The Structure and Formation of the Anguttara Nikaya and the Ekottarika Agama

Authors

  • Tse-fu Kuan
  • Roderick S. Bucknell

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/bsrv.39045

Keywords:

Aṅguttara, Nikāya, Ekottarika, Āgama, nipāta

Abstract

In both the Anguttara Nikaya in Pali and the Ekottarika Agamain Chinese translation, the suttas are grouped into eleven nipatas (“books”), from the Ekaka-nipata/Eka-nipata (Book of Ones) to the Ekadasaka-nipata (Book of Elevens) – though in the Ekottarika Agama the nipatas are not labelled as such. This grouping into nipatas is based on the number of doctrinal items dealt with in the component suttas. In the Ones and Twos, it is often the case that a single original sutta has been subdivided so that its component sections become a series of similarly structured derivative suttas superficially appropriate for inclusion in the Ones or Twos. Moreover, material for this process of subdividing has sometimes been provided by multiplying doctrinal sets with formulaic statements. In most of the remaining nipatas the phenomena noted in the Ones and Twos are also present, but on a much smaller scale. In view of their Chinese counterparts in the Samyukta Agama, some groups of suttas in the Anguttara Nikaya with samyutta-like nature were probably moved from the Samyutta Nikaya to the Anguttara Nikaya within the Pali tradition. Evidence of a comparable movement into the Ekottarika Agama is also available. The artificial suttas created by subdivision and the original suttas shared by the Ekottarika Agama and the Anguttara Nikaya largely retained their original places at the beginning of each nipata, while the genuine suttas, probably earlier located in the Samyukta Agama and Madhyama Agama, were added progressively at the end of the growing nipata.

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Published

2020-03-19

How to Cite

Kuan, T.- fu, & Bucknell, R. S. (2020). The Structure and Formation of the Anguttara Nikaya and the Ekottarika Agama. Buddhist Studies Review, 36(2), 141–166. https://doi.org/10.1558/bsrv.39045

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