SD 1 – 9


SD 1: The Buddha & the Early Buddhist Teachings [3rd rev ed, 2010, ISBN 978-981-08-5206-1]

Buddhism begins with looking at our goodness within.

SD No.Sutta or Chapter TitleSutta referenceTheme
0.1Preface to SD 1  
0.2Guidelines for study and teaching  
0.3Abbreviations Technical, textual and scriptural abbreviations
0.4Pali Canon and related works Scripture editions, translations and how to cite scriptures.
0.5Introduction to SD 1  
1.1Dhammacakka Pavattana SuttaS 56.11The Buddha’s traditional 1st discourse.
1.2Anatta Lakkhana SuttaS 22.59The 3 characteristics, the 5 aggregates, and nonself.
1.3Aditta (Pariyaya) SuttaS 35.28Everything is burning with greed, hate and delusion.
1.4Udumbarika Sihanada SuttaD 25The Dharma’s true purpose & the spiritual bases for interfaith dialogue.
1.5Veludvareyya SuttaS 55.7The 4 precepts, the golden rule, values and streamwinning.
1.6Vitakka Santhana SuttaM 20How to overcome distractions during meditation. (MP3) [2 Mar 2013]
1.7Kevaddha SuttaD 11The best answer to life lies within ourself.
1.8 Tevijja SuttaD 13Problems with the Creator-God idea and theistic prayer.
1.9Dakkhina Vibhanga SuttaM 142The early nuns and the nature of giving.
1.10The Dharma-ending Age (Essay)(Prophecy in the Pali Canon) Who is responsible for the decline of Buddhism?
1.11Ariya Pariyesana SuttaM 26The events leading up to the great awakening.
1.12Maha,saccaka SuttaM 36.17-44The Bodhisattva’s self-mortification.
1.13Maha,sihanada SuttaM 12.44-63The Bodhisattva’s self-mortification.
1.14Index & glossary  
 SD 1 Main bibliography   
.To  order hard copies of SD 1 & 2, please click here.  

SD 2: Wealth & Lovingkindness [3rd rev ed, 2010, ISBN 978-981-08-6272-3]

With great wealth comes great responsibility to do good.

SD No.Sutta or Chapter Title
Sutta referenceTheme
0. 0 0SD 2 Title page and contents Title page and contents
2.0 1Preface Preface
2.0 2Introduction Introduction
2.1Adiya SuttaA 5.41The best benefits of wealth
2.2Anana Sutta or Ananya SuttaA 4.62The true benefits of worldly happiness
2.3Dana Mahapphala SuttaA 7.49On the best motivation for giving
2.4 (Abhabba) Tayodhamma SuttaA 10.76Why & how to practise the spiritual life.
2.5Moral shame and moral fear: Kanha Sutta, Sukka Sutta, Hiri Ottappa SuttaA 2.7-9The 2 bright states that are world-protectors. 
2.6a(Dasaka) Janussoni Sutta or (Saddha) Janussoni SuttaA 10.177Who can benefit from dedication of merit?
2.6bNeyyattha Nitattha SuttaA 2.3.4-5Two types of religious language
2.7Tirokudda SuttaKh 7The departed and merit
2.8(Agara) Aditta SuttaS 1.41On having the right priorities in life
2.9Kimdada SuttaS 1.42On the best gifts
2.10Karajakaya Brahmavihara SuttaA 10.208How lovingkindness limits karma and cultivates divinity in us.
2.11a(Sattaka) Metta Sutta or (Punna) Metta SuttaA 7.58aThe spiritual benefit of lovingkindness
2.11bMa Punna Bhayi SuttaIt 22The three grounds for merit-making.
2.12Tikandaki SuttaA 5.144Dealing with thoughts of the attractive and of the repulsive
2.13Acchara Sanghata VaggaA 1.6.1-10Lovingkindness; moral conduct; diligence
2.14Okkha Sutta or Ukka SuttaS 20.4Lovingkindness yields greater benefit than generosity
2.15(Ekadasa) Mettanisamsa Sutta A 11.16The 11 benefits of cultivating loving-kindness
2.16Is there a soul?(Essay)A study based on the Pali Canon
2.17Is rebirth immediate?(Essay)A study based on the Pali Canon
2.18Dhammadayada SuttaM 3Sariputta on how to inherit the Dharma
2.19Agganna SuttaD 27On the origin or evolution of the world, society & basic values
2.20(Panca) Gati SuttaA 9.68The 5 realms of sentient existence.
2.21(Sangaha) Bala SuttaA 9.5How to free oneself from five common fears.
2.22Bala Pandita SuttaM 129The hells and the universal monarch.
2.23(Majjhima) Devaduta SuttaM 130The five sights and their meanings.
2.24Maha Sihanada Sutta (excerpt)*M 12The Buddha’s knowledge of the worlds
2.25Patala SuttaS 36.4On the psychological nature of “hell.”
2.26Index & glossary Index & glossary
2.27List of Piya Tan’s Works, Sutta Classes & courses  
2.28Printing the suttas  
.To order hard copies of SD 1 & 2, please click here.  

