Mahā-maṅgala Sutta parallels?

Hi, all,
The listing for the Maṅgala Sutta (Snp 2.4 Snp 46) on Sutta Central shows, if I’m reading it correctly, only the Pāli version and its translations in English and other modern languages. I’m trying to figure out what parallels there are (it’s for a paper on the sutta).
In Bhikkhu Bodhi’s new translation of the Sutta Nipata, he mentions there is a Chinese parallel, Taisho IV no 211 and 609. ** EDIT (7 Dec 2018) retracting the words “as well as Taisho II 877a_13” as this not in the referenced text- its inclusion has to do with erroneous notation in my own notes.**
Have these already been translated?
And if not, where and how can the Chinese be accessed? My Chinese isn’t great but is enough to (with a great deal of patience) work through this short sutta.

I’ve asked Tibetan Buddhist contacts who indicate the Tibetan version is ‘part of a group of Theravada suttas translated into Tibetan in the 14th century (Toh 31-43)’ that hasn’t been translated. Does anyone know if that is correct?

With thanks,



Just in terms of how parallels are displayed on SuttaCentral: it’s the number in the green circle on the right hand side of the suttaplex card (and then a card for each parallel can be see if in expanded view as per below).

I don’t parallel mapping is 100% comprehensive, but I don’t know enough to say more about that.

There’s also the Chinese -> English lookup tool if that will help at all.

With regards to the Chinese sutta numbers/locations, I’m only guessing here (in part based on the numbering info given here and in part on a spirit of discovery):

Hovering over the suttaplex card, this seems to be a Taisho edition volume and page number reference that corresponds to SuttaCentral ID EA2 7.

Taking an even wilder guess I’m wondering if there is some mixed referencing here.

There is a listing for T211 (a Dharmapada text):

This seems to run from T iv 575b11 (vol&page) through to T iv 608c14. And then, T212 (another Dharmapada text) runs from T iv 609b22 through to T iv 768c14:

Alas, this isn’t an especially helpful answer for your purposes, but I nevertheless wanted to attempt it just to see how easy in practice it was to try: it’s horrible and bewildering and, to my mind, it would be great if SC could offer a little map to help those unfamiliar better navigate the Chinese texts.


Nice, well, let us know what you find.

These details are discussed on our methodology page:

But in brief, the basic parallels on SC cover three areas:

  1. The 4 nikayas, based on the work started by Akanuma and developed by Rod Bucknell and Analayo.
  2. The Vinayas, based on Nishimoto, Pachow, and Waldschmidt, as well as other works, and compiled, extended, and corrected by myself.
  3. The Dhammapadas, based on work by Ānandajoti and others, and compiled by Ven Vimala.

We still lack, therefore, parallels for most of the remainder of the Khuddaka, as well as the Abhidhamma. We would love to add these at some point. As so often, we are merely waiting for someone to tackle the task. Ven Bodhi’s work with the Sutta Nipata will be a great step forward with this.

To explain these. The Taisho is of course a printed edition, and hence references to it are a rather ungainly combination of semantic references to actual texts, and volume/page (and line and column) references to the paper edition.

Starting with the semantic references, the Taisho numbered each distinct textual entity as a “sutra”, and counts the suttas incrementally from the beginning to the end. What counts as a “sutra” can be anything. T no. 1, for example, is the Dīrgha Āgama. T numbers 2–25, however, are all individual suttas from the Digha. An entire Vinaya is also counted as a sutra. From here on I will use the word sutra in this sense.

In digital referencing, it is clearly ideal to reference texts in this way, as we have a straightforward and unambiguous index of texts.

However the texts are also commonly referenced by means of volume and page. Several sutras are often included in one volume. Thus the first volume “T I” includes the Dighagama (T no. 1) and the Madhyamagama (T no. 26) as well as several individual sutras belonging to these collections.

Normally the difference between a sutra number and a volume number is that the volume numbers are in Roman numerals. Drives me crazy!

So “Taisho II 877a_13” means “Taisho, volume two, page 877, column a, line 13”.

“Taisho IV no 211” means “Taisho sutra number 211, which is included in volume four.”

I am not sure what 609 means in this context; it seems perhaps a reference to Taisho vol 4 p 609, which is T 212, another Dhammapada. If this is correct, we don’t have a translation on SC.

