What The Buddha Taught

Reading of a 1959 text by Theravadin Walpola Rahula
from archive.org

Long regarded as one of the best introductions to Buddhism, What the Buddha Taught draws on the actual words spoken by the Buddha to give a lucid and accurate account of the fundamental principles of Buddhist doctrine. Richly supported by extracts from the ancient texts, Walpola Rahula gives clear and direct explanations of Buddhism's essential teachings including:

the Buddhist attitude of mindthe Four Noble TruthsThe Noble Eightfold Pathmeditation and mental developmentwhat the Buddha taught and the world today.
What the Buddha Taught also features an illustrative selection of texts from the Suttas and the Dhammapada. The Venerable Dr Walpola Sri Rahula was a Buddhist monk and scholar. He received a traditional training and education in his native Sri Lanka before studying at the University of Calcutta and the Sorbonne. He held a chair at Northwestern University, Illinois, and was Vice-Chancellor of Vidyodaya University, Colombo. He was widely regarded as one of the most qualified and enlightened scholars of the Buddhist tradition with a deep knowledge of the original texts.

  1. Foreword (2.9Mb)
  2. Preface (3.7Mb)
  3. Dedication and the Buddha (2.2Mb)
  4. Chapter 1 - The Buddhist Attitude of Mind (12.5Mb)
  5. Chapter 2 - The First Noble Truth - Dukkha (20.4Mb)
  6. Chapter 3 - The Second Noble Truth - Samudaya (7.9Mb)
  7. Chapter 4 - The Third Noble Truth - Nirodha (15.6Mb)
  8. Chapter 5 - The Fourth Noble Truth - Magga (8.8Mb)
  9. Chapter 6 - The Doctrine of No-Soul - Anatta (24.4Mb)
  10. Chapter 7 - Meditation or Mental Culture - Bhavana (11.8Mb)
  11. Chapter 8 - What the Buddha Taught and the World Today (19.9Mb)
  12. Selected Texts (2.3Mb)
  13. Setting in Motion the Wheel of Truth (3.5Mb)
  14. Fire Sermon (3.9Mb)
  15. Universal Love - Metta Sutta (1.6Mb)
  16. Blessings (1.7Mb)
  17. Getting rid of all cares and troubles (9.9Mb)
  18. The Parable of the Piece of Cloth (5.3Mb)
  19. The Foundations of Mindfulness (10.2Mb)
  20. Advice to Sigala (8.2Mb)
  21. Words of Truth - Selections from the Dhammapada (12.6Mb)
  22. The Last Words of the Buddha (3.1Mb)

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