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if you could only keep one dhamma book... - Dhamma Wheel

if you could only keep one dhamma book...

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.
nicholas
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 6:30 pm

if you could only keep one dhamma book...

Postby nicholas » Fri Oct 07, 2011 4:25 am

SCENARIO 1 okay so inter-dimensional beings (or devas, whatever you want:) have come to earth and they tell you they are going to destroy every single dhamma book on the planet and you have to pick the one and only one that will survive. it can be anything from a book on buddhism in general like "foundations of buddhism" by rupert gethin to a book from the pali canon like the digha nikaya or a book on meditation like "mindfulness bliss and beyond" by ajahn brahm. it has to be something that is in print. like you can't say the khuddaka nikaya because the whole book isn't in print in a single volume. so if you want that you have to pick one volume that is in print or a compilation that exists. which do you pick? and why?

i would keep the samyutta nikaya, the big fat all inclusive bhikkhu bodhi translation. when i read through it i became much clearer on many topics because it reiterates the same points in so many different ways it's truly mind blowing. while they are generally short little discourses the repetition and different methods of explanation make it better than the other nikayas that, while they may have longer and more detailed suttas on single topics, don't have the depth and angles of extremely intricate explanation that comes from talking about the same thing or even almost the same sutta in a bunch of different ways for pages on end through many individual suttas. don't get me wrong, i wouldn't want this to be the only book left from the canon! they are all important, but you know, these darn inter-dimensional beings have a disintegrating ray to my head so i chose!


SCENARIO 2 okay almost the same scenario, but worse, they are going to destroy all dhamma books and you only get to save one sutta! i don't think this needs explanation but anyway, it has to be one sutta. like sutta 188 from the majjhima nikaya or 32 from the digha nikaya or whatever. which one? and why?

i would keep the maha satipatthana sutta. it covers pretty much everything more than any other sutta. not by any means to say that it really has literally everything but if i had to choose... it has a good explanation of mindfulness, jhana, four noble truths and the eightfold path.

Nicro
Posts: 194
Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2011 1:48 pm
Location: Rio Rancho, New Mexico

Re: if you could only keep one dhamma book...

Postby Nicro » Fri Oct 07, 2011 6:00 am

1. Maybe "In The Buddha's Words" from Bhikkhu Bodhi just because it covers a wide range of topics.

2. I would go with the Satipatthana as well. It tells you how to get enlightened!

David2
Posts: 930
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2011 6:09 pm
Location: Germany

Re: if you could only keep one dhamma book...

Postby David2 » Fri Oct 07, 2011 8:10 am

May I choose my e-book-reader?

santa100
Posts: 2673
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:55 pm

Re: if you could only keep one dhamma book...

Postby santa100 » Fri Oct 07, 2011 2:04 pm

Are they gonna destroy the internet ? If they aren't, they're free to take away all the books they want... :tongue:

PeterB
Posts: 3909
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:35 pm

Re: if you could only keep one dhamma book...

Postby PeterB » Fri Oct 07, 2011 2:59 pm

Are they going to take away from my memory the instructions I have received re Vipassana and Samatha ?
If not they are free to take away all books AND the internet.

Jhana4
Posts: 1309
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 5:20 pm
Location: U.S.A., Northeast

Re: if you could only keep one dhamma book...

Postby Jhana4 » Fri Oct 07, 2011 5:26 pm

I would keep a copy of Bhikku Bodhi's "In The Buddhas Words". It wouldn't say it has been the most useful or the dhamma book that has had the most effect on me. It certainly is among the finalists. However, this would be the book, that right now and for the foreseeable future I would find the most useful.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.

Jhana4
Posts: 1309
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 5:20 pm
Location: U.S.A., Northeast

Re: if you could only keep one dhamma book...

Postby Jhana4 » Fri Oct 07, 2011 5:31 pm

In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.

nicholas
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 6:30 pm

Re: if you could only keep one dhamma book...

Postby nicholas » Fri Oct 07, 2011 5:48 pm


nicholas
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 6:30 pm

Re: if you could only keep one dhamma book...

Postby nicholas » Fri Oct 07, 2011 5:48 pm


nicholas
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 6:30 pm

Re: if you could only keep one dhamma book...

Postby nicholas » Fri Oct 07, 2011 5:50 pm


nicholas
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 6:30 pm

Re: if you could only keep one dhamma book...

Postby nicholas » Fri Oct 07, 2011 5:51 pm


nicholas
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 6:30 pm

Re: if you could only keep one dhamma book...

Postby nicholas » Fri Oct 07, 2011 5:54 pm


Nicro
Posts: 194
Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2011 1:48 pm
Location: Rio Rancho, New Mexico

Re: if you could only keep one dhamma book...

Postby Nicro » Fri Oct 07, 2011 6:35 pm


MattJ
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2010 11:35 am
Location: Florida
Contact:

Re: if you could only keep one dhamma book...

Postby MattJ » Fri Oct 07, 2011 11:51 pm

I'd say, let them all go. Back to oral tradition! :smile:


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