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Connected Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Samyutta Nikaya (Teachings of the Buddha) Hardcover – 1 Jan 1999

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Connected Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Samyutta Nikaya (Teachings of the Buddha) + Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha: Majjhima-Nikaya: New Translation (Teachings of the Buddha) + Long Discourses of the Buddha: Translation of the "Digha-Nikaya" (Teachings of the Buddha)
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 2080 pages
  • Publisher: Wisdom Publications,U.S. (1 Jan. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0861713311
  • ISBN-13: 978-0861713318
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 7.4 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 411,157 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Now available in a single volume this is a complete translation of the Samyutta Nikaya, containing all of the important suttas on such major topics as the four noble truths, dependent origination, the seven factors of enlightenment and the noble eightfold path. The Connected Discourses of the Buddha ranks as one of the most inspiring compilations in the Buddhist canon. Bhikkhu Bodhi's distinguished and precise translation, his insightful introductory materials, and his extensive notes guide the reader through this vast collection of the Buddha's ancient teachings.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Non-self on 11 Feb. 2012
Format: Hardcover
This book is excellent. The teachings of the Awakened one, and his Great Desciples cover all the essential subjects (which is really worth knowing). All the essential subjects of the good Dhamma is contained in this book, questions, answers, verses, and various dialogues from Devas, Kings, Queens, Brahmins, Brahmas, and beings from all walks of life, and especially the 37 aids to Enlightenment in the great book which is in part five; The Foundations of Mindfulness, The Four Supreme Efforts, The Four Bases of Spiritual Power, The Five Faculties, The Five Powers, The Seven Factors of Enlightenment, and The Noble eightfold Path, with introductions to each part, and crystal clear instruction from The Most Excellent Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi Thera, leads beings away from Samsara, to put an end, and to do away with misery once and for all, to bring misery to an irreversable stop. It takes time and the right kind of effort, and without expecting quick results, a breakthrough to the Dhamma can be made. Another crystal clear book is The Wings to Awakening by the most Venerable Thanissaro Bhikkhu, which covers the 37 aids to Awakening in incredible detail, if you want to find the beyond-it is availabe for free at-access to insight dot org, it requires practise in the same way in which one learns how to play an instrument, which requires time and persistence, patience, practise, heedfulness, courage and endurance, energy, kindness, mark my words. May all be happy, every being, without exception from every walk of life, whatever kind of faith, belief and way of life. May all live in harmony and dwell and look after themselves with ease. May no one suffer. Good will to all beings, may all find the peace of un-binding. May I express my gratitude to the Great Elders.

Homage to him, the Blessed one, the perfectly self enlightened one.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Regarder on 26 Dec. 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As someone extremely interested in Buddhism, after purchasing, reading and re-reading the Majhima Nikaya (MN), I decided to purchase the Samutta Nikaya (SN). Whilst it is perhaps arrogant of me to critisize a book containing such profound and wise teachings it was the structure of this book, not the teachings themselves which proved irritating for me. The SN is far less readable than the MN as the SN is basically structured by taking 1 topic (eg. the 5 aggregates) and repeatedly stating all (or most of) the Buddha's teachings on this subject. Whilst extremely thorough and coherant it can be frustrating to read as page after page in some parts state the same teachings, just to different people, or in different situations. Added to this, the copious commentaries at the end of each section are very technical and seem more to do with translation anomolies than supplementing the teachings (in many cases) The SN is also an extremely large book, so would take a long time to read cover to cover. Having said all this, I can only applaud Bikkhu Bodhi and the others who sweated over the translations, making it available for the English speaking reader. For anyone serious on having a collection of topic specific teachings this would be beneficial, but I would (personally) recomend reading the Majhima Nkaya 1st and the Digha Nikaya 2nd, before this one, Nikaya's which are far more readable
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By Carsten V. Persson on 7 Jan. 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
So inspirering!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 35 reviews
117 of 117 people found the following review helpful
The Samyutta Nikaya 22 Aug. 2005
By Robin Friedman - Published on
Format: Hardcover
The Samyutta Nikaya -- Connected Discourses of the Buddha -- is an integral work of the Pali Canon of Buddhism, the Scripture of Theravada Buddhism. This work is also considered canonical by later schools of Buddhism. The Connected Discourses is a lengthy, difficult work which focuses on philosophical teachings and on meditation practice. It was probably written for advanced students unlike its companion volumes, the Mid-Length Discourses, (Majhima Nikaya) and the Long-Length Discourses (Digha Nikaya) also available in translation from Wisdom Publications.

