Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Long Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Digha Nikaya” as Want to Read:
The Long Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Digha Nikaya
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Long Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Digha Nikaya

4.47  ·  Rating details ·  760 ratings  ·  27 reviews
This book offers a complete translation of the Digha Nikaya, the long 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, given in India two and a half thousand years ago--consists of thirty-four longer-len ...more
Hardcover, 648 pages
Published June 15th 1995 by Wisdom Publications
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Long Discourses of the Buddha, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Long Discourses of the Buddha

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.47  · 
Rating details
 ·  760 ratings  ·  27 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Long Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Digha Nikaya
robin friedman
Jul 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The Digha Nikaya

This book is a modern translation of the Long Length Discourses of the Buddha, a seminal collection of early Buddhist texts. The Digha is part of the scripture of the Theravada school of Buddhism. The Theravada school is is the oldest surviving form of Buddhism and is still practiced in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Burma, and elsewhere. Together with other forms of Buddhism, Theravada has attracted a great deal of interest in the West, and this book will be invaluable in making its teach
Craig Shoemake
Originally published as Thus Have I Heard, this careful and very readable translation of the first of the four major nikayas was a much needed replacement for the outdated, three volume, overpriced and generally inaccessible Pali Text Society version by the husband and wife team of Rhys-Davids. In its reissue, it became the first of what presumably will be retranslations of the first four nikayas coming out of Wisdom Publications in Boston. Thank the devas for Wisdom! It was about time. Now all ...more
Jon Ciliberto
Aug 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I'm reading this for a reading group, regardless it is useful to read in full some things I have previously only read referenced.

The introduction is excellent, a clear, brief overview of the times and the main ideas of Buddhism.

Now, also it is true, the full texts came to be what they are as a result of an oral (repeated and memorized) tradition, not a reading one. This is the reason for the many repetitions that occur (which are usefully elided in this text). What I am pulling from this reading
Mar 13, 2012 rated it it was ok
Apr 14, 2012: it has been more than 2 weeks since i could stomach the idea of opening this book and reading another calcified recitation of the same stock phrases, so i decided that i officially give up.

50% seems like a safe (i.e., under-)estimate for the amount of text in this book that is repeated. The most egregious examples (in the ~25% of the pages i've read) are the entirety of Sutta 7 and the vast majority of Sutta 9. If it weren't for the translator's myriad merciful ellipses, i would've
Ben Johnson
Jul 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Pali Canon is like life itself: it is the same stuff over and over; it is mostly boring, but can be amazing if you pay attention; it goes on and on and seems like it is never going to end (until it does).

The Pali Canon and the commentaries constitute an immense work. I have been reading a few Suttas a day for years, and am only now nearing the end of my final Nikaya. Let’s be honest: the work as a whole is really long, very repetitive, and mostly boring. Having been passed down by a verbal t
Michelle Pasanna
Oct 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you are new to reading the Buddha's teachings; do NOT start here. Start with majhima nikaya. This is unless you want to understand Buddhist cosmology, time and myth. More practical teachings will be found in MN.

This said, DN does contain a few of my favourite suttas and is an essential read for anyone with some experience reading the suttas.

DN15 illustrates the causality which leads to rebirth.
DN16 the final days of the Buddha's life
DN22 the 4 foundations of mindfulness
DN31 is excellent and
Feb 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I didn't read this cover to cover (just selections) but of all the translations from the Pali Canon that I've looked at, this one is the best. The English is very very clear, and in spots where the Pali is tricky Walshe explains his rationale, usually backed up by auxiliary sources. The introduction is straightforward and focuses on key concepts for the reader new to Buddhist thought and early Buddhist (Theravada)practice. ...more
Jul 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
What an epic task to translate these texts. Very interesting content, albeit with considerable repetition, presumably arising from the texts being passed down orally for several centuries before they were written down. Well worth the read.
Jun 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What an epic task to translate these texts. Very interesting content, albeit with considerable repetition, presumably arising from the texts being passed down orally for several centuries before they were written down. Well worth the read.
Jun 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: buddhism
A reference document for the seekers.
Includes some of the main sutras like Mahâparanibbhâna Sutta and Mahâsatipatthâna Sutta
Sol A.
Oct 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Mind-blowing. Once you get past the idiom the reader uncovers an unmatched world of cosmic size and timeless wisdom. And a must read for all Buddhists.
Jan 29, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: buddhism
I made a commitment to complete reading this cover to cover, and finally did. I took my time with this, as I was also reading other books and topics.

Most regard the collection in the Digha Nikaya suitable for a broad audience of lay Buddhist. I find that the 34 suttas interesting, and instructive on how we can live our life and choose our path well.

