Saṃyutta Nikāya

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The Saṃyutta Nikāya ("Connected Discourses" or "Kindred Sayings") is a Buddhist scriptures collection, the third of the five Nikāyas, or collections, in the Sutta Pitaka, which is one of the "three baskets" that compose the Pali Tipitaka of Theravada Buddhism. Because of the abbreviated way parts of the text are written, the total number of suttas/sūtras is unclear. The editor of the Pali Text Society edition of the text made it 2889, Bodhi in his translation has 2904, while the commentaries give 7762. A study by Rupert Gethin[1] gives the totals for the Burmese and Sinhalese editions as 2854 and 7656, respectively, and his own calculation as 6696; he also says the total in the Thai edition is unclear. The suttas/sūtras are grouped into five vargas/vaggas, or sections. Each varga/vagga is further divided into samyuttas/saṃyuktas, or chapters, each of which in turn contains a group of suttas/sūtras on a related topic.

Correspondence with the Saṃyukta Āgama edit

The Samyutta Nikaya corresponds to the Saṃyukta Āgama found in the Sutra Pitikas of various Sanskritic early Buddhists schools, fragments of which survive in Sanskrit and in Tibetan translation. A complete Chinese translation from the Sarvāstivādin recension appears in the Chinese Buddhist canon, where it is known as the Zá Āhánjīng (雜阿含經); meaning "the mixed agama". A comparison of the Sarvāstivādin, Kāśyapīya, and Theravadin texts reveals a considerable consistency of content, although each recension contains sutras/suttas not found in the others.[2] The Collation and Annotation of Saṃyuktāgama[3] (《<雜阿含經>校釋》,Chinese version) makes further comparison.

Dating edit

Bhante Sujato, a contemporary scholar monk, argues that the remarkable congruence of the various recensions suggests that the Samyutta Nikaya/Saṃyukta Āgama was the only collection to be finalized in terms of both structure and content in the pre-sectarian period.[4]

Translations edit

Full translations edit

  • The Book of the Kindred Sayings, tr C. A. F. Rhys Davids & F. L. Woodward, 1917–30, 5 volumes, Bristol: Pali Text Society
  • The Connected Discourses of the Buddha, tr Bhikkhu Bodhi, 2000, Wisdom Publications, Somerville, MA, ISBN 0-86171-331-1; the Pali Text Society also issues a private edition of this for members only, which is its preferred translation
  • Bhikkhu Sujato (trans.), The “Linked” or “Connected” Discourses, 2018, published online at SuttaCentral and released into the public domain.

Selections edit

Divisions edit

The vaggas contained in this nikaya are (the numbering of chapters [samyuttas] here refers to the PTS and Burmese editions; the Sinhalese[6] and Thai editions divide the text up somewhat differently):

Vagga Name Description Samyutta Number Samyutta Names
Part I. Sagatha-vagga a collection of suttas containing verses (Pali, sagatha), many shared by other parts of the Pali canon such as the Theragatha, Therigatha, Suttanipata, Dhammapada and the Jatakas.[7] SN 1-11 1.devatāsaṃyuttaṃ











Part II. Nidana-vagga a collection of suttas primarily pertaining to causation (Pali, nidana) SN 12-21 12. nidānasaṃyuttaṃ


14. dhātusaṃyuttaṃ


16. kassapasaṃyuttaṃ


18. rāhulasaṃyuttaṃ

19. lakkhaṇasaṃyuttaṃ

20. opammasaṃyuttaṃ

21. bhikkhusaṃyuttaṃ

Part III. Khandha-vagga a collection of suttas primarily pertaining to the five aggregates (Pali, khandha) SN 22-34 22. khandhasaṃyuttaṃ

