The Living Word of the Buddha • Living the Word of the Buddha

The Sutta Discovery Series by Piya Tan

Help to PRINT the SuttasThat the World May Hear the Buddha Word

Sutta Discovery Publication Project • The Most Detailed Sutta Translation


(1) Why a new translation?

All the available English translations of the Suttas are either faulty and out of date (done about a hundred years ago) or restricted by space (as a single-volume work and lacking notes). So they are useful almost only to the specialists.

20 reasons for Sutta Discovery series

1. It is a global resource for Buddhism scholars and Buddhist students.

2. The SD series is based on themes to sustain an interesting and connected reading. (SD 37 for example is based on Right Livelihood.)

3. Detailed notes on difficult words, names, and doctrines; & bibliographies.

4. The Sutta’s peyyala (repetitive cycles) (especially those on Dharma train­ing) are translat­ed in full, for reflection by monastics and lay practitioners.

5. The works are paragraphed, subtitled and numbered in a reader-friendly way for easy reading in a scribal tradition (opposite of oral tradition).

6. A high standard of referencing and cross-references to other Suttas, essays, journal arti­cles, etc, that are helpful to specialists and students, for discus­sion or self-study.

7. A broad-based translation that uses alternative translations, amplified trans­lations, and comparative studies with Sanskrit, Chinese and other texts where necessary.

8. It includes a digest of the related and latest scholarly researches and writings, summar­ized, explain­ed and discussed.

9. They serve as comprehensive sources and resources for study and teaching notes for Dharma teach­ers, researchers and students.

10. Easy-to-use handbook for monastics (especially forest monks) and practi­tioners for Sutta readings (for recording on MP3 etc) and for meditation.

11. Socially-engaged studies to inspire Buddhist social workers: it addresses various social and historical issues affecting Buddhism and religion.

12. The SD texts are freely available online at our websites, &, and also separately on USB drives. They can be freely used as is.

13, The SD texts form the basis of an online Buddhist studies course.

14. The SD notes and studies are the materials for other reference projects such as Dictionary of the Buddha’s Words, A Sutta Dictionary, A Dharma Dictionary, Numerical Dictionary of Dharma and Sutta Index.

15. The translated Suttas will be published separately according to Nikaya, that is, The Long Texts, The Middle-length Texts, The Connected Texts and the Numerical Texts.

16. The SD series is inspired by the Mere Buddhist vision, simple Dharma-moved living that brings awake­n­ing in this life itself.

17. The SD series is the basis for Dharma-based reforms in Buddhism today.

18. It is a historical and practical guide to early Buddhist meditation.

19. A helpful introduction to the study of key Pali terms and passages.

20. An excellent and enduring gift of the Dharma to others.

(2) A history of the Sutta Discovery

The Sutta Discovery (SD) series started with the NUS Buddhist Society weekly Sutta Study Group (SSG) classes in February 2002 and the Buddhist Fellowship in February 2003. A new volume of translations and essays (A4 size, averaging 180 pages) is released every three months.

These new SD volumes appear once every 3 months. These volumes are fully studied in the BF (every Tuesday, since 2003) and the TMC (every Wednesday, since 2006). By December 2009, Piya has completed at least 32 volumes of the Sutta Discovery. By 2030, over 100 SD volumes have been projected. This current series is registered as ISBN 978-981-08-xxxx-x.

3 Projected costs of Printing the Suttas

3.1 This pioneer effort will be a “LIMITED EDITION” of 1500 copies of the Sutta Discovery series, but more may be printed if we have sufficient funds and demand.

3.2 FREE COPIES will be distributed to interested Sangha members, Buddhist centres, tertiary societies, libraries, and students.

3.3 Part of the publication will be available on the open market TO GENERATE FUNDS for printing other SD volumes and related works, and for supporting Piya Tan’s Dharma work.

3.4 YOU CAN HELP in the following ways, besides publicizing this project for us:

(1) READER:                 Donation of $25.00 or more, entitled to a free copy.

(3) STEWARD:             Donation of $500.00 and above.

(4) FULL SPONSOR:  Donation of $5000.00 (cost of printing 1500 copies of each SD Volume and mailing charges).

Your continued donations keeps the Sutta Translation project & this website going.



Sutta Discovery are available in two formats

PDF version and quarterly ring-bound volumes. The Sutta Discovery PDF version (soft copies) available (with Pali fonts, plus Piya’s current works).

Books and USB flash drives are available on a donation basis, to get your copies, please email: or  call 82110879 (ask for Ratna Lim).


FEEDBACK from Bhante Kaccayana (27 May 2008)

Metta Vihara Forest Monastery, Germany

Dear Piya Tan,
Thousand thanks for the two CD´s with your precious Sutta material, which arrived two days back! I also downloaded some from the website you mentioned. All that is very precious and most useful for our sutta study group over here.

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