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Access to Insight: Readings in Theravada Buddhism

By Bill Parousis

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Not so much "an eBook" as a huge library of eBooks, this might just be the best application about Buddhism on the App Store!

This is the entire offline version of John Bullitt's widely recognized and highly recommended Access to Insight ( web site, a massive compilation of material about Theravada Buddhism and Buddhism in general.

Herein are contained over 1,000 *actual suttas* (skt: 'sutras') from the Tipitaka (body of Buddhist canonical texts) translated into contemporary English with scholarly rigor and precision by recognized subject domain experts. Suttas are not simply modern essays and interpretations; they are actual written discourses historically attributed to Siddhartha Gotama, the Buddha, who founded Buddhism nearly 2,500 years ago.

A massive and thorough collection of essays by world-renound monks and scholars on the subjects of Buddhist philosophy, meditation, and practice is also included.

This is high quality material that is suitable reading for personal interest or academic study. Much of the material has also been published in printed form.

To aid the reader, indexes are available by subject, author, title, sutta title, proper name of historical figure, simile/metaphor, and even traditional numerical association.

Usability Features of the Software

The reader works much like a web browser. Double tap on the screen to hide or show the toolbar and status bar. Landscape and portrait modes are supported, as are bookmarks which save the current scroll position of the current page.

Network access not required!

Except for the search and audio features, network access is not required. The full text is stored locally on your device.


Many of the sutta translations also link to iPhone accessible online audio readings on

Application Size

The size of the application is around 18MB in compressed form, and 55MB installed. That may seem large, but the content is almost purely plain text. So for the amount of information, the storage requirements are very small.

Please Leave a Review!

Please leave a rating and a review. The more people find this application helpful, the more often it will receive updates and new features.

Excerpts from "What is Access to Insight?" by site owner John T. Bullitt:

"Access to Insight is an Internet website dedicated to providing accurate, reliable, and useful information concerning the practice and study of Theravada Buddhism, as it has been handed down to us through both the written word of the Pali canon and the living example of the Sangha."

"The readings assembled here represent just a selection of the Buddha's teachings. These are the ones that, over the years, I've personally found to be helpful in deepening an understanding of Dhamma practice. This collection is not meant to be an exhaustive archive of Theravada Buddhist texts."

"Everything available at Access to Insight is offered in full cooperation with the authors, translators, and publishers concerned, with the clear understanding that none of it is to be sold. Please help yourself to whatever you find useful."

What's New in Version 1.5.1

Fixed iPhone 5 bugs.


iPhone Screenshot 1
iPad Screenshot 1

Customer Reviews

Great developer, great resource.

I've been getting a lot out of this collection of texts, and I'm grateful that it's on the store. The update previous to this one didn't work on the iPhone 5 and I contacted the developer. He responded quickly and updated with a fix. The new version works perfectly. Thanks again. If you're interested in Buddhism or meditation or just another way of understanding your own psychology, you owe it to yourself to give the app a try!


Instead of "nuggets of wisdom" which are often taken out of context, this is so very encompassing. For those who wish to engage in a self guided study of the Buddha's teachings - here it is. I've been looking for this kind of reference for years and I am very excited to begin. Thank you!

Thank You

Thank you very much for your supreme generosity in sharing such a timeless and invaluable resource. Access to Insight has been one of the most beautiful gifts as the words inside are treasure. Thank you very much.

Access to Insight: Readings in Theravada Buddhism
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This app is designed for both iPhone and iPad
  • Free
  • Category: Books
  • Updated:
  • Version: 1.5.1
  • Size: 23.6 MB
  • Language: English
  • Seller:

Compatibility: Requires iOS 5.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.

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