Access to Insight is a website that provides a large collection of extracts from the Pali Canon, the core literature of Theravada Buddhism, translated into English. Theravada Buddhism, although a specific school, has become almost synonymous with the early Buddhism of Northern India and coextensive with the term Hinayana Buddhism. This is Buddhism that emphasised personal salvation. The site provides an outline of the Pali Canon and over 700 translations of selected suttas, indexed by name, proper names, subject and similes. The translations have been contributed by several respected translators of Pali texts. In addition to the translated suttas, the compiler of the resource has provided an introductory guided tour of the Buddha's teachings, called 'The Path to Freedom', and information about other sources on the Web that are concerned with Theravada Buddhism. The site is maintained by John Bullitt, who runs it strictly as a non-profit venture, motivated to provide free access to the Pali Canon for students and teachers of Buddhist thought, as well as the interested non-academic.
The Asian Classics Input Project (ACIP) is a major source of primary texts in Tibetan for the study of Tibetan Buddhism. ACIP aims to make available texts belonging to the Tibetan tradition from 500 B.C. to the present day. All materials are available free of charge for order as a CD-ROM or for downloading from the site (although a donation is requested to cover costs). These include over 50,000 pages of sacred woodblock art and manuscripts with texts from the Kangyur (the sutras and tantras of the Tibetan Buddhist canon), Tengyur (commentarial works) and Sungbum (collected works of major authors), as well as the ACIP Graphics Collection of carved illustrations and monastic seals. Also available online is a catalogue of Tibetan texts held in the libraries of the St. Petersburg Branch of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the University of St. Petersburg, a listing of Tibetan texts held in the US Library of Congress, Tibetan dictionaries and Sanskrit study tools. The site also provides the fonts required for viewing the texts, various search and viewing utilities such as the AsiaView program, and a user manual (in PDF) which provides guidance on searching the database. Each release of the ACIP database contains all the materials from previous releases. Previous releases are available on the website of the Princeton University Computing Center.
The British Library's Sacred Texts website provides information about the library's collection of religious books and writings. In total, 78 texts are listed, dating from the 1st century to the year 1900: the majority of these are from the Christian, Jewish, and Islamic traditions, but there are also some Buddhist, Hindu, and Zoroastrian works. Highlights include: a Gutenberg Bible; Codex Sinaiticus (the earliest surviving manuscript of the New Testament); the Lindesfarne Gospels; the Golden Haggadah (a lavishly illustrated Jewish prayer book); Sultan Baybar's Qu'ran; and the Gandharan Scrolls (possibly the oldest surviving Buddhist texts). A description giving historical and religious context is provided for each text, along with a high-quality zoomable image. More comprehensive versions of eight key texts are available via the British Library's 'Turn the Pages' feature, which uses Shockwave to simulate the experience of reading the physical book. The Curator's Choice section offers audio recordings (with transcripts) of experts talking about a number of the works. A visually attractive and valuable site.
The extensive website of the Buddhist Scriptures Information Retrieval project (BUDSIR) offers searchable digitised versions of 45 volumes of the Pali Tipitaka (the collected sayings of the Buddha), and the 70 volumes of the Atthakatha commentaries, along with some other important scriptures. The texts are available for purchase on CD-ROM or free of charge online (although registration is required). It is recommended that the site be displayed in Internet Explorer, as some other browsers seem to encounter problems. The texts are available in Thai and Roman script, as well as Devanagari, Singhalese, Burmese, and Khmer. Although the user interface may be displayed in English, the texts themselves are not translated. The website also offers an introduction to Buddhist teachings, and essays about Buddhist beliefs and their application in contemporary society.
