The wisdom of the Buddha has been preserved in a vast ocean of ancient texts.
Many of these scriptures have now been translated into the world’s languages.

SuttaCentral brings these together and makes them freely available.
Setting aside the boundaries of language and tradition, we let the Buddha speak for himself.

The
Buddha’s
words
What’s here
What’s here
SuttaCentral contains early Buddhist texts, known as the Tipiṭaka or “Three Baskets”. This is a large collection of teachings attributed to the Buddha or his earliest disciples, who were teaching in India around 2500 years ago. They are regarded as sacred canon in all schools of Buddhism. You can find all of our texts through the sidebar menu on the left.
Where to begin
Where to begin
There are thousands of early Buddhist texts, and they’re not organized for easy reading. But here’s the good news: you are not alone. We’ve been down this road ourselves, and have tried to make it a little easier for you. Here are some things you can try.
Meet
SuttaCentral
Tipiṭaka—the three baskets
Sixteen gilt and lacquer leaves with two gilt and lacquer book covers. Wood coated with lacquer, 
                        twelve lines to each leaf written in Pali script in black lacquer, the text interspersed and bordered 
                        with undulating floral and vegetal motifs in gold on an orange ground. Burma, 19th century. 16 x 63 cm.
Discourses
These are our primary sources for understanding what the Buddha taught. They record the Buddha’s teachings and conversations on specific occasions with a diverse range of people. Discourses are called sutta in Pali, which is spelled sūtra in Sanskrit.
Monastic Law
The texts on Monastic Law (vinaya) detail the lifestyle, rules, and procedures for Buddhist monks and nuns. They provide the guidelines for Buddhist monastics to this day, and in addition, paint a detailed and vivid picture of everyday life in ancient India.
Abhidhamma
Abhidhamma texts are systematic summaries and analyses of the teachings drawn from the earlier discourses. The Abhidhamma (spelled abhidharma in Sanskrit) is somewhat later than the Discourses and Vinaya.
Why
we
read
A Reader’s Guide to the Pali Suttas
A Reader’s Guide to the Pali Suttas
The suttas of the Pali Canon (Tipiṭaka), especially the four main nikāyas, are essential reading for anyone who wishes to understand the Buddha and his teaching. Bhikkhu Sujato has prepared an extensive set of reading guides for the serious student. These provide essential background and survey most of the core teachings from the perspective of early Buddhism.
Indexes and Terminology
Indexes and Terminology
Like any specialized field, Buddhist studies has it's own terminology and content. It's easy to get lost or to miss references, so here we provide indexes of terms in the early texts sorted by subject, name and simile, as well a glossary of important terms. These hand-curated lists offer another way to find the sutta or passage that you're looking for.

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