The world-renowned Teachings of the Buddha series, developed under the guidance of the scholar-monk Bhikkhu Bodhi, features English translations of the historic Buddha’s original teachings. These teachings, which range from basic ethics and proper human relations, to instructions in meditation and liberating insight, unfold in a fascinating procession of scenarios that often show the Buddha in living dialogue with people from the many different strata of ancient Indian society. After the Buddha’s passing, a record of what he said was maintained as an oral tradition. Those who heard the teachings would periodically meet with others for communal recitations of what they had heard and memorized. In due course, these recitations from memory were written down, laying the basis for all subsequent Buddhist literature.
The Pāli canon is one of the earliest of these written records and is the only complete early version that has survived intact. The Buddha’s discourses were assembled into four major collections called Nikāyas, which have been preserved through the centuries in the ancient Indian language known as Pāli. Most of these volumes were translated, edited, and introduced by Bhikkhu Bodhi, a veteran translator who lived for over twenty years in Sri Lanka. Bhikkhu Bodhi has endeavored to ensure that these translations are both accurate and eloquent. To further assist the reader, each volume is equipped with valuable introductory material, copious footnotes, and thematic indexes. These translations have won the esteem of scholars, Buddhist practitioners, and students of Buddhist literature around the world and are indispensable to any collection of Buddhist texts.