Questions tagged [sutras]

A type of literary composition in of varying length. In Buddhism this mostly refers to canonical texts. Sutras is a Sanskrit term however the Pali term sutta is often used by certain traditions. The two terms are equivalent.

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Will actors really go to hell?

In the Talaputta Sutra the Buddha says that actors will either be reborn as an animal or go to hell When an actor on the stage, [he thinks that] after death, he is reborn in the company of the ...
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181 views

What are the texts that contain words which can be attributed directly to the Buddha?

If I understand correctly, the Buddha never wrote anything but some Buddhist texts quote him by describing meetings or situations where he was present. Is there a comprehensive list of all scripts ...
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What is the oldest text/sutra of the Mahayana tradition?

I'm often interested in the history of Buddhist texts and, being a Theravadan, I'm not very familiar with the Mahayana texts. Please help to educate me in this manner.
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How to overcome Depression with Buddhist teachings

There are several scientific methods to treat the psychiatric condition depression. Is there a method to overcome depression by Lord Buddha's teachings?
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1answer
382 views

How to “attend to the perception of light”?

In AN 7.58, the Buddha instructed Maha Moggallana on what do to about his nodding: "But if by doing this you don't shake off your drowsiness, then attend to the perception of light, resolve on the ...
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5answers
974 views

Sleep - What about it?

What are the proper relax / Sleep practices for a practitioner of meditation methods? As to Buddhist point of view what is sleep and how to cope with it?
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4answers
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Loneliness: Rhinoceros-Horn Sutta from a Lay person's perspective

How can a lay person benefit from this beautiful sutta? It is about being reclusive as a key for good insight and enlightenment. Does this sutta apply for short period of loneliness like Retreats? Or ...
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274 views

Finding Authentic Suttas

Is there some website or book somewhere that lists suttas on different criteria like what suttas are more core or more likely to be authentic do to scholarly analysis like comparing Chinese ...
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2answers
1k views

Was the Buddha harsh?

"And to whom, worthless man, do you understand me to have taught the Dhamma like that? Haven't I, in many ways, said of dependently co-arisen consciousness, 'Apart from a requisite condition, there is ...
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355 views

Does sutta recitation actually entail understanding of the text?

I'm particularly interested in Chinese morning and evening service Tibetan sadhanas that a monk recites every day Theravada Pali suttas and chants Are these read in modern times by and to an ...
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4answers
986 views

What is the intermediate state before birth (Gandhabba)?

What is the intermediate state before birth ("Gandhabba"), mentioned in some Buddhist traditions? I have only heard the word so I can't explain the question any further. I would like a detailed ...
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4answers
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Which are considered to be the oldest suttas?

Though I've seen dating of mahayana suttas here and there in passing with some analysis, I understand the pali canon has suttas of many ages. For example, one collection I've often heard to contain ...
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306 views

How should a lay person respond if they see a monk teaching something contrary to Dhamma?

Let's say if a lay person sees fault of a monk (something against the monastic code, or against the Dhamma). Should the lay person just stay silent (thinking it would create bad karma), or should they ...
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What are the suttas in which the Buddha provides instruction on how to meditate?

What are the actual suttas in which the Buddha described how to meditate? A list of all such suttas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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Can anyone explain Sanskara / Sankara indepth?

Can someone provide a canonical explanation to Sanskara/Sankara? I appreciate if you can provide some sources,Suttras/Suttas so that i can expand my knowledge.
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Buddhism on We are all one

As explained here Buddhism does no belong into pantheism because God can be interpreted no as oneness but a creation of the mind as the fourth aggregate explains (eg. "an invisible man who lives in ...
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715 views

Which suttas in the Pali canon are relatively early or late?

Do people (monks and/or scholars) have a sense of how old (or relatively old) each sutta is in the Pali canon: i.e. which suttas are considered "earlier" or "later"? If not for individual suttas, how ...
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635 views

Tripitaka Section Numbering

Does anyone have a comprehensive side by side reference to Suttas numbering from different edition (PTS, VRI, etc.) of the Tripitaka? I have trouble with reconciliation of certain references to the ...
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473 views

In the Anapanasati Sutta, what is the difference between mind and mental processes?

The book Breath by Breath by Larry Rosenberg splits the Anapanasati Sutta into 4 tetrads. The wildmind website does a similar thing. In the second tetrad there is a verse that is rendered He trains ...
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448 views

Why is the first lines of the Dhammapada twin verses sometimes translated using the word 'heart'?

In most of the translations of the Dhammapada I have read the first lines of the Twin Verses (first chapter) are rendered using the words mind or thoughts. For instance this translation by ...
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Were different parts of the Pali Canon intended for different audiences?

I read somewhere that the Middle Length and Long Discourses in the Pali Canon were intended for different audiences. I think it was that the Long Discourses were intended to convert people to Buddhism ...
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Buddhist teachings on nation building & politics

From what I have read, Buddhism seems provide a practical path to follow in everyday life for a commoner to lead a life with lesser Dukkha and a rigorous path aimed at Monks seeking nirvana. But do ...
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893 views

What are the core Mahayana and Vajrayana Sutras?

When starting a more in-depth study of the Dharma from a Mahayana and Vajrayana perspective, what are the core (3 most recommended) Sutras (or texts), and the reasons why they are considered important,...
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84 views

Is there anything one can do to save the deceased from the consequences of their Kamma?

