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In Theravada Buddhism pariyatti is the learning of the theory of buddhadharma as contained within the suttas of the Pali canon. It is contrasted with patipatti which means to put the theory into practice and pativedha which means penetrating it or rather experientially realising the truth of it.
Pariyatti is also the name of a nonprofit organization focused on Theravadan tradition in Onalaska, Washington. It publishes, distributes, sells and donates books and media devoted to the teachings of the Buddha. It has been called "North America's leading source of books for students of the Theravadan tradition" by Tricycle: The Buddhist Review.
The Pariyatti bookstore (both website and brick & mortar) carries almost 900 print titles. Pariyatti also provides a number of services for free from its website, including classic texts that are out of print, podcasts, and emailed "Daily Words of the Buddha".
Pariyatti is the sole distributor in North America of books published by the Sri-Lanka-based Buddhist Publication Society (BPS) and the sole distributor in the Americas of books published by the London-based Pali Text Society (PTS), including the Tipitaka, the standard collection of scriptures in the Theravada Buddhist tradition – also known as the Pali Canon. It also carries titles from other publishers, including hard-to-find publications from the Vipassana Research Institute(VRI) and Motilal Banarsidass, both based in India.
Pariyatti has published more than 30 titles, including those under its own imprint and reprints of selected titles published by VRI and BPS.
Pariyatti's roots go back to a home-based mail order service established by a Vipassana meditator in Northern California in 1984 to enable fellow meditators in the West to buy books that support the practice of Vipassana meditation in the tradition of S. N. Goenka and Sayagyi U Ba Khin. Independent of that effort, Vipassana Research Publications of America (VRPA) was launched in 1995 by a second meditator, with the encouragement of Goenka, to make publications from VRI available in the West. The two entities were combined in 1996 and eventually became known as Pariyatti, which is a word in the Pali language roughly meaning the intellectual background or theoretical understanding of the teachings of the Buddha.
- Wilhelm, Steve. “Dhamma Works: The Pariyatti Book Service,” "Tricycle: The Buddhist Review", Winter 2002, p. 84
- Carlson, Linda. “Serving as a Service Organization: Pariyatti’s Not-For-Profit Strategy,” "Independent Book Publishers Association Independent", October 2009, p. 41