Book of "This was said..." (A Contemporary Translation)
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The present book, Itivuttaka, belongs to the Pāḷi Tipiṭaka, the authorized recension for the Theravāda Buddhism. It is unique in the Buddhist Teachings in that it contains verses recited and collected by a woman named Khujjuttarā (declared by Lord Buddha to be foremost of those who were learned), a maid-servant of the famous Queen Sāmāvati (declared by Lord Buddha to be foremost of those who dwelt in friendship). Whenever Lord Buddha was in Kosambi, Khujjuttarā would go and listen to the teachings. Upon her return she would recite the teachings to the royalty that included queens, princesses, and their maid-servants. To emphasize that she was telling the words of the enlightened one, she prefaced each teaching with the standard formula of “This was said by the Blessed one, said by the Arahant thus I heard”. In this way, while being of a lower class, she in fact became a teacher to the high-class, royal women. Itivuttaka is also one of the nine divisions within which Lord Buddha’s teachings are classified – thus the genesis of this term and this collection is indeed ancient.
The teachings contained in the present book are organized similarly to Aṅguttara Nikāya (Numerical Discourses). There are a total of 112 suttā many of which are unique to this book.
In this book, both Pāḷi originals and English translations are provided so it’s easier for those who want to learn Pāḷi or just read the translations. A full Pāḷi-English Glossary and detailed Endnotes will help the interested reader to learn more about the teachings.