This work has been lucidly and beautifully translated by the American scholar-monk Bhikkhu Bodhi who also edited the Majhima. Students of Buddhism are forever in his debt. The Connected Discourses consists of five separate, lengthy books, each of which, except for the first book, concentrates on a specific aspect of the Buddha's teachings. All the teachings in the book center upon understanding of the four noble truths. Each book is arranged in chapters with the suttas generally, but not always, presented in groups of ten. The suttas are generally short and dense and lack the quality of story-telling found in the Long and Middle Discourses. Bikkhu Bodhi has laboriously translated the text and prepared a general introduction to the entire book and an introduction to each of the five parts. There are extensive footnotes, some of which are for the specialist and some of which are for the general reader, which draw in many cases upon the ancient commentaries to the text, together with a concordance and a bibliography. It is an inspiration to have this volume available for study.

There are many famous discourses in this collection, and I will try to mention some briefly. The first book of the Connected Discourses consists of verses spoken by an interlocutor of the Buddha, frequently a deva or other supernatural being, and the Buddha himself. These cover a range of subjects. Probably the best-known Sutta in this part is the Sutta of Rahitassa, 2:26, in which the Buddha teaches that the end of the world can never be reached by walking but can only be understood through reflection on "this fathom-high carcass endowed with perception and mind." Bikkhu Bodhi comments on this sutta that it "may well be the most profound proposition in the history of human thought."

The second book of the Connected Discourses deals in detail with the difficult doctrine of Dependent Origination which is basic to understanding the four noble truths and to the doctrines of non-self and impermanence. Sutta 12:23, sometimes titled "Transcendental Dependent Origination", is an important part of this collection which adds a component to the doctrine not found elsewhere in the texts. It applies the teachings of Dependent Origination to the pursuit of enlightenment itself rather than only to the explanation of why people ordinarily remain emeshed in a web of delusion and ignorance. This is a profound and important teaching.

The third book of the Connected Discourses includes teachings on the five aggregates (form, feeling, perceptions, volitional formations, consciousness) which are the components of sentient existence. Buddha persents an understanding of the aggregates as necessary to an understanding of the path of liberation. One of the three earliest "cardinal discourses of the Buddha" delivered just after his enlightement is included in this book, at 22:59 which includes the Buddha's first exposition of the doctrine of nonself.

The fourth book deals with the nature of the six sense bases (sight, hearing, taste, touch, smell, consciousness) which are the means through which people understand physical reality. This book includes another of the three cardinal discourses, the famous fire sermon, 35:28, which shows how people are emeshed in sense and need reflection and the Buddha's teachings for awakening.

The final book is the longest of the collection and discusses the path to liberation. It culminates in a discussion of the four noble truths and also includes lengthy treatments of meditation the seven factors of enlightenment, the role of faith in Buddhism, and practices for laymen. This book includes the earliest of the Buddha's teachings delivered to his five original disciples, 56:11, in which the Buddha explained the four noble truths and turned the wheel of Dhamma to make the principles of enlightenment known to the world.

This is an inexhaustible and difficult collection that requires patience and reflection to read. It probably is not suitable for the beginning student of Buddhism because of its spare, philosophical character and because of its length and manner of exposition, which new readers will find hard to follow. The book is not for casual reading but will appeal to those wanting to deepen their understanding of Buddhism's basic teachings and to develop their own practice. As with the suttas as a whole, the book is less an exposition of doctrine than a means for reflection. It is a gift to have these teachings available in English in Bhikku Bodhi's translation and guide.

