The Buddha’s Words

These pages are designed to make the best available translations of the Buddha’s words easily available in English and Pali. Please refer to the copyright page (or the copyright link on each translated page as pictured below) for more information.

Example of copyright information

What's New Image

As requested by some users of the wonderful DPD (Digital Pali Dictionary), the ability to turn Pali Lookup on and off has been added. A checkbox has been added to the bottom of each page so that Pali lookup can be turned on and off on devices which don't have a keyboard. The Digital Pali Dictionary is now incorporated into this site giving near 100% recognition of all Pali words.

Keyboard shortcuts have also been added to make navigation around the site much easier. See below for a full list of the keyboard shortcuts.

Ajahn Brahmali's translations of the Vinaya have now replaced the older ones based on I B Horner's translations. Ajahn Brahmali's translations of the nuns' rules have now been completed.

The link to the Study Guide has been moved to the footer to improve navigation on tablets.

For those who want to install The Buddha's Words on a PC or Android device, information has been added on the Help Page to assist them.

Ajahn Thanissaro's Buddhist Monastic Code (BMC) has been removed from the site so that the content is more accurately "the word of the Buddha" rather than the teachings of contemporary teachers. Copies of the BMC in .mobi. epub and pdf formats can be downloaded free from here.

The June 2024 update of the Digital Pali Dictionary has been added.

The Control Panel

The control panel widget that appears on the right hand side of the screen provides navigation between previous and next pages and between the top and bottom of the page.

The Pali button appears wherever a Pali version is present (not all pages have a Pali translation). Clicking the Pali button toggles Pali on. Pali stays turned on until the button is clicked again. With Pali showing, hovering the cursor over a Pali word gives you the English translation of available words.

Pali can also be toggled on by pressing the * key.

Control panel image

Mobile Devices

The site has been designed to work well on a wide range of screen sizes. On smaller screens a "hamburger symbol" appears.

Hamburger symbol panel image

Dark Mode

If you'd prefer Dark Mode, the control at the top left of the screen toggles between dark and light modes. Dark mode can also be toggled on and off by pressing the d key.

Dark Mode Toggle image

Navigation Around The Site

Use the navigation at the top of the page to navigate to other pages.

Alternatively, the “breadcrumbs” at the bottom of each page contain clickable links to take you to the top of the current level, the top of the next higher level etc. or to this page. The last entry in the breadcrumbs is the current page.

Breadcrumbs image

Keyboard Shortcuts

There are some keyboard shortcuts to assist in navigating around the site:

Pressing the p key takes you to the previous sutta while pressing the n key takes you to the next sutta.

Pressing the d key turns dark mode on and off

Pressing the * key turns Pali on and off

Pressing the i key takes you to the next higher level of navigation

Pressing the h key takes you to the Home Page

Pressing the c key takes you to the Contact Page

Pressing the ? key takes you to the Help Page

Pressing the Control+Alt+l (i.e. lower case "L" for Lookup) key combination turns the Pali Lookup on and off. For Android devices there is a check box at the bottom of each page which also turns Pali lookup on and off.


Useful Links

Also at the bottom of every page are links to:

Footer and breadcrumbs image

Comments (Footnotes)

In the English text, hovering the cursor over an information icon ( Comments or footnotes appear in a pop-up box. ) shows the comment or footnote in a pop up text box. Move the cursor away to close the pop-up box.

Pali Text

With Pali showing, hovering the cursor over a Pali word gives you the English translation of available words. Thanks to the incorporation of the Digital Pali Dictionary, nearly all Pali words have an English translation. The translation pops up with a Pali text. Some of the Pali text is highlighted with a pale green background to indicate variant Pali readings. Hovering the cursor over the word will cause the variant reading (as well as the English translation) to be displayed in popups.

Pali lookup

Search Entire Site

To search the English Content of the entire site, click on the Search English Content link in the header of each page.

To search the Pali Content of the entire site, click on the Search Pali Content link in the header of each page.

Please be warned that the first time either of the search pages is opened may take a while to load … after that it’s fine.

advanced search image

The search results will be displayed as hyperlinks that will take you to the relevant page but not to the exact location on the page. (Hint: Use right click | Open in new tab if you want to keep the results displayed) You will have to Search on Current Page (as below) until a future iteration of this work integrates the two types of searches.

Search on Current Page

Until we are able to implement a Find on this Page function, we recommend using keyboard shortcuts such as the keyboard shortcut on Chrome: Ctrl+F. If Pali is toggled on when searching, both Pali and English matches are highlighted. Use the Next and Previous buttons to move between matches.

Pali searches ignore diacriticals. e.g. to find the word “pariyādāya” simply enter “pariya” (or even “par” to find matches).

To locate the sutta to which you have a Pali Text Society reference, a cross reference table is provided here.

Versions of these pages …

These pages are updated regularly to add content, fix mistakes and to make improvements.

The latest version can be downloaded by following this link or, if you need to type the location for some reason, here's a shortened version of the URL:

We've provided both zip and 7-zip archives with identical content. The 7-zip archiving is more efficient but not as easy to use (or as ubiquitous) as zip archives.

Last updated: 27th June 2024