Among all these 34 suttas is the Mahasattipattana sutta- regarded by most Buddhists as the most important sutta in the Pali canon. It is also known
I feel rather strange onto what I should review this book as, not only on account of it's importance, but also to my liking to Buddhist philosophy. There sits within me, a paradox of thought; I know not whether I should give it 2 stars or 4 stars; as you may tell - I've given it 3 stars to split in the middle. You see, on the one hand to which I'd give this 4 stars, it is because of it's philosophic content; the discourses are rather intriguing and fascinating. To think that here, and to it's co ...more
Nov 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: buddhism
So hard to know how to use a "star rating" system on major works of world spiritual literature! In the end I have gone with my gut and with my overall sense of enjoyment of the book, even though enjoyment was not and is not really the object of the exercise.

This is a well-produced labor of love by translator Maurice Walshe, who also wrote an excellent 35-page introduction, as well as a pithy summary of the contents of the 34 suttas or sutras. There is also clarification of the texts via 1163 end
Sep 18, 2008 rated it really liked it
An excellent translation. This book is, to my knowledge an unabridged translation of the Digha Nikaya. There are some minor omissions in that sections that are repeated verbatim (traditionally done to help memorization when Buddhist texts passed along as an entirely verbal tradition) are indicated by an ellipsis instead of recapitulating the entire passage twice or more; but that is for most reader a blessing and a minor technical issue.

Walshe does an excellent job to give background informatio
Jul 15, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: buddhism
This is one of the many books of original Buddhist scriptures.
There is tons of it.

Fortunately, unlike Christianity, Buddhism does not depend on belief. It does not depend on knowing the story. It is a practice, not a religion. (OK, lots of Buddhist sects and popular versions are VERY religious -- OK, most)

So, no need to read the original. Or at least it helps to have guidance.
Heck, try reading the Old Testament without a little help.

Old writing styles and logic when mixed with dead cultures make
Randal Samstag
Feb 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: buddhism
I have down-rated this from five to four stars only because I enjoyed the translations, notes, and (especially) the introductions by Thomas Rhys Davids so much more. This is a crucial collection of the long suttas of the Pali Canon including the Brahmajala, the Samaññaphala, the Potthapada, the Kevaddha Sutta, and the marvelous Mahaparinibbana Sutta. For reviews of several of these see my blog: http://notesfrommylibrary.wordpress.c.... ...more
May 28, 2008 rated it really liked it
A good start towards hearing what the buddha was trying to say. A lot of repetition that Mr. Walsh seems either annoyed by or reservedly leaves out due to the already massive length of this volume. Not sure what to do with this, but the Buddha apparently has perfect taste...
Aug 01, 2013 rated it liked it
This is filled with stories designed to indoctrinate. It is good for those that are new to Buddhism but too verbose for those looking for the heart of the teachings.
Apr 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Essential for any library.
S. Lodro
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"Monks, be islands unto yourselves, be a refuge unto yourselves with no other refuge. Let the Dhamma be your island, let the Dhamma be your refuge, with no other refuge. And how does a monk dwell as an island unto himself, as a refuge unto himself with no other refuge, with the Dhamma as his island, with the Dhamma as his refuge, with no other refuge? Here, a monk abides contemplating the body as body, ardent, clearly aware and mindful, having put aside hankering and fretting for the world, he a ...more
Fred Dameron
May 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wow what a work. The sayings of Gotma, the improvement of my mindfulness, my lower blood pressure, my peace of mind all have improved with my improvements in meditation. A great end to my work and study of Buddhism. Study, learn and be at peace with yourself and others.
Mar 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Some of the endnotes were less than helpful. Otherwise, I’d give it five stars.
Feb 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The long discourses

This volume is an adequate translation of the long discourses. However, it does skip over large sections of the text that are repeated in each discourse. It is ok for orienting yourself to these discourses (suutas).
Paññādhammika Bhikkhu
The best! Haha. DN 29 is my new favourite.
May 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Forgot to add when I got this...newly adopted faith (medical reasons)...treating as a reference book, not a read "start-to-finish" book...5 stars for value of content ...more
rated it it was amazing
Nov 20, 2019
rated it it was amazing
Jun 21, 2020
Andrew Cook
rated it it was amazing
Apr 18, 2017
Russell Burton
rated it really liked it
Mar 02, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Majjhima Nikaya
  • The Dhammapada
  • The Connected Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Samyutta Nikaya
  • The Bhagavad Gita
  • Great Disciples of the Buddha: Their Lives, Their Works, Their Legacy
  • In the Buddha's Words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon
  • You Are Your Own Gym: The Bible of Bodyweight Exercises for Men and Women
  • The Tibetan Book of the Dead
  • The Buddha's Teachings on Social and Communal Harmony: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon
  • Chasing the Boogeyman
  • Non-Fiction
  • The Act of Will
  • The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching: Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy, and Liberation
  • The Doors of Perception
  • The New York Trilogy
  • The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister's Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine
  • Stille Nacht in der Provence
See similar books…
See top shelves…

Related Articles

For those with a taste for nonfiction—or even just a curiosity about what’s out there—we’ve gathered below the most popular nonfiction titles...
22 likes · 9 comments