The Niddesa (abbrev., "Nidd") is a Buddhist scripture, part of the Pali Canon of Theravada Buddhism. It is included there in the Sutta Pitaka's Khuddaka Nikaya. It is in the form of a commentary on parts of the Suttanipata. The tradition ascribes it to the Buddha's disciple Sariputta. It is divided into two parts:
- Maha Niddesa (mahā-) (abbrev., "Nidd I" or "Nd1"), commenting on the Atthaka Vagga ("Octet Chapter," Sn 4);
- Culla or Cula Niddesa (cūḷa-) (abbrev., "Nidd II" or "Nd2"), commenting on the Parayana Vagga ("Way to the Far Shore Chapter,"Sn 5) and Khaggavisana Sutta ("Rhinoceros Horn Discourse," Sn 1.3).
This text is believed to have been most likely composed no later than the 1st century BC.
- Hinüber (2000), p. 59, para. 118, writes:
- The age of Nidd has been discussed at great length by S.Lévi 1925, who arrives at a date in the 2nd century AD, arguing from the geographical horizon of the text. This date has been disputed recently by Norman 1983: 84,86, who argues in favour of a much earlier date at the time of Aśoka. The question needs reexamination. It is, however, certain that Nidd does not belong to the old canonical texts and that also a date after Aśoka does not seem likely.
- But "cannot be later than the date of the fixing of the canon", Norman:Sn-trsl II, p. XXVI: This means not later than the 1st century BC.
- Hinüber, Oskar von (2000). A Handbook of Pāli Literature. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter. ISBN 3-11-016738-7.
- Access to Insight: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/index.html
- De la Vallee Poussin, L., Thomas, E.J., ed. (1916), "Niddesa I, Mahaniddesa", Vol. 1, The Pali Text Society, London, Oxford University Press. (Pali edition)
- De la Vallee Poussin, L., Thomas, E.J., ed. (1917), "Niddesa I, Mahaniddesa", Vol. 2, The Pali Text Society, London, Oxford University Press. (Pali edition)
- De la Vallee Poussin, L., Thomas, E.J., ed. (1916), "Niddesa II, Cullaniddesa", Vol. 3, The Pali Text Society, London, Oxford University Press. (Pali edition)
- Link to a small excerpt from the Niddesa that has been translated into English: