An Anthology of 50 Discourses from the Samyutta Nikaya

Hi Folks,
Here is an anthology of discourses from the Samyutta Nikaya translated by Bhikkhu Sujato that I put together.
An Anthology of 50 Discourses from the Samyutta Nikaya


Welcome to the forum,

Excellent anthology!


Hi @Dhammabodhi,

Welcome to the D&D forum from the mods, also! Yes, great anthology.

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I am curious, what was your criteria for choosing these texts and why the choice of this particular Nikaya? Are they confidently uncorrupted or early?

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Just read the preface and it is explained:

…The following anthology of 50 discourses from the Samyutta Nikaya is built around my three hypotheses about the Samyutta Nikaya. My intention was to try and reveal the basic structure of interconnected system oral yogic teachings that the Buddha developed, the main themes of his teachings, and a sense of the early Buddhist world within its context of Greater Magadha and the Mauryan Empire’s westward expansion over north India. Almost all of what follows is Sujato’s translations for the names of the vaggasamyuttas, the samyuttas and the suttas, as well as the content of the suttas themselves. I have made a few adjustments based on the intent of this anthology and a slight difference in interpretation for three key terms.…

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Here are my influences in terms of scholarship and teachings.

The scholarship of Sujato Bhikkhu, Thanissaro Bhikkhu, Johannes Bronkhorst, Daniel Stuart, Erik Braun, John Bloefeld, and William Chu (University of the West).

The teachings from the Thai Forest tradition (Ajahn Lee and Ajahn Cha lineages), the Burmese Ledi Sayadaw lineage, Shodo Harada Roshi (Zen), Master Empty Cloud (Chan), and Ramana Maharshi (Advaita Vedanta).

Here are my working hypotheses.

The Samyutta Nikaya and the Samyukta Agama contain for the most part the greatest number of early Buddhist discourses from the time of the Buddha up to the time of Ashoka.

Early Buddhism arose in the city-state culture of Greater Magadha in northeast India independently from Hinduism in northwest India. During the Mauryan Civilization Buddhism along with Jainism spread west with the spread of the city-state culture. It mixed with Hinduism then.

The 12 links of dependent origination represent the core theory of early Buddhism, not the teachings on the three marks of existence. The Four Noble Truths summarizes the 12 links.

The 16 exercises of mindfulness of breathing represent the core meditation teachings of early Buddhism, not the four establishments of mindfulness. The four establishments just provide the yogic structure of practice. The 16 exercises include the four jhanas as absorptions in which one is aware of the breathing, whole body, and heart-mind.

The 12 links and 16 exercises must be seen together.

The 2 primal phenomenological rhythms in the 12 links are:
Awareness, volition, identification/attachment to conditioned phenomena
Contact, sensation, intention/emotion, action, embodied result

The Samyutta Nikaya contains the structure of the early oral tradition. It is an interdependent system of short discourses. The first samyutta in the vaggas on the 12 links, 5 aggregates, and 6 sense fields contains the main presentation and interpretations of those teachings. The samyutta on sensation (vedana) is a very important samyutta.

Other guiding principles

I wanted the main teachings and interpretations to be represented. I wanted to pick teachings that gave a good flavor of the early Buddhist world and the westward expansion of early Buddhism from Rajagaha to Savatthi and further on.