A former musician, Bhante Sujato became a monk in 1994 in Thailand and lived there for several years before returning to his native Australia. He spent several years at Bodhinyana Monastery in Western Australia before going on to found Santi Forest Monastery in 2003.

Sujato co-founded the website SuttaCentral along with Rod Bucknell and John Kelly for which he created public domain translations of the four primary Nikāyas of the Pali Canon. Sujato, along with his teacher Ajahn Brahm, were involved with the re-establishment of Bhikkhuni Ordination in the Theravada Tradition.

~ Adapted from the Wikipedia article

Selected Works (in chronological order)

SuttaCentral hosts sources and free translations of Early Buddhist Texts, meticulously organized by parallels, books, languages and searchable with several large indexes and built-in dictionary tools.

When examined closely, the doctrines of the schools cannot be explained away as simplistic errors or alien infiltrations or deliberate corruptions. It would then follow that more sympathetic and gentle perspectives on the schools are likely to be more objective

… while the Theravādins have preserved the clearest and best-understood early texts referring to the in-between state, their philosophical posture prevented them from investigating and describing this in any detail. For that we shall have to listen to the other schools, starting with the Puggalavādins and Sarvāstivādins, as passed down through the Chinese and Tibetan traditions.

We wouldn’t say “this is proof of reincarnation,” but I would say it’s strong evidence of something like it.

A concise and readable survey of early Buddhist studies, showing the wide evidence we have in support of the authenticity of the EBTs and how we can know about ancient India at all.

Are there such things as “evil beings” in Buddhism?

It is inescapable that, whatever the reading, according to the early texts the Buddha did not have “normal” genitals. And the only reading actually supported by a canonical text is that the Buddha was intersex, and his genitals looked like a woman’s.

To defend the innocent is a bright deed. To kill is a dark deed. To kill in defense of the innocent is a deed both bright and dark


The monastic rules for Theravada Bhikkhunis, prepared in a bilingual English-Pali edition for study and recitation.

Translations by Bhante Sujato:

… over a hundred and fifty training rules come up for recitation, in which gentlemen who love themselves train.

… the appearance of three people is rare in the world…

… he sank and melted down and wasn’t able to stay still. It’s like when ghee or oil is poured onto sand: it sinks and melts down, and can’t remain

There is a way of developing immersion further

… these four things are unthinkable. They should not be thought about

Mendicants, there are these five opportunities for freedom.

These five things, when developed and cultivated, have freedom of heart and freedom by wisdom as their fruit and benefit.

It’s inappropriate to talk to an unfaithful person about faith…

… you should ignore that person’s impure behavior

AN 5.172: Assured (2018)

Featured in the course, " Buddhist Ethics"

‘I’ve developed the heart’s release by love… Yet somehow ill will still occupies my mind.’

There are six proper occasions for going to see an esteemed mendicant…

Let them enjoy the filthy, lazy pleasure of possessions, honor, and popularity.

When your harp’s strings were tuned too tight, was it resonant and playable?

A group of monks tries to figure out the meaning of a difficult poem uttered by the Buddha. After offering several interpretations, the Buddha gives his answer.

Mendicants, these seven perceptions, when developed and cultivated, are very fruitful and beneficial. They culminate in the deathless and end with the deathless. What seven? The perceptions of ugliness, death, repulsiveness of food, dissatisfaction with the whole world, impermanence, suffering in impermanence, and not-self in suffering.

… near Kallavāḷamutta Village, Venerable Mahāmoggallāna was nodding off while meditating…

Don’t fear good deeds. For ‘good deeds’ is a term for happiness.

When a mendicant is committed to development, they might not wish: ‘If only my mind was freed from the defilements by not grasping!’ Even so, their mind is freed…

… life as a human is short, brief, and fleeting, full of suffering and distress. Be thoughtful and wake up! Do what’s good and lead the spiritual life, for no-one born can escape death.

It would be good, lord, if the Blessed One would teach me the Dhamma in brief

This is called accomplishment in balanced finances.

Oh if I’d only live as long as it takes to breathe out after breathing in, or to breathe in after breathing out, I’d focus on the Buddha’s instructions and I could really achieve a lot.

Suppose your clothes or head were on fire. In order to extinguish it, you’d apply intense enthusiasm, effort, zeal, vigor, perseverance, mindfulness, and situational awareness. In the same way, in order to give up those bad, unskillful qualities, that mendicant should apply intense enthusiasm …

Once upon a time, householder, there was a brahmin named Velāma…

They contemplate the phenomena there—included in form, feeling, perception, choices, and consciousness—as impermanent, as suffering, as diseased, as a boil, as a dart, as misery, as an affliction, as alien, as falling apart, as empty, as not-self. They turn their mind away from those things, and apply it to the deathless

… a mendicant who wants to accuse another should first check five things in themselves and establish five things in themselves

There are, mendicants, these ten topics of discussion…

The faithful succeed, not the faithless. The ethical succeed, not the unethical. The energetic succeed, not the lazy. The mindful succeed, while the unmindful do not.

