I would like a new rule on this forum on how to cite the Buddha and Palicanon sources in general.
Reason for this suggestion: Misinterpreting the buddha or the palikanon and declaring it as true statements are likely to cause much confusion, doubt or anger. While i'm sure that stating misinterpreted statements as true is more of an unintentional mistake, clear rules for citations can prevent much harm for both the reader and the writer.
Citing sources literally also is a good way to get familiar with the sources themselves, which i regard as a positive thing when it comes to the Palicanon.
With that said, i feel that citing rules would be for the benefit of everyone and a good opportunity to train right speech and right effort.
Suggestion on how this rule could look like:
1. Citations should always be given with a link to (an english version of) the sutta. Accesstoinsight is easily accessible. Giving a link to the cited source invites other forum members to find and check out the suttas for themselves.
2. The name of the Sutta should be given / The short code.
Common codes are
DN -> Digha Nikaya
MN -> Majjhima Nikaya
SN -> Samyutta Nikaya
AN -> Anguttara Nikaya
KN -> Khuddaka Nikaya
The exact code for citation is always given in Access to insight at the top of the page.Example
--> "SN 56.36" Is right above the title of the sutta.
3. Quotes from other teachers, such as Ajahn Chah, the Dalai Lama or Sayagyi U Ba Khin should also only be cited if one can provide a source, too. Since not every text of other teachers might be available online, one should give as much information as possible as on the source. (e.g.: book title, context of the given talk,..)
4. The suttas should only be quoted from literal sources. Figuratively or interpreted statements ("The Buddha said you should love everyone.") should be clearly marked as such (perhaps by adding "
" to the statement) or better: avoided in the first place.
Most users already quote their literal sources which is great and has already been very helpful for me on several occasions here. I'd be glad if we could establish some sort of standard for citing sources here. There is no need to accept my suggestion 1:1, but i'd appreciate if there would be any form or rule endorsing citing sources.