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

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Simon and Schuster, Jun 10, 2005 - Religion - 656 pages
This book offers a complete translation of the Digha Nikaya, the long discourses of the Buddha, one of the major collections of texts in the Pali Canon, the authorized scriptures of Theravada Buddhism. This collection--among the oldest records of the historical Buddha's original teachings, given in India two and a half thousand years ago--consists of thirty-four longer-length suttas, or discourses, distinguished as such from the middle-length and shorter suttas of the other collections.

These suttas reveal the gentleness, compassion, power, and penetrating wisdom of the Buddha. Included are teachings on mindfulness (Mahasatipatthana Sutta); on morality, concentration, and wisdom (Subha Sutta); on dependent origination (Mahanidrana Sutta); on the roots and causes of wrong views (Brahmajala Sutta); and a long description of the Buddha's last days and passing away (Mahaparinibbana Sutta); along with a wealth of practical advice and insight for all those travelling along the spiritual path.

Venerable Sumedho Thera writes in his foreword: "[These suttas] 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 Gotama Buddha and his path of truth.

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This translation of the Digha Nikaya, a collection of 34 sutras and a companion volume to The Middle Length Discourses (below), deals with a variety of topics such as the rewards of monastic life, early Buddhist philosophy, and the duties of laypersons. Read full review

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About the author (2005)

Maurice Walshe was born in London in 1911 and was an active Buddhist from 1951 until the end of his life in 1998. He served as the Vice-President of the Buddhist Society and Chair of the English Sangha Trust. A scholar of Pali and German, his other works include Buddhism for Today and translations of the sermons of Meister Eckhart.

For nearly fifty years Ajahn Sumedho has embodied the Buddha's way. As a young man he completed an M.A. at the University of California at Berkeley, was a medic in the Navy, and taught in the Peace Corps in Borneo. For twelve years, beginning in 1966, he studied closely with the renowned meditation master Ajahn Chah, who appointed him to be the first Western abbot of a Thai monastery. Now based in England, he is the spiritual head of a global community of monks and nuns.

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