I generally had the understanding that there is no way one can save the deceased from the consequences of their Kamma. At most, we can send Metta to the deceased which may comfort them wherever they ...
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What's the canonical definition of end of the buddha sāsana?

I was under the impression that the end of buddha sāsana occurs when noble eight-fold path(and the dhamma practitioners) disappear form all the realms including Śuddhāvāsa where only anāgāmins live. ...
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Heart Sūtra root in Pali Canon?

It's hard not to think of the Heart Sūtra when reading the Kassaka Sutta (Saŋyutta Nikāya 4:19), part of which runs as below (Thanissaro Bhikkhu's translation, emphasis added). Is there any ...
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239 views

Why should I study the Suttas?

If the Buddha said that we shouldn't take his teachings as dogma, but rather try to experience for ourselves what realization is--why should we study the scriptures?
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How are Buddhist Sacred Texts used in practice and historically, given the questioned authenticity of some of them

I'm curious on how Buddhist Sacred Texts are used in teachings and in practice. The Buddha often says not to solely follow transmitted tradition, instead Buddhists are "exhorted to know for ...
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5answers
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“The Blessed One”, is it bad translation?

I found "The Blessed One" in English translation of Suttas. Because in Buddhism blessing is not legit/proper word to use to anyone, especially Buddha need not to be blessed, is it loosely translated ...
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7answers
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Does Paritta/Sutta really have magical power?

Many people believed certain Paritta/Sutta have certain magical power, for example Bojjhanga Sutta for curing illness and Om Mani Padme Hum having a great (even greatest) magical power among other ...
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How to Study the Suttas?

I practice the Theravada tradition. There are a lot of suttas, and I don't know how to go about studying them. Can I please get some pointers or guidelines on how I can study them? For example, which ...
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Is it possible for absolutely everyone to attain enlightenment?

As seen in the title of this question, I'm not sure whether everyone is able to attain enlightenment. As far as my study and introspective analysis have shown to me, it seems that in order to uproot ...
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460 views

Two unconditioned dhammas?

In A history of Indian Buddhism: From Sakyamuni to Early Mahayana, Professor Hirakawa states: Both nirvana and space were considered to be unconditioned dharmas. This fundamental classification of ...
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What is meant by “No limiting action remains there”? MN 99

In the discourse on the four Divine Abodes, what is meant by "... no limiting action remains there, none persists there." Here a bhikkhu abides pervading one quarter with a mind imbued with ...
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1answer
115 views

When the Buddha changes his mind to teach

I remember reading a sutta (possibly in Majjhima or Samyutta) where a passage has the Buddha talking about his teaching attitude towards certain people when talking to them. Then, he says something to ...
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2answers
241 views

How to make sense of the Heart Sutra

I am very interested in the concept of emptiness and freeing myself of all attachments. Naturally I gravitated towards the heart sutra, the chant in particular is very moving. However I am completely ...
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1answer
134 views

Beings who are not aware of their own existence?

In some realms there are some beings who are not aware of their own existence (Some place in Brahma realm). How do their aggregates work when they themselves aren't aware of their existence? If you ...
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367 views

Conflict between Brahmajala Sutta and current Buddhist practices

I'm very confused about this sutta ( http://suttacentral.net/en/dn1) specially in the part "Mahāsīla" Many of what the Buddha stated as wrong livelihood is very common in some Buddhist centres these ...
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921 views

The Middle Way in practical life

Are there any sutras or parables where Buddha applies the middle way, not to the self or to abstract metaphysical principles, but to concrete conflicts in practical life?
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Does any sutta talk about the right conditions for teaching the Dhamma?

I've read in other posts (such as this one) about the right way to teach the Dhamma. But is there a way to know about the "when", i.e. when to reach out someone else to teach the Dhamma? In specific,...
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A person of integrity (Sappurisa Sutta)

In the Anguttara Nikaya 4.73, the Buddha said that a "person of integrity" possesses these four qualities: when asked, does not reveal the other person's bad points and when pressed, speaks of the ...
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260 views

Quantified Self and Meditation

I've looked around here for things related to this but keep coming up dry... As is fairly common these days, I've been tracking/logging a lot of different things over the past several years such as ...
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Sutras in Western Buddhism?

How should western practitioners approach the sutras? What are the most important sutras from the main Buddhist traditions for westerners to study? When studying the sutras should that be considered a ...
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156 views

Sutra Study as Meditation?

When studying the sutras should that be considered a form of meditation, if so what are the guidelines for sutra meditation?
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Reducing the power of a bad karma

As we all agree none of us have a white past, we've all have done some bad thing in our past before coming to the path and in previous lives. So how should we use the good karma we generate today to ...
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What are the teachings in Buddhism for good social Social Health?

Lord Buddha preached about the importance of physical, social, mental and spiritual health. Lord Buddha has taught about the characteristics of the four Good friends and the four evil friends. Apart ...
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125 views

Dejection and Sensuality

I am looking for a very specific sutta in the Pali Canon wherein it is explained how the uninstructed worldling, upon feeling dejected, will turn to sensual pleasures to assuage his craving for ...
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623 views

Why do beings, even in lower/hell realms, like their lives?

As to Lord Buddha beings suffer because they were born: Jaathi pachchaya jara marana soka paridewa dukka domanassa upayasa sambhawanthi From birth as a requisite condition, then aging & ...