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 (www.accesstoinsight.org) 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 suttareadings.net.
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."
The most requested feature has been a search engine and I'm happy to say that it's finally here! You can now use the search feature to find whatever suttas, articles, etc. you are looking for. I have found that this features makes the app a lot more useful and I hope you feel the same way too. If you have any issues or feedback let me know.
The search feature allows you to search on either the title or document page. The app also keeps track of your last few search requests. Just swipe to delete any one of them. For pali words like 'Papañca' you will need to search with the special characters (i.e. 'Papanca' won't work). I plan to look into making this enhancement in the future so that both spellings work.
Ratings and Reviews
Genuine texts, essential Buddhist reading
There are a number of so-called "Buddha quotes" apps, which are mostly pithy sayings and pseudo-Buddhist-sounding, New Age pablum. There isn't necessarily annoying deeply wrong with such stuff in general, but when it claims authority by attaching the Buddha's name to it, well... That's misleading and, potentially, detrimental to one's progress on the Path. Fortunately, we have Acces to Insight, which corrects this issue in a major way. The core texts are all legitimate suttas from the Pali canon (the earliest and most authoritative record of the historical Buddha's teachings), with scholarly yet readable translations; in addition, ATI provides many more recent commentaries and texts from Thailand, the US, and other places, which are clearly identified by author and translator, so that no one will mistake them for ancient texts or proceed under false assumptions. There is, quite simply, nothing else even remotely like ATI that is both widely available and free. If you want to gain a more historical understanding of Buddhist thought and practice, with easy, on-the-go access, then ATI is your best bet, no question about it.
Happy to see this resource become an app
I've been using the Access to Insight web site for years to study the Pali Cannon. So happy to see it become an app. Not many other FREE apps that offer so many resources to study Buddhist sutras.
This is a very nice compendium of suttas as well as study guide.
- Bill Parousis
- 278.7 MB
- Requires iOS 9.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
- Age Rating
- Rated 4+
- The Access to Insight editions of all works contained in this application are ©2005–2013 John T. Bullitt and are freely distributed with his and their respective authors cooperation.
With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.