SD 3a & 3b: Refuge-going

To go for refuge is to want to grow spiritually.

SD No.Sutta or Chapter TitleSutta referenceTheme
3.1The one true refugeEssayBalance between self-reliance and spiritual community.
 *Madhura Sutta
*Ghotamukha Sutta
Ahitaya Thera Sutta
*Mahapadesa Sutta
*Mahaparinibbana Sutta
M 84.10 f
M 94.31
A 5.88
D 16.47-11
D 16.23, 26
To whom do we go for refuge?
The Buddha is our refuge.
Famous teachers can have wrong views.
The 4 great references. = A 4.180
Be islands unto yourself!
3.2Listening beyond the ear The nature of noble discipleship.
 *Maha Vedalla Sutta
Samathavipassana Sutta
Dhammassavanna Sutta
Vimmuttayatana Sutta
*Anivarana Sutta
Migasala Sutta
M 43.14
A 2.3.10
A 5.26;
D 33.2.1(25)
S 46.38b
A 6.44
Two conditions for right view.
Two connected aspects of meditation.
Opportunities to enter the Path.
Overcoming mental hindrances.
Measure not others.
3.3Entering the streamEssayThe fundamentals of spiritual attainment here and now (a textual survey).
 (Magga) Vibhanga Sutta
Nittha Sutta
(Sekha) Uddesa Sutta
Saupadisesa Sutta
*(Sotapatti) Phala Sutta
*Panca Vera Bhaya Sutta 1
S 45.8
A 10.63
A 3.85
A 9.12
S 55.55
S 12.42
Right view.
Five kinds of saints.
Four kinds of saints.
On the ease of becoming a stream-winner.
The limbs for streamwinning.
The 4 limbs of a streamwinner.
3.4Sankharupapatti SuttaM 120How to choose a good rebirth.
 (Sappurisa) Vaddha Sutta
(Savika) Vaddhi Sutta
A 5.63
A 5.64
The fivefold growth of a male lay disciple.
The fivefold growth of a female lay disciple.
3.5Lonaphala SuttaA 3.99How Dharma practice limits the effects of bad karma.
3.6Sarakani Sutta 1S 55.24Even a drinker can reach the path.
3.7(Upadana) Parivatta SuttaS 22.56An examination of the 5 aggregates within this life.
3.8Why Some Marriages Fail  
 Stories of IsidasiThiA 260-271Why some marriages fail.
 Uttara and SirimaDhA 11.2 DhA 17.3The power of lovingkindness.
 Vijaya SuttaSn no 11Disillusionment regarding the body.
3.9Sancetanika SuttaA 10.206How karma is forestalled and destroyed.
 3a Bibliography  
 SD 3B: Refuge-going  
 SD 3b contents & imprint page  
3.10Ambalatthika Rahulovada SuttaM 61Dangers of lying and need for constant self-review.
3.11Maha Rahulovada SuttaM 62Meditations to overcome attachment to the body.
3.12Nivarana Sangarava SuttaS 46.55

Calm and clear mind through clearing emotional blocks.