Let the king provide funding for those who work in trade. Let the king guarantee food and wages for those in government service. Then the people, occupied with their own work, will not harass the realm. The king’s revenues will be great.

A long and entertaining debate with a skeptic who went to extravagant lengths to prove that there is no such thing as an afterlife.

A magisterial compendium of good advice for lay people.

… if sentient beings only knew, as I do, the fruit of giving and sharing, they would not eat without first giving

MN 5: Unblemished (2018)

Featured in the course, " Buddhist Ethics"

Here the Buddha details the seventh factor of the noble eightfold path—right mindfulness. This collects many of the meditation teachings found throughout the canon, especially the practices focusing on the body, and is regarded as one of the most important discourses in the contemporary Theravada tradition.

And how is a mendicant not skilled in characteristics? It’s when a mendicant doesn’t understand that a fool is characterized by their deeds

Wisdom and consciousness–these things are mixed, not separate. And you can never completely dissect them

A deep discussion between the Bhikkhuni Dhammadinnā and her student, the layman Visākha, on many profound topics, including the very highest meditative attainments.

I’d hold his head with my left hand, and take [the stone] out using a hooked finger of my right hand, even if it drew blood.

It’s incredible, sir, it’s amazing! How the Buddha tames those who are wild

MN 91: With Brahmāyu (2018)

Featured in the course, " The Buddha"

… why did you get up from your seat and leave while there was still more left to do?

is one a brahmin due to birth,
or else because of actions?

Take a mendicant who declares enlightenment: ‘I understand: “Rebirth is ended, the spiritual journey has been completed, what had to be done has been done, there is no return to any state of existence.”’ You should neither approve nor dismiss that mendicant’s statement. Rather, you should question them…

You should not cultivate the kind of person who causes unskillful qualities to grow while skillful qualities decline. And you should cultivate the kind of person who causes unskillful qualities to decline while skillful qualities grow.

The Buddha describes his own meditation on emptiness and tells Ānanda how a meditator can descend into emptiness herself through seclusion and wise attention.

SN 1.78: Desire (2018)

Featured in the course, " Buddhist Ethics"

What is the one thing whose killing you approve?

Once upon a time, I was a seer called Rohitassa of the Bhoja people. I was a sky-walker with psychic powers. I was as fast as a light arrow easily shot across the shadow of a palm tree…

Suppose a trustworthy and reliable man were to come from the east. He’d approach you and say: ‘Please sir, you should know this. I come from the east. There I saw a huge mountain that reached the clouds. And it was coming this way, crushing all creatures.’

The Buddha is confronted by an angry and rude Brahmin.

Once upon a time, mendicants, a battle was fought between the gods and the demons…

… the suffering that’s over and done with is more, what’s left is tiny.

… in a future time there will be mendicants who won’t want to listen when discourses spoken by the Realized One—deep, profound, transcendent, dealing with emptiness—are being recited.

How is a sentient being defined?

Suppose a person was to catch six animals, with diverse territories and feeding grounds, and tie them up with a strong rope.

One should rein in the mind thus

Suppose a person was to catch six animals, with diverse territories and feeding grounds, and tie them up with a strong rope…

In this controversial sutta, the Buddha declares that everything an individual experiences is not necessarily the result of past karma.

“Why, exactly, do you teach some people thoroughly and others less thoroughly?”

I recollect ninety eons back but I’m not aware of any family that’s been ruined merely by offering some cooked almsfood.

… mendicants, live as your own island, your own refuge, with no other refuge. Let the teaching be your island and your refuge

A fascinating description of the four jhānas and nirodha as the cessation of pain, sadness, pleasure, happiness, and equanimity respectively.

… mendicants, gaining these four continents is not worth a sixteenth part of gaining these four things.

Mendicants, don’t engage in all kinds of low talk, such as…

In this famous simile, the Buddha explains how rare it is to receive a human rebirth in the time of a Buddha and encourages us to use the opportunity well.

What do you think, mendicants? Which is more: the little bit of dirt under my fingernail, or this great earth?

Linked together by bones and sinews,
plastered over with flesh and hide,
and covered by the skin …

Snp 3.1: Going Forth (2018)

Featured in the course, " The Buddha"

I shall keep reciting the Way to the Beyond

May the Buddha not be hot or cold, nor be bothered by flies …

Oh, what bliss! Oh, what bliss!

But Mahākassapa refused those deities…

Meghiya, when the heart’s release is not ripe, five things help it ripen. What five? Firstly, a mendicant has good friends…