This is a set of teaching and learning resources which introduces Buddhism from a Theravada modernist perspective. It is targeted at primary and secondary students and their teachers, but will also be very useful for FE students and undergraduate generalists. Although there is a tremendous amount of material, it is presented in a clear and coherent fashion. Navigation is easy and consistently presented. There are shorter essays introducing Buddhism, and links to longer works, PDF files of entire books, and even colouring books. The story collections (under ebooks) are particularly good, and a valuable resource for anyone trying to understand how Buddhism is passed on to children in traditional Buddhist societies. The unevenness of the material here reflects the diversity of the traditions which Buddhanet tries to cover. Thus the page listing Mahayana schools only covers Chinese Mahayana; no mention is ever made of Newar, Central Asian or Indonesian Buddhism; and the chronology of the spread of Buddhism puts both Mahayana and Vajryana too late, and misrepresents the originality of Theravada, which in fact emerged as a distinct school from early Nikaya Buddhism at about the same time as the earliest Mahayana sutras developed. Finally, the topical essays on karma and rebirth reflect, without openly stating the problem, the present controversy between demythologising modernists - who wish to interpret the realms of rebirth as states of mind - and traditional elders, who maintain the existence of several distinct realms, such as heavens and hells, into which one may be reborn.
The Buddhist Studies WWW Virtual Library is a substantial gateway to Buddhist resources on the web. Over 300 resources relating to Buddhism are detailed ranging from research and teaching projects, email lists and FTP sites, through to electronic journals and other gateways. All links are evaluated before they are added to the collection. The site was founded, and is primarily maintained, by Dr T. Matthew Ciolek of the Australian National University, Canberra.
This is the website of the Chinese Buddhist Electronic Text Association, providing information about the work of CBETA in making available the scriptures of Chinese Buddhism in electronic form, and links to related sites, as well as access to an electronic version of the Taisho Tripitaka (the Chinese canon of Buddhist scriptures). Some introductory sections are in English, but most pages and the electronic Tripitaka itself require Chinese fonts. Users can download the contents pages of Buddhist texts, by selecting the particular section that they require, and the script in which they prefer it to be displayed. The website also links to the CBETA newsletter and its archives. The resource would be of value to any researcher of Chinese Buddhist primary sources, or for final year undergraduate students of Chinese philosophy and religion.
The Diamond Sutra Web page, published by the British Library, contains essential information about and a digital version of the Diamond Sutra (in Sanskrit, the Vajracchedikā Prajñāpāramitā Sutra from the Sūtrapiṭaka of the Tripiṭaka). Created in 868 CE, the work is the earliest complete dated printed book in existence. It was found hidden in the Dunhuang caves in China in 1907. The actual book is formed by "seven strips of yellow-stained paper printed from carved wooden blocks and pasted together to form a scroll over 5m long". The Chinese text translates the teachings of the Buddha, which had reached China from India following the Silk Road. The book is now conserved at the British Library, which also publishes research and educational resources on the International Dunhuang Project (IDP) and the Silk Road.
The Turning the Pages edition of the Diamond Sutra is available in different formats according to the hardware and software capabilities of the computer accessing the resource. In the most advanced version, there is a short audio introductory note and it is possible to read the book as it was originally intended, scrolling the text from left to right. There is no translation. An audio file and transcript of the Dunhuang Project Director Dr Susan Whitfield talking about the Diamond Sutra is also available. This resource will interest anybody researching the history of printing and Buddhist influences into China.
The Digital Library and Museum of Buddhist Studies, from the National Taiwan University Library, is an online resource centre that supplies textual information on Buddhist scriptures, Buddhist teachings, and the languages used in them. Users can search an online database of bibliographies, online full-text publications, ejournals and ebooks using keywords or more specific search terms. The website provides online guides to the main languages used in Buddhist texts, including Sanskrit, Pali and Tibetan lessons. Those interested in the Tibetan language should note that its dedicated page is only available in Chinese (traditional characters). The main page acts as a gateway to Buddhist scriptures available online from international websites. Chinese scriptures can be downloaded directly from the digital library in PDF format. Scholars of Tibetan Buddhism will find the online tools section useful. This includes links to an online Tibetan to English translation tool, and to electronic text initiatives and dictionaries related to Buddhist studies. Scholars will also find a news section, containing dates of academic conferences and events around the world. The website as a whole would be of interest to researchers and students alike, although users with a solid grasp of written Chinese will have an advantage when using the resource.