3.12aMaha Assapura Sutta CommentaryMA 3:318-321Commentarial explanations of the parables of the mental hindrances.
3.13Alagaddupama SuttaM 22The best way to master the Buddha’s teaching.
3.14The teacher or the teaching? (Essay)Charisma and self-empowerment.
 Rupa Sutta
Puggalappasada Sutta
*Ovada Sutta III
Migasala Sutta
Adhipateyya Sutta
A 4.65
A 5.250
S 16.8
A 6.44
A 3.40
The four measures of charisma. (Incl Tha 469-472; Pug 53 f)
Dangers of wrong devotion.
The Buddha’s prophecy to Maha Kassapa.
Measure not others. (Abridged)
The Buddha and the devas know our deeds.
3.15Bakkula SuttaM 124The story of a fish: living well, dying well.
3.16(Sattaka) Aggi SuttaA 7.44 [A:B 7.47]The 3 wholesome fires.
 3b Bibliography  

SD 4 (2004a, 2nd rev 2009, 3rd rev 2012): Karma 1 [ISBN 978-981-07-2694-2] (updated on 120615)

Karma means that we can radically change ourselves and the world.

SD No.Sutta or Chapter TitleSutta referenceTheme
4.0SD 4 contents & TMC activitesSD 4 contents & TMC activites 
4.1Sigalovada Sutta; 4.1(1.3) Thana Putta SuttaD 31; A 5.39The lay person’s code of ethics and social responsibilities. Reasons for having a son.
4.2-4Sammatta Niyama Suttas 1-3A 5.151-153How to prepare yourself for spiritual liberation.
4.3Sammatta Niyama Sutta 2 (see 4.2-4 above)A5.152How to study the Dharma for liberation.
4.4Sammatta Niyama Sutta 3 (see 4.2-4 above)A5.153How to study the Dharma for liberation.
4.5Sussusa SuttaA 6.88How to benefit from the Dharma with certainty
4.6(Catukka) Maha Cunda SuttaA 6.46Fellowship between scholars and meditators.
4.7Cula Dukkhakkhandha SuttaM 14The nature of true happiness.
4.8Hatthaka Alavaka SuttaA 3.34The bases of conciliation; true happiness.
4.9(Majjhima) Dhananjani SuttaM 97Sariputta guides a dying person to the Brahma world.
4.10(Mahanama) Gilayana SuttaS 55.54How to die as a saint.
4.11Pacala SuttaA 7.588 ways of overcoming drowsiness and nature of true discipleship
4.12(Nava Purana) Kamma SuttaS 35.146Karma in the light of the four noble truths.
4.13(Vitthara) Kamma SuttaA 4.232Four types of karma in terms of their quality and results.
4.14(Kamma) Nidana Sutta & 4.14(1) Ti,dhamma Pahaniya SuttaA 3.33 &A 6.107The seed-like nature of karma (A 3.33)The 3 unwholesome roots are to be abandoned.
4.15Cula Kamma Vibhanga SuttaM 135An analysis of karma and its fruit.
4.16Maha Kamma Vibhanga SuttaM 136Why the good sometimes suffer, the bad prosper.
4.17Dhatu Vibhanga SuttaM 140A pupil recognizes the Teacher through the Teaching.
4.18(Tad-ah’) Uposatha SuttaA 3.70Types of precept days or sabbaths.
4.19-23Money and monasticsV 2:294 ff;
S 4:326;
A 2:53
Why renunciants abstain from money
4.20Upakkilesa Sutta (abridged) [tr is embedded in 4.19-23 above]A 4.10Accepting money by monastics is one of the impurities.
4.21*Maniculaka Sutta (excerpt) [tr is embedded in 4.19-23 above]S 42.10Monastics prohibited from accepting money.
4.22*Ghotamukha Sutta (excerpt) [tr is embedded in 4.19-23 above]M 94.31-33The monk Udena rejects donation of money.
4.23*Ghatikara Sutta (excerpt) [tr is embedded in 4.19-23 above]M 81.1-6A family man who uses no money.
4.24Amagandha SuttaSn 2.2We are not always what we eat.
4.25Cetovimutti, pannavimutti and ubhatobhagavimuttiEssayFreedom of mind, freedom by wisdom, and freedom both ways.

SD 5 (2004b, 2nd rev 2009, 3rd rev 2011): Dependent arising [ISBN 978-981-07-1031-6]

Dependent arising is about how the mind works, and ending suffering..

