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List of early/late suttas


#1

Hi,
I hope the question is in the right subforum.
As far as I know through comparative analysis one can find out which suttas are relatively early and which suttas are relatively late. Is there somewhere a list of suttas that are early and that are late?
All the best


#2

About a list of suttas or EBTs that are early and that are late, Yinshun suggests the compilation of the Pali nikayas/agamas and their Chinese counterparts as follows:

•SN/SA consists of three components representing the categories (angas) termed Sutra/Sutta, Geya/Geyya, and Vyakarana/Veyyakarana. Also, SN/SA was the foundation of the four nikayas/agamas in the formation of early Buddhist texts.

Yinshun suggests that SN/SA (ie. the synthesis of the first three angas: Sutra, Geya, and Vyakarana) came into existence first, and that subsequent expansion of SN/SA yielded the other nikayas/agamas in the sequence MN/MA, DN/DA, AN/EA.

•SN/SA (the synthesis of the first three angas) had its origin in the first council. The Sutra-anga portion of SN/SA was the earliest of the three angas. Yinshun sees the gradual formation of SN/SA as corresponding to these three angas formed in sequence.

•MN/MA, DN/DA, and AN/EA orginated at the second council (Sutta-nipata, Udana and Dhammapada compiled in the Khuddaka-nikaya rather than being made part of the four basic nikayas/agamas).

•The extant SN/SA and also other nikayas/agamas are definitely sectarian texts. One can seek an understanding of early Buddhist teachings by studying them comparatively.

Yinshun’s research on the formation of early Buddhist texts is written in Chinese: 原始佛教聖典之集成 [The Formation of Early Buddhist Texts] (1971) (See Choong Mun-keat, The Fundamental Teachings of Early Buddhism, pp. 7-11).


#3