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Inspired Utterances of the Buddha & The Buddha s Sayings
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Two short classics of the Pali Canon in one volume.
The Udana, or Inspired Utterances of the Buddha, belongs to the Sutta Pi aka of the Pali Canon. It is the third book of the Minor Collection (Khuddaka Nikaya), found between the Dhammapada and the Itivuttaka. The Minor (or Lesser) Collection, although it is actually quite bulky, is given this name because it is an assortment of miscellaneous texts most of which were not included in what are regarded as the four main collections (nikaya).
The Udana consists of eighty discourses, mostly short, divided into eight sections or chapters (vagga). The title Udana refers to the pronouncement, usually in verse, made at the end of each discourse and prefaced by the words: Then, on realizing its significance, the Lord uttered on that occasion this inspired utterance . Thus udana means an inspired or solemn utterance spontaneously evoked, literally breathed forth (udanesi), by the understanding or realization (viditva) of the significance of the situation or event that occasioned it. Here it is the Buddha who pronounces these utterances although others are sometimes so inspired (e.g., in 2.10 and 3.7).
The Itivuttaka is a collection of 112 short discourses of the Buddha in both prose and verse. The text belongs to the Pali Canon of the Therav da school, being placed between the Ud na and the Sutta Nip ta. It was previously translated by F.L. Woodward and published together with his translation of the Ud na in Minor Anthologies of the Pali Canon, Vol. II (London, 1935).
According to the commentarial tradition, the suttas or discourses of the Itivuttaka were collected by the woman lay-disciple Khujjuttar from sermons given by the Buddha while he was staying at Kosamb . Khujjuttar was a servant of S m vat , the consort of King Udena. She had become a stream-enterer after meeting the Buddha and subsequently converted the women of the palace headed by Samavatì to the teaching. She used to go regularly to listen to the Buddha and then later repeated what she had heard to the other women. The collection of these sayings became the Itivuttaka. It is said that the emphatic statements at the beginning and end of each of the suttas, reproduced here only in the first and last, were made by Khujjuttar to stress that they were the Buddha s words and not her own.
Whether or not this story is true, the Itivuttaka is the only book in the Pali Canon that introduces and concludes its suttas in this fashion, and it is from the opening statement that the title is derived: This was said (vuttaí) by the Lord so (iti) I heard hence Itivuttaka, The So-was-said or Sayings.