SD No.Sutta or Chapter TitleSutta referenceTheme
5.1Samajivi Sutta 1A 4.55Living as ideal loving partners here and hereafter.
5.2Nakulapitu SuttaA 6.16How a loving wife counsels a dying husband.
5.3Nakulamata SuttaA 8.49On how women can be reborn among the gods.
5.4Nakulapita SuttaS 22.1“My body may be sick, but my mind will not be sick.”
5.5Sallatthena SuttaS 36.6Two kinds of pain, but the wise suffer only one kind.
5.6Sivaka SuttaS 36.21Not everything is due to karma. The 5 natural orders.
5.7Saleyyaka SuttaM 41The 10 courses of action and choosing our rebirth.
5.8Cula Malunkyaputta SuttaM 63Right priorities in life and how to end suffering.
5.9(Arahatta) Malunkyaputta SuttaS 35.95Minding the mind: Malunkyaputta goes into retreat and awakens.
5.10Dighajanu SuttaA 8.54The layman’s welfare.
5.11Angulimala SuttaM 86The healing of a serial killer.
5.12Abhinha Paccavekkhitabba Thana SuttaA 5.57Five regular reflections for spiritual development.
5.13Sattha Sacitta SuttaA 10.51On self-review.
5.14(Kaya) Na Tumha SuttaS 12.37Karma and interdependent origination.
5.15(Paticcasamuppada) Vibhanga SuttaS 12.2Definition of the 12 links.
5.16Dependent Arising(Essay)Overview & introduction to the wheel of life.
5.17Mahanidana SuttaD 15Dependent arising, language and non-self.
5.18(Anuruddha) Upakkilesa SuttaM 128Spiritual friendship and mental development.
SD 6 (2004c): Wisdom [ISBN 978-981-08-4245-1]

True wisdom is seeing things as they really are, and that we are no different.

SD No.Sutta or Chapter TitleSutta referenceTheme
6.1Parileyya SuttaS 22.81How to immediately destroy the mental defilements.
6.2Sotapatti Mahanama SuttaS 55.37The spiritual qualities of the true lay follower.
6.3Upasaka Mahanama SuttaA 8.25What makes a true lay follower?
6.4Bhaya Vera SuttaA 5.174Disadvantages of breaking the precepts.
6.5Sabbalahusa SuttaA 8.40Fruits of breaking the precepts.
6.6Three suttas on giving: (Attha) Dana Sutta 1
(Attha) Dana Sutta 2
Dana Vatthu Suttta
A 8.31-33On the motives behind giving and the benefits of giving.
6.7Sugata Vinaya SuttaA 4.1604 reasons for the disappearance of the Dharma.
6.8Titthayatana SuttaA 3.61Three wrong views regarding karma.
6.9Maha Dukkhakkhandha SuttaM 13On the pains of pleasure.
6.10Maha Cattarisaka SuttaM 117Right view and how the noble eightfold path works.
6.11Nibbedhika (Pariyaya) SuttaA 6.63The noble truths as the path to spiritual insight and freedom.
6.12Upanisa SuttaS 12.23The mundane and supermundane dependent arisings.
6.13Kaccayanagotta SuttaS 12.15On what really is the middle way.
6.13aKatyayanagotra SutraSA 301= T 2.99.85c-86aChinese text and English translation of the sutra.
6.14Madhupindika SuttaM 18Perception and mental proliferation.
6.15Aggi Vacchagotta SuttaM 72Nirvana and the problem of language.
6.16Maha Hatthipadopama SuttaM 28The 4 elements & dependent arising of the 5 aggregates.
6.17Parinna SuttaS 35.60Overcoming clinging.
6.18Maha Sakuludayi SuttaM 77,15-21The 37 limbs of awakening.
SD 7 (2005a): The world and the universe Our world is our six senses: our eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, mind and their perceptions.
SD No.Sutta or Chapter TitleSutta referenceTheme
7.1Sabba SuttaS 35.23The 12 sense-bases and the Buddhist theory of everything.
7.2(Devata) Rohitassa SuttaS 2.26The world’s end cannot be reached by going.
7.3(Lujjati) Loka SuttaS 35.82The world is constantly breaking up.
7.4Lokanta Gamana SuttaS 35.116How the world will really end.
7.5(Nidana) Loka SuttaS 12.44The dependent arising of the world.
7.6Attakari SuttaA 6.38Is there free will? On self-agency and other-agency.
7.6abc Cetana Sutta 1 -3 [Discourses on Volition]S 12.38-40Karma still works without intention.
 7.6bCetana Sutta 2 [see above]S 12.39Latent tendencies lead to rebirth.
 7.6cCetana Sutta 3 [see above]S 12.40Our inclinations are conditioned by latent tendencies.
7.7Free Will(Essay)Is there free will?

