Why Read Early Buddhist Texts?

| November 6, 2017 | 0 Comments

Why and how should we read the early Buddhist texts? We’ll go through three reasons to read them, and outline three strategies to use when approaching them.

Four texts to start with:

(1) The Buddha’s “First Sermon”
(2) The Kālāma Sutta
(3) The Water Snake Sutta
(4) The Dhammapada (There is also a very good translation of this done by Gil Fronsdal).

Good sources: Bhikkhu Bodhi’s book “In the Buddha’s Words”, and websites suttacentral.net, accesstoinsight.org.

The idea for this video was suggested in a thread over at Sutta Central.

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Doug Smith

About the Author ()

Doug is Study Director of the Secular Buddhist Association. He has a PhD in Philosophy, with a minor in Buddhist philosophy and Sanskrit. In 2013 he completed the year-long Integrated Study and Practice Program with the BCBS and NYIMC. A long time scientific skeptic, he pursues a naturalized approach to practice. He is also interested in scholarship about the Tipiṭaka, and the theoretical and historical origins of the dhamma. He posts videos at Doug's Secular Dharma on YouTube. Some of his writing can be found at academia.edu.

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