23. rādhasaṃyuttaṃ

24. diṭṭhisaṃyuttaṃ

25. okkantasaṃyuttaṃ

26. uppādasaṃyuttaṃ

27. kilesasaṃyuttaṃ

28. sāriputtasaṃyuttaṃ

29. nāgasaṃyuttaṃ

30. supaṇṇasaṃyuttaṃ


32. valāhakasaṃyuttaṃ

33. vacchagottasaṃyuttaṃ

34. jhānasaṃyuttaṃ

Part IV. Salayatana-vagga a collection of suttas primarily pertaining to the six sense bases (Pali, salayatana), including the "Fire Sermon" (Adittapariyaya Sutta) SN 35-44 35. saḷāyatanasaṃyuttaṃ

36. vedanāsaṃyuttaṃ

37. mātugāmasaṃyuttaṃ

38. jambukhādakasaṃyuttaṃ

39. sāmaṇḍakasaṃyuttaṃ

40. moggallānasaṃyuttaṃ

41. cittasaṃyuttaṃ

42. gāmaṇisaṃyuttaṃ

43. asaṅkhatasaṃyuttaṃ

44. abyākatasaṃyuttaṃ

Part V. Maha-vagga the largest – that is, great (Pali, maha) – collection SN 45. the Noble Eightfold Path 45. maggasaṃyuttaṃ

SN 46. the Seven Factors of Enlightenment 46. bojjhaṅgasaṃyuttaṃ
SN 47. the Four Establishment of Mindfulness 47. satipaṭṭhānasaṃyuttaṃ
SN 48. the Faculties 48. indriyasaṃyuttaṃ
SN 49. the Four Right Striving 49.sammappadhānasaṃyuttaṃ
SN 50. the Five Powers 50. balasaṃyuttaṃ
SN 51. the Four Bases for Spiritual Power[8] 51. iddhipādasaṃyuttaṃ
SN 52. Anuruddha discourses 52. anuruddhasaṃyuttaṃ
SN h 53. the Jhanas 53. jhānasaṃyuttaṃ
SN 54. Mindfulness of Breathing 54. ānāpānasaṃyuttaṃ
SN 55. Factors of Stream-entry 55. sotāpattisaṃyuttaṃ
SN 56. the Truths 56. saccasaṃyuttaṃ

See also edit

Notes edit

  1. ^ Gethin, Rupert (2007). "What's in a Repetition? On Counting the Suttas of the Samyutta-nikaya" (PDF). Journal of the Pali Text Society. XXIX: 369, 381. ISBN 9780860134381. Retrieved February 21, 2023.
  2. ^ A Dictionary of Buddhism, by Damien Keown, Oxford University Press: 2004
  3. ^ The Collation and Annotation of Saṃyuktāgama, by Wang Jianwei and Jin Hui, East China Normal University Press: 2014
  4. ^ Sujato, Bhante (2012), A History of Mindfulness (PDF), Santipada, pp. 31, 37–52, ISBN 9781921842108
  5. ^ The BPS anthology was published in three parts, edited by John D. Ireland (1981), Bhikkhu Ñanananda (1983) and Maurice O'C. Walshe (1985).
  6. ^ While the PTS Samyutta Nikaya has 56 sayuttas (connected collections), the Sinhala Buddha Jayanti Tripitaka Series (BJT) print edition has 54 sayuttas and, based on the BJT edition, the softcopy Sri Lanka Tripitaka Project (SLTP) edition has 55 sayuttas. The reason for these differences are that:
    • the BJT and SLTP sayutta 12 (Abhisamaya-sayutta) combines the PTS sayuttas 12 (Nidana-sayutta) and 13 (Abhisamaya-sayutta), representing the latter sayutta as a final vaggo (chapter) in the former sayutta.
    • the BJT sayutta 34 (Vedanā-sayutta) combines the PTS sayuttas 35 (Salāyatana-sayutta) and 36 (Vedanā-sayutta).
  7. ^ Bodhi (2000), p. 69.
  8. ^ Bodhi (2000), pp. 1485-6, points out that the first seven chapters of the Maggavagga-samyutta pertain to the seven sets of qualities conducive to Enlightenment.

Bibliography edit

External links edit