My Mahasatipatthana Collection Project

I am currently undertaking the project of collecting all the EBT and Mahayana primary sources (including classical commentaries) on the satipatthana available in English translation into a single word document. I have 200 pages so far. A shoutout to Bhante @sujato ’s History of Mindfulness for giving me the map to work with. I would love to publicly share my work, but it might include some copyright issues as I have copied entire chapters, and in the case of Budhagosa’s commentary, entire books! But if anyone wants in on the document or even explicitly help me with the project (like my formatting is inconsistent, I haven’t inputted all the various translators’ footnotes, etc) maybe I can make a googledoc for this project. I welcome collaboration.

Anyway, I am beginning to reach an impasse on several issues and so I am here to ask for some specific feedback and help. Below my questions you will find my current Table of Contents for context to my questions.

  1. Some excerpts are locked behind $100+ books that I cannot afford and have access to. For some of these I only need a few pages out of these entire books and there is no way I would spend a fortune just for a few pages. Here is the following material I am struggling to track down:
  1. Vasubhandu’s Abhidharmakosa: there is a brand new re-translation of the French by Gelong Lodrö Sangpo. I began inputting Leo M. Pruden’s translation (as I have managed to get my hands on a copy) and well, the translation terminology and phrasing is very archaic and difficult to work with. So if anyone has these books, I would love a scan of the relevant excerpts. I don’t want JUST the passages that explicitly deal with satipatthana as seen by Vasubhandu, but the material yeeted out into what he calls preliminaries.
  2. I found the excerpt from the Sautantrika/Sarvastivada Artha-Viniścaya-Sūtram, translated by N. H. Samtani, Ānandajoti Bhikkhu. But the commentary (of just that excerpt) is locked behind an expensive book.
  3. I do not know if the relevant excerpts from Asanga’s Yogācārabhumi are available, and if they what excerpts are relevant.
  4. Excerpts from “Maitreya’s” Abhisamayalamkara. Partial translations along with Tibetan commentaries are locked behind an expensive three volume set that I do not have, translated by Karl Brunnhölzl. I do not know if the relevant sections are translated by him, but if they are, I would like to include them along with the Tibetan commentaries. I have found one Tibetan commentary (by Jetsun Chokyi Gyeltsen) excerpt in English translation, so clearly the root text has info that could be included. Here is the Tibetan excerpt in translation:
  5. I have the following relevant texts listed as untranslated, is this true? If there are translations, please point in the right direct or please send me the appropriate excerpts? Excerpt from the Sarvastivada Dharmaskandha, Excerpt from the Sarvastivada Jñānapraṣṭhāna, Excerpt from Dharmagupta Śāriputrābhidharma
  6. @cdpatton are there any Chinese commentaries on the 2 Agama satipatthana Sutras already translated? If so where? It would be excellent to have those in this collection!
  1. Are there any relevant passages/excerpts from the Visudhimagga and Visuttimagga that need to be included? I looked through the Visudhimagga and didn’t see any explicit discussions of satipatthana, but maybe I just missed it?

  2. Bhante @sujato mentioned Śantarakshita and Kamalasila in the History of Mindfulness. Not quite sure what passages from either/both of these two are relevant for this collection?

  3. for the Abhidharmakosa, and a lot of Mahayana material, it is clear that in Vipassanizing the satipatthanas they yeeted material from their explicit discussions of satipatthana and placed them as preliminaries. To demonstrate that these materials aren’t lost in the Mahayana, but rather misplaced, I would like help figuring out what needs to be included from these sources that are placed elsewhere. The relevant material I would like to expand outside of their explicit satipatthana discussions, and would like suggestions of what passages need including (things shuffled into preliminaries, or other places, etc.):

  1. Abhidharmakośa (I so far included ever passage cited or referenced by Bhante Sujato’s History, but are there more passages that need including for a complete collection?)
  2. Shantideva’s Bodhicaryavatara and Śikṣā-samuccaya
  3. Asanga’s Abhidharma Samuccaya (I so far included ever passage cited or referenced by Bhante Sujato’s History, but are there more passages that need including for a complete collection?)
  4. If available, also Asanga’s relevant yogacarabhumi excerpts, what are they?
  5. If available, “Maitreya’s” relevant abhisamayalamkara excerpts, what are they?
  1. I am not satisfied with my ordering of the texts, any helpful suggestions appreciated on that front.

  2. if I am missing any texts that should be included, I also would appreciate it!

I am leaving out modern Buddhisms’ commentaries from this collection. I really just want a bare bones collection of classical references. And just a little rant. The copyright issue in making a collection like this drives me bonkers. This kind of project would not have been out of the norm in any pre-modern Buddhist country. And this kind of collection could really be valuable, especially for intersectarian Buddhist discussions.

PS: yeet is contemporary youth slang for “to throw” for non-English speakers on here.

Work in Progress:

Collection of Classical Teachings on the Four Satipaṭṭhāna



Chapter 1: Nikaya and Āgama Renditions

  1. Theravada Discourse on Satipaṭṭhāna (MN 10), Translated by Anālayo Bhikkhu
  2. Sarvastivada Discourse on Satipaṭṭhāna (MĀ 98), Translated by Anālayo Bhikkhu
  3. Mahasangika On the One-Going Path (EĀ 12.1), Translated by Anālayo Bhikkhu

Chapter 2: Commentaries on the Sutta and Sutras

  1. Buddhagosa’s Commentary, Translated by Soma Thera
  2. Chinese Commentaries?

Chapter 3: Abhidhamma and Abhidharma Renditions

  1. Excerpt from the Theravada Vibhanga (Vb 7), Translated by Bhikkhu Ānandajoti

  2. Excerpt from the Theravada Paṭisambhidāmagga (Ps. 3.8), Translated by Bhikkhu Ñāṇamoli

  3. Excerpt from the Sautantrika/Sarvastivada Artha-Viniścaya-Sūtram, Translated by N. H. Samtani, Ānandajoti Bhikkhu (Note, must find the commentary)

