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The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Majjhima Nikaya
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The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Majjhima Nikaya

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4.53  ·  Rating details ·  1,105 ratings  ·  22 reviews
This book offers a complete translation of the Majjhima Nikaya, or Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha, one of the major collections of texts in the Pali Canon, the authorized scriptures of Theravada Buddhism. This collection--among the oldest records of the historical Buddha's original teachings--consists of 152 suttas or discourses of middle length, distinguished as s ...more
Hardcover, 1424 pages
Published November 9th 1995 by Wisdom Publications
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Craig Shoemake
NOTE: the following review applies to the 1995 edition. Two editions since have come out, the most recent in 2005. Some comments here likely do not apply to the most recent edition. If you purchase the book, try to ensure you are getting the most recent version.

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For my review of this translation I decided to take a different tack. Since I am not a Pali scholar I am not qualified to critique Bhikkhu Bodhi's (or Ven. Ñanamoli's) translation, so I thought I would turn to someone who is-nam
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Jef Sneider
Dec 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is not a book to read like a novel. It is more like the bible. It took me 20 years to get through it. The man who gave it to me has since died and the world has moved on but the truths discovered by the Buddha live on. Those truths are repeated in various forms and parables and stories over and over. It is amazing how quickly the variables multiply as the Buddha enumerate states of being, ways of perceiving the world, emotions, senses, reactions, types of beings and stages of development: " ...more
Thomas
Feb 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
The Middle Length Discourses in this translation aren't quite as accessible as the Long Discourses (Digha Nikaya) translated by Maurice Walshe, but they are certainly accessible enough. I found myself turning to the notes more often for explanations of phrases that sounded a little awkward, but had no trouble finding my way through the text. (Finding my way through the practice is another thing.) Indispensable for the study of early Buddhism.
Yixuan
Sep 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
When I am walking on the path discovered by Buddha, the Majjhima Nikaya is like the home I can go back every time I got lost.
Pontus Alexander
I see no point in finishing all of the suttas right now. I have read 110 out of 152. Reading directly from the Pāli Canon is somewhat essential, in my opinion, if you want a clear understanding of Theravada Buddhism, yet I can not recommend anyone who does not practice the Buddha's teachings to read the Majjhima Nikaya. You are pretty much required to study the Pāli Canon to be able to understand all of it.

And since I do not practice Buddhism, except agree with a some of its core teachings, I'm
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Robin S
Apr 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
When You walk into a bookstore, there are many, many books on Buddhism. However, surprisingly, you rarely get anything which was spoken directly by the Buddha. These are 'Middle or Medium length Discourses' of words purportedly spoken by the Buddha. Most are pretty accessible. The translation is good and includes more than ample explanatory notes that the interested reader can use to further elucidate points of the text that are not initially clear. I don't know why one does not have access much ...more
Carolynn
Mar 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I mean what can you say B.Bodhi has dedicated his life so that we may read this wisdom in our native languages. Many many and numerous bows.

Read, is a bit of a misnomer. Studied many suttas in-depth, using for thesis work. Bhikkhu Analayo's work on comparative MN studies is an excellent companion, adds depth and context.
Michael Brenyo
Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Although repetitive at times, an excellent book. Very happy to have translations of the original Pali text considering how much Buddhism has changed over the years. I also appreciate the trimming down of the longer or extremely repetitive portions.
Lori
Jul 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Although repetitive at times, an excellent book. Very happy to have translations of the original Pali text considering how much Buddhism has changed over the years. I also appreciate the trimming down of the longer or extremely repetitive portions.
Joseph Gaston
Aug 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A must read for any serious student of Buddhism
Stuart
Aug 20, 2020 added it
How do you write a review of a religious text? The footnotes are useful, I appreciate the amount of information about the translations and the lengthy introductory material.
Gerardo
May 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
(In Spanish below)

What can I say about this wonderful book? A collection of 152 middle-length discourses by the Buddha and one of the core texts in the Pali Canon (and thus being the core not only of Theravada Buddhism, but also of all Mahayana schools), in which many topics are discussed, but most of them being about the development of mental quiescence and insight in order to attain arahantship, liberation from the cycle of rebirth and all suffering. The Buddha dialogues with a fascinating arr
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Keith
Notes toward an eventual review.

#77 Mahāsakuludāyisutta struck me as particularly interesting in that the "Eight Bases for Transcendence" along with the descriptions of the practices for the four dhyanas and insight meditation, as presented here, appear to provide a possible scriptural basis for some of the later tantric practices which some claim were never taught by the historical Buddha. It also may be notable that the wanderer to whom the discourse is addressed, identified initially as Saku
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Ester
Oct 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I thought this book was very insightful. Might be helpful to know a bit about the foundations of the Buddha's teachings, a good outline may be found at: http://www.buddhaweb.org/, then read the Introduction in the book. Not all stories may apply or mean anything at first, but keep referring back to the foundations and see how they are "woven" in the stories. ...more
Matea Stanić
Feb 23, 2015 rated it liked it
điiiiiz, mozak mi je puding nakon ovog
ราฟาเอล
Oct 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
It's a must-have if one is seriously interested in the teachings of the Buddha, and it's not too big a volume for beginners.
Sol A.
Oct 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The greatest spiritual teachings collected into a single volume. Truly profound and timeless. A must read for all genuine seekers.
Michael
Jun 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dhamma, favorites
The best book in the world.
Thushara Vithanage
Nov 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
probably the best translation out there for Majjhima Nikaya of Sutta Pitaka :)
Barb
Dec 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: buddhism
An excellent resource
Steve Kemp
Mar 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Absolute must have !!
John Franz
Jun 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
swiss army-knife of Buddhism.
Karen Gold
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Bhikkhu Bodhi is an American Buddhist monk from New York City. Born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1944, he obtained a BA in philosophy from Brooklyn College (1966) and a PhD in philosophy from Claremont Graduate School (1972).

Drawn to Buddhism in his early 20s, after completing his university studies he traveled to Sri Lanka, where he received novice ordination in 1972 and full ordination in 1973, bot
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52 likes · 22 comments
“Here bhikkhus, some misguided men learn the Dhamma–discourses, stanzas, expositions, verses, exclamations, sayings, birth stories, marvels, and answers to questions–but having learned the Dhamma, they do not examine the meaning of those teachings with wisdom. Not examining the meaning of those teachings with wisdom, they do not gain a reflective acceptance of them. Instead they learn the Dhamma only for the sake of criticising others and for winning in debates, and they do not experience the good for the sake of which they learned the Dhamma.” 19 likes
“Meditate, Ānanda, do not delay, or else you will regret it later. This is our instruction to you.” 11 likes
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