Main CategoriesBuddha and BuddhismTheravada Suttas Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha (Majjhima Nikāya), The

Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha (Majjhima Nikāya), The

Product no.: 0-86171-072-X
This book offers a complete translation of the Majjhima Nikāya, or Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha, the second of the four great collections in the Sutta Piṭaka of the Pāli Canon.

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Publisher's Synopsis
This collection—among the oldest records of the historical Buddha's original teachings—consists of 152 suttas or discourses of middle length, distinguished as such from the longer and shorter suttas of the other collections. The Majjhima Nikāya might be concisely described as the Buddhist scripture that combines the richest variety of contextual settings with the deepest and most comprehensive assortment of teachings.

These teachings, which range from basic ethics to instructions in meditation and liberating insight, unfold in a fascinating procession of scenarios that show the Buddha in living dialogue with people from many different strata of ancient Indian society: with kings and princes, priests and ascetics, simple villagers and erudite philosophers. Replete with drama, reasoned argument, and illuminating parable and simile, these discourses exhibit the Buddha in the full glory of his resplendent wisdom, majestic sublimity, and compassionate humanity.

The translation is based on an original draft translation left by the English scholar-monk Bhikkhu Ñāṇamoli, which has been edited and revised by the American monk Bhikkhu Bodhi, who provides a long introduction and helpful explanatory notes.

At the heart of the Buddha’s teaching were the suttas (Sanskrit sūtras), his discourses and dialogues. If we want to find out what the Buddha himself actually said, these are the most ancient sources available to us. The suttas were compiled into collections called “Nikāyas,” of which there are four, each organized according to a different principle. The Dīgha Nikāya consists of longer discourses; the Majjhima Nikāya of middle-length discourses; the Saṃyutta Nikāya of thematically connected discourses; and the Aṅguttara Nikāya of numerically patterned discourses.

Reviews

"The Pali Text Society's translations of the four main Nikayas, or divisions of the oldest Buddhist scriptures, began in 1899 with T. W. Rhys Davids' translation of the Digha Nikaya. These works have performed a great service to Buddhists around the world, but they are now in need of replacement. This began in 1978 with Maurice Walshe's translation of the Digha Nikaya, entitled Thus Have I Heard, and published by Wisdom Publications (Reprinted in 1996 as The Long Discourses of the Buddha). Wisdom has continued its excellent work with further translations of the Majjhima Nikaya, or The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha, published in 1995, and the Samyutta Nikaya, or The Connected Discourses of the Buddha, published in 2000.

The key figure in both these recent translations is the American monk, Bhikkhu Bodhi. The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha is Bodhi's extensively revised edition of a hand-written draft translation of the Majjhima Nikaya left behind by the late English monk, Bhikkhu Nanamoli, and includes 198 pages of valuable notes. The Connected Discourses of the Buddha is Bodhi's own translation, an enormous undertaking presented in two fat volumes of 2,074 pages, including 449 pages of extensive notes drawn mainly from the commentaries. For this alone, Bodhi deserves at least 20 aeons in some Brahma heaven!"    ~Sagaramati, dharmalife.com

Excerpt
Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was living in the Kuru country where there was a town of the Kurus named Kammāsadhamma. There he addressed the bhikkhus thus: “Bhikkhus.”—“Venerable sir,” they replied. The Blessed One said this:

“Bhikkhus, this is the direct path for the purification of beings, for the surmounting of sorrow and lamentation, for the disappearance of pain and grief, for the attainment of the true way, for the realisation of Nibbāna—namely, the four foundations of mindfulness.

“What are the four? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body, ardent, fully aware, and mindful, having put away covetousness and grief for the world. He abides contemplating feelings as feelings, ardent, fully aware, and mindful, having put away covetousness and grief for the world. He abides contemplating mind as mind, ardent, fully aware, and mindful, having put away covetousness and grief for the world. He abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects, ardent, fully aware, and mindful, having put away covetousness and grief for the world."           ~Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta: The Foundations of Mindfulness

Author Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama
Commentary Bodhi, Bhikkhu
Translator Bodhi, Bhikkhu
Cotranslator Nanamoli, Bhikkhu
Book Type Hardcover
Page Count 1420 pp.
Publisher Wisdom Publications 2001
Series Teachings of the Buddha
Browse these categories as well: Theravada Suttas, Southern Buddhism, Buddhist Mindfulness Meditation, Noteworthy Releases 2001

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