The Early Buddhist manuscripts project oversees research on a total of 55 fragments of Buddhist text dating from the first to the third centuries CE. The fragments themselves are held in various collections around the world, the greater portion (29 fragments) are held at the British Library, while others are at the University of Washington and the Library of Congress. The website is a forum for the dissemination of research into these texts as well as for the presentation of images of some of the fragments. The website gives a list of publications resulting from the project and full-text downloads of two dissertations. There is a description of the technology used in the reconstruction of the fragments, the extraction of text and the use of fonts in the project. Of most interest, however, are the images presented on the website, some with translations, of the fragments themselves. The images are rendered as .jpg files and there is an option to zoom in on them.
'The Gospel of Buddha' Web page offers an electronic version of a book of the same name, compiled from ancient texts by Dr Paul Carus, and first published in 1894. The work, written in a hundred chapters, is an attempt to assemble material taken from the Pali Canon (the Buddhist holy texts) into a unified account of the Buddha's life and philosophy. It is a combination of extracts taken from these texts verbatim, other abbreviated or freely rendered extracts, and some original exegetical work. The reader should note that the work makes some philosophically contentious statements, and often simplifies material. Nevertheless, the resource remains valuable as an entry point into the Buddhist philosophical canon, as it presents the original texts in a coherent, accessible, and relatively compact manner.
The International research institute for Zen Buddhism (IRIZ), based at Hanazono University, Japan, undertakes research into Zen Buddhism, trains scholars in Zen studies, publishes materials, and encourages international scholarly exchange. Its website is available in English and a more comprehensive Japanese version. The Institute has a particular focus on the life and writings of the Japanese Zen master Ekoku Hakuin. A major activity is the publication of Japanese and Chinese Zen texts in electronic form, initially released on CD-ROM and currently distributed via the Web (Japanese language). Collections available include Taisho shinshu daizokyo and Zokuzokyo. The Institute also distributes dictionaries, concordances and indexes relating to the text collections, and maintains a list of international Zen centres. The site includes a series of articles and details of other publications, including contents of the Institute's (now discontinued) journal, 'Electronic Bodhidharma', on creating electronic texts in east Asian languages, and its journal IRIZ Studies. The Japanese version has a searchable database including: brief biographies of key figures; quotations; sect doctrine; Pure Rules; inscriptions and chants; Zen literature; analects; and koan. Details of seminars (forums) and news about the Institute's activities also appear in the Japanese version.
J.B. Hare established the Internet Sacred Text Archive to make public domain religious and mythological texts available to the interested reader. It brings together material collected by the archive itself with a variety of links from other primary resource sites on the Internet to form one of the largest and far reaching electronic text resources available anywhere. With a somewhat eclectic selection in content, the site includes everything from English translations of the sacred texts of African, Australian, and North American indigenous cultures to Eastern, Neo-Pagan and Occult traditions. Judeo-Christian and Islamic resources are also well represented. The archive is still growing, with new texts added on a regular basis. The need to avoid material which is still in copyright means that many of the translations date from over a hundred years ago, but the variety of resources in translation makes the site invaluable to those lacking extensive foreign language skills who wish to rapidly familiarise themselves with a specific tradition. This site is an excellent starting point for anyone who wants to locate an electronic English-language version of a significant religious text from almost any religious tradition.
The IntraText Digital Library is building an online library of texts across a range of subject areas. The Library has particular strengths in theology and religion, with a fairly substantial number of works relating to the history of Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam. Within Christian theology there are further collections relating to: Biblical studies; patristics; the Orthodox church; monastic life; the reformation; Vatican documents; and Thomas Aquinas. The texts are in a wide range of languages, although major European tongues feature most prominently. Each electronic text includes a catalogue record; table of contents with links to the full text (in HTML); word lists ordered by alphabet, frequency, and length; and further statistics about the text. Within the text itself, one can click on key words to see a concordance-style list of all instances of that word in context, making the site a valuable resource for those involved in close study of the texts appearing here.
