Monday, May 17, 2010

The Long Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Digha Nikaya

The Long Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Digha Nikaya
This book is a modern translation of the Long Length Discourses of the Buddha, a seminal collection of early Buddhist texts. The Digha is part of the scripture of the Theravada school of Buddhism. The Theravada school is is the oldest surviving form of Buddhism and is still practiced in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Burma, and elsewhere. Together with other forms of Buddhism, Theravada has attracted a great deal of interest in the West, and this book will be invaluable in making its teachings accessible. This collection of discourses is considered canonical by all other schools of Buddhism. Subsequent understanding of the Buddha's teachings built upon it, even when they seemed to depart from it.

The Digha is a collection of 34 discourses (suttas), originally written in Pali. The form of the teaching differs from that of later Buddhist teachings in that in the Digha, the Buddha is presented as a person wandering through India and teaching his disciples, followers of other sects, kings, princes, gods, and anyone who is open to listen. The teachings are difficult but the emphasis in this collection is on psychology more than metaphysics. The Buddha described his dhamma as designed to end suffering and to teach people how to be happy. That is the core of this volume.



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