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Re: [Buddhism_101] buddhism scriptures

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  • John Pellecchia
    Good morning, Michael. I m going to preface my answer with the fact there is no one text in Buddhism that is similar to the Christian Bible. This is because
    Message 1 of 3 , Feb 16, 2012
      Good morning, Michael.

      I'm going to preface my answer with the fact there is no one text in Buddhism that is similar to the Christian Bible. This is because the Buddha gave some 84000 teachings during his life and each varied depending upon the audience to which the teaching was intended. Some are meant for lay people, others for monastics, while others are intended for both groups. The result are some fifty hard bound books in English.

      Ken is correct that there is much on the Internet available for download and discussion groups but it's best to be cautious. Even in Buddhism there are some so-called Buddhist sites that are dubious as to their intent and the veracity of what they post.

      Have you determined the tradition of Buddhism you are interested in studying? This in my opinion would be important. Different traditions and schools prefer certain suttas or sutras for study. Some even prefer one translation over another.

      My personal favorites in texts
      especially for someone new to Buddhism are "The Dhammapada" and "The Sutta-Nipata" in the Pali Canon (Theravada tradition). The Pali Canon is the oldest extant teachings of the Buddha and these two texts are recognized as providing the core of his teachings. Generally people find them to be concise and easy to read and understand.

      If you're looking for something a little more complete, Bhikkhu Bodhi has published an excellent anthology of the suttas from the Pali Canon titled "In the Buddha's Words".

      A contemporary English translation of Buddhist scriptures entitled "Buddha-Dharma" is available for purchase at https://www.bdkamerica.org/default.aspx?MPID=33 . The Dalai Lama has said of this text, "…I welcome this new English edition of Buddha-Dharma that presents a concise and clear anthology of the Buddha's teachings."

      Any of the above would be a good starting point in your journey in my opinion.

      I hope this hasn't confused you or deterred you in furthering your interest in Buddhism.

      "As I am, so are others;
      as others are, so am I."
      Having thus identified self and others,
      harm no one nor have them harmed.

      (Sutta-Nipata 3.710)

      From: Michael <priest_in_lvx@...>
      To: Buddhism_101@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Wednesday, February 15, 2012 3:14 AM
      Subject: [Buddhism_101] buddhism scriptures

      I am new to buddhism and I was wondering is there a certain book or scriptures buddhists read from like a bible
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