This is the online version of Descriptive Catalogue of the Korean Buddhist Canon. Since the 11th century, Korea has housed one of the largest collections of Buddhist texts, in the form of carved blocks from which xylographs are printed. More than 1400 volumes of material, largely Chinese and Tibetan texts, were printed and distributed in the 1960s, and the purpose of The Korean Buddhist Canon: A Descriptive Catalogue was to order, assess, and record the wealth of riches that this important collection represents. The Catalogue was published in 1979. The online version of the Catalogue is not a mere digital facsimile of the print version; the digital editor's preface discusses the challenges and opportunities that arose from putting the Catalogue online, including the chance to correct print and digitisation errors. Also included is the original introductory matter from the editor of the print version of the catalogue, which provides some background to the history and significance of the Korean Buddhist canon. The Catalogue itself can be downloaded in PDF format or as a zip file, or can be viewed as a whole or in sections. An extensive index and bibliography are also included. In all, this is a valuable resource for advanced scholars of Buddhism.
Leaves from the Buddha's Grove is a website offering an astonishing number of Buddhist texts in English translations, including some larger texts not easily found elsewhere. The texts are organised into four broad categories: Poetry and Stories, including stories of the Buddha's former births and some modern poetry; Theravada Writings, including modern teachings as well as Pali material; Zen writings, Chinese as well as Japanese; and Other Mahayana Writings, which includes the full text of several major treatises and sutras. The site appears not to have been substantially updated since 2003, but this is hardly a criticism given the sheer size of the archive. Many of the translations are uncredited, however, and there is little or no discussion of the relative merits of any translation, nor links to the material in its original language where that is available. Nonetheless this is an extremely useful place to go for searchable and readable raw material in English. The site also offers a list of links to other Buddhist websites.
This is a very simple site - it consists only of a list of links to translations of the principal texts of Buddhism. Many of the texts are offered in more than one translation - there are eleven different versions of the Heart Sutra, for example. There are also two links to other Buddhist resource sites. THe site's only 'feature' is that clicking on the image of the Amitabha at the top of the page takes the user to a page with a larger version of the image and an explanation of its provenance. Despite its simplicity, however, this is a very thorough, carefully presented anthology which would be of great value to any scholar of Buddhism.
This is the website of the Numata Center which was established in Berkeley as part of a major philanthropic effort that also includes the establishment of Numata Chairs in Buddhist Studies at major universities worldwide. The particular remit of the Numata Center is the production of authoritative English translations of the Chinese canon. The Chinese canon contains some 3400 works, ranging in size from a few pages to thousands in English translation. The site is interesting as a monument to this astonishing task, which will very likely last well into the 22nd century. A database shows the volumes which have been, or will be, published, and the books are available to order from this site. There is no other source for these texts and the translations are of very high quality. The Numata Center also co-ordinates the production of the 'Teachings of the Buddha', a handy collection of Buddhist texts distributed to hotels and resorts in the same style as the Gideon's Bible. It is now available in some 40-odd languages, including Uzbek and Swahili.
This is the website of the Pali Text Society, founded in 1881, which exists to promote the study of the Pali canon, the principal works of Theravada Buddhism. The website gives details of the work of the society and has a list of society members which scholars new to the field will find particularly useful. There are also a number of translation exercises and tutorials on the site which will be helpful for new learners. The principal focus of the website are the lists of publications. None of these are available online, but the site gives details of prices and how to place an order, which can be done directly through the site.
The Pali Tipitaka site, a project of the Vipassana Research Institute, makes available texts from the Pali Canon or Tipitaka (Sanskrit: Tripitaka), the collection of Buddhist scriptures preserved in the Theravada tradition of Buddhism. Commentaries, sub-commentaries, and other related Pali texts are also available on this site. The texts are in Pali, an ancient Indian language derived from Sanskrit. Texts contained on this site use diacritical marks for representing Roman Pali characters. Fonts for viewing the texts are available for download. The texts are also available on the Chattha Sangayana CD-ROM, details of which can be found on the Vipassana Research Institute site. This CD-ROM (which is free of charge apart from postage costs) contains the entire Chattha Sangayana (Sixth Council) edition of the Tipitaka (approved by the Buddhist Council 1954-1956), including the Tipitaka, the Atthakathas (commentaries) and the Tikas and Anu Tikas (sub-commentaries), the Vissudhimagga and its commentaries. It allows the full-text to be viewed in Devanagari, Roman and Myanmar scripts, and may be searched by word or phrase (including the use of wildcards). It is also possible to search by the volume or page number of the printed editions on which the electronic texts are based. The volume and page numbers are displayed within any results retrieved. Cross-references exist between the Tipitaka text and the Atthakathas and Tikas. The Vipassana Research Institute is based in Dhamma Giri, Igatpuri, near Mumbai, India. Its primary aim is to conduct research and publish information related to Vipassana meditation. This site will interest those wanting primary sources for Buddhist studies.