  4. Excerpts from Vasubandhu’s Abhidharmakośa and Auto-Commentary, Translated by

  5. List of Texts Not Yet Translated

    • Excerpt from the Sarvastivada Dharmaskandha
    • Excerpt from the Sarvastivada Jñānapraṣṭhāna
    • Excerpt from Dharmagupta Śāriputrābhidharma


Chapter 1: Sutra Excerpts

  1. Excerpt from The Teaching on the Aids to Enlightenment (Toh 178 1.25-1.34), Translated by the Sarasvatī Translation Team
  2. Excerpt from the Prajnaparamita Sutra in 18,000 lines, Translated by Edward Conze
  3. Śantideva’s Collected Sutra Excerpts, Chapter 13 of the Śikṣā-samuccaya, Translated by Charles Goodman

Chapter 2: Abhidharma and Śastra

  1. Excerpts from Asanga’s Abhidharma Samuccaya, Translated by Walpola Rahula, Sara Boin-Webb
  2. Excerpts from Asanga’s Yogācārabhumi
  3. Excerpt from Maitreya’s Abhisamayalamkara
  4. Excerpt from Śantideva’s Bodhicaryāvatāra, Translated by the Padmakara Translation Group

Chapter 3: Relevant Chinese Mahāyāna Texts?

Chapter 4: Tibetan Commentaries

  1. Excerpt from Jetsun Chokyi Gyeltsen’ Commentary of the Abhisamayalamkara
  2. Excerpts from Longchepa’s Presentation of Satipatthana
  3. Excerpt from Mipham’s Commentary of the Bodhicaryāvatāra

One Mahayana commentarial source in English would be the Commentary on the Prajnaparamita Sutra. Chapter 1, Part 31 covers the 37 factors of bodhi. Wisdom Library isn’t very clear that Chodron translated the French translation by Lamotte. Basically it goes:

Chodron (English) < Lamotte (French) < Kumarajiva (Chinese) < (Someone maybe Nagarjuna) (Central Asian language or BHS).

I’m pretty sure the introductory “note” is by Lamotte, not the author of the commentary.


@cdpatton Thank you! I will definitely include that!!!

What about Agamas? No one wrote a direct commentary to the EĀ or MĀ sutra versions? And more importantly translate them?

Also I know Zhiyi was a prolific writer of meditation manuals. Did he cover them?

I haven’t come across one. There was a rather interesting Chinese commentary on SA, from which I quoted in A History of Mindfulness. Note too that Asanga comments on a lot of sutra passages in Yogacarabhumisastra. Some of the relevant passages exist in Sanskrit.

One text that I always wanted to read, but never managed to locate, was the Mulasarvastivada Saddharmasmrityupasthana Sutra. Warder comments on it, but I haven’t seen much about it elsewhere. I don’t think it is a very close parallel to the Satipatthana Suttas, but it may have some material.


Looks to me like “Nāgārjuna” Vipassanized it too. Can’t wait to see 84,000 words translate this particular Prajñāpāramitāsūtra sutra to see if it was first vipassanized there or by “Nāgārjuna”?

By the way, I really wanted to put your translation of MN10 in this compilation. And I only decided against it because I wanted the same translator for the main three sutra versions for facilitating comparison—so I picked Bhikkhu Anālayo for that!


No, there aren’t any comprehensive sutra-by-sutra commentaries in Chinese that I know of. The interest in the Agamas dropped off after Kumarajiva and others popularized the Mahayana texts.

I’m sure he covered the four abodes of mindfulness in his writings, but whether he ever comments on the Agama sutra itself is another question. His main scriptures of reference were the Commentary on the Prajnaparamita Sutra, Lotus Sutra, and Nirvana Sutra, I think. I’m not an expert on Chinese exegesis, though. I’ve always focused on studying the translations of Indic texts.

I just noticed Paul Swanson finished his translation of Mohe Zhiguan a couple years ago, which is probably the most significant Zhiyi text in English now. Dharmamitra also translated his Six Gates treatise and a smaller meditation manual by Zhiyi. So, there are a few of his works in English that you could draw from.


I actually really enjoy Chinese exegesis (the little I could get a hold of). It’s just a fascinating window into how a culture (or should I say cultures in the plural given the vast time frame we are talking about) with its own deep literary and philosophical tradition wrestled with Buddhist ideas as they were coming in. Kind of reminds me of our current situation. I am so sad by just how little Chinese exegesis has been translated.

But the creativity in their dealings with Indic material, especially during the Tang Dynasty, can have me lost behind whatever books available in English for weeks at a time! I am especially fond of Hua Yen philosophy. But I never came across any discussions of the four applications of mindfulness there.


Just found this article tracing (vestiges?) of satipatthana in the Chan tradition:

It cites Bhikkhu Analayo and Bhante Sujato too!

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Bdk Is probably and hopefully busy translating Abhidharmakosa. I don’t know but last year they had open position for translators for that text. They said it’s a 5 years project. :frowning:

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You have to check in Satyasiddhisastra by harivarman. The only problem is it’s scanned pages.

Also check in this

And note in Vimuttimagga in that book is mention that their predecessors recommended counting the breath, it’s a indication that maybe it’s talking about Yogācāra/Sarvāstivāda Hinayana lineage

And there might be in The Stages of Meditation by Vimalamirtra

Also check

“Mindfulness of Breathing in the Dhyāna Sūtras.” by Florin Deleanu
Transactions of the International Conference of Orientalists in Japan (TICOJ) 37, 1992, 42-57