but also the deliverance from it.
The texts, translated from the original Pali, have been selected
from the five great collections of discourses which form the Sutta-Pitaka. They have been
grouped and explained in such a manner as to form one connected whole. Thus the
collection, which was originally compiled for the author's own guidance and orientation in
the many voluminous books of the Sutta-Pitaka, will prove a reliable guide for the student
of Buddhism. It should relieve him from the necessity of working his way through all these
manifold Pali scriptures, in order to acquire a comprehensive and clear view of the whole;
and it should help him to relate to the main body of the doctrine the many details he will
encounter in subsequent studies.
As the book contains many definitions and explanations of
important doctrinal terms together with their Pali equivalents, it can serve, with the
help of the Pali Index (page
89), as a book of reference and a helpful companion throughout one's study of the
After the first German edition appeared in 1906, the first
English version was published in 1907, and this has since run to ten editions, including
an abridged student's edition (Colombo, 1948, Y.M.B.A.) and an American edition (Santa
Barbara, Cal., 1950, J. F. Rowny Press). It has also been included in Dwight Goddard's Buddhist
Bible, published in the United States of America.
Besides subsequent German editions, translations have been
published in French, Italian, Czech, Finnish, Russian, Japanese, Hindi, Bengali and
Sinhalese. The original Pali of the translated passages was published in Sinhalese
characters (edited by the author, under the title Sacca-Sangaha, Colombo, 1914) and
Devanagari script in India.
The 11th edition has been revised throughout. Additions
have been made to the Introduction and to the explanatory notes, and some texts have been
Preface to the 14th
The venerable Author of this little standard work of
Buddhist literature passed away on May 28, 1957, aged 79. The present new edition
commemorates the tenth anniversary of his death.
Before his demise, a revised reprint of this book being
the 12th edition, was included in The Path of Buddhism, published by the Buddhist
Council of Ceylon (Lanka Bauddha Mandalaya). On that 12th edition the text of the
subsequent reprints has been based, with only few and minor amendments. Beginning with the
13th edition (1959), and with the kind consent of the former publishers, the Saasanadhaara
Kantha Samitiya, the book is now being issued by the Buddhist Publication Society.
Along with this edition the Society is publishing, in
Roman script, under the title of Buddha Vacana.m, the original Pali texts which are
translated in the present book. This Pali edition is meant to serve as a Reader for
students of the Pali language, and as a handy reference book as well as a Breviarium for
contemplative reading for those already conversant with the language of the Buddhist
Buddhist Publication Society
Preface to the Electronic Edition
This edition of The Word of the Buddha was
prepared by scanning the pages of the 14th Edition and capturing the text using OCR
software. The following editorial changes were made while editing the text for
- Citations placed in the margin at the start of each
quotation, replacing the numbered footnotes of the original.
- British spellings such as colour changed to American.
- Punctuational styles, and the form of bibliographic
listings, changed to reflect contemporary usage.
of Pali Terms (page
89) expanded to link every use of every term.
other respects, the text is unchanged from the original.
These files were output in two versions: one in Adobe
Portable Document Format (PDF) for viewing with Adobe Acrobat®; one in Hypertext Markup
Language (HTML) for viewing in any web browser. Both versions are hypertext-linked so that
clicking a heading in the table of contents or a word in the index turns to the page
The PDF version reproduces the diacritical marks that
indicate Pali pronunciation in the original. The page size (8 in x 5.3 in; 48 x 32 picas)
is similar to the original, so the pages can be printed to give a likeness of the original
book. With appropriate software, the pages can be printed 'two-up' as a booklet, using
either U.S. letter stock or European A4 paper.
An HTML document cannot emulate a printed page or display
nonstandard accent marks. The HTML version uses a modern convention for the Pali
diacriticals, which is less readable but uses only standard characters (see "The
Pronounciation of Pali" ).
The source of each quotation is shown by a marginal note
at the head of the quotation. The citations use the following abbreviations:
|| Document Referred To
|| Diigha Nikaaya. The number
refers to the Sutta.
|| Majjhima-Nikaaya. The
number refers to the Sutta.
|| Anguttara-Nikaaya. The
Roman number refers to the main division into Parts or Nipaatas; the second
number, to the Sutta.
|| Samyutta-Nikaaya. The
Roman number refers to the division into 'Kindred Groups' (Sa.myutta), e.g. Devataa-Sa.myutta
= I, etc.; the second number refers to the Sutta.
|| Dhammapada. The number
refers to the verse.
|| Udaana. The Roman number
refers to the Chapters, the second number to the Sutta.
|| Sutta-Nipaata. The number
refers to the verse.
|| Visuddhi-Magga ('The Path
|| Buddhist Dictionary, by
|| Fundamentals of Buddhism,
by Nyanatiloka Mahaathera.
Pronounciation of Pali
Adapted from the American edition
Except for a few proper names, non-English words are
italicized. Most such words are in Pali, the written language of the source documents.
Pali words are pronounced as follows.
|| Should Be Sounded
|| As u in the English word shut;
never as in cat, and never as in take.
|| As in father; never as in take.
|| Long, as a in stake.
|| As in pin.
|| As in machine; never as in
|| Long as in hope.
|| As in put or oo in foot.
|| As oo in boot; never as in
|| Should Be Sounded
|| As ch in chair; never as
k, never as s, nor as c in centre, city.
|| As in get, never as in general.
|| Always, even in positions
immediately following consonants or doubled consonants; e.g. bh as in cab-horse;
ch as chh in ranch-house: dh as in handhold; gh
as in bag-handle; jh as dgh in sledge-hammer, etc.
|| As in joy.
| .m .n
|| As the 'nazalizer' is in Ceylon,
usually pronounced as .ng in sung, sing, etc.
|| Always as in this; never
as in these.
|| As ny in canyon (Spanish:
ca~non) or as gn in Mignon.
|| As in haphazard; never as
|| As in hot-house; never as
in thin nor as in than.
|| As in yes.
.t, .th, .d, .dh,
.l are lingual sounds; in pronouncing, the tongue is to be pressed against the
Double consonants: each of them is to be pronounced; e.g.,
bb as in scrub-board: tt as in cat-tail.