Originally constructed for the benefit of students of San Francisco State University, this site has been left online for use by scholars of Buddhism around the world. The site contains a number of useful resources from class reading lists, links to online versions and translations of Sutras and other Buddhist texts, articles about Buddhist history and about the interaction of the religion with modern society. There are also sections looking at Buddhist teachings and Buddhism and science. The site is simply laid out and easy to navigate. Although there is a warning at the top of the home page that the site is no longer monitored, so some links might be out of date, this has not yet happened in too many cases. As a result this is a useful introduction to the religion and to the academic study of Buddhism and its practices.
Part of the Internet Sacred Text Archive, this website offers online versions of English translations of a wide selection of Buddhist scriptures and other important writings. Available works include: the suttas; the Vinaya texts (part of the Pali canon, or Tipitaka); Dwight Goddard's 'Buddhist Bible' (an anthology of key Zen documents); selections from the Jataka (a collection of Buddhist fables); and 'The Book of Tea' (about the Japanese tea ceremony). To aid navigation, the texts are divided into three categories: modern works; Southern Buddhism; and Northern Buddhism. A valuable resource for anyone engaged in the study of Buddhism.
The SAT Daizōkyō Text Database website makes available online the full text of the 85 volumes of the Taisho Tripitaka, the most recent edition of the Buddhist canon in Chinese, used by Chinese, Taiwanese, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese Buddhists. The database is the product of a long-term project led by the Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology at the University of Tokyo, allowing users to search the text and to view individual pages; a range of other facilities are planned for the future. It is a tremendous research resource for students of East Asian Buddhism who have the requisite language skills (most of the site is in Japanese). The English version of the website (which of course excludes the text) is accessible via the top menu bar, which is in black on dark green and therefore very difficult to read, but running the cursor along the bar will highlight the buttons. The site requires a system able to view Japanese fonts, and a Japanese-capable word processor is needed to use any downloaded files. The database is also linked to the Digital Dictionary of Buddhism, access to which is by user authentication or by logging in as 'guest'.
It is unfortunate that the site does not at least contain a catalogue of titles with English and Sanskrit equivalents, in the manner of Lancaster's Catalogue of the Korean Buddhist Canon. For those who are curious, the Sanskrit word Tripitaka means 'three baskets' and is a traditional term for the Buddhist canon in any version. The Sanskrit at the top of the front page means 'The Taisho Tripitaka made machine-useable'.
'Shurangama Sutra: Text, Commentaries, and Articles' is a website maintained by Professor Ron Epstein. It makes available: the Chinese text of the Shurangama Sutra (Surangama Sutra) - an early text of Mahayana Buddhism; together with an English translation of the sutra by the Buddhist Text Translation Society; comment on the sutra and mantra by the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua; and a number of articles by Epstein himself. The sutra is also given its Chinese title Da Fo Ding Shou Leng Yan Jing (Leng Yen Ching). This is part of the Chinese Buddhist canon (Taisho Tripitaka, No. 945).
This website offers an electronic version of the Pali Canon, distributed by the Journal of Buddhist Ethics in association with the Sri Lanka Tripitaka Project. The texts are in the original Pali rather than English. Data files, fonts, and other utilities for viewing the texts are available on this site. The Pali Canon, or Tipitaka (Tripitaka in Sanskrit), is the collection of Buddhist scriptures preserved by the Theravada tradition of Buddhism. The edition used as the basis for this was the Buddha Jayanti Tripitaka Series in fifty-eight volumes, published under the patronage of the government of Sri Lanka (Ceylon) during the 1960s and 1970s.
The website 'Sutta reading' gives visitors an opportunity to hear translations of selected Buddhist texts read by Buddhists at an American monastery. The readers are invited by the site's designer to present a reading of a Sutta of their own choice, so the texts available on the website are somewhat random. They are taken from some of Buddhism's most important works: the Majjhima Nikaya, the Samyutta Nikaya, the Anguttara Nikaya, the Khuddaka Nikaya and the Dhammapada. Many of the Suttas are also presented in translation in text form as well. The recordings and translations are given with extensive metadata, and biographies are available for all the readers.