Robin Friedman
66 of 70 people found the following review helpful
These discourses may disconnect ...... 24 Feb. 2005
By Sally Airy - Published on
Format: Hardcover
The content of this collection is remarkable. It loses one star for presentation. The binding of this one volume edition is seriously inferior to that of my copies of the Majhima Nikaya and the Digha Nikaya in this excellent series. Over 2000 pages (unstitched) are crammed onto a glue spine. Its life seems likely to be short. If you're after a reference copy, I'd try and petition the publishers to restore the 2 volume version. If you're ready to embrace impermanence, this one may be for you.
43 of 50 people found the following review helpful
One of the cornerstones of Buddhism 14 Oct. 2002
By steve - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This book is a translation of one of the major collections of the Pali Canon, what is usually considered to be the oldest Buddhist literature. While this should probably not be the first thing you should read about Buddhism, if you begin to make a serious study, this collection will be invaluable.
This is the real thing, a voice from 2500 years ago. We are lucky to live in an age with a scholar like Bhikkhu Bodhi, who will go through the amazing effort that a translation like this entails.
51 of 61 people found the following review helpful
A mountain 25 Jan. 2004
By Saul Boulschett - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
of a book this is, and thus more than a book.
Thus it is beyond any attempt at a "review," as such.
This along with the other "companion" volumes (The Long, The Middle-length, The Numerical)deserve to eventually find themselves on the bookshelves of most people who have more than a passing interest in Buddhism.
When someone has done this kind of work that spans over 2,000 pages, it would be ungracious to whine about the quality of the translation. I myself am simply awed by the quality that comes through in this edition.
What the Buddha said is one thing, what one (usually Ananda) has heard him say is another. And the wobbly wedding cake of an edifice that has come to be known as Buddhism is yet another.
This collection is as close to an English reading person is going to get to what THE MAN really said. And much of what he said is rational, straight-forward, and free of jargon. (What a surprise!)
But naturally, as the Suttas were recorded much later after B's death, the text bears all the traits of the mnemonic techniques that were necessary for committing them memory. In other words, there is a lot of repetition in a way that is not unlike the meters used in Homer's Illiad, for example.
While the format and size makes this appear as if one ought to be familiar with Buddhism first, I would argue the other way around. It's a mountain of a book: ain't no sense in trying to climb it in a day. Or even in a month.
Even a short hike here and there will always be rewarding for those who have a taste and sensibility for ancient poetry, and imagination that will transport them to a time and place when these teachings were given.
In a culture, at a time, when mythical thinking and conception of phenomena were as binding as gravity, Siddhartha's feat of rationality is nothing less than astounding.
This translation reads swift and is free of pointless archaisms. Yet it retains the aroma of the Monsoons and the sylvan majesty of the Groves.
Go to the mountain or let it come to you:
Stand up next to it and chop it down with the edge of your hand.
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Worth Every Penny 29 Feb. 2004
By Swing King - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This book is part of a three piece series published by Wisdom Books - The Long, Middle Length, and Connected Discourses of the Buddha. The Buddha's words here are presented to us in the closest possible way as he would have spoke them during his life and times. This book also shows us that not only did the Buddha say all of these wonderful things, but that he "practiced what he preached." The Pali expert Bhikku Bodhi illuminates us the reader with his commentary in the introduction and notes throughout, in order to help us understand better the rich breadth of knowledge found in the Nikayas.
If we were to set this book apart in contrast to the long and middle discourses, this one here contains some of the most profound discourses in the Pali Cannon. The Buddha offers us within the confines of this text far-reaching peeks into the disposition of our very being.
"To hold a copy of "The Connected Discourses of the Buddha" is like holding a treasure in your hands." - Eastern Horizon.
"'The Connected Discourses' point the way to enlightenment. This book serves as one of the finest resources available for insight into the human condition. The Buddha addresses issues such as body/mind, daily life realities, suffering and joy, awareness and meditation. This book offers a wealth of benefits to anyone interested in the true heart of the Buddha's teachings." - Christopher Titmuss
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