Modern works  Southern Buddhism  Northern Buddhism  Jataka Links

Modern works

The Gospel of Buddha: Compiled from Ancient Records
by Paul Carus [1909]
A modern retelling of the Buddha's work and life.

Buddha, the Word
by Paul Carus

by Paul Carus [1906]
Buddhist concepts of God, non-violence, and religious tolerance.

The Creed of Buddha
by Edmond Holmes (2nd. ed.) [1919]
A Pantheist looks at contemporary Western views of Buddhism.

The Life of Buddha
by Andre Ferdinand Herold [1922], tr. by Paul C. Blum [1927]
A good introduction to the life and works of Buddha.

A Buddhist Bible
by Dwight Goddard (1st ed.) [1932]
An edited (but not watered-down) collection of key Zen documents, a favorite of Jack Kerouac. This anthology has had a huge influence on the spread of Buddhism in the English-speaking world.

The Smokey the Bear Sutra
by Gary Snyder.
A much beloved short poem about the relationship between Buddhism and ecology, written by one of the 'beat' era poets, simultaneously funny and profound.

Southern Buddhism

The Dhammapada and The Sutta Nipâta (SBE10),
Dhammapada tr. by Max Müller; Sutta-Nipâta tr. by V. Fausböll [1881]

Buddhist Suttas (SBE11)
Translated from Pâli by T.W. Rhys Davids [1881]

Vinaya Texts (Part I) (SBE13)
Translated from the Pâli by T.W. Rhys Davids and Herman Oldenberg. [1881]
The Pâtimokkha and The Mahâvagga, I-IV.

Vinaya Texts (Part II) (SBE17)
Translated from the Pâli by T.W. Rhys Davids and Herman Oldenberg. [1882]
The Mahâvagga, V-X, and The Kullavagga, I-III.

Vinaya Texts (Part III) (SBE20)
Translated from the Pâli by T.W. Rhys Davids and Herman Oldenberg. [1885]
The Kullavagga, IV-XII.

The Questions of King Milinda
translated by T. W. Rhys Davids
    The Questions of King Milinda, Part I (SBE35) [1890]
    The Questions of King Milinda, Part II (SBE36) [1894]

Dialogues of the Buddha
(The Dîgha-Nikâya)
Translated from the Pâli by T.W. Rhys Davids; London, H. Frowde, Oxford University Press [1899]
Volume II of the Sacred Books of the Buddhists.

Buddhism in Translations
by Henry Clarke Warren [1896]
A often-cited scholarly anthology of translations of key Theravada Buddhist documents. (thanks to Chris Weimer)

The Udâna
Translated by Dawsonne Melanchthon Strong [1902]
(thanks to Chris Weimer)

Psalms of the Sisters
by Caroline A. F. Rhys Davids [1909]
(Thanks to Mary Mark Ockerbloom of A Celebration of Women Writers)


The Jataka is a huge collection of fables framed as previous incarnations of the Buddha, many of which either have parallels or derivatives in western folklore and literature. Although the Jataka is not considered part of the canonical Buddhist scripture, it is very popular.

The Jataka, Vol. I
tr. by Robert Chalmers [1895]
The first of six volumes of the complete Cowell translation of the Jataka.

The Jataka, Vol. II
tr. by W. H. D. Rouse [1895]
The second of six volumes of the complete Cowell translation of the Jataka.

Indian Fairy Tales
by Joseph Jacobs [1912]
A collection of Indian folklore, retold for younger readers 'of all ages', includes many stories from the Jataka, a Buddhist compilation of fables.

Jataka Tales
by Ellen C. Babbit [1912]
A collection of Jataka stories, fables about previous incarnations of the Buddha, usually as an animal, retold for younger readers.

Northern Buddhism

The Fo-Sho-Hing-Tsan-King (SBE19)
A Life of Buddha by Asvaghosha Bodhisattva, translated from Sanskrit into Chinese by Dharmaraksha A.D. 420, and From Chinese into English by Samuel Beal [1883]

Buddhist Mahâyâna Texts (SBE 49)
Translated by E.B. Cowell, F. Max Müller, and J. Kakakusu.
Includes the Diamond Sutra.

Saddharma-pundarîka (The Lotus Sutra) (SBE 21)
tr. by H. Kern [1884]

She-rab Dong-bu (The Tree of Wisdom)
by Nagarjuna; edited and translated by W. L. Cambell [1919]
An influential Tibetan Buddhist text.

Açvaghosha's Discourse on the Awakening of Faith in the Mahâyâna
tr. by Teitaro Suzuki [1900]

The Awakening of Faith of Ashvagosha
tr. by Timothy Richard [1907]

The Gateless Gate
by Ekai [Huikai], called Mu-mon, tr. by Nyogen Senzaki and Paul Reps [1934]
One of the classic collections of Zen Buddhist Koans.

Chinese Buddhism
by Joseph Edkins [1893]
A comprehensive discussion of Chinese Buddhism.

Buddhism In Tibet
by Emil Schlaginteweit [1863]
One of the few 19th century books about Tibetan Buddhism.

The Religion of the Samurai
by Kaiten Nukariya [1913]
This book focuses on Northern (Mahayana) Buddhism, and Zen Buddhism in particular. It includes a wealth of detail as well as very lucid explanations of Zen Buddhist concepts.

Manual of Zen Buddhism
by Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki. [1935]
An anthology of texts relating to Zen.
Suzuki was one of the most popular 20th century writers about Zen Buddhism. Includes the famous 'Ox-Herder' illustrations.

Zen for Americans
by Soyen Shaku, translated by Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki. [1906]
A collection of essays on Buddhism.
Includes The Sutra of Forty-Two Chapters.

Mysticism, Christian and Buddhist
by Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki. [1957, not renewed]
Suzuki compares and contrasts Buddhism with Meister Eckhart's mystical outlook.

Gleanings In Buddha-Fields
by Lafcadio Hearn [1897].

The Nō Plays of Japan
by Arthur Waley [1921].
Translations of a selection of Nō dramas, which have deep connections with Japanese Buddhism, Shinto, and Japanese folklore.

Buddhism and Immortality
by William Sturgis Bigelow [1908].
A essay on Karma and Nirvana in the light of Darwin and Emerson.

India in Primitive Christianity
by Arthur Lillie [1909].
What are the links between Buddhism and early Christianity?

The Way to Nirvana
by L. de la Vallée Poussin [1917].
Investigating Buddhist thought on rebirth and transcendence.

The Book of Tea
by Kakuzo Okakura [1906]
The aesthetics of the Japanese Tea Ceremony, and its connection to the Japanese world-view as a whole.

The Ideals of the East
by Kakuzo Okakura [1904]
The evolution of Japanese art and its relationship to Buddhism.