The TITUS (Thesaurus Indogermanischer Text- und Sprachmaterialien) project Web page is a multilingual online text retrieval system for Indo-European languages. The project started in 1987 with the creation of a digital collection in ancient Indo-European languages. The site contains texts in the following language families: Vedic; Sanskrit; Middle and Modern Indic; Old, middle, and modern Iranian; Anatolian; Tocharian; Armenian; Baltic; Slavic; Germanic; Greek; Italic; Celtic; Caucasian; Uralic; Proto-Cretan; Semitic; and Dravidic. Some material needs special software which is freely available from the site. The site also makes available: teaching material, such as detailed language maps and audio materials; news related to the area of study; the FAQ section; information about jobs in this area of research; an events diary; links to external related projects and institutions; Indo-European courses, mainly in Germany and in Austria; and a bibliography. Technical information, such as Unicode documentation and relevant software, is also available from the site. A number of the texts may be of interest to scholars of religion, including a selection of Buddhist and Hindu works, Avestan (Zoroastrian) texts, and multiple Bible versions, including the Septuagint (Greek translation of the Old Testament.) The user should note that the site uses split frames, which can sometimes complicate its navigation.
This website, hosted by the University of Virginia Library, catalogues the exhibition held at the library in 1997 on the sacred Tibetan Buddhist texts concerning death and dying. While the site fulfils a useful function in documenting this exhibition, its most helpful contribution for the student of religious studies lies in its introductions to Tibetan Buddhist sacred texts: their history, content, and teaching. The site is divided into several related sections, including: the Sutras; the Tantras; the Art of Dying; Scroll Paintings; Statuary; and Ceremonial. Providing excellent commentaries on the texts, as well as photographs of sample pages from the manuscripts themselves, the Tibetan Book of the Dead site represents a helpful introduction to these works.
The Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center site describes the work of the TBRC in the discovery, identification, collection and cataloguing of the texts of Tibetan Buddhism, and provides online access to its database. Some texts are available for browsing in compressed JPEG format and can be ordered as high quality PDF files free of charge. Digital copies of other scanned texts can be ordered, and it is also possible to sponsor the scanning of texts. The database may be searched by titles, persons, subjects, places, or outlines, or browsed by famous people or places. The teachers and students of key figures are listed on their web pages, along with links to their important writings. Names are transliterated into the Roman alphabet.
This site gives access to translations of key Buddhist texts. It is part of the website 'Access to insight', but this is the part that deals exclusively with the Pali canon, rather than broader issues of the Buddhist religion. The site explains the origins of the texts and their relationship with each other and gives an explanation of how they are divided into the various parts that constitute the Tipitaka. Useful on the history and provenance of the Tipitaka, the main purpose of the site, however, is the presentation of the translations. These can be accessed either by browsing the ordered lists of the three Pitakas, or through a comprehensive index which places the suttas in alphabetical order. The translations are well referenced and fully searchable and there are also links to translations of the paracanonical texts and to suggested further reading. This is a site which will be of great use to scholars of Buddhism.
The Virtual e-Text Archive of Indic Texts was created by Dominik Wujastyk (University College of London) in response to the absence of a comprehensive gateway for primary resources in Sanskrit and other classical languages from the Indian sub-continent. Part of the Indology website, the resource consists of a lightly annotated list of links to texts, including both versions in the original languages and translations, plus the site's own archive of Indological texts, offered as zip files for download. While users should explore the site for themselves in order to appreciate the breadth of available resources, a few of the highlights include copies of the Bhagavadgita, Rig Veda, and the Pali Canon. In addition to those from India, there are links to a limited selection of off-site Tamil and Tibetan texts.
The Zen Buddhism WWW virtual library is a gateway to online resources for the study of Zen Buddhism. There are annotated links to over 100 sites world wide. This resource, which is a part of the Buddhist studies WWW virtual library, is maintained by T. Matthew Ciolek and Vladimir Keremidschieff.