beyond words.”
Introduced with a vivid account of the Buddha’s life and times and a short survey of his teachings, The Long Discourses of the Buddha brings us closer in every way to the wise and compassionate presence of Shakyamuni (the “Sage of the Shakyas”), Siddhartha Gautama, the historical Buddha and his path of truth.

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