The very same day you posted this, I had a presentation to make in front of my class–full ppt, everything–to explain the work I am doing, which is a comparison of the parallel versions of DN15. But I rightly suspected that I would have to prepare a second, smaller presentation just to explain the concept of EBTs: what is considered an EBT, and why; what can be learned from, and what the benefit is of restricting research to EBTs: just a basic rundown. It was good for me because I’ve never had to actually enumerate these things before.
I naturally showed them your immense (and timely uploaded) collection to help illustrate my point. When I explained the parameters you chose for your collection–i.e., that you were specifically using material which was not from the Pali Nikayas or Chinese Agamas–I don’t know what they heard, because the only response I got was, “What?! So he only wants to use non-Chinese material?!” I had to explain that, no, you were simply making a collection which specifically sought to go beyond the cliched EBTs and that you did indeed use Chinese materials. People hear what they expect to hear.
Anyhow, after talking about what different criteria different people may have regarding what they accept as EBTs, my professor asked about discourses (I told him I focused almost exclusively on discourses) or discourse citations found in other places, such as vinaya, abhidhamma materials, comparing them with sutta pitaka material–sort ofencouraging me to expand my range a bit, I guess. It made sense to me, and it’s been on my mind ever since.
Your collection is something like that, isn’t it? I’m wondering how, then, such material should be viewed in relation to material gleaned directly from the sutta pitaka. Have such comparisons ever been done before? Was anything interesting found? In putting together such a study, where would the line be drawn historically as to which citations would be used?
As we see with the immeensity of your work, this approach expands the field of EBT discourse more than a little. The questions, though, I think, are also more than a few. Anyone have any thoughts?
(Or, should this kind of query go somewhere else?)