Arana Vibhanga Sutta

M 139No problem people, only people with problem.
7.9(Atthaka) Khalunka SuttaA 8.14Psychological defence mechanisms.
7.10Maha Tanhasankhaya SuttaM 38Consciousness, rebirth and liberation.
7.11Asibandhakaputta Kula SuttaS 42.9Eight causes of the destruction of families.
7.12Abhaya Rajakumara SuttaM 58The Buddha is not caught by trick questions.
7.13Anapanasati SuttaM 118The breath meditation in practical detail.
7.14Potthapada SuttaD 9On the nature of consciousness and the self.
7.15(Nivarana Bojjhanga) Ahara SuttaS 46.51Starving the hindrances, feeding the enlightenment factors.
7.16(Upadana) Samadhi SuttaS 22.5The 5 aggregates and suffering over many lives.

SD 8: Lay sainthood (2005b)

No matter how we have fallen, we can rise again by seeing deep into our heart.

SD no.Sutta or Chapter TitleSutta referenceTheme
8.1Spiritual friendship(Essay)Compassion and fellowship are vital to the spiritual life.
8.2Taming of the Bull(Essay)How Buddhism adapts itself to its environment.
8.3The Radiant mind(Essay)The spiritual potential of the human mind.
8.4Dhyana(Essay)An introductory study of the jhanas and spiritual liberation (the form dhyanas).
8.5Layman and Dhyana(Essay)How to awaken without dhyana.
8.6Laymen saints (Essay)On the ease of gaining awakening.
8.7Sannoga SuttaA 7.48On sexuality and individuation.
8.8Vakkali Sutta; Vakkali Thera VatthuS 22.87; DhA 25.11Sexuality, suicide & sainthood.
8.9Bhaddekaratta SuttaM 131Living here and now.
8.10Samannaphala SuttaD 2The benefits of the holy life here and now.
Volume 9 (2004d): Maha Parinibbana Sutta (D 16)

The last days of the Buddha. 

Download: Introductory Notes to Maha Parinibbana

download: Maha Parinibbana Sutta

download: Buddha Relic Controversy

(1)Summary of the sutta  
(2)The longest ancient Indian work 
(3)Composition of the sutta 
 Chart. The original materials, unique to the sutta
Chart. Concordance of Sources of the Maha Parinibbana Sutta (TW Rhys Davids)
(4)Text and recensions 
 (a) Chronology of the Pali Canon
(b) Recensions of the sutta
(5)Bareau’s analyses 
(6)Island or lamp? 
 (a) Attadipa
(b) The only way
(c) The one refuge
(7)Mortuary rites and holy places 
 (a) Mortuary preparations
(b) Supreme worship
(c) Stupas and caityas
(d) Relic and stupa worship
(e) Seeing the Buddha
(f) Sense of urgency
(g) Buddhist pilgrimage
(h) Pasannacitta
(i) Authenticity of relics
(j) Relic thefts
(8)Barlaam and Josaphat 
(9)The Buddha’s life and death 
 (a) The lifespan of Buddhas
(b) The Buddha’s lifespan
(c) The meaning of kappa
(d) Did the Buddha die on Vesak day?
(e) Waiting for Supriya and Subhadra (Sanskrit accounts)
(f) Did the Buddha commit suicide?
(g) Is the Buddha still living?
(h) Is the Buddha really dead?
(i) Immortal saints
(10)Tools for preserving the Teaching 
 (a) Conditions for non-decline
(b) The 37 factors leading to awakening
(c) The seven sets
(d) The threefold training
(11)The four great references 
(12)The lesser and minor rules 
(13)The Buddha’s last meal 
 (a) Was the Buddha poisoned?
(b) Was it a pork dish?
(15)Aspects of (pari)nirvana 
(16)Political conditions of India during the Buddha’s time 
 (a) The 16 great states
(b) Monarchies and confederacies
(c) Rajagaha and Pataliputta
Maha Parinibbana Sutta
 Afterword: Buddhism after the Buddha
Appendix 1: “Buddha Relics” (Singapore)
Appendix 2: List of logical fallacies