In the fall of 1979, while living at the Washington Buddhist Vihara, Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi gave a series of lectures on the fundamental teachings of Early Buddhism. Bhante Gunaratana, at the time the President of the Buddhist Vihara Society, suggested he record the lectures so that the Vihara could distribute them as a set of cassette tapes.
In the summer of 1981, Ven. Bodhi recorded his ten lectures in the basement of the Washington Buddhist Vihara, using an ordinary, nonprofessional recorder. An enthusiastic lay supporter had the master copies reproduced in large quantities for expanded distribution. They have continued to be distributed on tape and as CDs for over twenty-five years, and are considered “public domain” for anyone to copy and distribute freely. The one condition is that they must not be sold.