Pali is one of the Middle Indian idioms and the classical language of Theravada Buddhism. It is therefore important both to linguists and students of Buddhism. This introductory book centres on a collection of original texts, each selected as an especially important and beautiful formulation of a Buddhist idea. By means of a vocabulary, translation and commentary, each text is explained so concretely that it can be read with little preparation. Detailed explanations are provided for the many technical terms, which have frustrated so many western explorers of Buddhism. For reference, a grammar is provided. Sanskrit parallels to many of the words are given, as well as a special chapter comparing the two languages.

chapter |3 pages


chapter |3 pages

Pali: Language and Literature

chapter |2 pages


chapter |2 pages


chapter |1 pages

List of Abbreviations

chapter |1 pages

Content Analysis of the Texts

chapter 1|4 pages

Experience is the Only Criterion

chapter 2|3 pages

Definition of Suffering

chapter 3|2 pages

The Cause of Suffering

chapter 4|1 pages

The Cessation of Suffering

chapter 5|2 pages

The Way to Freedom from Suffering

chapter 6|1 pages

The Impermanence of Life

chapter 7|2 pages

There is no Soul

chapter 8|2 pages

Definition of Personality

chapter 9|2 pages

The Factors of Personality

chapter 10|2 pages


chapter 11|2 pages

Perception and Ideation

chapter 12|2 pages

Three Types of Activity

chapter 13|1 pages

Volition and the Activities

chapter 14|2 pages

The Origin of Conscious Processes

chapter 15|3 pages

Consciousness and Rebirth

chapter 16|2 pages

Consciousness May Be Calmed

chapter 18|4 pages

Liberation is a Natural Process

chapter 19|3 pages

The Origin and Control of Suffering

chapter 20|2 pages

Everything is Caused

chapter 21|1 pages

Man Forms his Own Destiny

chapter 22|1 pages

Karma Sometimes Works Slowly

chapter 23|2 pages

How Rebirth is Influenced by Actions

chapter 24|2 pages

A Strong Wish May Influence Rebirth

chapter 25|1 pages

A Summary of the Way

chapter 26|3 pages

Monk or Not?

chapter 27|1 pages

The First Part of the Way: Right View

chapter 28|1 pages

Right Purpose

chapter 29|1 pages

Right Speech

chapter 30|3 pages

A More Detailed Definition of Right Speech

chapter 31|1 pages

Right Action

chapter 32|3 pages

How the Perfect Ones Live

chapter 33|1 pages

Right Livelihood

chapter 34|1 pages

Wrong Livelihood

chapter 35|3 pages

Right Effort

chapter 36|3 pages

Right Mindfulness

chapter 39|1 pages

The Second Level of Concentration

chapter 40|2 pages

The Third Level of Concentration

chapter 41|1 pages

The Fourth Level of Concentration

chapter 44|2 pages

The State of Emptiness

chapter 45|4 pages

How to Meet Persecution and Death

chapter 46|3 pages

A Nun Tells Her Story

chapter 47|2 pages

The Buddha Relates How He Attained Nirvana

chapter 48|1 pages


chapter 49|1 pages


chapter 50|2 pages

Nirvana is Within Reach

chapter 51|2 pages

The Unborn

chapter 52|2 pages

Nirvana and Death