Study Guide to the Suttas of the Pali Cannon

The Discourses of the Buddha

I have prepared short study guides to the Buddha's Discourses to help people get started reading the Suttas. All references are to the Wisdom Publications editions. Links to these editions can be found on my Reading List.
  1. Problematic Pali Translations - Pali words that are not always translated in the most helpful fashion.

  2. For some background on the suttas, read A Reader’s Guide to the Pali Suttas by Bhikkhu Sujato and/or Befriending the Suttas by John Bullitt at his Access to Insight website.

  3. Study Guide to the Digha Nikaya
    The Digha Nikaya is probably the easiest place to start reading the Suttas. It contains stories which you might find more engaging than the bare teachings of some of the other collections. And it contains 2 of the most important Suttas: DN#2 and DN#22, as well as a wealth of other excellent material.

  4. Study Guide to the Majjhima Nikaya
    The Majjhima Nikaya is a collection of 152 suttas of a "middle length" covering a wide range of topics. It has been suggested that the suttas in this collection were intended as a set of study texts for newly ordained monks as they pursued spiritual development.

  5. Study Guide to the Samyutta Nikaya
    The Samyutta Nikaya contains 2,889 suttas grouped into five sections (vaggas). Each vagga is further divided into samyuttas, each of which in turn contains a group of suttas on related topics.

  6. Study Guide to the Anguttara Nikaya
    The Anguttara Nikaya contains 2,344 suttas grouped by the number of items discussed in each sutta - from 1 to 11.

  7. All the Study Guides Combined
    All on a single page for easy searching.

  8. Lists of suttas on various topics
    Some suttas I have found helpful when studying a topic.

  9. Sutta Commentaries Under Construction
    There are ancient commentaries to almost all of the Buddha's discourses. Some of these have been translated into English and are readily available. Additionally, there are modern commentaries to some of the most important suttas.

  10. A nice summary of many of the suttas can be found at

  11. The DharmaFarer Website has an abundance of articles with notes on suttas. I've only begun to explore this excellent site - there is much to study and learn from here.

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Leigh Brasington / EmailAddr / Revised 07 Jan 23