As a further note, on SC we adapt the Taisho numbers so that they more accurately reflect the Indic originals. CBETA and SAT stay close to the Taisho sytem, and through that to the manuscript heritage, organizing texts by sutra and “juan” or folio, a bundle of leaves. We have stripped the “juan” system entirely, and divide each text up by suttas (in the sense of an actual “sutta”, not a Taisho “sutra”) or Vinaya rules. This is essential so that we can maintain the parallels. In cases where the sutra is a collection, we use the name or abbreviation for that collection instead of the Taisho sutra number. So, for example, we use MA (Madhyamagama) rather than T26. But if there is no handy ID, we just use the Taisho sutra number.

Clear as :poop:? I know!

So, to T 211. This is one of the Chinese Dhammapadas, Which you can see listed in the SC sidebar in the MINOR section. It has indeed been translated (at least twice), and we have the old translation by Samuel Beal.

Also see the following issue and linked threads:

I’m not sure, but it sounds reasonable. The Mangala doesn’t seem to be among the 10 texts of Peter Skilling’s Mahasutras. But it could well be somewhere else. I would suggest asking Ven Dhammadinna about this, she is the expert on early texts in Tibetan.


Chinese parallel Maṅgala Sutta


This is the one. But it is originally recorded in T210:

The T211 is a partial annotation of T210.
T210 is a combination of the whole Pali Dhammapada, part of Udanavarga, and the
Mahā-maṅgala Sutta as its last chapter.
T211 includes selected gathas from T210 and background stories for those gathas.
So if any gatha can be found in T211, it would also be found in T210.


Aminah, thanks for this. I had found the little number re: parallels, and the Chinese simply didn’t show up there. But SuttaCentral was my first stop.
The Chinese > English is useful now that I have a Chinese version and see how ‘mangala’ is translated into Chinese. That gives me something to work with.

Aminah, I’m missing something as I don’t know how to get the Taisho edition volume & page from the Mangala Sutta listing (which I think is what you call the suttaplex card). And where/how are you looking up Taisho IV 211 and 609? Sorry if it’s a ‘dummy’ question.
I’m not sure about the Dhammapada reference… the Mahā-Maṅgala Sutta is from the Cuḷa Vagga in the Sutta Nipāta, and I’ve never seen a ref to it in the Dhammapada.

And *** thank you so much ***!


Thank you very much indeed. !!
I’m trying to figure out how to search for /navigate to this directly, apart from the direct link you graciously provided.

1 Like

Great - another ** thank you**.
The Taisho edition is still a bit of a mystery to me, and I’m wondering if you can help me understand why what appear to be disparate pieces (Dhammapada, part of Udanavarga, and the Mahā-maṅgala Sutta) were grouped together?


This is extremely useful and perhaps I’ll understand it all after reading through a few times. The numbering is a little clearer, but what I’m stuck on at the moment is how to access the Taisho on SC. No doubt I’m missing something pretty obvious.

The 609 reference does indeed look to be Taisho IV, as you surmised. The way it is written in Bhikkhu Bodhi’s book is
Taisho IV 211, 609a12-609b14
implying 609a12… is also in IV.

And thank you for the signpost to Ven Dhammadinna re: the Tibetan text.

1 Like

What I did is type to search for 吉祥經

There is another source FYI :
Translated by Venerable 法舫


Hello :slight_smile:

Not at all! As I said, half the reason why I wanted to try and answer your question is because I know more or less nothing about the Agamas and I wanted to just see how easy it would be to navigate SuttaCentral from such a position.

Furthermore, yours are great questions, not least because I have a slightly better understanding as a result of the response from Ven. Sujato you prompted.

As per the screenshot and Ven. Sujato’s answer above, Chinese parallels have not yet been added for most of the Kuddhaka Nikaya, and this includes the Mangala Sutta parallels. In turn, you won’t be able to find the Tiasho edition vol & page for any parallels as they don’t exist on SuttaCentral yet, that is why they “simply didn’t show up there”.

As suspected above, and Ven. Sujato seems to have confirmed, the “609” is likely referring to a page not a sutra. Initially from your description the best guest was that “609” corresponded to T212 as T212 begins on iv 609b22. But from your following specification I think I’ve found the text you’re looking for (given below).

In terms of where/how: actually I followed a bit of a messy trial and error process as it was my first time trying to find such things and I was just guessing at where Vol IV might begin by opening different collections and looking at the given numbers on the suttaplex cards.

Eventually I found that the Dharmapadas texts were the right place to look. Here is the path via the SC navigation menu:

With this information I think it’s possible to identify the exact excerpt Bhikkhu Bodhi is referring to:

If you turn on the text info as follows you’ll see that there is some verse that falls between T609a11 and T609b15, and I presume that verse is BB’s reference.


I hope it was already discovered, but just in case, I neglected to mention that SC does have an Beal’s 1878 English translation of this sutra: