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Reading the Buddha's Discourses in Pali: a practical guide to the language of the ancient Buddhist canon
Bhikkhu Bodhi’s sophisticated and practical instructions on how to read the Pali of the Buddha’s discourses will provide students of early Buddhism and Pali language an intimate acquaintance with the language and idiom of these sacred texts. Here the renowned English translator of the Pali Canon opens a window onto key suttas from the Sa?yutta Nikaya, as he takes a sutta and gives a literal translation of each sentence followed by a more natural English rendering, after which he explains the meaning of each word and the grammatical forms involved. In doing so, students can determine the meaning of each word and phrase and gain familiarity with the distinctive idioms and style of expression in the Pali suttas—and thus gain an intimacy with the words, and world, of the earliest Buddhist writings.
Ven. Bodhi’s meticulously selected anthology of suttas provides a systematic overview of the Buddha’s teachings, mirroring the four noble truths, which is generally regarded as the most concise formulation of the Buddha’s guide of liberation. Reading the Buddha’s Discourses in Pali shares with readers not only exceptional instruction in language acquisition and translation theory and practice but also a systematically nuanced study of the substance, style, and method of the major early Buddhist discourses.
“Every student of Pali will welcome Bhikkhu Bodhi’s Reading the Buddha’s Discourses in Pali. As an aid for learning how to read Buddhist texts in Pali and as a resource for learning from what one reads in Pali, there is nothing else like it.”
—Charles Hallisey, author of Therigatha: Poems of the First Buddhist Women
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi is an American Buddhist monk from New York City, born in 1944. He obtained a BA in philosophy from Brooklyn College and a PhD in philosophy from Claremont Graduate School. After completing his university studies he traveled to Sri Lanka, where he received novice ordination in 1972 and full ordination in 1973, both under the leading Sri Lankan scholar-monk, Ven. Balangoda Ananda Maitreya (1896-1998). From 1984 to 2002 he was the editor for the Buddhist Publication Society in Kandy, where he lived for ten years with the senior German monk, Ven. Nyanaponika Thera (1901-1994), at the Forest Hermitage. He returned to the U.S. in 2002. He currently lives and teaches at Chuang Yen Monastery in Carmel, New York. Ven. Bodhi has many important publications to his credit, either as author, translator, or editor. These include The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha (Majjhima Nikaya, 1995), The Connected Discourses of the Buddha (Samyutta Nikaya, 2000), and The Numerical Discourses of the Buddha (Anguttara Nikaya, 2012). In 2008, together with several of his students, Ven. Bodhi founded Buddhist Global Relief, a nonprofit supporting hunger relief, sustainable agriculture, and education in countries suffering from chronic poverty and malnutrition.