A Translation of the Aṅguttara Nikāya
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This long awaited translation by Bhikkhu Bodhi, has just been published. It is the fourth volume in Wisdom Publications' famous Teachings of the Buddha series. It is a full translation of the Anguttara Nikaya.
At the heart of the Buddha s teaching were the sutras (Sanskrit sutras), his discourses and dialogues. If we want to find out what the Buddha himself actually said, these are the most ancient sources available to us. The sutras were compiled into collections called Nikayas of which there are five, each organized according to a different principle. The Digha Nikaya consists of longer discourses; the Majjhima Nikaya of middle-length discourses; the Samyutta Nikaya of thematically connected discourses; the Anguttara Nikaya of numerically patterned discourses; and the fifth, Khuddhaka Nikaya, known as the minor collection.
The present volume, which continues Wisdom Publications' famous Teachings of the Buddha series, contains a full translation of the Anguttara Nikaya. It arranges the Buddha s discourses in accordance with a numerical scheme intended to promote retention and easy comprehension. In an age when writing was still in its infancy, this proved to be the most effective way to ensure that the disciples could grasp and replicate the structure of a teaching.
Like the river Ganges flowing down from the Himalayas, the entire Buddhist tradition flows down to us from the teachings and deeds of the historical Buddha, who lived and taught in India during the fifth century B.C. To ensure that his legacy would survive the ravages of time, his direct disciples compiled records of the Buddha s teachings soon after his passing. In the Theravada Buddhist tradition, which prevails in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia, these records are regarded as the definitive word of the Buddha. Preserved in Pali, an ancient Indian language closely related to the language that the Buddha spoke, this full compilation of texts is known as the Pali Canon.