Another Western Buddhist Monk's site

Suggested Reading

Hi All

I suggest reading anthologies, if you want, or someone new wants to read the Pali canon (early texts of Buddhism), such as: is a kind of anthology.

I discourage you from reading: the translator’s introductions, or at least do so, AFTER you do your own uninfluenced reading; the book of verses in, e.g. the Samyutta Nikaya or sections of verses thrown into prose discourses of the Buddha. It doesn’t mean there would be NO benefit from reading them, just less benefit than reading more authentic teachings and they can support wrong view.

Even anthologies will usually be influenced by traditional interpretations and can mislead, but at least a lot of very doubtful material is omitted.

One of the common ways to mislead is to translate, lobha, dosa and moha as desire, aversion and ignorance. This gives the idea, e.g. that there are no wholesome desires. Hinduism teaches that all desires are the cause of suffering. The Buddha realised that there are wholesome and unwholesome desires, the same with anger, and ignorance of certain facts of the external universe is not the cause of suffering. Delusion is eradicated with Right View and then work has to be done to eradicate confusion, which, as Dr Peter Masefield points out, is an apt translation for moha. So the three would best be translated, greed, hatred and confusion.

best wishes


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