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I am a 25 year old who has become interested in Buddhism due to personal reasons.

Are there any good websites which have material to understand Buddhism from the start?

Can you please recommend them if there are any?

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7 Answers 7

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A classic book for a beginner to read is "What the Buddha Taught" by Ven. Walpola Rahula, which can be downloaded here.

The ebook "Without and Within" by Ven. Ajahn Jayasaro, available in PDF and epub formats, is 127-pages long and is meant to be a collection of questions and answers on Buddhism for beginners.

The Basics of Buddhism podcast series by the Buddhist Society of Western Australia (BSWA) seems to be good. Ven. Ajahn Brahm, who features in some of these podcasts, is also a famous speaker on Youtube.

Two good beginner articles to read are The Buddha and His Dhamma by Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi and An Introduction to the Buddha, Dhamma, & Sangha by Ven. Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Tricycle's Buddhism for Beginners has some nice articles.

If you want to feel close to a Buddhist community, watch the live and recorded videos of the BSWA on their Youtube Channel. During the live sessions, you can submit questions. Sometimes they have live events like the five precepts initiation ceremony on Wesak Day and the occasional monk ordination ceremony.

You can learn the basics of Buddhist meditation as taught by Ven. Yuttadhammo Bhikkhu either using the booklet or the Youtube videos. You can join the online meditation courses also, where you could have interaction with other course participants.

Ven. Yuttadhammo Bhikkhu has also written many great answers on this website, which would be helpful to a beginner. His YouTube channel also has many good videos for beginners.

When you want to deep-dive into the teachings of the Buddha, use the accesstoinsight.org website's Self-guided Tour of the Buddha's Teachings. The book "In the Buddha's Words" by Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi is also highly recommended.

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I am not sure this will be useful for English speaker but some contents are in English http://watnapp.com I like this approach which based on the Buddha words.

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To begin with, good householder, as it's a path of surrender (saddha):

Respect, Confidence and Patient

Sensitivity through Generosity

and a most seldom noble domain, What is a boarderland, how to recognice?.

Others are just consume places and dedicated for trades in the world and to increase debts.

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"The essays in this book present views on basic elements in the Buddhist path: the attitudes, concepts, and practices that lead to total freedom for the mind. If the views are right, they themselves form a part of the path."

~ Thanissaro Bhikkhu "Noble Strategy: Essays on the Buddhist Path" https://www.dhammatalks.org/books/NobleStrategy/Section0001.html

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Community forums like suttacentral.net and dhammawheel.com are a good way to participate in public discourse, learning basics and seeing how confused people are.

The archaic texts are primarily included in the Pali Nikayas & Vinaya, those directly attributed to the Buddha and disciples during the first 300 years of the dispensation. Anguttara, Samyutta, Digha, Majjhima, Suttanipata, Udana & Itivuttaka and some like Dhammapada & Gathas (poems of elders) are generally held to be the earliest. These texts are found on sites like accesstoinsight and suttacentral.

Later texts from 200BC-0 and particular from 1st century and on such as Abhidhammas, Mahayana and commentary literature comprise most of Buddhist literature and there is no general doctrinal alignment between them as they are interpretative works.

I think the most important thing is

  1. The mastering & learning of Sutta expression
  2. Penetrating the meaning of Sutta expression

Participation in public discourse can be useful to get oriented & familiarizing yourself with the Buddhist community as well as being around texts being discussed but it can be misleading as well because people post as they see it and are usually somewhat self-righteous in their assertions.

There are also various Buddhists who produce content online as to their best ability, eg the monks Yuttadhamma, Brahm, Sujato, Bodhi, Nyanamoli and others. My recommendation is to listen remaining skeptical because they are also not in alignment but can help you develop intellect because nobody is wrong about everything even tho some are wrong about essentials.

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If you're interested in the earliest version of Buddhism, rather than later versions of Buddhism which can differ quite radically, I maintain a list of recommended teachers and their resources here. Your best bet would be any books from Thānissaro Bhikkhu.

https://notesonthedhamma.blogspot.com/2021/04/teachers-who-teach-4-jhanas-correctly.html

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You can learn Buddhism on this very website called Buddhism Stack Exchange.

You learn Buddhism by asking questions that are relevant to improving & developing your life.

If you are interested in the history of Buddhism, you can start with

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